As I find myself on the job market in my forties, I can't help but reflect on how society's beauty standards and its obsession with youth have silently seeped into my consciousness, fueling a growing sense of anxiety about aging. It's an issue that many of us in this age bracket grapple with or even before hitting your forties.... I want to open up about my own experience and the wider societal pressures that contribute to this anxiety.
We live in a world where youthful looks are celebrated, and the natural process of aging is often viewed as something to be hidden or, worse yet, fought against tooth and nail. Instagram filters, photo-editing apps, and a constant bombardment of advertisements for anti-aging products only perpetuate this narrative.
I sometimes find myself looking in the mirror, scrutinizing the faint lines that have started to appear around my eyes and wondering if they make me look 'too old.' It's a cruel irony that our society has conditioned us to fear the very process that grants us wisdom, experience, and character.
The societal obsession with youth extends beyond physical appearance. It infiltrates our mindset, making us believe that youth equals energy, adaptability, and innovation. When we're searching for jobs, especially in industries that prioritize 'fresh perspectives' and 'digital natives,' this can create a sense of anxiety that we're somehow at a disadvantage due to our age. I've found myself questioning my own abilities, wondering if my experience is seen as an asset or a liability in today's job market. Why? I tell myself as I know this nagging doubt can erode self-confidence and make it challenging to put our best foot forward in interviews and networking opportunities.
I realise I'm not alone in feeling this anxiety. Ageism is a real issue, and it can manifest in subtle but impactful ways. From the emphasis on 'cultural fit' that often favours younger candidates to the assumption that older individuals might not adapt well to new technologies and other biases which can be disheartening.
But here's the thing, we, as experienced professionals, have a lot to offer. Our maturity, work ethic, and the wealth of knowledge we've accumulated over the years are invaluable assets. It's crucial for us to remind ourselves of our worth and to challenge the stereotypes that persist in society. Growing older is an inevitable part of life, and it shouldn't be something we fear or fight against. Society's beauty standards and the fixation on youth may contribute to anxiety about aging, but it's essential to remember that our worth extends far beyond our physical appearance or the number of candles on our birthday cake. I'm determined to embrace the confidence that comes with age and experience. I hope that, together, we can challenge ageism, change perceptions, and create a world that values the unique strengths of individuals at every stage of their life and career. After all, growing older isn't something to be anxious about, it's something to celebrate.
Follow along to my hypnosis session to work on releasing this anxiety for aging.