Here is one way I’ve learned to stop being ageist against myself---to treat myself in a way that’s in alignment with my own philosophy, instead of the messages I’ve absorbed from outside.
I don't get it right every time, but I’ve found myself feeling so much happier—more vital, more beautiful, more confident when I practice this method. I bet you will too.
Pay attention to your thoughts when you look in the mirror.
We greet ourselves in the mirror every morning. What do you do when you see your reflection and you notice a sunspot or a new crow’s foot line? Do you say to yourself, “Ugh, that’s bad; that’s no good”?
Do you immediately start thinking about what you’re going to do to fix it? I know I’ve done that—plenty.
But what would happen if you saw that new little smile line in the mirror one morning and you said to yourself, “Wow! Look at that—you can see what my eyes do when I laugh!” Or “I definitely earned that one.”
Practice saying positive things to yourself even if you don’t believe it yet. It can be tough to push back against messages we’ve spent decades absorbing. Say it out loud so your ears can hear your thoughts - you'll be surprised by the difference it makes.
None of us are going to just magically be able to look at a new wrinkle and go, “Wow! Sexy!” But every time we repeat something positive to ourselves, we reinforce it. We build a healthy habit of admiring and respecting our bodies in spite of all the negative messages.
So if you keep repeating, Ugh, a wrinkle; ack, my skin’s a little more crinkly; yuck, I don’t like those new grays, you’re going to reinforce the idea that those things about yourself are bad, that you should feel anxious and insecure about them.
But if you practice talking to yourself differently—saying wow, look at that beautiful, elegant line—whether or not you actually believe it yet—you start giving yourself a different message.
Keep reinforcing that new message. In time, you’ll find you start to feel more confident in yourself.