Growing older need not mean losing your zest for life. You may love the security that comes with being a respected career woman, a responsible mother, or a reliable wife, but none of these roles mean that the carefree adventures you once enjoyed are consigned to the past.

“As we grow older, we lose some of that wild passion we enjoyed in our 20s. We change, we grow, we become more serious,” says life coach Kirsten Long. “Yet, while looking at what women in their 20s have that we’ve lost, we’re free to bring some of that back into our lives – tempered with the wisdom of experience.”

Long identifies and discusses youthful attributes that are worth recapturing:

Black and white thinking: Many women in their 20s exhibit absolute thinking – one way OR the other, with no possibility for anything in between. As we grow older and experience more of life, we tend to loosen up a little in terms of what’s right and wrong. We understand the depth of humanness and how it plays out. If we’ve taken it too far though, it’s time to shift back to a more principled life, not all the way to black and white, just somewhere where there’s a little less grey. This allows us more boundaries and appropriate flexibility.

Enthusiasm in abundance: The excitement that comes with trying everything you can possibly experience is something that makes being young so special. Remember burning the candle at both ends because we could not get enough of life? Remember being as enthusiastic about work as we were about play? Years on this planet can leave us feeling a bit jaded and cynical. Let go of some of that and practice living enthusiastically – you’ll be amazed at the returns you get back from life.

Risk taking: As we grow older and experience more, we often put energy into making the world a safer place, especially as we begin to have families. There’s a balance that’s needed here though. Avoiding all risks also means avoiding all growth. Avoiding all risks denies us the possibility of rich life experiences. Bring a little more risk taking into your life (tempered with the wisdom you now enjoy) and live a fuller and richer life.

Giving fully in love: Remember your first relationship – how you would have run to the ends of the earth for that special guy? As we learn about relationships, we inevitably experience hurt and betrayal. We stop giving in our relationships out of fear of being hurt again. And yet, if we can get into a space of giving without expecting, it’s amazing how much we do get back. Look to your 20s and give more to your relationships to create something worth holding onto.

Ultimately growing older is about combining the lessons we’ve learnt along the way while holding onto the unique perspectives and qualities that continue to define us, whether we’re 21, 55 or 90.

To learn more about Kirsten Long visit: coach4life.co.za 

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