Every stereotype has an element of truth in it. So has age. As we age day by day, we often have the feeling that we don’t belong anymore and that our age is the principal barrier to growth and success, particularly in our professional lives. It seems to us to be a major obstruction as we already view ourselves as the “has beens” instead of being the “wannabes.” This, however, is a myth which is easily understandable when it comes to breaking down age barriers and, ultimately, changing the world.
Act as if You’re the Best
“You become what you think,” goes the familiar adage. Your biggest barrier as an aged person becomes somewhat self-imposed when you don’t update yourself to focus on the youth of the world. In other words, your vision is narrowed to thinking “I’m too old” or “my faculties aren’t sharp enough anymore.” This could stop you from realizing your true potential. Thus, that confidence to think that you are still capable and maybe even the best at whatever you do, will enhance your chances for recognition as a leader. So act like the age barrier doesn’t exist. Just keep doing some really ambitious stuff that carries weight actually. People will automatically take notice.
Work with Your Peers
Again, it’s often said that you become the people who surround you. So on the work front, try and involve yourself with people of your own age or whereabouts. You will discover similar mindsets and outlooks, find it easier to communicate and make yourself understood, get motivated to support others in the same age bracket and, more importantly, have fun. What you thought was an obstacle will now teach you to invest in others and also help you learn to lead.
The Wrong Attire can be an Obstruction
If you think that the dress code doesn’t matter, think again. Remember, your dress speaks volumes about you. So careful dressing is compulsory if you wish to eliminate the age barrier when it comes to encountering other professionals belonging to different age groups. You will inevitably be judged by people, so manipulating such reactions in your favor makes sense. Don’t discard your unique style or edge, but also consider the value of first impressions. This is also about self-awareness.
Your Personal Brand
Personal branding just doesn’t belong to celebrities only. It belongs to you also in terms of your core values and what you intend communicating. It’s your reputation and the way in which you make others remember you. It’s about your actions that craft a narrative which people will talk about later. So communicate your core values by being authentic and empathetic and by giving value. Also critical is self-awareness where you stop to figure out the value you could bring to the table.
Trusting yourself fully eliminates the age barrier considerably. Yes, failures hurt but they are also great teachers. Moreover, they help you to grow. That belief in yourself works wonders in achieving success and in erasing self doubt. In fact, when you trust yourself to come out tops, you also empower yourself to plunge into anything without the fear of failing.
A barrier actually becomes a barrier when we think of it as one. For isn’t it said that when we let the mind go, the body automatically follows? Yes, age becomes an obstacle if for some reason you become medically unfit and are unable to take up official responsibilities. But as long as the body permits, there’s no reason why the mind shouldn’t cooperate with it. After all, it’s the mind that rules the body and not vice versa.
Written By: Biproarshi Guha