If you want to feel more confident as you get older, say goodbye to these 8 habits

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Aging with confidence is a journey, not a destination. It’s about making choices that reflect who you are and who you want to be.

As Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit and an advocate for mindfulness and Buddhism, I believe that true confidence comes from within. And sometimes, that means letting go of certain habits.

If you want to age with confidence, it’s time to say goodbye to these 8 habits. It’s not about getting rid of something bad; it’s about embracing something better.

Let’s get started.

1) Letting go of comparisons

As we age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. It’s a habit that can be deeply ingrained in our psyche from a young age.

We compare our careers, our families, our looks, even our retirement plans. And it can create a whole lot of unnecessary stress and self-doubt.

The truth is, life isn’t a competition. There’s no finish line where we’re all ranked and measured against one another.

In mindfulness practice, we learn to focus on the present and accept ourselves for who we are – right here, right now. That means letting go of these fruitless comparisons and embracing our own unique journey.

Remember that everyone is on a different path. Comparing yourself to others only fuels insecurity and takes away from your own self-worth.

So let’s say goodbye to this habit. Instead, choose to celebrate your achievements, learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, be kind to yourself. Confidence comes from within.

2) Holding onto past regrets

Past regrets have a way of lingering in our minds, often resurfacing at the most inconvenient times. As we age, these regrets can seem to multiply, casting a shadow over our sense of self-worth.

In my own journey through mindfulness and Buddhism, I’ve learned that holding onto past regrets does little more than rob us of our present happiness.

As Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Buddhist monk and mindfulness expert once said, “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

This quote resonates deeply with me. It’s a reminder that life is happening right now, in this very moment. We can choose to be present and experience the joy it has to offer, or we can remain stuck in the past, marred by regret.

Letting go of past regrets isn’t about forgetting or ignoring what has happened. It’s about acknowledging those experiences, learning from them, and then allowing ourselves to move forward.

Forgive your past self for the mistakes it made. After all, those mistakes have shaped you into the person you are today – wiser, stronger, and ready to embrace the future with confidence.

3) Resisting change

Let’s face it: Change can be uncomfortable. As we get older, it can feel as though everything we know is constantly shifting. Our bodies, our relationships, our roles in society – they’re all subject to change.

The natural instinct might be to resist this change. To hold onto the familiar and fight against the new. But as the Buddhist wisdom teaches us, this resistance only leads to suffering.

Buddhism encourages us to understand the impermanence of life – the idea that everything is constantly changing. This notion might seem scary, but it’s actually a liberating concept.

When we accept that change is inevitable, we can let go of our fear and resistance. We can learn to flow with the changes instead of fighting them.

This acceptance doesn’t come overnight, and it’s okay to feel uneasy about it. It’s a journey, one that requires patience and self-compassion.

But once we start to embrace change instead of fearing it, we can step into our older years with a sense of confidence and ease. After all, change is simply a part of life.

4) Ignoring your emotions

We’ve all been there. Those moments when we feel an uncomfortable emotion, like anger or sadness, and our first instinct is to push it away.

This habit of ignoring our emotions can be particularly harmful as we age. It’s like sweeping dust under the rug – sooner or later, it’s going to pile up and cause problems.

Mindfulness teaches us a different approach. Instead of ignoring our emotions, we learn to acknowledge them. To sit with them, without judgment.

It’s not about wallowing in negativity. Rather, it’s about understanding that our emotions are part of the human experience. They come and go, just like the tides.

By acknowledging our emotions, we can learn from them. They can teach us about our needs, our desires, and even our fears.

And by understanding these aspects of ourselves, we can navigate our older years with more self-awareness and confidence.

5) Letting your ego take control

As we age, it’s easy to let our egos take the driver’s seat. We hold onto our identities, our achievements, and our reputations with a tight grip. And when these things are threatened, our ego fights back.

But here’s the thing: Our ego isn’t always our friend. In fact, it can often hinder our personal growth and hinder us from finding true peace.

In my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“, I delve into how Buddhism teachings can help us understand and manage our ego for a balanced and fulfilling life.

Buddhism teaches us that the ego is an illusion. It’s not who we truly are. And when we understand this concept, we can start to let go of the ego’s demands and expectations.

This doesn’t mean dismissing your achievements or ignoring your self-worth. Rather, it’s about recognizing that your worth doesn’t rely on your ego.

6) Clinging to material possessions

In our society, material possessions are often equated with success and happiness. We accumulate things in the hope that they’ll bring us joy, satisfaction, or a sense of achievement.

But as we get older, we start to realize that these possessions don’t bring lasting happiness. In fact, they often bring more stress, worry and clutter into our lives.

Both Buddhism and mindfulness encourage us to shift our focus from material possessions to the richness of experience. They teach us to find joy in the present moment, in relationships, in nature, and in the simple act of being.

Understanding that true happiness and contentment come from within, not from the things we own.

7) Neglecting self-care

We might think that taking care of others or fulfilling our responsibilities should always come first. But this is a habit that can quickly lead to burnout and a decrease in self-confidence.

In the words of Pema Chödrön, a renowned Buddhist nun and author, “Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.”

This quote is a powerful reminder that self-care is not an act of selfishness. On the contrary, it’s an act of kindness towards ourselves that allows us to show up more fully for others.

Whether it’s taking time for meditation, maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, or simply allowing ourselves to rest – these acts of self-care are crucial in maintaining our well-being as we age.

Let’s make our health and well-being a priority. Because when we take care of ourselves, we’re not just boosting our confidence – we’re also nurturing our ability to bring kindness and compassion into the world.

8) Trying to control everything

Here’s a counterintuitive idea: Trying to control everything can actually make us feel less confident.

Why? Because no matter how hard we try, we can’t control everything in life. And when things don’t go as planned, it can leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and doubting our abilities.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, teaches us to accept the fact that life is unpredictable. It encourages us to stay present and open, even when things are uncertain or uncomfortable.

This doesn’t mean we should stop making plans or striving for our goals. Rather, it’s about understanding that things won’t always go according to plan – and that’s okay.

By letting go of our need to control everything, we can cultivate a sense of peace and confidence that is independent of external circumstances. We learn to trust in our ability to handle whatever life throws our way.

Aging with confidence is a journey of self-growth and self-acceptance. It’s about letting go of habits that no longer serve us and embracing those that cultivate peace, joy, and resilience.

Remember, it’s never too late to start this journey. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what your life has been like up until now. What matters is your willingness to grow, to learn, and to embrace the richness of life.

If you’re interested in digging deeper into these concepts, I invite you to check out my book “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“. It’s a practical guide that can help you navigate the challenges of life with wisdom and grace.

Confidence isn’t a destination – it’s a journey. And every step you take on this journey is a step towards a more authentic, fulfilled, and confident you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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