Seniors: Maintaining Confidence As We Age

Jun 3rd, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

It is easy to lose confidence in ourselves as aging invades our lives. Heading it off is another of those tasks that get added to our list of things to be ready to do as it assumes a place in our daily routines.  Loss of confidence comes when physical, emotional and mental abilities seem to be somewhat compromised.

Having less assurance that you won’t fall when walking or standing or climbing steps contributes to that diminishing of confidence.  Losing or misplacing things around the house feels like a loss of memory and thus confidence.  Awaking to a loss of stamina and the desire not to get out of bed suggests an absence of interest in day to day living.  Discovering that there are fewer friends and social occasions that capture your interest begins to eat at your having confidence to be a part of and reach out to friends and circles of friends.

Okay, admittedly it happens that our confidence is attacked at several levels and over events that seem to injure our feelings of being able to cope.  How do we go about restoring, encouraging, instilling again that confidence which adds a spring to our step, a note of laughter to our conversations, a sense of curiosity to our inquiries?   How do we illustrate that we are still alive and want to be caught up in the art of living?  It is an art, after all.  When one lays down the tools required to keep in repair one’s personality and zest for life, there will likely be less days in which one can create a masterpiece of his or her life.  We have a plaque in our home, over one of the fireplaces, which reads: “Live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece.”  Not bad counsel!


Giving in to the weaknesses of aging is a sure fire way to lose the “fire in your belly” for doing things, being with people, allowing the serendipities of life a chance to spur you on.   Looking at life through rose colored glasses is not an escape from reality.  It is a way to improve on the dimensions of reality as we confront it.  Perceiving the glass as being half full instead of half empty is another way to take on the negatives that seek to sway our having pleasure in being alive.

Listening to the music, embracing the colors, inhaling deeply the fresh air of a new morning, picking up clutter that would trip you up as you skip through the day are ways to find meaning and pleasure that make each day a treasure.  One of our granddaughters is visiting us for a couple of weeks.  I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up.  Her reply, without missing a beat, was “Happy!”  Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings come the wisdom of the universe.

Having the presence of younger persons in our lives who contribute their gifts of self confidence, excitement, joy, pleasure, thrill, and all the other human and humanizing qualities of being in this world is a good way to nurture self confidence.  If it isn’t too late, invite your own grandchildren  to visit for a summer holiday.  Find ways to be with young people, volunteer as a coach or a teacher or an aide or a Big Brother or Big Sister.  Get up out of that trap of an easy chair and do it.  Look for ways to catch an infectious dose of confidence.  Live like there is a tomorrow and make it one you can’t wait to experience.



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