We’re all guilty of it – getting stuck in a life rut. We do the same old things day in, day out, socialise with the same people, visit the same restaurants and even go on holiday to the same spot year-in, year-out.
One woman who hasn’t let her age define her is novelist Lady Thérèse Robinson. Whether it’s a complete career change, moving country, walking through fire, or risking breaking her neck in her Louboutins – Lady Robinson is a woman who’s not afraid to take risks.
“We’re programmed to believe that if we haven’t achieved a dream by a certain age we may as well give up. Well I’m here to tell you that this is a myth - we are capable of bigger and better as life goes on,” she says.
“Why on earth should there be cut-off point beyond which we have to lower our expectations or stop challenging ourselves? We need to embrace life’s challenging moments head on and that’s what I remind yourself every day.”
After releasing her debut novel Letter from Paris just days after she turned 60, she shares her own personal take on why it’s important to continue to take risks as a fabulous 50-something and suggests five ways you can change your life.
1. Do something that scares you
Generally speaking, if you can’t do it in high heels I’m not interested. But a while ago, I was persuaded into taking part in a charity fire walk. I had to give myself a serious pep talk beforehand but afterwards it gave me a whole new perspective on the nature of fear (and a huge sense of pride!).
Even if you are not the bungee jumping, sky-diving, abseiling type I think you should do something terrifying and do it for a good cause.
2. Think differently
Think of someone your age that inspires you and ask yourself what they would do in your situation. Think about it - what are you afraid will happen? Why shouldn’t you? If the answer is “I’m too old, or people will laugh at me, or what if I fail.” Stop for a moment and ask yourself one important question; “Am I making excuses because I’m afraid?” If so, then do something about it.
3. Make time for yourself
The world isn’t going to stop if you take a break – in fact the world may seem much more manageable if you do. We don’t get brownie points for being martyrs.
4. Try something new
Try a class, a sport, a skill. No matter what you choose, keep learning - it’s what keeps us young.
5. Keep going
The easiest thing to do if you don’t seem to be getting anywhere is give up. “It’s not worth it”, “I’m not getting anywhere”, I’m telling you – it’s not. My first book was published a few days after I turned 60 and that didn’t happen overnight. The key is not giving up on your dreams. With enough hard work and determination, most things are possible no matter what age you are.
“Above all I think the biggest risk we could take is not taking risks at all,” she warns.
“I try to remember that it is better to regret the things we’ve done than to regret the things we never tried.”