Aging and the self-doubt slugs

Google has my profile nailed down and can provide everything I need to deal with aging.  It was right there.  On the right-hand side of my screen, some poor old soul reminded me help is only a click away.  If my dentures failed me or my face looked woefully old a remedy was at hand.  Those were the images my eye landed on as I researched a business item.

The images represented things Google "Recommended for you".  My initial response was a joyful burst of laughter that showered a bit of saliva on my screen.  It struck me as absurd. I didn't look like that lady and I had my own teeth.  I tried to carry on with my research but the old lady kept looking at me from the side of my screen, taunting me with the fear of being one of those 'older women'. I took a print screen thinking it might make humorous fodder for this blog. Slowly though the humor was replaced by indignation, which was quickly followed by mad.  How dare Google assume I am an 'older woman', I need help putting my make up on, or that I have lost my teeth.

This Nana may be on the downside of fifty but I haven't checked out yet.  Although some might call me vain, I think I'm doing pretty damn good for my age.  No Google help required, thank you.  Those were my first thoughts soon to be covered by a trail of self-doubt slugs.  The slugs moved quite slowly but they left a sticky trail of doubt I just couldn't seem to erase.

We all live with varying degrees of self-doubt but rarely has it stopped me from embarking on the next wonderful adventure.  Karyl McBride, Ph.D. wrote about self-doubt being a "continual and nagging" in Psychology Today.  I would describe my self-doubt as infrequent and more like a gentle nudge, not nagging.  When I found myself being trailed by a herd of self-doubt slugs I wanted to understand why they were hounding me and how to get rid of them.

Google was not going to win this one.  I was going to vanquish self-doubt.  I became fixated on figuring out how to deal with the slugs because Dr. Cynthia Thaik was very clear in her Huffington Post article, that Self-Doubt Destroys the Heart, Mind, Body and Soul.  My attempts were valiant, yet it proved to be a little more complex because we were traversing a week where Greg was celebrating his fifty-eighth birthday and anticipating a root canal.  Hmmm, maybe Google had us pegged right.  Maybe next week we would be getting advertisements for funeral homes, and Costco coffins.

His 21 year-old self - loving a stray dog
Quite possibly it was time to hang it all up, retire, downsize, and check out of life.  Just as the self-doubt slugs were winning, we started a conversation in our house about our eighteen and twenty-one-year-old selves, those wonderfully naive selves who gave no thought to becoming old, wrinkled, or toothless.  We were them once, but we have aged, we have wrinkled, and we may lose teeth but it's not over until the fat lady sings.  And she ain't singing yet so I am going to continue to live and play big so I can serve the world in some way that counts.  I'm going to keep trying new things and exploring. some things have remained the same.  God didn't make me young or old, he/she/it made me, me - ageless and with a unique purpose.

Maybe I should check out the make-up tips so I can look my best while I live out that purpose!  Whatever I do about decorating the outside of me, I think it is far more important to take care of the inside.  Therefore, I commit this week to eradicating the self-doubt slugs, playing large, and celebrating every adventure. What about you?  Any self-doubt slugs you need to get rid of so you stop playing small?