My guest on The Empowerment Show in June was Danielle Girdano. One of her many accomplishments is that the Dallas Business Journal named her in the 40 Under 40 Business Professionals for 2013. I am very happy for her and she deserves the distinction. When I heard she was recognized I thought, “Wow, I would love that designation.” But then I remembered I would not be eligible. I am over 40. For a split second I felt sad that this was not an accomplishment I could earn. Then I got over it. Unfortunately so many others don’t.
Just last week I was speaking to a client who was comparing himself to others in his field. He felt he had not accomplished what others had at the same age or younger and he felt like a failure because of it. I have heard this story many times from many different clients. In their minds they have created a number by which they need to accomplish A, B or C. Then when that age comes and goes, they throw in the towel. They think their life is over. At 40, 50 or 60 they are done living. This is when I tell them the story of Louise Hay author of You Can Heal Your Life and founder of Hay House Publishing. On Louise’s 80th birthday speaking to a crowd of hundreds, she proclaimed this would be her best decade ever. It is a phrase I like to use myself now.
As fate would have it, next week’s Empowerment Show is focused on overcoming the perception of age. In talking about Not Dead Yet, Susan Hess Logeais the writer and producer of the film said, “We may be over 40, but we’re not dead yet. We may be changing, but we embrace that change as opposed to mourning it and withdrawing.” I asked the cast and director to be on the show not only because the content of their movie is relatable and uplifting to women of a certain age, but because the movie was inspired by their own experiences of being held back because of their age.
Not Dead Yet was inspired by the real-life frustrations of Susan and her two costars, Betty Moyer and Sherilyn Lawson. All three women have experienced not only dwindling meaty roles for women of their age, but then also had to watch actresses decades younger being cast in them. After years of frustration, Susan decided to stop attending casting calls she was not chosen for and instead decided to write a script for herself. In collaboration the three women crafted a movie as Betty said, “[to] allow us to do everything we’ve always wanted to do, but never got to.” They created their own second chance.
What number is holding you back? You are not dead yet. Are you ready to make this your best decade ever?