Kathrine Switzer ran her 40th marathon on April 17, 2017, in Boston. At 70 she is well beyond what many of us consider midlife but she shows us that age is only a number, not a state of mind. In 1967 when she entered the Boston Marathon at age 19 using only her initials. There were no prohibitions against women running marathons. The presumption was that women would never enter. After all, it was believed, women did not have the physical capacity to run a marathon and they might never able to have a baby if they did.
Many assumptions have been made about what women can and can’t do over the years. Many have been proven wrong. The movie Hidden Figures is another example of untrue sexist and racial stereotypes. What may be the most damaging is our internal beliefs about what we as women can and cannot do.
At women in midlife, we can gain the courage and confidence to overcome the stereotypes others have imposed on us. We are also willing to look at the limitations we have imposed on ourselves. We can reclaim our talents and gifts and find meaning and purpose at midlife and beyond.
Are Limiting Beliefs getting in your way?
Are limiting beliefs from society or peers are keeping you from doing what you most want? Or in some cases even keeping you from dreaming about what you most want? Do all the limiting beliefs come from external sources or do we also limit ourselves by the limiting beliefs we hold on to inside us either consciously or unconsciously?
Are you limiting yourself by the programs that are running in the back of your mind? Changing what society believes and the expectations of what women can and cannot do we may be beyond our individual control. Challenging the limiting beliefs we hold inside us, our self-sabotage may feel the hardest to deal with, yet they are under our control. Do you have beliefs about how much money you can earn or how much love you deserve or how physically fit you can be? Our limiting beliefs are often so unconscious that we never question them. We often accept our limiting beliefs as reality even though they are not true.
Whose beliefs are they anyway?
Switzer believed in herself. She did not doubt that she was capable of running a marathon. Or if she did she was willing to override that belief and not see it as fact. The limits placed on her were external from society. We confuse internal and external limitations. Often when we are willing to face the internal limitations, the external limitations seem to melt away.
What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are. Tony Robbins
You may never run a marathon but what do you want to do with your life. What is your ikigai, your reason for getting up in the morning? At 19 Kathrine Switzer believed in herself and had the confidence and the courage to know that she could run the Boston Marathon. She believed in herself. She has been running ever since.
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