Fear of getting old. Sounds like a machine gun right on our faces, ready to fire, but waiting for something that’s not clear.
At the time of writing this, I’m in my mid-twenties, when started writing for this platform, was in my early 20s.
And I don’t know where I’ll be when you’d read this.
But, by all of this, I want to point out that I’ve my fair share of elderly fears. You can say fear of aging in 20s. And just like me, there are people who feel it at different stages of their lives, whether in their 30s, 40s, or even 50s.
However, recently I was struck with something that made me realise that being sad about getting older is baloney.
We’re thinking of something as it’s a curse, but actually, it isn’t. Instead of being a curse, it’s a gift.
A powerful, refreshing and enjoyable gift, directly from nature to all the living beings present in this world. Or any world.
And through this post, I’ll explain how. But first, let’s look at why we fear getting old. Because when we know the reasons, it’s easy to relate to and understand the concept or situation.
So, if you’re ready, let’s get started before your time runs out. Ha ha! That’s a joke, don’t take it seriously. 😜
Why Do We Fear Getting Old?
Different people can have different fears of aging. However, the ones that take the joy out of our lives the most are the following.
Once in a lifetime every human, every means every… feels these and pauses.
Wonders; overthinks and goes back to their life, then gets confused again, from time to time, over and over.
Yet, some find the answer on their own and some take help. Just like you’re doing right now by reading this post.
So, what makes you feel getting older is scary? Let’s find out.
1. Looks and People Won’t Like Me
We need people in our lives for different reasons. Whether intimacy, companionship or simply fun.
Without people, we are nothing. As the psychiatrist and author of The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk says,
“Humans are social animals. We thrive in groups.”
But our wishful thinking of being liked by people makes things a bit complicated. Or I should say very much complicated.
There are very rare people who don’t want to be liked. But the rest, wherever they go, they seek attraction.
And the number one trait for them to be liked by others is their looks.
So, they spend countless hours dressing and keep on repeating the Q & A, “how am I looking? Nope, this isn’t right. Nobody will see me in this. Nobody will notice me.”
You see, as humans, we are attracted towards things that we find new, beautiful and refreshing.
If you’re with someone for over many years, it’s not the same as when you started. New things always excite us and only when we find them attractive.
And as a youngster or young adults, we rarely fall for someone who’s not of the same age as we are.
Not on the same level as we are. It’s in our DNA, it’s in our psyche.
It’s rare that people in their 20s would fall for someone who’s in their 40s. It’s rare. Yet, there are exceptions, however, they too don’t work for longer.
We don’t fall for elderly people because they don’t have that refreshing look.
So, we on our young stage, imagining ourselves on the old stage, think that people won’t fall for us, too.
And this thinking of ours makes accepting old age heavy and unbearable, rather than graceful.
We worry about being old because we think people (who are young breed and refreshing) won’t fall for us. Won’t like us because that’s what we are doing in our 20s or even in our teenage.
But that’s not how this works.
When we step into another stage, our DNA shifts. What was not refreshing for us then becomes enough to be liked.
What was MILF then becomes a true attraction.
In my teenage or even before that, my meaning of attraction was different. But now, those humans in their teenage or younger than that, seem like kids to me.
They’re like children. And I believe it’s the same for you as well as far as you’re not a pedophile.
50s will fall for 50s or 40s. 40s will fall for 40s or 30s because that’s how it works.
But if you’re going after every young woman or man, and anxiously thinking about looks, then there’s something wrong with you.
You need help, bro, you need help.
2. There Will Be No Time
The fear of time running out, ha ha ha… another badass villain in the story of workaholics. The clock is ticking and you haven’t cracked your masterpiece yet.
Life is short, you know, and you haven’t figured it out. You haven’t achieved what you wanted to.
And once you get old, you won’t be able to do it right, right?
Well, thinking like the above isn’t productive. Far productive, it’s not even helpful.
Because what you’re anticipating as real hasn’t happened yet.
Think for a moment. 10 years ago, did you think of doing what you’re doing right now? Or even if you did, did you think it in the same way you’re doing or it was a bit different?
You see, time is always running whether you crack something, achieve something, or figure out.
It’s not going to stop.
Even if you blast all the clocks in the world, especially the one in London.
The best thing is we give our best till we have breath in our lungs. That’s what matters because in the end, nothing matters.
And there are examples of people that have done great in their lives when they’re old.
What made them do that? Well, they didn’t give attention to their age; instead, they’re after opportunities.
And opportunities can come into life at any point. What matters is, are you willing to try.
So, aging fears related to time running out is just a thought. Don’t stick with it, let it slip and roll baby roll.
3. The Examples We See
The fear of getting old is also derived or you can say inspired by people we see in their old age. Mostly, our parents and grandparents.
Every time we see them or have an interaction, the probable experience we have is that they are in pain.
Our parents surviving and struggling, and our grandparents were unable to bear any more… waiting for the final destination.
Some are that much irritated that they talk rubbish all day.
And look, in this, it’s not their fault.
First, their body doesn’t give a damn. And when your body isn’t with you, you definitely feel bad.
Even we, young people, lose all patience when we are sick. Don’t we?
Second, most people chase ego and ignore spirituality their entire lives and when they reach the state of old age, they remain the same.
So, unable to distinguish their real purpose and keep behaving like they were.
Yet, it’s not universal, there are exceptions.
There are spiritual elders under their shadow (shade) people find grace and affinity. But they are a rare breed because most people look for something else.
My paternal grandparents weren’t so good. Perhaps for us. However, my maternal grandparents always made things easier.
Yet, in their final days, it was hard for them to survive – the mercilessness of bodily pain.
And when we looked at them then, we were forced to imagine ourselves in old age and thought bad things about growing old.
This happens to everyone who sees an awful example of old age.
4. The Being Famous Young Norm Today
Thanks to Justin, thanks to Olivia, thanks to Mark and very much thanks to Elon.
These people changed everything for youngsters of this era. By looking at these people’s lives, normal young people think that success is good when you’re young.
You have the option of attracting many young people. Get to see many countries and so many luxuries every kid dreams of.
And those who aren’t successful feel bad about themselves.
They compare themselves to others–mainly celebs. And this sense makes them feel like their time is running out, which is another feature of fear of getting old.
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So, for well-nigh people, the above are the common reasons why they are afraid of getting old.
That’s why sometimes you hear them saying, “I hate getting older.”
But not accepting old age gracefully is foolish and ignoring the very essential part of being human and living life.
Let’s find that out by looking at the following points and conquer your fear of getting old.
- Live It to Grow Not to Get Older
- The Beauty of Transformation
- Being Famous Young Is Hell
Yup, 👆 the last one is pretty rad. But, it’s what it is.
Live It to Grow Not to Get Older
Most of the time, people when think of getting old, they assume it as being some sour, non-juicy treat.
Nightmares full of aging fears.
They find themselves as someone who doesn’t matter in society. Like the world only gives a damn about the young and forgets about the old ones.
But this isn’t true.
Because if it was true, then there be no people of old age leading a country, a company, or even a community in your neighbourhood.
Think for a moment and look around.
You’ll find numerous examples of elders doing magnificently well in their fields.
Because they don’t see themselves as old. Instead, they see themselves as experienced ones.
If they’re 55, they won’t say they’re 55 years old. Rather, they prefer this as they’re on the 55th level. Now, isn’t it liberating? Rather than calling yourself old, you say you’re on a certain level. And each year, you grow.
This is what I experienced recently and helped me see or understand my years on this Earth in a new and thrilling way.
I’m not old, I am experienced.
And experience always wins even if Zuckerberg says, “Young people are just smarter,” which isn’t helping him these days because he wasn’t experienced.
The Beauty of Transformation
Things in the Universe go through the transformation. Not a single thing is untouched by change–whether living or not.
The one that does reject change, perish before time.
We as humans, without a doubt, are part of this Universe. It simply means we are bound to change.
We go through different stages of life and each stage has its own unique taste.
Each stage gives you a unique gift to enjoy life to the fullest. Each stage offers you unique eyesight to see the world’s beauty from a different perspective.
If we want to understand it with an example, then the transformation of a caterpillar teaches us the most liberating and refreshing thing to stop fearing old age and accept it gracefully.
At first, it’s just a worm. Can’t move with speed but still curious to travel the world. And it’s the same with us as well.
When we’re kids, we’re curious about different things. Want to do what we enjoy. However, can’t move with speed because most of the time things were in the control of our parents.
Then, the wormlike creature takes the shape of a cocoon. There, for a time being, it learns the effectiveness of patience.
Patience is required everywhere.
The bee values patience and forms honey. A seed absorbs patience and becomes a tree. And even we were born out of our mother’s patience that she endured a lot of pain.
But the point of being a cocoon is that it shows “Will.” It shows that it endured the struggle to become something magnificent.
If you look at the adolescent age of humans, we are also like that.
We have the curiosity and will to build or achieve something magnificent. We are so stubborn that we endure all pain and struggle to survive, learn, and build a better world for ourselves and others, too.
Once the cocoon completes its stage, it becomes something unbelievable–a true miracle of nature.
A new life born out of another life.
The final stage of the caterpillar is beautiful and ready to explore the world. It still has the curiosity, will, and experience to survive.
Now look at the surrounding elders… are they any different from this transformation of a worm into a cocoon and then finally into a heavenly creature, a butterfly?
No, elders aren’t different.
Because they still have the curiosity, will and above all–experience.
You may have seen some old age people in a bad situation and probably that makes you say, “I don’t want to get old.”
But if you look closely, it all depends on the first two stages of life.
Whatever they are today and going through, it’s all because of how they utilised their wormlike shape and cocoon life.
And it’s not always a butterfly coming out of the cocoon, it’s a moth, too.
Therefore, rather than developing the fear of getting old, focus on your current stage and what you are doing with it.
Being Famous Young Is Hell
Well, who doesn’t want to be famous at a young age?
I won’t say I don’t want to because it opens many doors. Yet, being famous young isn’t the best option.
The #1 reason is that young people lack experience and because of that they make a lot of mistakes that mess up their world too much.
If you take a close look at the world’s famous young celebrities, one thing you’d find common is that they are constantly suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia and pressure to perform without taking a single day off, which to me doesn’t sound like heaven.
Some may call it high performance, but burning out yourself for nothing is simply nothing.
Yes, it’s true that early success opens many doors, but it also closes way many doors. This is what separates generalists from specialists.
If they’re successful at a young age and keep themselves in it, they leave no room for other interests or passions.
And when they fail… they have nothing to grab for support.
Yes, Michael Phelps is a decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals, but he had thoughts about what he’ll do after his career ends in sport.
Also, when you get success without failing, it feels like you’re a genius, just like Mark.
But when you fail and you have never tasted it before, then it hurts the most, and it becomes harder to rise again.
Therefore, it’s better to be a struggler who’s learning and realising than a famous young, at least not in the 20s.
I hope what I have shared above will help you understand and overcome your fear of getting old. Because it’s just thinking negatively about ourselves in a different stage of life, which, for some, hasn’t happened yet.
So, it’s not right to think like that.
Also, if all the above doesn’t make any sense to you, then take comfort in this: all the people you know and will know would get older. You’re not alone. One day it’s everybody’s time. So make the most of however much time you’ve got.
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