I’ve been hearing two great myths lately from men and women. One is from younger people, who think they are too young and inexperienced yet to reach for their dreams. And the other is from those who are past their 20s, who think it’s too late to change who they are or what they do.
When I hear both of these, there are always a lot of excuses to follow. And I don’t mean to discount how anyone feels, because I am also guilty of this, but these are some of the great lies we tell ourselves. We have to see past these excuses and these myths, because no matter what age you are, it’s never too early or too late to get what you want. So, I want to tackle these myths head-on.
Too Young to Succeed
I was having coffee with another young woman a few weeks back and we started talking about a dream we both have: to someday write a book. My friend, who is 24, made an interesting comment. She’d been noticing a lot of other young people writing books, even some people she’d gone to school with, and all of a sudden realized, “Well, why can’t I?” She had thought maybe she was too young, and should put it off until she was more established in her career. What she said struck me because it is a pattern of thinking I always had: “Well, maybe when I’m older and have more experience, I can do ______.” But the fact is, plenty of young people are out there making a difference right now! Marcy Twete wrote about why your 20s matter, and people often don’t realize this is a time to not only build your skills, but to go after what you want. And instead of looking to celebrities who are young and successful, consider this list of real female entrepreneurs who started in their 20s on Under30CEO.com. If they can do it, we can too!
Too Old to Change
Sure, there were dreams you had in your 20s, but now it’s just too late. You’re too “far behind.” I’ve heard this all too often. Yes, your 20s have come and gone, and you didn’t do what you thought you would. So what? What matters is what you do about it now. Are you taking steps to reach that dream you always had, or are you letting more years slip by?
I was so inspired when I heard the author Selden Edwards speak at a writers’ conference. He spent 30 years working on his bestselling first novel, The Little Book. While he was working as a teacher and raising his family, he worked on this book in his spare time — writing and rewriting. He had moments when he thought he would never get the story right, never get it published — but at last his time came. In those 30 years, he never gave up on his story.
So, Career Girls — what do you want your story to be? Have you been working toward sharing it with the world, or have you shoved it in your bottom drawer for a few years? Get it out, dust it off, and go after it — no matter how old you are.