Regain your confidence – Harvard Health (aging)


Don’t believe in ageism

Another reason older adults lose confidence is ageism — the socially pervasive idea that you are too old to do certain activities.

In fact, studies have found that age stereotypes can diminish older adults’ ability to perform tasks even if they possess the proper skills.

For instance, research published in 2016 in the Journal of Applied Gerontology looked at the influence of ageism on driving ability among adults ages 65 and older. Participants’ driving confidence was measured by a questionnaire, and then everyone was exposed to either negative or positive age stereotypes.

The participants then completed a driving test. When confidence levels were recorded again, those who had been exposed to negative stereotypes had much lower self-reported confidence in their driving ability, even when they performed well on the driving test.

The lesson here is this: don’t let your age dictate whether or not you have the right ability, skills, or desire to succeed at something.