The Labor of Self-Love: Worthiness and Success After 40

Self-acceptance and self-love are key to being able to give yourself permission to trust your own heart. Life is intended to be yours? If not, could it be that you aren't paying attention to what your heart is telling you?

Shelley Audette Settles

9/5/20232 min read

Loving and feeling good about yourself is one of the most powerful experiences, especially in women over 40 who may just now be starting to release their ‘Barbie’ fantasies enough to be comfortable in their own skin. We felt so much pressure to be ‘perfect,’ being raised to be people-pleasers, and to ‘go along to get along’ to be accepted.

The older we get, the more we find freedom in finally expressing who we are. While we still don’t actively seek to rock the boat, we care a lot less about preserving the status quo. Good on us; we’ve come a long way, baby.

As a transformational mindset coach (although I hate labels!), I have witnessed how self-love acts as a catalyst for personal growth which empowers women to claim their worthiness. For far too long, women socialized under rigid Judeo-Christian principles were falsely taught that women were subservient to men as almost ‘second-class’ citizens even in God’s kingdom.

Please don’t get me wrong; I chose to be a Christian but there are a ton of ‘good ole boy’ attitudes still prevalent in many churches that are based on poor scripture translations from circa 400 AD. Women in general have gotten a raw deal. Just like in literature, we are reduced to being saints (Mary) or seductresses (Jezebel)… Not real people with real hopes, dreams, rights, talents, and abilities with anything more to offer the world than homemaking and child-rearing.

Not that we don’t sometimes choose to find fulfillment in our family’s success and choose to set our desires on the back burner for our children. There comes a time though, that you can’t give anymore if you’re empty!

You find fulfillment in following your heart’s desires and you find fresh energy to support others along the way.

Accepting yourself ‘just as you are’ is vitally important. YOU are amazing and the more you acknowledge this fact, the more evidence you’ll see of just how incredible you are. You are more powerful and more insightful than you realize. The real you is perfect; always has been and always will be. You are not your thoughts or your feelings. Sure, we all have some learned ideas and behaviors that limit us, but our hearts always know what’s best for us. You can choose to follow either lead, but only one gets you where you want to go.

Therein lies the problem. By age 40, many women have more time and resources to follow their hearts, but they’ve pushed down what they want for so long that they may feel disconnected from their own longings.

Remember, your heart always knows! A coach or a mentor can help draw this out of you and encourage you by pointing out things you may be too close to the situation to see. Everyone needs support from time to time to be the best version of themselves.

Reach out to me if you are finding it difficult to build up fresh steam to start tackling your own needs and dreams. We’ll chat; you’ll be empowered to take it from here to wherever your heart leads.

You deserve this!