Feeling Inadequate?

Need a boost to get over your fears and put your best foot forward? Read on!

By Sharon Lee Schroeder

n your 20s, a sultry walk and a seductive wink were the only ingredients you needed to snag a date. In your 30s, your suitors may have become fewer, but you chalked that up to having less time — a demanding career was your main focus. Now, in your 40s, you’re beginning to wonder if you’ve lost your touch.

The mirror doesn’t show your flattering side anymore and
It’s never smart to compare yourself to others—just find ways to become the best you.
size 8 fits a bit too tight. Don’t buy into the idea of “aging gracefully”; fight it all the way. It’s natural to feel some inadequacies, no matter the chronological number, but that shouldn’t stop you from forging ahead into the search for your soul mate. These eight strategies for eight fears give you a jump start in wowing whomever you may choose.

Fear #1: There’s too much competition
Strategy: It’s never smart to compare yourself to others — just find ways to become the best you. Competition is healthy and keeps you on your toes. Rediscover your strong points and make the most of them. Your smile is dazzling, your sense of humor is infectious and dates have been known to drown in your baby blues. There will always be someone younger and more beautiful — knowing so takes some of the pressure off. No kidding.

Fear #2: What if he doesn’t find me attractive or thinks I’m way too old?
Strategy: You’ve got more than a few pounds to lose. You haven’t got the energy to walk around the block. Your sags are beginning to have sags and your once pure, smooth skin is beginning to wrinkle. Diet, exercise and meditate — whatever it takes. Do it for your health, first and foremost — the guy comes naturally after.

Fear #3: I’m over 40 and just the idea of dating scares me to death
Strategy: Today’s dating scene is challenging, to say the least. Make it a point to know what’s going on in the real world. Being hung up on your age or endlessly yearning for how wonderful things used to be isn’t going to get you anywhere with today’s men. Force yourself to be spontaneous and unpredictable. You were all these things once upon a time. You can be again, with a little tweaking. It’ll do your ego good and make you look great to any potential mate.

Fear #4: Small talk isn’t exactly one of my strengths
Strategy: Getting a good conversation going isn’t easy. The best way to start is to make it about your date — his likes and dislikes, for starters. Before you know it, small talk may turn into real communication and a remarkable relationship.

Fear #5: I’m beginning to feel older every minute
Strategy: Aches, pains, moans, groans and more have taken over. Your body is suddenly your
You may wish it weren’t so, but first impressions are physical.
enemy. Get over yourself, take inventory and take action. Reinvent your youth. Take the word “old” out of your vocabulary and let a new love in.

Fear #6: Fear of intimacy
Strategy: Feeling sexy — you don’t. “Sexy” isn’t easily defined — an elusive mystic quality creates a big part of an explosive chemistry. Re-energize your appeal by developing your own enviable style. You and you alone have the power to set the intimacy perimeters. Be one with your sexy, bad self and fireworks will surely follow.

Fear #7: First dates give me butterflies
Strategy: You may wish it weren’t so, but first impressions are physical. That means the whole enchilada. Admit it: You go by outward impressions as much as anyone else. Calm those butterflies with the knowledge that the other person is probably as nervous as you are. And, remember, what you wear isn’t as important as how you wear it.

Fear #8: Fear of rejection
Strategy: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Okay, so your last online date couldn’t see beyond your age. It’s his loss, so continue to click on. Somewhere out there resides a truly fantastic person who thinks your age and everything else about you is just right.

Sharon Lee Schroeder is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Happen.
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