I am all too familiar with this concept. Many times over the last, oh I don’t know, 15 years (?) I’ve uttered the words:
It’s too late for me to try/do that. I’m too old!
It’s a rather common saying and yet it’s probably one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. Too late? How is that possible?
When you say It’s too late, what you’re really saying is I’m scared.
Because let’s face it, trying something new – for most people – is scary as hell! So we justify our decision to not take the risk by claiming we’re too old or it’s too late.
Back in 2000 I graduated from my very first post-secondary school. I earned a diploma in Animal Health Technology from an awesome college in my hometown. The decision to take this program was based on I like animals, this could be fun! Then actually realizing what working as a Tech would entail. I finished the program with fairly good marks and set off to be an Animal Health Technologist.
That lasted 3 months.
Before the end of 2000 I had quit my job and was working at a local retail store selling frozen food. I also found myself in therapy. I was dealing with some pretty big things at the time:
- Graduating from a program then realizing it wasn’t for me.
- Dealing with the break-up of my parents’ marriage.
- Moving out with my boyfriend for the first time.
- The whole question of Now What?
One thing that came up in my therapy sessions was psychology – namely, why wasn’t I enrolled in University seeking a path in it?
My reason: I was too old to go back to school.
I was 21.
What I really meant was:
I’m 21 and all my friends are already graduated and I’ll have to meet new people (which was scary for me back then despite being an extrovert) and then what will I do with a sinking bachelor of arts degree? You see I wasn’t big on what I thought was 4 years of schooling without a clear job at the end.
My answer was fear-based and one that kept me at a standstill. If I didn’t go back to school then I’d stay working at the frozen food place, which was fine for some people, but not for me.
So I sucked up my fear and registered. I graduated 3 years later with much better marks and a foundation in a field of study that I love!
I could go on with so many more examples that prove this point to a tee, but instead let me leave you with some insight.
- It’s never too late. If you start today you’ll be further ahead than if you start next year or the year after!
- Fear is designed to keep you at a standstill. If you do nothing, you’ll get nothing.
- The best way to fail is to not try. Period.
The next time you catch yourself thinking or saying It’s too late! Stop and think about what that really means to you. Is it really too late or is there something standing in your way? Chances are it’s fear, or something akin to fear, that’s trying to convince you that you missed the boat.
I promise, you haven’t. 🙂
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