Whether it’s feeling the pressure of being too young or the embarrassment of being too old, age is one of the most frequent and common excuses for not starting and not executing. This is something that comes up frequently with people I speak to.

The fear of being too young and the fear of being too old often stem from having a lack of experience, where it seems like things are too far ahead to make any impact or catch up.

While there may be challenges to start something when being either too old or too young, the fact is that the assets you have are your true strengths. Used productively, they can prove to be difference-makers.

age is not an excuse

Defying the Odds

February 3, 2019 – Super Bowl 53 – Patriots vs. Rams. The story seems to be getting old (and that’s why I love it), but Tom Brady and the Patriots won yet another Super Bowl championship. Brady won his 6th title at the age of 41, and has plans to play until he’s 45. This is unheard of in such a physical sport like football. His career demonstrates that age can be used to his advantage.

On the other side of the spectrum, young Cory Nieves went into the cookie business as an entrepreneur at age 13. With a drive and the right motivation, Cory founded Mr. Cory’s Cookies. He’s such a happy, go-lucky and passionate dude who has found his way doing what he loves, and using his young age as his asset, rather than a limitation.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The stories will tell ourselves will ultimately create our futures. If you play out a story for long enough in your head, the belief continues to become reinforced. With this in mind, it’s as if you have the choice between which story you decide to play out.

These stories can seem compelling. The fact is, being too old to start something or not having enough time to finish something is a common story many of us tell ourselves. The result of taking the risk may seem far more uncomfortable than the feeling of being in our comfort zone, doing what we’ve always done.

For those who are scared to start, it’s not about your age. The difference between those who are succeeding and those who are not is the confidence they have in their abilities, the belief in themselves, and the confidence to follow a direction of their choice.

Today is the youngest you will ever be. So why not start. Time will pass, so never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. Time is the most valuable asset we have, so why not take advantage of it and rise to the occasion.

Enjoy the Process

From the moment we were born, life presents us with a canvas to paint. No matter the circumstances presented to us, the choices we make and the paths we follow are ultimately determined by us.

No matter at what age – the opportunities for growth, development and enjoyment are there. There is power in knowing that who we are is never final. In sports, in music, in business and in life,  no oneis ever prevented from changing their identity.

Write your story the way you want it to be and have some fun with it. There will be ups, downs, pains, triumphs, victories and challenges, but if that all comes from doing something you love, it’s all well worth it. Trust the process and enjoy each step along the way.

So start that book, apply to that job, take that test, talk to that person – because you’ll be great at it, regardless if it works or it doesn’t. It will set you up for the next round. There is no feeling greater than knowing that you gave it your all.

Believe in Yourself in the Face of Challenges

Being too old or being too old each present different challenges.

Being too old can present challenges like being slower or not having enough time to catch up to where others are. Being too young presents a different set of challenges, notably not having the results or experience.

The choices we make are ours to decide, and it’s worth being grateful for this every day. Within a set of circumstances, we have the choice of how we want to feel.

So rather than let challenges discourage us, allow challenges to make you grow and provide a learning experience for the next opportunity.

Your talents are too valuable to hold back. If you really want to do something, the growth, learning experiences and even the rejections will be all worth it.

When you believe in yourself, in an action, in a habit, or in a cause with enough conviction, there is almost nothing that can get in your way. Even defying the difficulties of being too young or too old. It’s true that there is no one who can deter you from the path you want to take without your permission.

How Can I Start – Today

Experience is priceless.

If you are young and you have a passion for something, you probably have more energy and brilliant ideas that others are not even considering. Make these your strengths. On the other hand, turn any limitation you may have into a strength, by being aware of what you lack and finding experience in the form of role models, mentors or people who have done it before you.

A passion combined with a hunger to learn will position you to measure up to anyone.

If you are older and you have something to share, it is the experience you have that will set you apart. Share that experience and make it your strength. Meanwhile, find ways to stay lean, fast and relevant and staying diligent with ways to continue innovating.

At the end of it all, you will look back on your life and remember the moments you experienced and the choices that you made.

Don’t let age be the excuse that held you back.

Instead, let it be the strength that helped you forward.