15 Ways Your Fear Of Aging Is Killing Your Self-Esteem

15 Ways Your Fear Of Aging Is Killing Your Self-Esteem

If you spend a lot of time on social media, you know how big the skincare and anti-aging hype has gotten. While it’s nice to take care of your skin, most of us can probably agree that the trend has gone too far, leaving countless young girls and women feeling terrified of getting older. Below are some ways your fear of aging is killing your self-perception.

1. You Feel Bad About Yourself.

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Your fear of aging has left you feeling like your beauty is wilting by the second. When you feel insecure all the time, it makes it so much harder to put yourself out there and enjoy yourself. You look in the mirror every day and scrutinize what you see rather than loving it.

2. You’re Looking Back With Rose Tinted Glasses.

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You might have hated younger versions of yourself at the time, but due to your fear of aging, you wish you could look like that again. The irony is that you might wish you made the most of things back then even though you’re still not doing that now. It’s a vicious cycle.

3. You Think Everyone Is Judging You.

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People in real life aren’t usually as critical as they are on social media. The truth is that the people you encounter in your day-to-day life won’t notice if you have nasolabial folds forming. After all, we’re all going to get them someday, if not already. In the rare instance you meet someone who is actually that obsessed with other’s appearances that they notice every little thing, it’s not only a bit creepy, but they must feel terrible about themselves if they need to knock others down to feel better.

4. You Think The Best Days Of Your Life Are Over.

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While it’s true that some people peak in school, it doesn’t mean everyone does. Plus, they probably enjoyed high school so much because they were popular or thrived in their extracurriculars, not because 17 is as good as it gets. Life ebbs and flows; some periods are wonderful, and some more turbulent. Just because you were happier when you were younger doesn’t mean that was the last good chapter of your life. If you’re lucky, you’ll live a long, healthy life; there’s so much more time to find joy. In fact, a lot of people in their 30s and older wouldn’t redo their teenage years or 20s if you paid them!

5. You’re Jealous Of Younger People.

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One of the ways your fear of aging damages your self-perception is by thinking younger people are inherently better than you. Ironically, when you were a child, you probably couldn’t wait to be an adult to have more freedom. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try to make the most of where you are now.

6. You’re Holding Yourself To An Impossible Standard.

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Although you logically know aging is inevitable, you get mad at yourself for growing older anyway. Not everyone gets to grow up and age gracefully — aging really is a privilege.

7. You Think All You Have To Offer Is Your Youth.

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It’s very easy for young people to internalize that their youth is their most valuable possession. While it’s sadly true that ageism is real, you have so much to offer the world beyond your youth and appearance. How awful would it be if your most valuable trait was something you don’t get to keep? You’re a whole person with worth.

8. You Think You’re Too Old For Certain Things.

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A lot of people who are afraid of aging impose strict rules on themselves for how they think everyone should look and behave. For example, thinking older women should cut their short or that it’s sad to still love your teenage favorite band in your 20s. All you’re doing is depriving yourself of joy for no reason.

9. You Think You Need Preventative Cosmetic Procedures.

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There’s nothing necessarily wrong with getting cosmetic procedures if you have an insecurity you just can’t get over, no matter how much inner work you’ve done. The problem is thinking you need to get Botox and filler for lines that aren’t even beginning to form yet. We have no idea what we’ll look like as we age. For all you know, you might never develop frown lines anyway! It’s very easy to go too far with these procedures. It’s not that you should never get them if that’s what you want, but do thorough research first and be conservative with them.

10. No Amount Of Skincare Products Are Enough.

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Keeping your skin clean, hydrated, and protected from the sun is great. The problem is that you keep adding more and more steps to your skincare routine trying to achieve the impossible. You can destroy your skin barrier if you’re using retinol from too young of an age, or mixing as many active ingredients as possible without the advice of a dermatologist. In this instance, your fear of aging can make things worse. Remember, all skin has texture in real life, no amount of skincare will change that.

11. You Dread The Future.

Young caucasian man standing in front mirror touching face and looking on himself.

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Women are made to feel like their lives are over after 25. If that’s the case, are we supposed to be miserable for the next 50 or 60 years? The truth is, so many women began to feel more beautiful, secure, and confident in their 30s and felt even better with every decade that passes. I can even say that 27 looks and feels much better on me than 20 did. The best is yet to come.

12. You Worry About Being Outdated.

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There is a belief that wearing outdated clothes or holding on to past hair and make-up trends age you, so you’re constantly on social media to find out what the next best thing is and religiously follow every microtrend. Not only will this eat into your wallet, but it prevents you from finding your authentic self. In real life, most people don’t realize or care that Y2K is so 2022.

13. You Think It’s Too Late To Change Your Life.

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You might be on a path you don’t like, but think it’s too late to start again because you’ll be older once you start that new career. Although you might feel awkward going back to college at 30 because your classmates will be 18, you’re going to turn 30 one day anyway. You might as well be on the path to doing something you love. There’s always time.

14. You Have To Edit Every Photo Of Yourself.

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One of the ways your fear of aging influences your self-perception is being unable to stand unedited or candid photos of yourself. Touching up the photos might make you feel better in the moment, but look at it this way, you’ll feel sad 30 years from now when all the photos from your 20s are face-tuned and heavily filtered. Your older self will want something to remember your current self by.

15. You Don’t Think You Deserve Better.

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Most egregiously, your negative self-perception due to your fear of aging could mean you tolerate poor behavior from others because you think you deserve it. If your partner makes you feel like damaged goods, or no one else will love you because you’re “washed up” and “haggard” at 29, you need to run. It’s not your fault when others are cruel, but it’s time to recognize your worth. You can definitely do better.

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Aisling is a 20-something year old Irish writer who is the life and relationship guru of her social circle. She loves music, movies, and coffee.