How Mentors Can Help Older People Overcome "Golden Fears"

Updated on May 4, 2020
Pam Morris profile image

Writing is my passion. I have an undying thirst and quest in the field of writing. Some eat, drink or use drugs when stressed; I write.

According to research, women everywhere seem to fear aging more than men; men, on the other hand, appear to worry more than women about losing the ability to perform. If, as an older person, you struggle with feelings of fear, you need to understand the concern within you. What will help you understand your fear?

Fear, of course, is a necessary response to any form of danger. If we did not feel fear, how could we protect ourselves from reasonable threats? But traumas or unpleasant experiences, as well as actual danger, can trigger a fear response. Once you understand why it is all right to feel fear in your life, you can find self-control. Some self-restraint will allow you to release your concerns to find satisfaction, so fear, worry, or doubt don’t control and define your lives.

The first step to discovering self-control is to identify what areas of your life need more restraint. What part of your life seems out of control? Is your fear “Who will take care of me?”, a fear of not being loved, a fear of being alone, or a fear of not having enough money at retirement (which is for many the most significant concern)?

Many older adults have spent years making a difference in the world, but after the age of sixty-five, they have found no role for themselves. The younger generation treats them as socially useless. In the United States, one of the most developed countries in the world, it is time to make older adults confident again with decision making, so they can create a new stage of life.

Such confidence will shape the trajectory of longer lives for seniors. Most aging men and women suffer from pain far more profound than the physical—the pain of not having a significant reason to wake up each morning.

It’s time to tune into the demands of older adults, because they have shared their entire lives and wisdom with loved ones over the years. You must give the older adult back their purpose and the confidence they need to live. Society created the spiritual illness associated with aging, by taking away personal responsibility and meaning from older peoples' lives. Older Americans, like all Americans, want the right to make decisions for themselves.

The next step is to make an older adult's abilities meaningful again. Older adults want to help, in roles that can use their abilities. Taking their capabilities away increases their fear of being unneeded or unwanted.

Experienced life mentors will help seniors understand that the only thing they have to fear is fear itself. Of course, this saying doesn't feel equally accurate to everyone. People have distinct types of concerns and perhaps different levels of interest too.

However, what makes one a conqueror is how well they handle golden fears in life. Sometimes, fortune is all about luck, but some people make their own luck. Some people wage war to overcome life’s frightening challenges, while to others, experience is the best teacher.

The survey of older adults showed that nine out of ten seniors feared being weak; it is one of the most dreaded parts of aging. When life presents us with problems, especially when we have to choose between two competing interests, we can get bogged down in deep thoughts. As always, decision-making is about deciding, in spite of the consequences that may fall upon you after that; courage defines the loser and the winner. But one doesn't have to bear this burden alone. There are severe situations that we can never handle single-handed, and at these times finding a soldier to lean on is the best alternative.

Mentors are people like you and me; what sets them apart from the pack is that they prepare so many for life's challenges. Preparation goes a long way toward helping us manage stressful situations as well as broaden our understanding of life. With the help of mentors, we develop a new way to approach life, and formulate innovative strategies for overcoming fears and achieving success. Through their excellent guidance, defined by empathy, we are can be players in life's challenges rather than spectators.

This may sound silly, but a person who allows fear to overtake their life is like a person who lets go of a balloon and watches helplessly as it drifts off into the sky. We feel this way when we fail to acknowledge our fears, when we are in denial with ourselves; when we are paralyzed by immediate worries, while failing to face all the big things that scare us. To be able to win the battle, you must identify everything that frightens you.

What Peer Mentors Have in Common With Mentees

Mentors can be present in many forms, but mainly they are counselors who are always close to home and our heart. They help us build on our talents, upgrade our skills, and achieve a definite purpose in life. Mentors are like trusted advisers and role models—they are individuals who have "been there" and "done what" you are going through.

They share a deep relationship with the other person as they share knowledge, experience, and advice toward the goal of professional and personal growth. Mentors help their mentees defend themselves from being used and making a fool of themselves.

Fast-forward to golden fears and perhaps what makes the gist of this article: everyone who is human has fears or phobias about certain things in life. Those who have a fear of the unknown are quite a tricky group of individuals to help. But for those who have identifiable concerns, their situation is more accessible to track, and this is where a mentor would come in.

The Seriousness of Golden Fears

The fear of never being successful in life is one thing, and failing is another thing altogether. It can be disheartening to see people who have achieved great success in life die early, for example in a tragic road carnage days after landing their first job. It is even more discouraging to see someone perish before enjoying the first fruits of his or her toil. These are not just baseless fears, but deep, real golden concerns, that many people suffer from in silence.

Well, while some golden fears in life are easy to handle by yourself, others require the indulgence of a third party. It could be your loved one you choose to tell about your most dreaded things in life, or a confidant whom you regard as dearest. A mentor can be anyone, even your partner, as long as you can abide by their advice and confide in them whenever something becomes a fear factor.

Mentorship programs are led by instructors who are motivational speakers, writers, and counselors. What makes a mentor understand how to assist many in achieving success is how well we appreciate the advice that we more often than not get from those whom we ourselves regard as effective counselors.

A mentor will help you understand why golden fears exist in life, and most importantly, how to overcome your worst fears. Because golden fears are like the everyday challenges most people have gone through, a mentor whose mentorship ideals stand proof and have beaten the test of time is the one you can rely on the most.

Why Women Sometimes Need Male Mentors

Very often, the person best suited to mentor a female is a man. The numbers do not lie; although women make up nearly half of America's workforce, very few females make it as the influential leaders at the top. This shortage means men can often offer help others can't.

Colonel Martha McSally, the first American woman to fly in combat, said all her mentors were men. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a woman, got her first job thanks to a law school professor who created an intervention while attending a male law school.

A mentor is someone who themselves has been able to handle the worst of peer influences and has helped many overcome the most challenging times in life, even helping them to become great people whom we adore today. Most mentors run mentorship programs out of their experiences, and this is definitely a reason they will help you assemble the puzzle pieces.

A mentor can see your fears, concerns, and needs. They bring to the fore the fact that you are undergoing some difficult times. This is why you can't afford to ignore the novelty and nobility they offer if ever you want to overcome golden fears in life.

What are your thoughts and opinions on the subject of making aging positive?

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Building the Mentoring Relationship

Will You Care for Me?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Pam Morris

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