We all have had to face very difficult challenges, make life changing decisions or pull our boot straps up and pick a direction. Baby Boomers, those over fifty, are beginning to face the onset of creating their future and dealing with retirement issues. This is new territory for this historically huge group of consumers. They are living longer than the generations before and are known for thinking outside of “the box”. The last stages of their lives will not be typical. They are the “Leaders of the Pack”, willing to look at life in non-traditional ways. This has taken courage to swim upstream.

One of the best tools for finding courage is discovering your “defining moments”. A “defining moment” is a time when you found something in yourself that you didn’t know existed or had forgotten you had. You pulled it out and changed a negative challenge into a positive, life-changing event. One you can look back on and be proud of. Maybe this was an unexpected surprise to you and those around you or maybe you knew you had the strength, but had forgotten.

Defining moments can be discovered through a difficult childhood, a bad marriage, having to change schools and career directions, dealing with difficult medical issues, aging parents or having to move away from a life you have always known, to face standing on your own. The list is endless; the answer is the same – find the courage to make a positive first step, to create a path to the future. Using your “defining moments” will work to give you the boost you need at just the right time.

Here are some steps to discovering your “defining moments”. Doing this exercise will open your eyes to the super qualities you have to draw on. Look back from your childhood; work through to the present.
1.) Make a list of all the times you found something out about yourself that you didn’t know before.
Ex. as small as being able to ride a bicycle for the first time, maybe making an A in a chemistry class that you started out lost in, living through a divorce and finding out you could stand successfully on your own, sticking up for a friend when no one else was - they were feeling alone or rejected
Take your time; try to write a very long list.
2.) Look for patterns in your “defining moments”. Were most of them about you or did they involve someone else? Which ones were like the fireworks on the 4th of July – huge surprises – didn’t know you could do that? Which ones did you have to fight for? When did you have to reach down and find the strength to persevere?
3.) Pick some of your outstanding acts of courage and share them with someone you trust, you communicate well and they’re supportive of you. Ask them about some of their “defining moments”. Discover each other. Things neither of you knew and didn’t expect.
4.) Put your “defining moments” list nearby for when the next challenge shows up.

Reading through these notes will remind you of the tools you have in your arsenal to face negative situations, rejuvenate the strengths you naturally have and help you to remember you really can be powerful. You’ll find the strength, courage and faith to take those first steps; the path forward will appear.

Author's Bio: 

Carolyn Bates, principle coach for Coaching Life Design, specializes in life transitions and the challenges of those 50+. International Coach Federation Certified Personal Life Coach, expert author and teleclass leader.

“Who are You and What do you Want” - Using this assessment, you will discover what you need to complete in your life for today, while creating a vision and a path to your future.

For more information, please visit her website at www.coachinglifedesign.com