If you’ve crossed the 40-year milestone, you might be familiar with the phrase “midlife crisis.” I’m here to offer you a more empowering perspective: what if we look at midlife as an exhilarating opportunity rather than a crisis?
Midlife can be a confusing time for many people. Especially if you are a high achiever, like myself.
At work, many people have grown into a role where they can enjoy their status and most often they get enough respect for their accumulated experience.
Pretty often they kind of stay stuck in this role for some time- because it becomes comfortable. In a pattern known as the “hedonic treadmill,” however, each increment of status leads us to crave more.
The result is that people who are objectively more successful often feel subjectively more disappointed.
Comfort also has another side of the medal- it can become boring.
Have you ever had similar thoughts?
“what am I doing here, it’s been X years and I am still doing the same thing, over and over? It’s getting boring.”
Or: “attending these meetings is the worst thing ever, they all sound the same, week by week- is there anything else I could do?”
Or even: “I think I could be doing much more than spending my days inhere, but how? Is it worth it? Who would want me, I am already X years old- nobody would hire me”.
Or rather: “ I feel I could really ask for more in my life,, but from where do I start? “
At home many people are full of responsibilities toward their families with kids that are growing older and require more and more attention in their upbringing. Some people may get a divorce, others may be feeling that watching their parents age can be very sad and impactful.
Midlife can be very confusing and also saddening- but it doesn’t have to be.
Midlife can be a very demanding time of our lives.
Midlife can be very intense.
INTENSE DOES NOT EQUAL BAD
Midlife can be your “strategic half-time” to reassess your life priorities and make impactful transformations.
On the contrary, research indicates that people in their 40s and 50s often possess a richness of experience and wisdom that can be liberating.
There are several reasons why midlife is the perfect moment to reassess your priorities.
Here are some:
Financial Stability- by the time you reach midlife, you are financially much more stable than what you were in your 20’s or early 30’s. This cushion can give you the freedom to look at making choices that you were not able to make earlier in life.
Emotional Maturity- You have a greater understanding of your emotional self and others. You’ve navigated relationships, juggled career ups and downs, and learned how to balance life’s challenges. This maturity can guide you in making more informed decisions about what truly matters to you.
Time is the essence- As you become older you start appreciating time more and more, as you realise it is the most scarce resource at human’s disposal.
Midlife serves as a wake-up call that reminds us that if we want to make changes, now is the perfect time to do so.
The priority shifts from surviving and making sure that you can have a job, make good money, have a family, to finding out what else you could contribute to, where else could you be of impact, where else can you use your strengths and experience more?
The priorities shift from outside in-to inside out.
But now you’ll certainly ask me, “from where do I start?”
First thing first, talk to people, share your malaise, do not hide out of fear of being judged. We all go through midlife- and the perspective on it is what makes the difference.
Here are some steps you can follow to start reassessing priorities:
- Self-Reflection: Dedicate time to self-reflection. What are your values? What motivates you? What are you extremely good at, besides what you have been doing so far? What do you feel is missing in your current role?
- Seek Guidance: Don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Coaches, mentors, and advisors can offer you valuable insights into your life’s goals.
- Make a Plan: Once you’ve identified your new priorities, start devising a concrete plan. Break it down into actionable steps.
- Commit: Once the plan is set, commit to it. Remember, it’s never too late to redefine your path.
- Celebrate: Embrace the joy that comes with living a life aligned with your true priorities.
Midlife is not the end; it’s a vibrant chapter full of opportunities to reassess and realign your life priorities.
If you’d like to stop feeling confused and puzzled, or frustrated, sign up for my newsletter, where I regularly share tips and inspirations around how to navigate professional and life changes at midlife.