Over 60% of my clients come for coaching in midlife – some are in crisis and for others it’s a significant time of transition. Others are not really conscious of what is happening, they just know things are not right in their world.
Depending on a number of factors, midlife can be anywhere from the 30’s to 50’s. Mostly though it is closer to the 40 mark. It was like clockwork for me. Things began to unravel two months before my 40th birthday. Our response to this stage in life determines success in our future.
The wrong perception of midlife
Unfortunately, most people have only one image of mid-life. You know it (above). A male, in his 40’s. Tragically clinging on to his youth, buying out-of-character purchases, making irrational decisions and trading-in a lifelong partner, for a younger model. The image usually contains excessive jewellery but these days, it is often more about ‘getting some work done’. God forbid that I should actually look my age. Yep ……hold on to that youth for as long as you can.
Symptoms or signs of midlife
- Unusual sadness, unhappiness or depression
- Loss of purpose or meaning in life
- Resentments increase and build
- Lack of motivation, inspiration and bored
- Lifelong unresolved conflicts come to the surface
- A voice inside saying (sometimes screaming) ‘time is running out, when do I get to live’?
- A feeling like your best days are behind you
- Sleeping patterns can change
- Feeling trapped
- Lack of energy, lethargic
- Inability to focus on things like before
- A feeling like your life has been wasted
What is midlife?
It is a stage of transition in life. Hopefully you’ve successfully made a couple of these before. Child to teenager. Teenager to adult. Some get stuck to their detriment. Try having a committed relationship with someone who still holds on to the self-absorbed teenage mindset.
What causes the midlife crisis?
People experiences of midlife varies. Some might not even be aware of the shifts going on. A bit like the world turning – it’s happening but you can’t feel it. For others it can be more dramatic. Other life events can trigger a midlife crisis. These can include:
- Losing a job or not getting a promotion
- Divorce or breakdown of long term relationship
- Financial crisis or bankruptcy
- Diagnosis of serious of life threatening illness of self or family
- Business failure
- Death of close friend or relative
How do I respond to midlife?
- See it for what it is. A transition. A time to re-evaluate/re-calibrate. It’s not the end but possibly a new beginning. For some it is a wakeup call. They have built their lives on false dreams and hopes. You can climb the ladder of success only to find it is against the wrong wall.
- Talk with friends who WILL listen. Some friends will feel uncomfortable with your state of transition and want you to ‘snap out of it’. You need friends who will allow you the space to work through this time.
- There is no instant or magic wand solution to midlife. It can take a year or so to work through. Like grief, the way you respond determines whether you can meet the demands of the moment and move on. Denial keeps you stuck.
- Avoid impulsive irrational decisions at this time. Yes, clients of mine do take new paths, sometimes a radical change, but these are carefully thought out and based on a new awareness of their personal value system.
- Create a new canvas of your future – a compelling future.
Coaching helps you find answers to what you really want in life, clarity and gives you accountability to achieve your goals. Book a complimentary one hour consultation now and begin to discover that by clicking here.