Midlife Challenges- A Perspective

As a Career and life coach, I have witnessed many of my clients struggle with  midlife and the challenges it brings. There are lots of negative connotations with midlife with terms such as midlife crisis. The term midlife crisis came about by a Canadian Psychoanalyst who had found that at midlife, many face the reality of their limitations and for some, restricted possibilities and their own mortality. However, as we are all living that much longer and a career is no longer for life, midlifers might need to rethink how they view this period. It doesn’t need to be viewed as the move towards decline with the best years gone. I would like to reframe this time as a chance for renewal and rebirth and for some, the last chance to become the real you. 

Making change is not without it’s challenges and can bring up some uncomfortable feelings, however, these feelings can be a sign that you are growing and so are positive.  Considering we are living longer it might be prudent to start to think about a career and life that suits your abilities, interests and qualities and in addition, one that you can manage to do in the years ahead. However, the changes at midlife do not have to be big, bold and sudden they can be small tweaks to start, with the intention of connecting to the small quiet voice inside that says “Just try it”. Why is this important? This curiosity to try on different ways of being can help you to find what resonates now with you in your life. If you’ve been in a career for a long time, it can be easy to think, this is me and this is what I do. However, I would challenge that idea as how do you know what else you would like to do if you’ve never tried to do something different. This approach is the slower and more measured, however, with patience these small steps are bringing you closer to your true self, the self of NOW! 

As an experienced Life and Career Coach, I can attest to the slower more measured approach. In my career to date, I have never worked with anyone that wanted to change their life or career and managed to do this overnight in a linear fashion. My clients have gone through fear, confusion, ups and downs when they were traversing their road towards change. To become who we are NOW, takes courage, effort, stamina and skill. It also takes courage and a willingness to become more self-aware. Consider Kasia, a 50 something mother of two who felt her whole life was unravelling. Her relationship with her husband was strained as she felt angry and depressed working the 9 to 5. Something was missing, her career that once fulfilled her, left her feeling lost and confused.  At the beginning of her career, her job suited her, it fit in with who she was and her life THEN. Now, there was a disconnect between who she was becoming and her role at work. Through coaching, she was able to explore her inclination and motivation towards making clothes. With this awareness, she took the first step and enrolled on a short course in dressmaking. This course for her, was the small catalyst of change. She subsequently enrolled on more advanced dressmaking courses, negotiated part time working at work, and is now (5 years later) doing what she loves with a lifestyle that is more in line with who she is now!

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