Mid life is a lot like being a teenager again – only with more wisdom (experience). We may not stay out all night and run with a wild crowd, but many 40’s and 50’s experience the restlessness and yearning for change. We’re still asking questions about what we want to be when we grow up, but the questions are deeper, more profound. This time we won’t settle for less than what makes us truly happy.
This is especially true for the work we do. Yes, we want to pay the bills, support a family save for old age. But, many of us now want to work to be meaningful and make a difference. We ask ourselves if not now, then when? What better time to act on those unfulfilled dreams? Work is one of the most profound ways we live our true selves, and now is the time to start doing that.
Yet, it can seem as if there's a chasm between the knowing and doing. We know something is not right with our job or career path, but we tell ourselves to live with it. Too compromise. We set goals but feel too overwhelmed with daily life to try something new. We worry that to make a change to follow our desires would be selfish, especially if it means a loss of income, or upsets our family and friends.
In fact, every person living out his or her dreams gives to the world- a gift because it inspires others to do the same.
“We often hesitate to follow our heart, to grow, because of perceived barriers.”
Such as: Fear and Confusion
Fear- we think: I’m too old to change. If I switch jobs now, I’ll have to start over at the bottom. What if I fail, then what? Fear is normal, and it’s important to acknowledge it. There are numerous tactics to help you through fear. The most powerful may be looking to others who’ve gone through the fear. The most powerful may be looking to others who’ve gone through life/ career changes.
Confusion- Many of us are clearer about what we don’t want than what we actually do want. We may have lived out others ‘ expectations of us for so long we’re not even sure what actually makes us happy. Or we’re not certain how to turn our many talents and skills into meaningful work.
Coaches are an excellent resource to help you ask the right questions to sharpen your focus and goals.
Whether it’s a new career or small shifts in redefining success, making a change in midlife can bring new energy and joy for life.