Midlife Confidence

The still waters between youth and old age

The midlife period can be a challenging, confusing and sometimes disheartening time of life. Suddenly, all your certainties seem not so certain, you lose confidence and can begin to question your direction and purpose.

Carl Jung called it “the afternoon of life”.

I like to use the word ‘midlifer’ to describe people who find themselves in this situation. It’s not a real word, but it fits perfectly and, secretly, I love keeping my spell checker on its toes!

Are you a Midlifer?

So, what defines a midlifer?

  • It’s very much down to you and how you see yourself, but generally someone who is aged roughly 35-55 would fall into this category.
  • This age group corresponds with Generation X, the generation that came after the Baby Boomers, but before the Millennials. There’s a very interesting and in-depth article about Generation X on Wikipedia.
  • It would not be unusual if your parents had a ‘job for life’.
  • You remember the pace of life being significantly slower than it is today.
  • Your childhood would either have been blissfully devoid of computers, or the later midlifers might just have caught the first home computers becoming available.

If you remember being wowed by Space Invaders, or still get inexplicably nostalgic about audio cassettes, you are very possibly a midlifer!

Midlife Concerns

Do any of these statements apply to you?

  • You’ve lost your sense of direction or purpose
  • The future seems intimidating
  • You find it difficult to make, or adapt to change
  • Life is passing you by
  • You’re in a rut, feel stuck or life is stagnating
  • Asking for help as an adult of a certain age is uncomfortable or embarrassing
  • You thought your future was nailed down, but now it’s all up in the air
  • You can’t retire as early as you’d hoped

These issues are common amongst midlifers, but coaching can help to put things back into perspective so you can rebuild your confidence and rediscover your forward momentum. Changing what you believe about yourself and your circumstances can have a huge effect on your outlook. Below are just a few examples of topics where coaching can be effective to get past typical midlife obstacles:

  • Apprehension about the future
  • Career progression. How to take the next step?
  • Career change. Are you job-hunting through desire or necessity?
  • Struggling to keep up with technology
  • Relationships
  • Business management
  • Empty-nesting: your kids have grown up and left home, so now what?
  • Retirement planning (though money matters should be left to a Financial Advisor!)
  • Developing a portfolio career to find new purpose or make up for a projected pension short-fall
  • Looking for something to do to bridge the gap between work and retirement
  • Personal development
  • Spiritual development
  • Burnout
  • Confidence issues caused by ageing
  • Coming to terms with health problems

The Benefits of Coaching

Coaching can help you identify the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. You could benefit from:

  • Increased confidence
  • A more positive mindset and a ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Being better equipped to deal with change
  • A re-energised approach to life
  • Better self-image
  • A new desire to embrace future opportunities

A UK Government website cites that results from 22 different studies covering 29,000 participants show a 46% lower risk of dementia in those with higher levels of mental activity, than in those with lower levels of mental activity.

You’re already ahead of the game!

Midlife should be a time to celebrate the past and look forward confidently. Don’t forget, you’re only as old as you feel! See what you already have on your side:

  • Vast experience built up over the years
  • Rounded views from the myriad of situations you’ve encountered
  • A huge list of past successes to congratulate yourself on
  • Ever-evolving medicine and health care, which means that midlifers today fare better than in previous generations
  • A growing realisation that older people are not on the scrap heap
  • You grew up in a time before we relied on the microchip. You have knowledge and skills tucked away that you probably forgot about years ago. You can do long division on paper or navigate to a destination using a map!

You’re in good company!

You’ve probably guessed already, but I am a committed midlifer. I was born in 1967 and remember a family life that was stable, where the future followed a fairly predictable and reassuring path. I studied and got a good job working as a technician in television production. Things went well, I went freelance and was successful…

… And then, in my mid-forties, all of a sudden work just wasn’t doing it for me any longer. I still loved what I did, but there was something missing and life started feeling complicated. At first I dismissed it, then I joked about having a midlife crisis, and finally realised I had to add something to my existence. I wanted a new form of expression, a more people-based connection. Then I came across coaching, studied again, qualified again and set up a business again.

And that’s where we came in. I understand your concerns, because we’ve walked the same path.

If any of the above resonates, please get in touch. I’m always ready to help.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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