Are you having a midlife crisis?

A midlife crisis (30–50 years) is a state of internal discomfort associated the bitter feelings that:

- Many of our dreams will never come true (this is not true)

- Most of our opportunities have already been irretrievably missed (this is also not true)

- Most of our potential should already have been realised (that as well is not true)

- The best, and the most interesting part of life is over (this is also not true)

- Life is complicated and unfair (yes, it truly is)

In my practice, clients almost never use the words “midlife crisis”. They usually describe their condition with the words:

  1. I feel trapped or stuck
  2. I feel empty on the inside
  3. I am dissatisfied with myself and my life in general
  4. I don’t have goals nor dreams.. I don’t even know what I want
  5. Why are there only 24hrs in a day?
  6. I am always tired
  7. Nothing makes me happy
  8. I feel emotionally drained (burnt out)
  9. I don’t have a meaning in life
  10. Life feels like the Groundhog Day movie

If I could ask a person experiencing these symptoms only one question, I would ask:

What’s the plan for the next 40 years of your life?

These symptoms don’t have to become the new normal for the 2nd part of your life. If you're lucky, you have about 40 more years of active life - 40 years of life in which you no longer have to prove anything to anyone!

What can you do about it?

When you are in the middle of a crisis, its easy to fall into the trap of thinking that this seems to be the only alternative. That there is no good way out, it’s a dead-end.

But, despite the seeming hopelessness of the situation, there is a way out.

This is a solvable problem.

To start working on it, first of all, you need to ask yourself:

How much of my life about me?

About me - not my kids, partner, boss, clients, parents etc… me.

And if the answer is “not much”, please don’t take any life-changing decisions until you sort out your thoughts and feelings.

How do you sort them out:

You may start by reading some books by the famous psychologist James Hollis, PhD:

  • The middle passage
  • Finding meaning in the second half of life

You may watch some movies that will give you food for thought:

  • American Beauty
  • Wakefield
  • A Serious Man

It will be useful to define your values (What matters to me? What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of life do I want to live?)

You may also ask yourself: What prevents me from living according to my values?

And last but not least, look for professional support (mentor, coach, psychologist) - they know what to do.

There is a way out. It’s not the only alternative. It’s not the best alternative. It’s just that for now, the solution is in your blind spot.

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