The secret is finally out! People are starting to realize that midlife can be one the most enjoyable times of our lives. So, what does this mean for our culturally pervasive notion that once you hit your 40’s, 50’s and beyond you’re destined to have a “midlife crisis”?
As a psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience, I have had the amazing opportunity to delve into the realities vs the myths of midlife, and the findings are inspiring.
When you look at the actual science, it becomes quite clear that midlife doesn’t have to be a time of loss, invisibility — or a time of crisis that we’ve been socialized to believe. In fact, it can be a time of growth, change and enrichment. But to fully embrace all of the possibilities and successfully side step the dreaded midlife crisis, we must first follow these 5 essential strategies.
1. Dismantle your faulty mindset about midlife and replace it with a whole new paradigm.
There are many parallels between midlife and adolescence. So, get in touch with your inner adolescent energy by rebelling against society’s “it’s too late for me” attitude. Reject this old, false concept and instead embrace a renewed and inspired life of possibilities that lies ahead of you.
2. Discover who you really are now and continue to transform yourself
It’s never too late to become a better, more polished version of yourself. You can’t remind yourself of this often enough. Midlife gives us the opportunity, even the responsibility to discover who we really are and what we really want—to find our true purpose in life.
It’s the perfect time to pursue your dreams, not to quit dreaming.
3. Feel you and embrace a “You Only Live Once Attitude”
Knowing our brains and bodies won’t fail us anytime soon can influence us to look and feel younger. Feeling younger also allows us to be more productive, feel happier, and be more hopeful about our future. When you take this youthful mindset and combine it with a “You Only Live Once Attitude” (with wisdom of course), it will allow you to see all the possibilities out there for yourself.
It will help you to say “yes” to life in a way that’s exciting and exhilarating.
4. Determine what “having it all” means for you
During midlife, we need to see ourselves as the successes are already are. Validate yourself. Don’t define your success too narrowly. Own the differences you make in the world no matter how big or small they may be.
5. Resolve your regrets and move on
Life is all about failing up. Use regrets to your advantage — as a wake-up call to inject new meaning into your life. Use them to create opportunities for yourself and then move forward with confidence.
The reality is, it’s taking us all a little longer to grow up. It’s about time we fundamentally change the way we see our future. Midlife can be a remarkable time. With advances in modern science, we have a lot of years ahead of us. This is not the time to retire our goals or to fade into the backdrop of life.
Our future happiness and the ability to side step a stressful midlife crisis will largely depend on the choices we make for ourselves TODAY. Midlife has become a whole new life phase. It’s the perfect time to reboot our lives.
Midlifers have an unprecedented chance to live the life they truly want. So, get in that driver’s seat now, midlifers, and enjoy the ride!
Robi Ludwig, Psy.D, is the author of ‘Your Best Age is Now’ at www.drrobiludwig.com/book/