After sharing that I felt apprehension turning 45, several of you emailed me that you felt the same and asked what to do. So I created a podcast episode for you. We don't have to have an Age Crisis – we can use it as a Catalyst to live our most purposeful life instead.
One woman emailed that she's “achieved” a lot but still feels like something is missing; another said she doesn't feel as confident and happy at 38 as she thought she would. Then my favorite – a woman in her 70's told me that she had felt the same at 45, so she stepped back, figured out what would make her happy, and re-invented her life. (My kind of woman!)
There are many reasons that psychologists cite for the “Midlife Crisis”:
- Time Deficit: We worry we're running out of time to achieve all we want.
- Lack of Identity: Years into working and/or parenting, we wonder, “Who am I now?” Outside of “mom” or this career, “What do I really want?”
- Body Changes: Menopause, Peri-Menopause, wrinkles, gray hair — in a world that honors youth as beauty, it takes a toll.
- Society “Ignores” Us: We seem irrelevant for not knowing Instagram, and feel discrimination.
- Boredom: We're BUSY and bored at the same time. The routine gets monotonous and we crave adventure, freedom, and fun.
- Loneliness: We spend so much time caring for others that we lose track of friendships that matter.
As depressing as all of these can feel, none of these have to result in a “Crisis” – rather, we can use all of them as a CATALYST to intentionally create more joyful, more fulfilling lives.
For instance, “time deficit” can be the biggest wake-up call, kick-in-the-butt, ENERGIZING MOTIVATOR we need to finally take steps to fulfilling a dream! One of my coaching clients said she'd always wanted to take piano lessons, but felt “too old” to start at 37. “Well how old will you be if you don't take the piano lessons?” (a question I learned from the brilliant Julia Cameron) My client laughed and promptly signed her and her two kids up for piano… She's been loving it and feeling happier ever since!
Similarly, when I was robbed at gunpoint 10 years ago, I realized that I was going to die with my dream of being an Empowerment Purpose Coach and Speaker in my heart. I had been too afraid to follow my dreams. But that crisis became a CATALYST and now I get to do this work with you!
Each of these “Midlife Crisis” points can become the CATALYST for you to begin living on purpose, with intention, as the CREATOR of your life:
- If you don't know who you are or what you want, use this time to step back, get to know your strengths, discover your passions, uncover your deepest wisdom, and choose to live your purpose now. Studies show that people who have purpose are happier, more resilient, and healthier. In fact, a 2011 study by Ed Diener and colleagues at the University of Illinois found that when someone feels like she has purpose, she feels life satisfaction even on crappy days!
- If you are lonely, let this be the time to find or create a Sisterhood. Research shows that we all need close friendships, and women in particular need female friendships to live longer and be physically healthier.
- If you feel ignored by society, don't let them. Choose to be the Wise Woman who shows up bigger and brighter, sharing your WISDOM with the world!
You're not a victim to your age! No more self-deprecating jokes about your age or hiding or complaining. YOU are the Creator, not the victim.
When I turned 40, a lot of my peers emailed me with similar angst and confusion, so I created a program called #THISIS40 to specifically empower midlife women to feel confident and create life on their terms. It was amazing – one woman wrote the fantasy novel she'd always dreamt of, another opened her own business, another cleared out old dating patterns and then met her now husband, and three went back to school, despite having kids! (They actually went back to school to MODEL purpose for their kids!)
You can do it, too. You can turn any age into your ignition switch for purpose and a pleasurable life. In last week's episode of The PurposeGirl Podcast, I teach you how. I dive into each of these midlife “challenges” and share Purpose Power Tips for you to reframe every one of them into catalysts for creating your EMPOWERED life. The episode is PACKED with tools. Listen to it, or share it with a friend by clicking here.
And by the way, this isn't just for women in our 40's and 50's. I see many of these same fears in my coaching clients who are in their 20's and 30's, too. The Quarter or Third-Life Crisis is very real because we live at a time that is calling us for PURPOSE. We're no longer satisfied just checking off boxes. We know that we're here for MORE. We desire to make our UNIQUE IMPACT on the world.
And we must. As long as we live in freedom (which many people – especially women – don't have in their countries), then our hearts and souls demand that we step up to live our legacy!
No matter what age or stage of life you are in, remember that positive psychology, the science of happiness and human flourishing, comes down to 2 words: I CHOOSE. You get to choose just about everything in your life – who you spend time with, what you do for work, how you treat your body… And even with all that you don't get to choose — all the hardships and challenges and pain — you get to choose how you respond. For example, a recent episode of The PurposeGirl Podcast featured my dear friend and colleague Lisa Buksbaum, who flipped the pain of her child's illness into creating a global non-profit to help hospitalized children and their families. Listen here!
You, too, can choose. We all can.
So, my love, how will you CHOOSE to make this the best CATALYST of your life?
May you live purposefully, love yourself and love life!
Most recently I've worked with Driven Woman (UK) and Famous Supply (Ohio), and coming up next I'll be at Babcox Media (Ohio), teaching their whole company positive psychology tools to have a growth mindset, overcome challenges, know their strengths, and live on purpose!
Does your company or organization host meetings, offer leadership training, or engage speakers and facilitators to elevate your team? If you're looking for a dynamic, uplifting, and powerful session, I would love to work with your business. I facilitate workshops on Success Mindset, Purpose-Driven Culture, Powerful Feminine Leadership, and Stress Resilience. Click here to learn more, and fill out the Speaking Inquiry Form at the bottom of the page.