I believe there are many times over our life span in which we begin to question our purpose, our dreams and our direction. I think it is only natural. I also believe that questioning our existence serves as a great tool. Especially when your life has been routine or set on a course that you feel has not been of your making. A double check of priorities and purpose can get you back on track and steering in the direction of your ultimate goals. If you are over 50 when you go through this self-evaluation, it is automatically labelled as a midlife crisis.
The mid-life crisis is just those times when you’re not so into the things you were when you were younger. Jay Kay
Honestly, I really hate that. The phrase gives a connotation that it is bad for you and it is doesn’t have to be. If a midlife crisis is the realization that one has lost their own sense of self, than how can questioning our life course be anything but an adjustment back to finding ourselves? Surviving a midlife crisis depends on the decisions and actions you take that will ultimately put you on the course to a fulfilling second half of life.
The hardest part is actually deciding what you want your life to look like. Can you change your life after 50? Absolutely! It is all about re-defining yourself and your wants. It may be moving to a different country, changing careers, quitting your job, starting your own business or maybe just embracing a more simpler and quieter life.
School, job, career, marriage, kids. My life had followed the path that many people take. But I had veered so far away from my core values and needs just because it was the path expected of me by society, my family and myself. I never really gave it a second thought. I just carried on. My midlife crisis was an epiphany. I had to decide, what next? What will bring me back to me?
At the age of 49, I embraced my dream when I got to say “Take this job and…re-staff it!” (honestly, I was that polite) and began to blog full-time. It took some re-adjusting of priorities and monetary expectations but I did it. Only you can decide for yourself, the level of sacrifice you are willing to make to realize your dreams. For me, less money was a fair exchange for independence and purpose. Even though I had climbed the proverbial ladder and had to some degree, “job satisfaction”, my job gave me absolutely no life satisfaction.
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Having an analytical brain meant approaching my midlife crisis with an evaluation/questionaire so that I could create a plan. After deciding on what I wanted my life to look like, I needed to make sure every subsequent thought and action would yield my vision of my future.
7 Decision Making Questions For Surviving A Midlife Crisis
- Will this choice or decision still make me feel good about myself a year from now?
- Does this choice or decision meet the expectations I have set upon myself?
- Does this choice or decision make sense to me?
- Is this choice or decision the best for me?
- If I choose wrong, will I be able to learn a valuable lesson and get back on track easily or will it be impossible to reverse?
- Does this choice or decision take me closer to my passion and life goals?
- Does this choice or decision fall in line with my core values?
Think of a midlife crisis as an adjustment and re-alignment. It can bring you back to your true self and help you create the a passionate, purposeful life. Surviving a midlife crisis is about thriving not merely surviving. Embrace the process!
Have you made major changes in the second half of your life? How did you do it?