Struggling to come to terms with the concept of life and your mortality? Like many others your age, you could be experiencing a midlife crisis. The term refers to a period in your life, usually between 40 and 50 years old, marked by increased anxiety and doubt or struggles with identity and self-confidence. Despite the negative connotation, this could actually be the perfect opportunity for growth and positive change. Here are some ideas for finding joy, hope, and strength during this stage of life.
It Gets Better
The happiness curve phenomenon refers to a U-shaped pattern between well-being and age that's observed in countries all over the world — and even among great apes — where people are happiest at the beginning and end of their lives, with their lowest points in the middle. Naturally wired to be ambitious when young, children tend to set high expectations for how life will look only to be disappointed when it doesn't work out that way. Alternatively, people set low expectations for old age. During their mid-years, most people come to terms with life, let go of past regrets, and find their expectations of old age are exceeded. Find solace in the fact that your happiness levels will rebound and progress upward once you've made it through this rough period.
Negative Feedback Loops
When reflecting back on your life, it's easy to get trapped in a vicious cycle of feeling guilty for being dissatisfied with life, thus further piling on the negativity. Paradoxically, the ones who suffer the most are those who have the least reason to complain. Practice control over your thoughts by noticing when you're in a feedback loop and changing your internal narrative to silence your inner critic. Engaging in meditation may help you do this.
Back to School
Developing your knowledge and skills can help you boost your self-confidence and change your career. These days, many online schools are available, allowing anyone with an internet connection to earn a degree remotely, with flexible options catering to those who have to work full-time or raise a family. Choose the best schools by looking for recognized accreditation and competitive tuition rates.
If you're unhappy in your job, it may be time to move on. Find your purpose with a job you enjoy, doing work that matters to you. Start by retooling your resume and updating it to match your current qualifications. If you need a complete makeover, look to a free platform that offers a library of resume templates, fonts and images so that you can give your resume the ultimate revamp. Next, begin searching for companies or job opportunities that speak to you and that have the potential to bring the fulfillment you’re looking for.
Start a Business
Perhaps you want more than a new job. Maybe it’s time for you to finally call the shots with your own venture. If you've always wanted to start your own business, begin by expanding your idea into a well-written business plan. It serves as a blueprint of success that has transformed your idea into something tangible.
You can raise funds by presenting the business plan to potential investors, so cover everything they'll need to know, including your marketing channels, business structure, and financial projections.
Take The Reins
A midlife crisis doesn't have to be a bad thing if you focus your efforts on controlling your thought patterns, investing in self-development, and finding purpose in your career, all while having patience and faith that it gets better from here.