If you’re feeling as though you’ve peaked in your profession, your personal life may not be as exciting as it once was or there’s another life path that you want to navigate toward, you may be in the throes of a midlife crisis. This period of self-reflection and reassessment may have you evaluating accomplishments (or lack thereof), relationships or just the general direction your life is heading.
While not everyone experiences a midlife crisis, it’s an incredibly normal part of the aging process that affects countless people everyday. But, the good news is that a midlife crisis can also be turned into a midlife calling – by following some simple steps, you can find a renewed sense of purpose and make positive changes in your life.
So, let’s take a look at how you can thrive during one of life’s most difficult phases.
At What Age Does A Midlife Crisis Normally Happen?
A midlife crisis normally occurs between the ages of 40 and 65. During this time, you’re approaching or have crossed the halfway mark of life and are probably reassessing things like career choice or personal fulfillment. The onset of a midlife crisis is unique from person to person and may happen earlier or later in life, but it’s most common for people in their 40s and 50s. Keep in mind that not everyone will experience a midlife crisis and the age at which the event occurs varies.
What Are The Common Stages Of A Midlife Crisis?
It’s important to note that not everyone experiences a midlife crisis in the same way, and the stages may not be linear. Some may only experience a few of these stages, while others may not experience a midlife crisis at all. However, many people will fall into at least one or two of the following stages:
- Disillusionment: Feeling disappointed or dissatisfied with life, accomplishments and direction.
- Introspection: Reflecting on past experiences, values and beliefs.
- Search for meaning: Seeking purpose and meaning in life, often through new experiences or changes to a career or lifestyle.
- Risk-taking behavior: More inclined to walk outside the line, challenge authority or rebel against norms.
- Wanting to change: Feeling uncertain and self-doubtful and like you’re stuck, leading to a desire to change.
- Resolution: Embracing a newfound sense of purpose and making changes that align with your values and goals, however they’ve shifted.
How To Turn Your Midlife Crisis Into A Midlife Calling
If you’re navigating a potential midlife crisis, here are some strategies to help you steer clear of pitfalls (and there will be several) and emerge even stronger on the other side. With these steps, you may even be able to sidestep a downturn entirely, and turn your calling into a more meaningful aspect of your life.
1) Re-evaluate Your Priorities
During a midlife crisis, it’s important to take a step back and assess what’s truly important to you. Are you happy with your current career and lifestyle, or do you feel like something is missing? Take the time to identify what you want from life and what your priorities are and write them down. This helps determine whether a change is necessary and what that change might look like.
2) Consider Hobbies As A Jumping Off Point
As you journey through a midlife crisis, you may come to appreciate the role that hobbies – where your interests really lie – play in your life. Engaging in hobbies provides a healthy outlet for your emotions as you reflect and transition. Moreover, they may offer a starting point if you’re exploring new career paths. For instance, if you’ve always dreamt of flying, you can pursue a higher-level pilot’s license and turn your passion into a paying job. At the minimum, take the time to reflect on the activities that bring you happiness in your leisure time and consider what it’d take to fully immerse yourself in them.
3) Try Something New
For those who are sick of doing the same stuff they’ve been doing, introduce a new hobby or activity in your life. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to rediscover what you’re interested in. It might also help you gain a fresh perspective on life, while scoping out new sources of inspiration for your personal or professional life. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try things you’ve always wanted to do, as the experiences you build and people you meet may take your life in an entirely new direction.
4) Volunteer Your Time
Helping others is a fulfilling way to find purpose and meaning in life. Volunteering or giving back to your community can provide a sense of connection while making a positive impact. It also brings a sense of pride and accomplishment, which can be especially helpful during a time of turmoil.
5) Pursue Higher Education Or Training
Investing in yourself by pursuing further education in your interests will give you confidence after you’ve mastered a new skillset. Consider taking a course in a field that piques your interest or trying for a certification or degree. This may help you broaden your capabilities and while keeping your mind engaged in something you love.
6) Focus On Physical & Mental Well Being
During a midlife crisis, it’s important to both connect with others and focus on your physical and mental well-being. Joining a community centered around your interests, such as a club or attending events, can provide a sense of connection and support. Additionally, prioritizing self-care through activities like meditation, yoga or taking walks in nature helps to improve your overall health and well-being.
7) Put Your Plan Into Action
Once you have a clearer vision of what you want, it’s important to take concrete steps to make it a reality. This might involve making a change in your career, starting a new business, learning a new skill or traveling the world. Whatever it is, don’t let fear or self-doubt hold you back. Remember, a midlife crisis is an excellent opportunity to grow and renew your sense of self worth – taking control of your life at this juncture can only lead to a brighter future.
Are you searching for a way to answer your midlife calling?
As you continue through life, know that a midlife crisis can be scary, but when with the right plan in place, you can find prosperous outcomes on the other side. Make sure to follow the above steps if you feel as though you’re experiencing one of the several stages of a midlife crisis, and you may find opportunities in your personal and professional life that will make a big improvement on your overall well being. Whether it’s through self reflection, volunteering in your community, pursuing higher education or turning your hobby into a job, there are several ways you can take on your life’s calling.
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