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Episode 49 – You’re Not Having A Midlife Crisis. You’re Having A Midlife Reinvention!

You're Not Having A Midlife Crisis. You're Having A Midlife Reinvention!

You're not having a midlife crisis. You're having a midlife reinvention.

Hey there Beautiful!

Do you know why I begin each of my episodes telling you that you’re beautiful?

Because you are beautiful.

The longer answer: because I’m slowly reprogramming you into believing and knowing absolutely that you are beautiful. Like Rey, in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” using her Jedi powers to tell the guards to remove her restraints and leave the cell door open. It’s a Jedi mind trick, planting ideas of what to think and do next.

So if you begin to believe that you are beautiful inside and out, then there’s nothing that can stop you from going after what you want. There is beauty and goodness in each of us.

Let's get to today's topic: having a midlife crisis.

A midlife crisis is defined as a period of emotional turmoil in middle age characterized especially by a strong desire for change.

And that’s the whole point of having a midlife crisis right?

Having the time to now go after what you want?

A midlife crisis is defined as a period of emotional turmoil in middle age characterized especially by a strong desire for change.

That’s okay I guess as a definition but we can do better, right?

Who even came up with the phrase “midlife crisis?” According to Psychology Today, “Psychologist Elliot Jaques coined the term “midlife crisis” in a 1965 article, referring to a time when adults reckon with their mortality and their sense of a dwindling number of remaining years of productive life.”

Dwindling number of remaining years of productive life? That is a HORRIBLE way to describe the next 40 to 50 years of my life! Dwindling number of productive years! I’ll show you dwindling number of years, buddy!

Biggest way to ensure that anyone will freak out or think bad things are going to happen is to use the word crisis.

Crisis used in any sentence does not bode well such as, energy crisis, emotional crisis, financial crisis, or unemployment crisis.

A man's midlife crisis will last longer than a woman's midlife crisis.

I also found the answer to how long a midlife crisis might last.  It said, “The male midlife crisis lasts between three and ten years, whereas women will only suffer the crisis for two and five years, a study found.” Hahaha! Women won’t suffer as long because:

A.  Women won’t put up with feeling lost and without purpose. Women will try to seek answers and figure it out.

B.  Men bottle up their feelings so they will suffer longer. They will deny all emotions by cramming them down inside themselves in order to ignore what’s really happening. Men won’t try to figure out what’s wrong with them.

I have no scientific data to back up option A or B. It’s based on my personal experience which I know you can relate to!

So what are some of the signs of a midlife crisis?

Have you looked up the signs of a midlife crisis? Of course I did and symptoms include some of the following:

  • You gain or lose weight.
  • You become jealous of other people.
  • You experience unusual physical pain.
  • You make rash decisions.
  • You feel like you’re losing your mind.

Each woman will experience a midlife crisis differently.

I don’t know if there really is a definitive list for what you could be experiencing as a midlife crisis.

Every woman’s experience is going to be different and just reading symptoms from the list made me think, “Uhhh I could feel all of those at any point in my life.”

I could probably pick a time 20 years ago where I was gaining weight, jealous of other people, making rash decisions, experiencing weird pains, and feeling like I was losing my mind ALL IN ONE DAY!

Yeah I know I could and I bet you could too!

How is a midlife crisis defined?

Let’s go back to defining “midlife crisis.” The word “crisis” is the most jarring word of the phrase “midlife crisis” and it can be defined in a few different ways.

Crisis is defined as:

  • An emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person's life.
  • An unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending.
  • A situation with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome.
  • Lastly, a situation that has reached a critical phase.

The words that you use will create your reality.

So if you say to yourself, “I’m having a midlife crisis,” then that’s what you’re going to have, a situation with a distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome.

Using the word crisis allows you to give up before you even start, especially if you think you’re too old to start over, change, or try new things. I’m calling BS on that.

You are NEVER to old to start something new!

You think you’re too old to start something new? Or too old to finally get the break you’ve been waiting for? With the help of my trusty friend Google, here are some examples of women who began something new in midlife:

  • Fashion designer Vera Wang didn't design her first dress until she was 40. She was a figure skater and journalist before her career in fashion.
  • Julia Child worked in advertising and media before writing her first cookbook when she was 50, launching her career as a celebrity chef.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder published the first in the “Little House” books at age 65.
  • Another author, Toni Morrison, first novel, The Bluest Eye, didn’t get published until she was 40 years old.
  • Kathy Bates didn’t land her “break-out” role until she was 43 years old in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery.

Your life experience is valuable.

I also found a study that was conducted by the Census Bureau and two MIT professors who found that the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be in midlife.

It said that a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful business than a 30-year-old; that also included side hustles.

It also said that ideas are great but execution is everything. It's much harder to execute an idea well when you have limited experience.

It's much harder to make smart decisions–especially when you need to make a number of critical decisions every day–when you have limited experience.

Haven’t you been doing EXACTLY that with your family for the past 20 years? Making a number of decisions every day based around the idea to ensure your family is happy with your vast knowledge and experience?

You’re afraid to start a business or go back to school with all of your experience under your belt?

Why?

Don’t allow the fear of making a mistake hold you back and instead encourage you to be safe. The more mistakes you make the faster you will learn what doesn't work.

You’re going to then rediscover the talents that you forgot you had.

Replace the phrase midlife crisis with midlife reinvention.

Here’s what I want you to do.

As I’ve said before, words are powerful and how you use them can create your reality.

So instead of saying you’re having a midlife crisis, I want you to say that you are having a midlife reinvention.

The word reinvention is defined as:

  • To remake or redo completely
  • To bring into use again

That definition is so, so much better: you are remaking yourself and bringing talents of yours into use again.

You’re reshuffling the cards to come up with a better hand.

You’re spinning the lotto jackpot ball until the number you want comes up.

You now get to pick who is going to be on your winning team to help reinvent yourself.

Does that include a new haircut? Does that include removing a couple of people in your life that bring you down and don’t want you to succeed? Does that include putting yourself first for the first time in a long time?

You get to decide.

You have the power of choice.

You're having a midlife reinvention.

There is no perfect time. Just start today.

The biggest reason to reinvent yourself now is that if you wait for the perfect time or wait five years from now to begin, you will regret it.

I learned this from my mom who in her 70s has travelled with a tour group to Africa, Bhutan, and India, all by herself! My dad didn’t want to go to those countries with her and she said to him, “I’m going!”

She told me that she didn’t want to look back in ten years when her physical health may be diminished and regret that she didn’t go to those places that she had been dreaming about for a long time.

If you want to know more about how fear and regret work together, go listen to episode 11.

Don't get overwhelmed by thinking you have to all the things, RIGHT NOW!

I know what you’re doing.

You have this big picture in your head of all-llll the things that you think you have to do in order to achieve your dream. You want to make a change from where you are now, to where you want to be.

But it intimidates you.

It overwhelms you.

It scares you to the point that you are frozen in place and don’t want to do anything that might upset the delicate balance of your current life.

Here's what you should do.

Here’s what I want you to do.

Take that big scary dream that’s the size of a Target store and shrink it down. Imagine it shrinking down to the size of a Post It note. You’re holding that Post It note just by the corner with your thumb and index finger. That Post-It note is not as scary compared to the huge Target store.

Your mind is just making it harder to make a decision of what to do next because, again, it’s trying to keep you safe from that big, scary dream since your brain thinks it will do you harm.

But your heart knows that it’s the right dream to go after.

Start writing it all down to get it out of your mind and reduce the constant repeat of those thoughts in your mind.

The biggest tool that helps me figure out what is bothering me is writing it all down. 

If I’ve got too many questions rattling around in my head I write it all down. When an idea or situation seems to me to be too big to wrap my whole head around it, I open up a Google Doc and just start typing.

I have also gotten multiple pages of notebook paper, a sharpened pencil with an added eraser on top, a quiet place, and comfortable chair to write, and write and write.

The key in either situation is not to get interrupted.

That way all of your feelings, ideas, and thoughts can get out of you.

The library is a GREAT place for this, renting a hotel room for a night to change up your environment, or shutting the door to the extra bedroom and telling whomever is in the house to not bother you unless the house is on fire. Then you pop in your earphones and crank up classical music so you can’t hear anything except the music and your thoughts.

Getting it out of your brain and onto paper will help you immensely.

Remember, you're having a midlife reinvention.

You don't have to make big changes in order to see big results.

You don’t have to start a business or go back to school if that’s not for you.

Just look around where you live and see how you can make a bigger impact in your community.

Who could use your life experiences to effect positive change even if it’s just one person?

What could you do to help others that would fill up the gaping hole of loneliness that was created when your children left?

Don’t you dare think that you have nothing left to do and don’t know where to begin!

You will figure this out.

This is the beginning of your midlife reinvention.

Also something to consider is what if right now is the beginning of something and not the end?

You may have anger towards yourself for missing some of your best years.

Who says that you missed out on your best years? Magazines and the online world shouting from the rooftops that you must have done this and this by the time you have kids, or by the time you’re married, or by the time you’ve hit a certain birthday, are someone else’s expectations of how your life should be.

That doesn’t mean that you have to accept their opinion if it doesn’t work for you.

Let go of any anger you’re feeling towards yourself since, I’m telling you, the best years are coming up in midlife.

We are a powerful generation of women.

We are Generation X.

We grew up on MTV, grunge, hip hop and punk music. We had pegged pants, big hair, wore neon clothing, and watched all John Hughes films on repeat.

Our generation was the first to have friends with divorced parents and also watch their parents date.

We were raised in two-income families which made us latchkey kids since there weren’t as many child care options that are available today.

We were the first generation to grow up with computers and technology is woven into our everyday lives.

We are also now known as the sandwich generation with our kids not needing us as much but our parents are needing us more since they are living longer.

We are independent, resourceful and self-sufficient.

We were raised to believe that we can have and do it all.

We were to go out there and achieve great things. This attitude made us hard workers with great dedication but we are much more willing to change jobs that are not fulfilling us.

We watched our workaholic parents lose their jobs and it made us realize that we need to have a healthy work/life balance.

Repeat after me, "I'm having a midlife reinvention."

Repeat after me, “I’m having a midlife reinvention. I now have the time to figure out what I want to do but there’s no rush. I will keep my heart and mind open to opportunities that interest me and promise to not allow fear to get in the way of my dreams.”

Oh and last thing, doors will be opening to my monthly membership and if you want to be on the waitlist to find out all the juicy details first, be sure to sign up at The Next Step Society!

I’ll talk to you later Beautiful!

Thanks for listening!

Share your thoughts with me or ask a question about this episode. Send an email.

I would love for you to leave an honest review over at iTunes/Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read every single one.

 

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Alice Agnello, Lifestyle and Success Coach

I'm Alice Agnello.

I’m a California raised, incurable romantic who was too snarky for the corporate world. I love show tunes, chai tea, and all things British. My mission? To help women rediscover who they are, after their kids have grown.

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I want the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

Sign up to receive my whitty newsletters, tips & tricks, promotions, & other emails, & receive this free guide!

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Before you go, get the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

Sign up to receive my whitty newsletters, tips & tricks, promotions, & other emails, & receive this free guide!