The first half of life is generally a time of doing what others expect or rebelling against what was expected. There are those lucky few who figured out early on who they are and what they want, and now that may have changed. Many clients talk of majoring in a particular field or marrying a certain person, taking a specific job or even living in a particular location because it was the thing to do or pleased your parents or your peers. Some rebel and do the exact opposite, not realizing that they are still being controlled by others’ expectations. Either way, we are not considering who we are and what we most want. For many of us, an awakening happens in midlife, leaving us wanting more out of ourselves and out of life. It’s time to find meaning and purpose at midlife.
Finding Meaning And Purpose At Midlife
What used to give your life meaning and purpose no longer fits. Perhaps in the first part of your life, you worked for a major corporation or became a doctor or lawyer or a stay at home Mom because it was what people like you did. You made the money you were expected to e, or you didn’t. You got the promotions you wanted or didn’t. But either way, it no longer fits who you are. You did what others expected.
You may have married the man of your dreams or the relationship you were supposed to have, but your goals and your partner’s goals are now different. Or you may have stayed single to pursue your corporate dreams. All you know is that right now, what worked before no longer works. You suddenly feel like a fish out of water.
What Worked Before No Longer Works
You may have been “the good girl” people-pleasing and perfectionism to get love, to get ahead or to just make your life work. Your life may have been based on fearing the disapproval of others and focused on trying to win approval, instead of approving of yourself. You felt that your doing, keeping busy, made you who you were. You may have unconsciously felt that your doing made you worthy of others love and approval. You became exhausted, overwhelmed, and unsatisfied.
The second half of life is about pleasing yourself first, instead of pleasing others. Time to rediscover what you value and what you love to do. Meaning and purpose come when what we most love to do also serves the world. It’s about creating a win-win solution.
A Life That Reflects Who We Are Instead Of What Others Expect.
Perhaps you would benefit from a major life overhaul. But my experience as a midlife coach has led me to realize that for most people, minor tweaks can make a huge difference. You want to make a difference and do it in a way that is true to your values, gifts, and talents. You want to discover meaning and purpose and live in a way that in every way, fits and fulfills you. Getting clear on what you want instead of what others want for you and then having the courage and the confidence to go after it, is a significant determinate of how happy and satisfied you are at midlife and beyond.