Did you believe that when you reached midlife you would have everything figured out?
Did you believe that you would be full of wisdom and contentment and living an amazing life?
But now you’ve hit midlife and feel more confused and stuck than ever before. How has this happened? What can you do to fix it?
Well, unfortunately, there are no short cuts or quick fixes to have the best midlife you dream of. Living your best midlife involves changing mindsets and habits which takes time and effort. I know it’s a cliche, but it is a journey of discovery.
Identifying the excuses and limiting beliefs that are holding you back from enjoying midlife is the first, important step.
Let’s explore four midlife beliefs that might be making you feel stuck:
1. “I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start”
Feelings of overwhelm can apply to every aspect of our lives, whether it’s around the career choices you should make, what exercise routine to follow or what diet works best.
This is because we are bombarded constantly with information from the internet, media outlets and even our Aunty! Everyone has an opinion on what will work best for you. All this information feels overwhelming so we end up doing nothing.
Of course, when we take no action the situation becomes worse.
So, what should you do?
If you know you are guilty of ‘shiny object syndrome’ i.e. jumping from one idea and strategy to the next then you need to get really focused on your goal.
To get healthy do you think you need to lose weight, exercise more, or find a way to feel less anxious?
Pick one outcome and then find a system that you know will work for you and your lifestyle.
For example:- It’s no good having a dreamy goal that you will workout at the gym for two hours every day if you physically don’t have the time to fit this into your lifestyle. If you’re super busy then you need to start with small steps.
Commit to one 20 minute home workout once a week, then twice week and just slowly increase it from there.
Look at ways to streamline your lifestyle so you can free up more time for exercise. Then move to a weekly gym workout for say an hour.
Slowly you can move towards your dream exercise lifestyle in a way that feels doable and easy without failures that undermine your confidence.
What’s one change you can make in your life today to help you achieve your goal?
Write it down and then schedule it in your diary to do.
Even better, share in the comments below so you feel accountable.
2. “I’m so exhausted, I don’t have time to take care of myself”
When we hit midlife, years of putting everyone else first – caring for children, partners, parents and work can all take their toll if you aren’t looking after yourself.
Your body has reached burn out and it’s starting to fight back. If you dont’ listen to your body, it will orchestrate a serious health issue to force you to slow down. This is why it is so important to take time to heal and nourish your body.
It’s time to start taking responsibility for yourself!
As much as we all dream that our Fairy Godmother will come and wave a magic wand to make our lives perfect, we all know real life isn’t like that.
No one is going to take care of you BUT you. The kids aren’t suddenly going to become less demanding, your partner isn’t going to suddenly start mind reading what you need help with, work isn’t going to become less busy. You need to take responsibility for what you need and what action you need to take.
You are in charge of your health, no one else.
Let’s face it, we all only have so many hours and minutes in a day and limited reserves of energy. Women often fall into the trap of thinking they have to do it all.
We’ve allowed our kids to get away with expecting us to wait on them hand and foot and do everything for them.
You aren’t helping them grow into responsible adults and your burning yourself out. The same may be true of your partner, friends and parents.
ACTION STEP 1:
Draw up a list of jobs you know you do the best.
Then do another list of all the things someone else can do better or help with.
Everyone needs to play their part in running a smooth home and family.
Half the time kids and partners are oblivious to what needs doing but when they are asked to help, they do. Often they also feel grateful that they can help because then you can spend more time doing fun stuff with them.
ACTION STEP 2:
What’s one step you can take to care for yourself?
Maybe STOP being everything to everyone.
Start saying NO more to obligations and invites you don’t really want to do. It’s your life, spend it doing as much of the things you value as possible.
ACTION STEP 3:
Feed yourself nutritious food.
Now I know some of you may say “but I can’t cook, I find it hard to make nutritious meals”.
I’m sorry but I’m going to call you out on this. Anybody can teach themselves to cook. It’s a basic survival skill that even children can learn (and should learn).
Resisting and denying that you need to learn to cook is going to make looking after yourself impossibly hard. Even if you only chop up raw fruit and vegetables to add to your current meals, it’s still a step in the right direction towards nourishing your body.
We have all seen how quickly the world can change. If we suddenly can’t access takeaway foods and ready meals, what are you going to do?
Feeding yourself nourishing foods is a basic skill to help you survive and thrive. Even if you have a partner who cooks for you, you should still make sure you have a few key meals you know how to prepare in case they ever get sick.
FINAL ACTION STEP:
What step can you take to learn to prepare a nutritious meal for yourself?
i.e. watch some cooking videos on You Tube, buy some food magazines or recipe books or search the internet.
There are plenty of free and paid resources to help you find a way to nourish yourself. If you sign up to my Newsletter I’ll send you recipes for free!
3. “I’ve tried everything, nothing works for me”.
This is a two pronged problem – first you may be moving from one strategy to another too quickly or maybe it’s the wrong strategy completely for you. We are all individuals and what works for your friend, may not work for you.
The second part of this issue is that maybe you aren’t consistent and committed enough due to a limiting mindset or belief. You then end up feeling like you have failed which adds to your negative mindset and feeds issue 4 …
4. “I’m not good enough”
This feeling can have numerous causes – limiting beliefs from childhood, bullying, bad relationship, low self esteem, low confidence etc. We all carry this belief no matter who we are, how successful, poor, rich, famous etc. Everyone has this belief at some stage in their life. Midlife often heightens or triggers this belief.
You have to start believing that you are enough. In the words of Mike Dooley, thoughts become things. If you think negative thoughts about yourself, then negative things happen to you.
You need to feed your mind nourishing thoughts, just like your body. Negative thoughts are like junk-food for the mind.
Now, I know it isn’t easy to change negative thought patterns overnight, especially if you have carried them around since childhood. Becoming aware of the thoughts that we have and questioning the validity of them will help you begin the process of reframing those thoughts.
So, I already know this about you:
I know that you are amazing and you have already achieved so many marvellous things in your life.
You have everything you need within you to resolve your problems, you just need support and guidance to get there.
You have amazing stories, gifts and talents that make you unique and special.
Let these statements sink it – you know they are true. Don’t let that noisy mind monkey voice tell you otherwise.
To start reframing your thoughts how about:
1. Writing a daily gratitude journal.
Start by listing three things each day that you are grateful for. They can be the smallest things, but they will slowly begin to alter the negative thought processes in your mind. Once you have mastered this habit, increase the number of items you are grateful for. As your list grows you will have to work harder to find the things you are grateful for. This will help to expand your positive thinking.
2. Explore affimations.
When we tell our brain positive words and sentences it believes them in just the same way that it believes negative words. There are hundreds of free resources for affimations on the internet. Find a few that resonant best with you, your values and your goals. Then start incorporating them into your daily life. Maybe have one affimations you say everytime you brush your teeth, another one everytime you make a cup of tea. Slowly the positive words that you keep telling your brain will begin to sink in and your throughts will mirror these words.
Did any of these midlife beliefs resonate with you?
What action step are you going to undertake?
Let me know in the comments or you can email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sending love and kindness xx