Do you sometimes feel like you are going nowhere? Do you feel like you are at a crossroads? Or do you feel like you are at a dead-end?
Now is the time to set a new direction and ignite your midlife superpowers by re-evaluating your values and updating your identity.
Values Change and Evolve to Align with a New Reality
Youthful ideals may not follow us into middle age. Appropriate and wise. As you watch younger family members (grandchildren perhaps) developing their values, do you find yourself reflecting on your own values when you were their age?
Our values were and are set on our varied realities, then and now. Our current reality is significantly different from each phase in our own life – personal and professional.
A healthy positive attitude toward the current reality is to accept the reality of this moment because, like the weather, our reality will change. Just consider the changes that we have witnessed since 2020.
We might not be happy with the current reality. But we still have some power to do something, even small incremental action, to ignite change or at least have some influence in the change that is happening around us. Doing something to ignite change requires a shift that aligns with the direction in which we want to proceed. Sometimes the shift requires a little course-direction. Other times the shift requires a totally new direction.
The challenges in our personal and professional life at middle age often dictate a totally new direction. A critical step in setting a new direction begins with updating our values1 to reflect our current reality.
Update Your Identity
Reflect on who you are now and then set out on a new direction. Who you are in this present moment —what makes you “you”? How has this identity shifted from that of your younger self? Here is one of my favourite exercises for inner work and self-reflection:
Take a favourite photo of yourself from 10 years ago. Ask yourself the following questions.
- How have I grown in the last decade? What ignited my growth?
- To what extent would I want to trade places with who I was 10 years ago?
- How much do I romanticize my earlier years?
- Who do I think I want to become—and how close am I to becoming my ideal self?
- What are my unique superpowers?
Next, imagine yourself one year in the future. Everything has gone well – just as you had planned and as you had hoped. What would life look like? What kind of a person would you have become?
What is something small you can do to take you in the direction toward that better life, that ideal “you”? What are your midlife superpowers?
Has Your Work Steered Your Direction? Flip it!
Whether or not you have been conscious of how work has become central to who you think you are, at this time give yourself the gift of exploring and identifying your ideals at a deeper and multi-faceted level. Take practical steps on becoming and evolving. Tap into what motivates you in the here-and-now to find purpose, passion, and energy that is needed to support your transformation and ease in transition. Once again, what are your midlife superpowers?
Work in the past has likely been so central that you might have been formed by work and missed out on recognizing who you are at the core of your being. You, like many others, might have been unfulfilled simply because your values, your identity, and your work were not aligned. Now is the time to flip the equation and create your work aligned who you are and the lifestyle that you want.
I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. – Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey
In setting a new direction, you might choose a different way of working or a different type of work that best suits you, your life, and meaningful commitments: part-time, contract, self-employment, seasonal, full-time, or a significant career change.
Think about what is possible.
The insurgence (yes, it is a revolt) of remote work in response to the pandemic and the labour shortage has now presented opportunities for people to shape their work to fit their lifestyle versus being molded by the constraints of pre-pandemic workplace models. Remote work can be full days in your private home office or studio; half-days in a Caribbean villa; or the life of a digital nomad2.
It’s time to design the life and work you always dreamed would be possible for you while engaging your midlife superpowers. Do this deep personal work and explore your options with an accredited coach who is trained and qualified in navigating work/life transitions in and beyond midlife and who has your best interests in mind. Invest wisely in yourself.
Do you need a role model or a champion while exploring your options? Are you a role model? Please do share your story here at Amintro. Your story will add to the growing optimistic approach to disruption, transition, and being awesome at any age.
- Values in Action Inventory of Strength (VIA-IS) Wikipedia
- Digital Nomad Wikipedia
Written by Patricia A. Muir, Maestro Quality Inc., THRIVE
Patricia’s signature program “THRIVE After 60” validates women’s choices and amplifies their voices as they remain professionally active after 60 and beyond. Visit her website at https://www.patriciamuir.com/
“Written by Patricia A. Muir, PCC. In my role as principal consultant and coach at Maestro Quality Inc. and founder of THRIVE Coaching Programs, I have worked with women entrepreneurs, executives, and highly skilled professionals who continue to enjoy their work after 60.”