Often we make decisions too quickly to reduce the anxiety of indecision and inevitably we repeat old patterns in our life. Perhaps you’re fed up in your career so you switch to a competitor when in truth, you ran out of enthusiasm for the job several years ago. Perhaps you have an affair to inject short term fun into your life when really your relationship became intolerable some time ago. I encourage all midlifers to stop, look, listen think before making decisions and taking action!
Self awareness in Midlife
Midlife is a time for quiet contemplation and increased self awareness so decision making can be made consciously rather than falling into easy options and quick fixes or following the ‘shoulds’ (my pet hate as you will know if you’ve read my previous blogs), enthusiasm is never maintained.
The Fertile Void – a time to pause
There is power in doing nothing and holding the tension in this ‘Fertile Void’ (this concept is explored further on my website) before moving forward. Waiting for true, sustainable interest and enthusiasm for a change of life, pace, relationship or career can take time, and the battle and challenge is to wait it out while increasing self awareness and identifying your true needs and wants. That way, longer term decisions are made that really connect to the true midlife self.
Time to stop
I encourage my clients to stop. Many wellbeing practitioners do the opposite encouraging clients to ‘do, do , do’ to make change. Stopping is usually much harder for them to do because it’s easier to jump on to the next project without really thinking and of course it helps staving off thoughts of being lazy, unproductive and time wasting. It’s easier to ignore another argument with your boss or partner and live in denial that things will get better soon. Invariably they won’t unless you take a different approach to improving your life and happiness. Remember the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Allow yourself time
Allow yourself time to really contemplate the future you desire and let your therapist support you psychologically while you maintain your position in the fertile void and wait for true interest, passion and vitality to arise.