‘It’s a midlife crisis!’
We hear this when people leave established careers or sell successful businesses to do something else. Whether it’s for a new career, to study or take time out.
Despite the name, this transition period happens anytime between mid-thirties and mid-fifties.
They say it always seems to come out of the blue. They say people behave ‘out of character’. Forget all that.
It doesn’t just hit you one day. It is a gradual process. It builds up over time.
Many people know years before that something is not quite right. But usually, an event triggers a tipping point to do something about it. Then it seems to happen quickly. You see yourself in a new light. Consider different options. Re-imagine your future.
So flip it on its head.
A period in your life that releases your creativity. Offers new ways to look at your skills and experience. Challenges you to find something you value.
It’s the time you are:
It’s the time dentists become archaeologists and archaeologists become entrepreneurs.
That’s why after the twenty-five year old’s, it has the highest percentage of start-ups and college enrolments.
It doesn’t mean it will be easy. You might make some tough, ‘weird’ or crazy decisions. But they will free you.
Those that see it as a ”crisis” will warn you and offer advice.
Face it, change is scary. No matter how exciting, it’s unpredictable and threatens the comfort of the status quo. So it’s human nature to resist it and protect others from it.
You might hear: ‘’You’re doing it again!? … Why bother? … It’s a dog eat dog world …. You’ll never repeat your past success … It’s fine for them; they have the networks/money/experience … Take it easy now; you’ve earned it…Most people wouldn’t do it … It’s risky and unpredictable … ‘’
Feel good? Of course not. You’re hit by the ‘Seven Cs’. The armour people use to protect themselves (and you), from change.
Can you recognise those Cs?
Other people’s fears have nothing to do with you.
It isn’t worth listening to.
This advice comes from all quarters – family, friends and strangers. It’s one reason why only three per cent of people who want to write and publish a book do it. It’s why over fifty percent of people over forty stay in careers they regret. It’s also why you can feel alone.
The problem with advice is that there is always an agenda which may not be clear. They may fear, resent or disapprove what you’re trying to achieve. Or they may be unrealistically supportive and uncritical. Different motivations but the same outcome – bad advice.
If you don’t know the agenda or it doesn’t fit, look for other sources of advice.
Good advice is rare, bad advice is everywhere.
There are ways to find the good stuff:
In restaurants, people ask the waiter ‘What’s good to eat?’ Well everything is good to eat – otherwise, it wouldn’t be on the menu! Watch how good waiters ask lots of questions before they give advice. ‘Do you like fish, do you have allergies, do you want to share…?’
Good advice comes from good questions. That’s the path we should all take. Think about it when you give advice and when you get it.
This period of transition can be liberating and frightening.
Good advice helps you keep your head in this time of transition. It stops you leaping without thinking, or become frozen through fear and doubt.
It helps you do a reality check. Analyse the consequences of your action or inaction. (There is a price to pay for both.)
Then you are ready to make the most of your “crisis’’.