Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mindset: Mid-Life Change

The number one topic that we discuss here is change and when it comes down to brass tacks...the one change that is predominant throughout discussions among men and women at Mid-life are: Purpose in Life…this can be the problem or it is the answer!

Men and women at mid-life go through the same transitions in varying degrees...feeling unsettled, dissatisfied, bored and unhappy with their life. Many seem to focus in on the one relationship that is dominant in their lives…their marriage. Being a wife and mother/husband and father has defined them for several years. These roles have also defined the reason why they have stayed within a career or a marriage that may have not really suited them…they remained working at their job because it puts food on the table, clothes on everyone’s back and a roof over their head. They’ve stayed within a marriage for the sake of the children; it’s safe or the marriage has served them in one way or another.

Some how when roles change and the need is no longer there or is lessening, we tend to revisit why we are there or why we’ve been even doing it at all. We start searching for something…for the new need …a need for excitement, passion, significance, excellence, love, success and abundance. Anything is better than the same old, same old. People work for what they want within the circumstances that they are in and that work becomes their burden. But soon…the dissatisfaction quietly starts …a slight rumbling within the spirit…with each experience or event, along with the physical changes that are occurring within our bodies…the small rumble turns in to an explosion of discontent, dissatisfaction and uneasiness and a multitude of questioning. The want turns in to a need for change.

Most Mid-life Crisis triggers tend to change your purpose in life, whether you’ve chosen it or not. Children grow up and move away, parents need care or pass away, illness/disease happen, jobs are lost or change, moves occur, finances increase or decrease, friends and family come and go….both men and women go through physical changes at this age (menopause or andropause)…ALL cause change. The brain doesn’t like change…this is why change hurts and we struggle with it. Change goes against everything the brain is trying to do…which is keeping a person in their comfort zone…even if the zone is not that comfortable.

As much as we want change at this point in our lives, we are not ready for change. As human beings, we don’t seem to understand the mechanics of change. Most people are not prepared and this is why it knocks us right off our feet when change occurs suddenly or even when we think we have prepared for it. People have a tendency to barrel ahead in to changing things without thinking about the consequences of what the changes will do in their lives and to those that they live and love. So, knowing and understanding the mechanics of change is important, along with a sound mental and physical state; strategy or plan and knowing the goal and purpose of the change.

The kicker to all of what we are feeling is: as much as we think we want change the more we resist it. Resistance comes at a subconscious level in our brains. It is the primary cause for all the confusion, frustration and inability to make clear or sound decisions. Plus, we resist the change because we are not clear on the ultimate goal and we don’t have a sound strategy or plan., so our resistance to the change increases.

Next time, we will be looking at Mid-life Mindset: Resistance and what we can do to combat the resistance and easily move through the changes with little or no pain.

Complimentary Books for this article: Thresholds of the Mind, Who Switched of My Brain?, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.


Netta said...

I often say, over and over, that the only constant is change. No, it's not easy. Sometimes, it sucks. When things have been the "status quo" for so many years, our changing mindset can become rusty and stiff.

Tuck and roll, baby. Change will happen no matter what. The trick is to learn out to roll *with* it, and not against it.

Amy L. Harden said...


Agreed! Many people are like you, who have realized that change is a part of life...they "tuck and roll" through the toughest parts of their lives, while others forget how to do this and become paralyzed by the overwhelm. Some people have never learned this skill and spend their whole lives resisting or avoiding change.

I believe we are at the beginning of seeing several generations who will not be able to "tuck and roll" with the changes that will come as a part of their lives. The style of parenting we use, along with the way our educational system approaches teaching and rewarding our children doesn't serve our children well. We have gone out of our way to soften the blow of change, while not teaching a good work ethic and masterful coping skills. This is a discussion or subject unto itself!

Successful people thrive during periods of fact, they yearn for it. I am not worried about these people. I am worried about the growing number of men and women who hit mid-life and have forgotten or never learned how to "tuck and roll".

My next article will be on resistance to change. I hope you stay tuned.

Thank you for your comment.

cameronsharpe said...

This is the first time I’ve commented on your blog. This great post attracted me, the list seems very complete to me. I like the point of “Take full ownership of your actions”. For me this is the base of all points. Our actions will make us to better or worse at living.