Create a Support Team for Your Midlife Awakening, Part 1
You feel a little lost, a little frustrated, and scared. You’ve been living a good life, but recently, something feels off.
The life you know so well doesn’t quite fit you anymore, and you don’t know what to do about it.
You feel alone because surely, no else is experiencing these thoughts and feelings. You see how perfect life is for all of your friends and colleagues, so you can’t help but wonder why you don’t feel the same.
On the heels of the confusion and frustration, comes guilt. You have what most people spend their lives wishing for, so to feel it’s not enough, makes you feel ungrateful.
But, when you’re alone with your thoughts, and you allow yourself to go deep, you also feel a teensy bit excited because you feel like you’re starting to come alive in a way that you don’t fully understand, yet.
When you are transitioning through your Midlife Awakening, it’s exciting but also scary.
It’s exciting because you’re awakening to a new you - new adventures, new boundaries, new experiences, new ways of being!
But, it’s scary AF because you’re leaving behind the ‘old’ you; the one you’re comfortable with and have always known.
Here’s the thing...YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You will experience a range of emotions and to have the right people around you can make a huge difference in your ability to stretch yourself and step into the new you.
You need a support team to help you push through this time.
Your support team is made up of the people that care most about you and only want the best for you. They believe in you, but they also challenge you. This is the team that you can lean on when you’re doubting yourself and struggling to push your boundaries.
WHAT IS A MIDLIFE AWAKENING?
Before we get to the details on building your support team, let me bring you up to speed on what is a Midlife Awakening.
“Midlife Awakening” is a term I use to describe the period of life when a woman transitions through her midlife years. Some may call it a ‘midlife crisis,' but I don’t think that term aptly applies to how women experience this rite of passage.
For many women, as they approach their 40s, they start to feel a little uncomfortable in their skin. The life they’ve created for themselves doesn’t seem to fit anymore, and it’s scary.
It’s uncomfortable to feel like who you’ve always been is no longer who you want to be. So, it’s a time of tuning into yourself, rediscovering who you are, and stepping into your power.
It happens for all women and, typically, it starts in the late 30s (but since everyone is different, it can hit a little earlier or later).
BUILDING YOUR SUPPORT TEAM: FAMILY & FRIENDS
Family and friends are a huge part of your world. Their support, or lack of, can make or break you. Yes, you can (and should) be your own best support system, but it’s not out of the question to expect your loved ones to be on your side.
When you’re going through any life transition, it can be uncomfortable, not only for you but for those you love. They see you struggling and want to understand what’s going on with you so they can help make you feel better.
But, getting the support you need can sometimes be a challenge because:
They may not ‘get it’
They may be scared
They’re too wrapped up in their own issues
When you are reaching out to those around you to support you during this phase of your life, there are a few things you can do to get them on board:
Get them involved: Include them in your new adventures! As you explore new things to figure out your purpose, deepen connections, or redefine your boundaries, bring them into the conversation and, where appropriate, even in the activity. When they see you shining, they’ll embrace the change more. Also, just feeling included will help both of you. You’ll feel their support which will make you feel a little less isolated.
Ask their opinion: People love to help, and if some of your inner circle have been part of your life for years, they are perfect for soliciting feedback. Ask them when they feel you were most alive or to remind you of the things you used to do that you loved.
By including your friends and family in your world - even when you’re feeling a little lost - it helps you to feel supported and it helps them to understand what’s going on.
KNOW WHEN TO LET GO
Unfortunately, not everyone will provide the support you need. Some, when they see you change, may wonder where they fit into the new world you’re creating. They may also start to see themselves differently, which might make them uncomfortable.
That doesn’t mean that you have to cast them out of your life! But, it might mean, when spending time with these individuals, that you keep the doors closed on this topic. You may have to hold your cards closer and not share what you’re feeling.
When you are walking through your Midlife Awakening, it doesn’t pay to do it on your own. Finding the right people to lean on when things get messy is the key to pushing through to the other side.
Creating your personal support team will give you the strength to take those steps when you’d rather turn back and hide.
Your family and friends can be the ticket to becoming the best version of yourself, so it pays to take the time to build your own support team.
On Thursday, I’ll continue this discussion and take this topic even further to help you add to your support team outside of your friends and family. While it’s wonderful to have their support, sometimes it pays to talk with other women who are going through the same thing or illicit the help of a few professionals.