Don't get stuck in the Midlife Muck

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As we approach our 40s, we enter into, what I call, a midlife transition.

Waking up and realizing that we’re not old, but we’re no longer young is what kicks off the first phase:  the Midlife Crisis (yes, women have those too!).

Eventually, we make it to the Midlife Awakening where we begin living a life of intention, purpose, and fulfillment.

But, to get from the Midlife Crisis to the Midlife Awakening, we have to navigate a middle stage:  the Midlife Muck.

This middle phase is where a lot of women get stuck.  It’s a period of knowing things need to change and taking action.  But, what causes so many to get stuck in the muck is not knowing what to change, feeling afraid of stepping out of comfort zones, or feeling it’s too late to make any changes.

So, how do we get unstuck and push through the Muck to reach our Awakening?

We have to acknowledge what’s happening, face fears, and take intentional action (even if we don’t know where it will lead us!).

But, first, let’s explore this in more detail...


WHAT IS THE MIDLIFE MUCK?

The Midlife Muck phase is one of exploration and action.  We don’t necessarily know what we need to do, or what specifically needs to change, but we’re ready to do something.

It’s the time of our lives where we realize that we can no longer sit on the sidelines of our lives.


When we slide into the Muck, it’s usually because there’s a disconnect between what we want for ourselves and our lives, and where we are right now.  

That disconnect is like the proverbial pebble in our shoe: it’s uncomfortable, annoying, and nagging, and only we can do something about it.

The sole purpose of the Midlife Muck phase is to get answers to the questions of what’s missing, what would provide more meaning to our lives, how we can feel more balanced/happy/secure/fulfilled...

DON’T GET STUCK IN THE MUCK

As I already mentioned, the Midlife Muck is, unfortunately, where many women get stuck.  Without intentional action and a desire to get out of it, it’s possible to get stuck in this phase for years.

Like many women over 40, most of us struggle with a deep desire and unrelenting need for something else in our lives, but we can’t quite pinpoint what’s missing, or what will fill that craving.

Instead of trying to figure it out, we push it away, distract ourselves by staying super busy, and let it fester under the surface until one day, all we have left are regrets for a lifetime of wasted opportunities.

While there are many fears around figuring out what’s missing and what needs to change (the unknown is always a scary place!), one of the central beliefs that keep us stuck in the muck is that we’ll have to change everything: quit our job, move across the country, ditch our friends, and shave our heads (okay, so maybe not the last one, but you get my point!).

Almost everyone I’ve worked with has had this fear that they’ll need to drastically change everything to get the life they crave because they feel so stuck, so restless, and so bored.  

Nothing is working, so I have to ditch everything!

Sound familiar?

While doing a 180 is indeed an option, it’s not the only option, nor is it a requirement.

So, what do we do when we feel a disconnect between our life and our identity, with what we want our life to be and who we want to become?

We have to get crystal clear on what’s not working, so we can make needed changes.

The only way out of the Midlife Muck is to figure this out and take action, accordingly.

So, how do we do that?  Unfortunately, there’s no one tried and true method that works for everyone.  You have to be brave and question your desires, challenge your fears, and do things that make you uncomfortable.

My top recommendations to get started on this exploration is to journal - peel back the layers and explore yourself.  I call this “inventuring.”

Then, you have to get uncomfortable and try things.  That’s the only way to change your routine, figure out what’s not working, and discover new options.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Getting stuck in the muck is certainly not what we desire for our lives.  At some point, the discomfort of trying new things and making needed changes will be less than the discomfort of staying in exactly the same place.

But, we don’t have to wait for the scales to tip, we can force the hand by making little changes, asking new questions, and trying new things.  With each baby step, we take giant leaps!

To help you in this process, I’ve written a 50+ page ebook + workbook to help you explore the three phases of the midlife transition!  This workbook is a gift to the women on my insider’s email list and if you’d like to grab a complimentary copy for yourself, click the button below to join my list, and I’ll send it right over!