Some people, who are in the midlife stage of life, will not pursue their dream in life. This might sound pessimistic but it is the reality. According to this report, 80% of people who are over 40 have thought about a career transition and only 6% who actually follow through; what does that tell you?
Having spoken to a number of midlife professionals, it’s amazing to hear the reasons they give as to why they feel so stuck in life. I believe that the term “midlife crisis” was coined for their reasons. It describes people who feel stuck in midlife,not knowing what to do or fearing taking the steps to do what they need to do.
Having gone through this myself, I believe these 5 absurd thoughts summarizes why some people at midlife never attempt to pursue their dream and thereby remain stuck:
1. The thought that it’s too late
This idea of it’s too late is one of the top reasons given. The thinking is that they don’t have enough time to do what they really want to do. “It’s going to take too long” is one of the underlying beliefs.
When they do the math and look at where they are, after so many years of working, it just doesn’t add up. In their mind, it’s frightening to think they would have to start all over again at their age.
But who says they need to be a start over? Imagine, with what they now know and the skills that they have accrued over the years, why on earth should it take as long to surpass where they are now?
With the advancements in technology and the incredible access to the world through the Internet, the chances of surpassing their current situation is much higher. This knowledge, changes the “it’s too late” concept. As one who went back to grad school at 47 years of age and transitioned from a 21 year career into starting my own business at 51 years of age, I know it’s not too late.
“It’s never too late to give up what you are doing and start doing what you love.” – Hans Rosling
2. The thought that they don’t know enough
This is one of the big hold-backs for many. There is that thought that to pursue their dream at this stage, requires more knowledge. There is that lurking imposter syndrome mentality that handcuffs one to their current situation. Any attempt to break free, creates a sudden yank that serves as a reminder to get back to their “corner” and stay there.
There’s always going to be the “I could know more or learn more” at any given time. To accept that as the reality, will be helpful in normalizing this feeling. By thinking of it this way, you know enough to help someone else.
If you’ve been asked a question about something, you know what the other person who is asking doesn’t know. To them, you are an expert. Bottom-line is, you know enough to get started. That’s all you need to focus on right now.
3. The thought of what others might think
Having had a long career and earned a certain status in life, creates a sense of pride and accomplishment. To let go of that, isn’t easy. Some people see this as the one thing they can show for their years of labor. I get it. It makes sense, at least somewhat.Some people would not know who they are without their work. Some have gained the respect of their peers and family members because of what they do.
To relinquish this position, would mean they no longer will get the recognition they currently enjoy. Not to mention what they might hear: Are you crazy? Are you going to give up your good secure job for the uncertain?
Hearing this especially from close friends and families is not comforting or encouraging. To avoid the possibility of such loss and ridicule while holding onto a miserable yet comfortable job, becomes easier.
This leads to the continuation of settling and discontent. Is it any wonder, according to a Gallup poll, 87% of workers are either unhappy with their job or simply hate it.
4. The thought that it’s too risky
What is more risky? Working for someone who decides whether you provide food and clothing for you and your family, or you making that decision?
To me, it’s more risky when someone is in charge of your overall well-being and what happens to your future. It’s less risky when you are the one who decides when, how, what and where.
“To know what life is worth, you have to risk it once in a while.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
5. The thought that it wasn’t meant to be
This is sometimes a cop-out for the lazy person’s way of staying put. What’s not meant to be? Is it not meant to be that you live a fulfilling and satisfying life? Is it not meant to be that you live to your full potential? Is that what is being suggested here?
To me, what’s not meant to be is going through a miserable existence. What a way to live your life, where you hate what you do or simply, don’t care for it.
What if you decide that it was “meant to be” and do what is necessary to create the life you so longed for and deserve? What if you started today?