Are you having a mid-life wobble?
Or did you ever have one?
I am curious as I have noticed many people seem to go through one at some point between the late ’30s to early ’50s.
And I call it a ‘wobble’ rather than a ‘crisis’ as I get the impression it’s more of a feeling of disillusionment rather than a full-on depression that people often associate with a mid-life crisis.
The reason I bring this up is that looking I would say about 80% of my clients are aged between their late 30’s and early 50’s which they are struggling to cope with and hence they come and see me.
And I think the reason a ‘wobble’ occurs is that at this time of our lives, we go through a big shift in our values and beliefs about the world.
And this means letting go of our old values and beliefs which can be very hard.
And from what most of my clients tell me, I think this is why.
When we are young, we are brought up to believe that the aim of life is to get married, have children, buy a house and get a good job.
Not only do our friends, family, teachers and the media persuade us to live our lives in this way, we also see it in virtually every movie we watch.
Have you noticed that in most films there is that romantic scene at the end where the lovers finally overcome all their obstacles and difficulties, embrace, kiss and we presume live happily ever after?
And of course, that’s it.
They don’t go on to show the future arguments, niggles, infidelity, painful break-up, depression and divorce battles do they?
So in our 20’s and 30’s, we do everything we can to reach ‘happy ever after’ which we believe means attaining possessions of some description…which can even mean a family.
During this period of our lives, we are therefore very much about ‘me’ and what I need to get.
But when we hit mid-life, I think we have attained most of these things and suddenly realise that there is still some sort of emptiness inside.
Even if we don’t have these things, there is still a realization that it is not these materialistic things that give us the fulfilment we are looking for.
And this causes a great deal of confusion and a feeling of being lost that causes us to really reflect and reevaluate our lives.
Now, 50% of people go through a complete career change at some point in their lives and most of the time it is during this ‘mid-life wobble’ time.
Every single time I have a client tell me they want to change career but they are unsure as to what to change too, I look into their values.
And every time, every single time, without any prompting from me, they say the same things.
“I want to help people or give back in some way”.
And this is what makes me believe that there is a shift in realization at this age that happiness does not come from fulfilling ‘My’ needs, but from helping others to fulfil theirs.
Why at this particular age?
Well, if we have had children, perhaps we have spent the last 18 years or so caring about them, but they had fled the nest and our lives felt empty. And perhaps we are looking for someone else to help.
But even if we haven’t had children, perhaps there is something in our genes that makes us have this realization. I don’t know, I am just guessing
But what I do notice is that when we do understand this and do make changes in our lives to start helping others, a beautiful change occurs that brings us a great deal more fulfilment, joy and happiness back into our lives.
These are just my thoughts and I may be completely wrong. But if you have gone through a mid-life wobble or went through one, did you draw any similar conclusions?
I’d be interested to know your thoughts.