Is it possible to not have a midlife crisis?
The answer is Yes!
First, let us understand how "Midlife Crisis" came to be.
"People often associate midlife with crisis, but with adequate knowledge and planning, it can be a graceful transition. You can learn how to appreciate and cope with the core life changes."
If you are familiar with the Midlife Encounters, I'm sure you have seen this quote across all our platforms.
It is the foundation of our term "Midlife Encounters."
It is not impossible to go through midlife without "crisis" but rather enjoy the unique encounters that come with midlife.
The Roots of Midlife Crisis
The idea of a midlife crisis has become so deeply ingrained in our culture but do we bother to question its validity? It has been said that the notion of the midlife crisis began with followers of Sigmund Freud, who believed that midlife was marked by the fear of impending death.
(Ref: Scientific American MIND (2009) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-brains-is-the-midlife/)
Others say that the term itself "Midlife Crisis" was coined by Elliot Jacques, a Canadian psychoanalyst, in the late 20th century. He believed that midlife was a time where you come to terms with the reality of your mortality.
Midlife Crisis is a concept that is highly dependent on cultural structure, society, and background. It’s a dramatic period of concerns and self-doubt, internal mind battle felt by middle-age adults at the crossroads of life.
It can be the result of sensing the:
1. Passing of your youth
With age comes greater responsibilities. The realisation sets in that your youthful days where you could depend on your parents are gone.
It is true that there are some things you become unable to do when you approach midlife but this is not the end of your story, rather it signifies the start of a new chapter, full of fresh opportunities.
2. Imminence of Advanced Age
For those in a later stage of midlife, the graying of your hair and the visible signs of aging can be daunting. Even with the use of skin care products, your skin is not as smooth as it was in your youthful days.
This is simply a natural progression that you need to embrace with grace.
3. Andropause and menopause
With midlife comes andropause and menopause; the possibility of an inability to have children again. This can be a huge setback if you are yet to marry or yet to have any children of your own.
4. Career Setback
You realise that you current career path is not really what you wanted but you do not have an alternative source of income. There is a strong passion to transit to a new career but you lack the impetus, skills, knowledge, education, and age to transit.
How do you transition from midlife crisis to midlife encounters?
The first step is to renew your mind.
If you are yet to reach midlife,
Have you become so conscious of the Midlife Crisis that you have grown to anticipate it? Do you even look forward to midlife at all?
If you are already at midlife, all hope is not lost. Even if you are currently going through a midlife crisis, you can shift your perspective.
Here are some practical steps to shift your perspective on midlife to an opportunity for growth and transformation:
(a) Assess yourself
Take a moment to evaluate your attitudes, beliefs, and goals. Are they in alignment with your current stage of life?
(b) Make decisions
Midlife is an excellent time to make conscious decisions about your future. Set new goals and work towards them.
(c) Inspire yourself
Surround yourself with positive influences, engage in activities you love, and seek inspiration from others who have embraced midlife as a time of encounters that will help to shape you for the better.
Are you ready to transition from a "Midlife Crisis" mindset to a "Midlife Encounters" mindset?
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