Stuck In The Middle?

I recently surveyed my clients who are middle managers or in mid-career positions to see what they had in common. I discovered three common elements: most are in mid-life; their biggest challenges are balancing life and career; and they are using this stressful, pivotal time to reinvent themselves.

In Canada 9.831 million people are between 40-59 years old. In the US this number climbs to 82.549 million people. Our entry into the 21st century has changed how people feel about being mid-life adults. Far from the mid-life crisis of generations past, it is nevertheless still a time of challenges and crossroads. While career, family, relationships, health and personal growth all become equally important, people tend to focus on their career/job because it represents money. Like it or not, money is a big factor in the balance we try to create in our lives. The mid-point often shakes people out of the auto-pilot and requires the answers to some hard questions: Is this work providing fulfillment? Am I energized by it, or drained? Can I spend more time with my family and still make ends meet? Is this what I want to do with the rest of my life? And if not, WHAT? If one pays attention, this period can provide some very important information to use in the second part of life.

Mid life is the beginning of your second chapter. What better time to take an inventory: what is really important to you; what are your VALUES; what you are good at; what are your skills and ATTRIBUTES; and what is missing in your life? Taking some time now to review where you have been, what you have done and how it has served you means you can move forward with awareness. Awareness allows us to make clearer, more positive choices for ourselves – and results in a life with fewer regrets. This is not always an easy undertaking. In addition to these concerns, there is the challenge of living in a society that caters to the young, which can cause self scrutiny and fear of aging. A therapist and/or a life or career coach can help you navigate the process.

Once you have some clarity, the next step is to set goals, put a plan in place for achieving them, and support yourself as you move forward. The bonus of mid-life is that you are equipped with half a life’s worth of experience – your experience! Mid-life doesn’t necessarily mean having to change your life; you can learn new methods of living, and change the way you experience your life by making new choices or having a different outlook.

Because you are self-aware and focused, the benefits of branding are many. Self-branding: A. Increases your confidence and self-motivation B. Increases your visibility and presence C. Differentiates you from your peers and colleagues As a result, you will: A. Achieve your personal and professional goals B. Increase your salary

Personal branding is the strategy behind the world’s most successful people like Oprah, Madonna, Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Bill Gates. It demands commitment to what you value, consistency in what you deliver, and the guts to market who you are. It is the difference between an ordinary career or business and an exceptional one. Get clear on the brand “You”, and be faithful to it.

So get unstuck! This is another beginning. As you move into the second chapter of your life, think about what will make your life a success for you – and use this to create the life you want.

“Sometimes the best begins in the middle”

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