5 Absurd Thoughts That Keep People In Midlife From Pursuing Their Dream

5 Absurd Thoughts That Keep People In Midlife From Pursuing Their Dream

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what happens in a midlife crisis
Image Credit | huffingtonpost

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?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below on which of these 5 reasons resonated with you or that you’ve heard the most.
Kingsley Grant is a Professional Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Mindset & Communication Coach, Host of the Midlife Launch On-Demand Online Radio (Podcast), and a published Author. He focuses primarily on helping midlife professionals leverage their experience and expertise to financially support the lifestyle they want for themselves. Kingsley writes for the Huffington Post and The Goodmen Project and is a national and international speaker. He is a proud dad, husband, a man of faith and an entrepreneur at heart. Join him at www.kingsleygrant.com and at his podcast site: www.themidlifelaunch.com/podcast.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Great post I have recently become self employed and my world is all about music and people. Many of these thoughts creep into my head but I am glad I can say I am apart of the 6%.

    I will keep pushing till I get to where I want to be.

  2. Great post!

    For me the most important points are 1 and 4. But as you say, you’re not starting over. What you have in your head, your experience, is yours. With age comes that kind of wisdom that it’s not just ‘operative knowledge’, but a kind of intuition that allows you to properly assess every difficult situation you can find when running a business – and there can be lots of them!. It’s been proved in psychological studies that many capabilities actually improve with age: pattern recognition, language abilities among others.

    I’m 47, and after a life of working for firms in the IT field, I started my own business. In the back of my head, that was what I really wanted to do since I was a teenager, but my environment pressured me to play it (supposedly) safe so I delayed my projects year after year. Until I found myself in a situation where my company was taking some absurd decisions, and it was becoming clear that its business model was collapsing. So I got a real kick in the butt to jump start a consulting venture. All the network I had built in the previous years proved to be my greatest asset. Sure, it was quite frightening at times, but overall it’s going well and now I cannot imagine working in any other way. Maybe one doesn’t have the same energy as in the 20’s and cannot pull a 24-hour coding marathon, but you can do the same work in a fraction of the time, just because you have already learned what works and what doesn’t and in many cases you can ‘get it right the first time’.

  3. Kingsley I just checked out your website and will be having a listen to your podcast – looks cool. Point number one resonated with me the most. I believe it’s never too late to do anything. I’ve heard stories of older men and women achieving what most think is impossible. What they have achieved is not impossible, it’s possible because they have a healthy mindset towards their pursuit.

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