Hayley Foster: The Mid-Life Pivot Kuel Category Expert
As we age, things start to dry up. Your passion for what you do doesn’t have to be one of them.
Introducing the mid-life pivot. When I hit 40, I realized life wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I wasn’t happy with my marriage partnership nor was I happy with my business partnership. I realized that in both instances I had become a shell of the person I had wanted to be. And I was empty. I was grinding and working hard but at the end of the day, my cup was still empty.
“I wanted to wake up excited and energized.”
My Passion Had Dried Up:
I knew that I wanted more. I knew I had a whole lot more to offer others. And most of all, I knew I wanted to be happy. I wanted to feel differently about what I was doing and the journey that I was on. After all, I was leaving my little babies at home each day to go to work at my own business, and yet it wasn’t fulfilling me. My passion had dried up.
I thought shit, ‘I’m over 40, I want and need more fulfillment in my life.’
I wanted to wake up excited and energized.
Moreover, I wanted to spend my days doing something that was so empowering and impactful that it didn’t feel like work.
I knew that if nothing changed, then nothing would change.
Ready To Bring Happiness Back Into My Life:
Change is not easy at any age and at 40, I knew it was going to take a shitton of confidence, strength, and chutzpah(balls) to take a stand and declare that I was ready for something new. Most of all, I knew that I was ready to bring happiness back into my life.
“Whenever I started to doubt my choice, I knew where to look for support.”
I made a powerful declaration. And I made a choice.
“I Choose Happy!”
“I AM HAPPY!”
In addition, I wrote those words down, took a photo of it, and made it the screensaver on my phone. It was my daily reminder. Whenever I started to doubt my choice, I knew where to look for support. When I was having a bad day, I knew where to look for a pick me up. And when I was scared, I knew where to go for the strength I needed to pull through.
Passion To A Happier Life:
Now that I was on this path to a happier life, I had to figure out what I was going to do next with my career. I had built a $5M company over 12-years. We saw years of tremendous success and years where we failed miserably. This company was my baby but it was no longer bringing me joy and my partner and I had different visions for where we wanted to take it.
I had some major thinking to do. I sat down one day and I pulled out a pen and paper and wrote this down:
What are the things/people in my life that make me happy, fill me up, bring me joy?
I stared at the paper in fear. Is there anything or anyone in my life right now that’s making me feel good? I had babies at home. If you’re a mom, you know those early years of sleepless nights and temper tantrums are enough to make you question why the hell you had kids. Looking back now, many years later, my girls are a major source of my daily happiness.
“If you plan on trying this, find a quiet place, take a few deep breaths to clear your mind..”
Extend Your Time:
Back to the point and the scary piece of paper. I set a timer and gave myself three minutes to get as much down as possible. It wasn’t easy! Especially when you’re coming off of feeling empty and lost in your career.
If you plan on trying this, find a quiet place, take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and then set your timer. Let your thoughts flow. Even if you find yourself getting silly thoughts, put them down. If you hear some negative thoughts creeping in, acknowledge them and tell them you’ll get back to them later. This is a time for happy thoughts. Keep going until the timer stops. If you’re in flow, don’t stop, extend your time.
After the timer ended, I set the timer again and I made another heading:
What are the things/people that put out my fire? Drain me of energy? Make me feel empty?
Tired Of Feeling Depleted And Empty:
I began to write and the list flowed out of me like sweat during a hot flash. I couldn’t believe some of the things (and people) I was putting down on paper.
When I was done, I sat back and felt as though a weight was lifted off my shoulders.
“Stop doing the things that are fire extinguishers and start doing more of the things that light the fire “
It was even more clear to me now that I had been living in a shell. A shell of myself. Untethered from the things in life that made me feel bouncey. I was tired. Tired of feeling depleted and empty.
I sat back and looked at my lists. ‘Wow’, I thought to myself. How do we fix this? How do we find time to do more of the things that are fueling the fire?”
That was my Ah-Ha moment. Stop doing the things that are fire extinguishers and start doing more of the things that light the fire – I now refer to these as my ‘Fire Starters’.
Live A Life Full Of Passion:
I stared small. I picked three things on each list that jumped out at me as easy things to ‘do more of’ and ‘do less of’.
In addition, I grabbed two different sticky notes and wrote my Fire Starters on one and my Fire Extinguishers on another and put them up on my wall.
That day, I made a commitment to myself and said, ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life.’
From that day on, I have woken up each day with a grateful heart. Grateful that I took the steps to make a change. To find happiness. To fill my cup each day. And to live a life full of passion. Best of all, I GET TO serve other women from this cup every single day and help them to pivot into a better, more meaningful life, doing what they love to do.