Midlife Musings: Debra Johnstone
Midlife can be an incredibly exciting and adventurous time of life.
It’s a time when we can finally be who we really are and fully step into our power.
“to really thrive in this phase, we need to address the mental and emotional parts too”
Empowering Time Of Life:
It’s an empowering time when life can take on a totally new meaning. We actually get to do what we want at long last. But so often as we enter this phase there is a feeling of confusion and we don’t know what we want.
Menopause is often blamed for all the confusion and of course, it plays a part, but it’s not just a physical thing. As with most issues relating to wellbeing, there is a physical component. But to really thrive in this phase, we need to address the mental and emotional parts too.
For me personally, it took the death of my father before I realized this for myself. During that painful time, I lost my sense of identity and felt totally confused about where I was meant to go from there.
Working through my own grief I had the realization that it wasn’t only the death of parents that could cause women to feel this way. We think of grief being present at the end of a loved one’s life. But it really can be part of an ending of any aspect of life too.
Endings Can Bring Confusion:
In particular, endings can be confusing – especially when it’s the completion or change of a role in life. We are all someone’s mother or daughter, auntie, friend, partner or sister. These titles are who we are in relation to someone else. But who are we beyond that?
“This means what was great for you then isn’t necessarily the best thing for you now.”
I believe it’s this lack of clarity about who we are without those labels that brings confusion in midlife. This is the mental and emotional aspect that I mentioned. It’s a mindset thing just as much as a physical issue relating to menopause.
Of course, you’re also not the person you were twenty years ago or even ten years ago. This means what was great for you then isn’t necessarily the best thing for you now.
Because of this, it’s vital when you reach midlife to rediscover who you are now. As you do this, you will find that the fog clears and you begin to see a clearer picture of what you really do want.
Describing Who You Think You Aids Our Midlife Rediscovery:
When you describe yourself, you will notice that you automatically do this in relation to someone or something else. This is human conditioning and perfectly normal. It’s also a great place to start because as you do this you will often describe the characteristics that you bring to those roles. For example, you might see yourself as a caring mum, a supportive friend or a driven CEO.
“It’s the qualities that make you who you are now. It is not the labels, so remove them. “
Remove Labels, Rediscover Who You Are Now:
It’s the qualities that make you who you are now. It is not the labels, so remove them. Sometimes this can feel a little vulnerable to begin with, but as you continue writing, your self-discovery can be quite enlightening. By asking yourself what else makes you the woman you are, you will begin to see through those labels and identify your uniqueness. And you will be quite excited by your revelations.
Commitment To Your Own Rediscovery Allows You To Thrive:
Making that full commitment to you is what will give you that space to rediscover who you are in this phase of life. This can be a bit challenging when you’ve spent so many years putting everyone and everything else first.
Of course, working with a coach or mentor is going to give you that accountability, help you stay on track, and make yourself a priority. They will also help you gain deeper insights too.
Regardless of this though, it’s the commitment to yourself that will give you the answers you are searching for. Those much-wanted answers can’t be found by looking outside of you and that’s because they lie within you. And it’s only by carving out time and space to explore yourself that you will be able to see them.
About the Author:
Deb Johnstone is a Transformational Mindset Coach and a Midlife Transition Mentor. Experiencing midlife transition herself, she wanted work with more meaning and started her coaching practice in 2012. After the death of her father in 2019 and processing her grief, Deb experienced a deep loss of self where her identity felt challenged. It was through this that she felt the calling to work with women in this phase of life. It is now her mission to support women to transition midlife and beyond feeling confident, empowered and free to be your true self and live the life you want and deserve. You can connect with Deb on Facebook through The Empowered MidLife Woman where she posts insights daily, or connect with her through her website.