What's really holding you back in life?
“A dream is the creative vision for your life in the future.” – Denis Waitley
It’s a rare woman in her midlife years who—at some point—doesn’t feel stuck in various areas of her life, in particular, her work-life. Given that your work plays such a major part of your fulfilment and purpose in life though, being stuck in this area can have a huge impact on your emotions, physical demeanour and more.
After so many years in the workforce, you might find that you begin to experience burnout, or disappointment that you really aren’t reaching your goals. You might be frustrated at not being able to get past the income plateau you’re stuck on, or you’ve discovered that you’ve actually lost any passion for your job or even the field you’ve worked in for years.
Really, this midlife slump in regards to your work is more common that you might think – but staying “stuck” should not be an option if you truly want to ROCK your midlife season! Successful midlifers who face this kind of career crisis are the ones who figure out how to overcome the hurdles and overwhelm and continue to grow in their field of expertise, or they find the strength and courage to pivot to something more meaningful. To reach that breakthrough however, you need to identify what is really holding you back, so to help you get started, read on for 3 things that could be the culprits responsible for your midlife work slump.
1. Lack of Clarity
When you don’t really know what it is you want from your job or your business, you’re experiencing a lack of clarity. Maybe you aren’t clear on who you’re meant to serve, or can’t quite envision how to market your product or services effectively. Maybe you can’t recall what originally led you to your career choice and you have no clue what steps to take next.
These are all symptoms of a lack of clarity, and they can cause you to feel stuck and directionless, leading to procrastination, reduced productivity and no passion or sense of fulfilment in your work.
If you’re suffering from a lack of clarity, take a step back and do some brainstorming (or brain dumping) to get everything out into the daylight where you can see it. This activity alone can help you get clear on what your next step should be.
2. Lack of Focus
If you’re clear on your goals but you’re having trouble moving forward consistently, then a lack of focus might be your issue. You head to your office each morning with purpose, but by lunch it’s clear you haven’t accomplished anything you set out to do.
You’re not a bad person, or even a poor business owner or employee. You just have trouble focusing on the next step that needs to happen, and in doing so, your dream life and career remains an elusive wish with no substance.
Try this to help: With your end goal in mind, brainstorm the next physical action you need to take to achieve it. You don’t need to have every step worked out in fine detail, just focus on the very next step until it is crystal clear, then once you have completed it – do the same exercise again until you achieve your goals.
3. No Excitement
Bored? Lost interest in that job or business you once loved? This is, unfortunately, pretty common among solo-preneurs in particular. That’s why we see so many of them jumping from business to business, never spending enough time in any one endeavour to see it through to success. For the long term employee too, who has worked for years and years in the one company or field – increasing boredom and lack of interest can hold you back from feeling fulfilled and purposeful in your work.
Staying excited about your business or your job starts with having a dream that keeps you going even when you’re faced with the day-to-day drudgery that is experienced to some extent in virtually all jobs. Not everything is fun in the workplace, but if you keep your “why” in mind, it can help you get past the dull spots.
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Want to know one powerful yet easy method you can use to start fixing all of these issues (and more)? It’s a simple trick that the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have been using for decades: vision boards. These fun and colourful tools are often just what you need to clarify your dreams, work out your next steps, and stay excited about your business or job.
Vision boards can be as simple as a few images clipped from a magazine and pinned to a corkboard, or as complex as a framed poster with hand-lettered quotes and personal inspiration. The choice is yours. It’s completely personal, super fun, and best of all, it works. Give it a try next time you’re feeling stuck in your business, your job, or indeed, any area of your life.
Once you’ve established what’s holding you back in your business or your job, you can then start looking forwards, dreaming about what kind of business or job you really want in your midlife years and beyond. It might be same role you are already doing, but with renewed clarity about what you do, a keener focus on the goals you want to achieve, and a fresh excitement about the work you get to do in the world. On the other hand, following this process of examining how you feel and why, may well prompt you to decide that it is time to make a change.
There are no right or wrong answers here – it’s simply about identifying the right one for you. Midlife is the perfect season to dig deep and identify what is and isn’t working in your job or your business. When you take into account that so much of your fulfilment and purpose in life comes from the work you do in the world, it is worthwhile reassessing what you do and how you feel regularly. You do not want to reach the end of your life full of regret for the goals you didn’t reach and the person you didn’t become!
Ready to take action? Start today by asking yourself what is really holding you back in life. Once that is done, grab your tools and create the vision board that reflects what you want to achieve and who you want to become going forward.
You’ve got this!
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