Midlife: 6 Ways to Improve your Mindset

by: Kris Kirilova

Kris is a counselor & owner of Career Life Choices – a counseling practice in Arlington Heights, IL.

Midlife has arrived, bringing with it a mix of unease and tension as you contemplate the next chapter. The realization that the clock is ticking becomes more real, along with the awareness of dreams left unexplored and subtle changes in our appearance that leave us questioning their significance.

I recently had the privilege of counseling a bright and educated woman in her 40s who, despite her pleasant personality, found herself in a regretful state about aging and still on the quest for an ideal partner. The blues about her age permeated her overall perspective on life. At work, she grappled with fitting in among her younger colleagues, raising concerns about the opportunities available to her given her age. For her, midlife had taken on a negative connotation—a time of decline rather than renewal.

However, midlife can be a transformative period, an opportunity to re-examine past choices, gain wisdom from experiences, and replenish energy. It’s a chance to birth something new, take courageous steps towards a new lifestyle, new friendships, or enhance overall well-being.

Most importantly, don’t let age to put limits on what you do in your life.

Here are six steps to guide you through this transformative journey:

1. Explore Your Beliefs about Aging: Challenge societal expectations and cultural norms surrounding age. Recognize that people have successfully made significant changes, embarked on new paths, new careers, healed from past disappointments, and found new partners well into midlife and beyond.

2. Explore Yourself: Who am I apart from the roles at work and home? Reflect on the person you’re becoming and what you want from life. What do I feel proud of? What still feels incomplete? The inner tension is asking you to listen, journal, and understand what you’re longing for. This is a time to reconnect with your values, dreams, and realign to create a new vision. 

3. Rejuvenate Your Mind and Spirit: Acknowledge and listen to your emotions. Notice if you are feeling stuck or blocked?  Are there any emotions like grief and bitterness that may be affecting? If you’re feeling discouraged, consider ways to work through past disappointments or negative beliefs.  Our habits or patterns can get in the way of being receptive to abundance.  I suggest finding a supportive community, therapist, and people who believe in you and inspire you to see larger possibilities. 

4. Nurture Your Mind and Body: Consider walking away from a demanding job or creating work-life balance. Discover what brings you joy and pleasure. Be open to new possibilities, whether it’s learning new things, joining communities, or making new friends. Pursue hobbies or interests you’ve always wanted to explore.

5. Adopt an Ageless Mindset: Reject the notion that age diminishes your value. Embrace an ageless mindset, focusing on living a meaningful life regardless of your age. Enhance your beauty by caring for your body and mind, updating your wardrobe, and adopting new styles.

6. Honor Your Strengths and Wisdom: Recognize the strengths, wisdom, and valuable experience gained through the years. While concerns about age in the workplace may arise, seek fields that appreciate a mature appearance and align with your talents and interests.

As you stand at the threshold of the next chapter, acknowledge any fears and doubts that may arise. Instead of letting them limit you, consider how life transitions counseling can help you explore new ways of being. Act from a place of self-acceptance and courage, recognizing that your best years can be ahead of you when you invest in self-care and nurture your mind. Are you ready to imagine and create your next fulfilling chapter?

PS: If you need support and guidance to find renewal and purpose, please check out the Women’s Midlife Circle.


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