When we, women, reach our midlife it often means some change. And change may be perceived as a crisis. Quite often, this midlife crises is actually a crisis of motivation.
What is motivation? According to Wikipedia motivation is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal directed behaviors.
In a plain language it means an inner engine that moves us towards our desires.
Common theme for women of my generation was that kids were their priority. Women, who chose to stay at home, did that for their kids. Women, who continued working, did that mostly to provide enough for their kids. A lot of women are familiar with just having a job for having an income to provide enough to their families. The first and highest motivation has been, consciously or not, our children.
Building career or letting it go, working hard or staying at home, these are different choices, based on different circumstances but mostly driven by same motivation; our children and their wellbeing. Children have been simply purpose of our lives and therefore our main motivators.
And then midlife changes hit us with all its challenges. Children grow up and become independent. And it often means that our motivation we got used to is gone.
No wonder that all career issues and struggles become more obvious. What we were used to accept before suddenly frustrates us. We may face many different issues but they often have the same cause. Lack of motivation.
So how to get the motivation back?
First of all it is necessary to be aware of the situation. You can’t change what you are not aware of. You may notice signs of your inner engine lacking the fuel. Maybe you feel bored, numb or experience low energy levels. Maybe you feel irritated or oversensitive. These are signs that your engine doesn’t have enough of fuel. Acknowledge it and accept it as what it is. From there you may chose to change it.
2. Conscious approach
You need to want to change the situation. It just doesn’t happen automatically. Make a conscious choice. When you chose to change, the possible options show up. If you have a partner, talk to them. It is important for them to know what is happening for you. You changing means a change for them as well. Get them involved.
3. Reignite your passion
Remind yourself with what you were passionate about and reconnect with your passion. If you don’t know what it is, that’s OK either. Use your time to find out what makes you happy and then do it as often as possible. Say yes to life and taste different activities and environments. Look around and observe your feelings. You will find what makes you emotionally charged. Just pay attention to your feelings.
4. Find compelling mission
Doing what we love to do for ourselves is great. But quite often it’s not enough. Especially after spending long time by doing everything for someone else it may be quite a challenge. Use the urge to serve and contribute and look around. When you find what makes you emotionally charged the most, ask yourself: How can I serve through this, how can I make it different, how can I get involved… You will get the answer.
5. Let it be known
Let your family know. Talk to your partner and children and tell them what you are going to do and what you want to achieve. And tell them why. Ask them for support and let them react as they react. Their reaction may not be what you wish for. Accept that. They may need some time to absorb your new you and that’s all right. When they see you being motivated, passionate, active and happy by living your life fully, they will join.
Remember, it is your birth right to live your life fully. Find your fuel. Make your engine run and enjoy the ride.