By Kay Newton
When you are heading into a midlife crisis, it is easy to feel as if you are the only one suffering. Perhaps you are dealing with health issues, toxic people, loneliness, finding a new direction or lack of financial flow. Most people hone in on one life area to create a ‘fix’ only to the detriment of the other parts.
But finding your midlife mojo does not have to be difficult. Small daily actions to strengthen your ‘Life Table’ (with four legs of health, connections, knowledge, financial flow and a tabletop of ‘Thyself’) always win over time.
Mojo has many definitions but it mostly defines a quality you have that attracts people to you, makes you successful and full of energy. Here are five midlife experts with simple steps to help you get your mojo back on track.
Based in Devon, UK, Carol Lee is a kinesiologist and nutritional therapist. She has a passion for nourishment: nourishment of the body with delicious, nutritious food, nourishment of the mind through mindfulness, and nourishment of the soul, where we put ourselves first and fill ourselves up so we have the energy to do what we need to do in the world.
Carol says, “The number one way to boost your energy, improve mental clarity and balance your hormones is by reducing sugar.” Sugar is now thought to be the biggest reason for obesity and health-related issues, such as strokes and heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Carol suggests three ways to reduce sugar:
- Stop drinking your sugar; sodas and fizzy drinks are packed with hidden sugars, which are not only empty calories but also send our bodies into a hormonal spin. If you like fizz, then experiment with club soda/fizzy water and add a slice of lemon and fresh ginger or herbs. You could also steep a fruity herbal tea and dilute with fizzy water. Also, beware of artificial sweeteners; they create hormonal chaos and research has shown that they lead to obesity in the same way sugary drinks do.
- Stop blending and juicing your fruit (or buying readymade juice) and stick to eating whole fruit. When you do so, you also consume the fructose as part of a web of fibre. This fibre slows down the absorption of sugars in the body.
- Stop buying without reading the labels first. Pasta sauces are notoriously high in sugar and often contain artificial sweeteners as well as high-fructose corn syrup. Also, avoid anything that says ‘low fat’ or ‘diet’ on the labelling. If fat is removed then the food industry uses sugar to give flavour.
“Knowledge is the key to avoiding sugar and gaining back your health,” says Carol.
“Making meaningful connections can take a bit of courage, creativity and integrity,” says UK multimedia artist, mentor and connections expert Deborah Claire Procter, “especially if you are shy as I was for many years until I put in the effort to develop the skills as an effective communicator. It has been fabulous to use the internet to grow my list of influence worldwide.”
With over millions of people living alone and suffering from loneliness, making new connections is one of the key ways to get your midlife mojo back. Here are some ways to start the journey.
Appreciate the contacts that you already have. If you are bad at staying in touch with your current connections then adding more will not make you feel better. Ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how good you are at spontaneously reaching out to your friends. Make a concerted effort to randomly and consistently follow up with your current relationship circle.
Be the leader. Everyone wants the phone to ring with amazing suggestions for an outing. Be that person who comes up with cool plans – a picnic, a walk – be creative. What do you like that you can share with others? Stretch yourself and your friends to find new things to do together.
Variety is the spice of life. Ask yourself if you’ve limited your friendships to always the same kind of people; for instance, you are sporty or arty and so are your friends. Look for diversity in your contacts to bring the harmony of different sides of life into your world.
Says Deborah: “More than anything, know it’s never too late to become a people person. Start with the intention and make little steps each day even if just to smile at someone. Rilke called it making room for ‘a second huge and timeless life.’ The more you begin to actively foster relationships, the more this will trickle joyfully into all aspects of your life including work. Social media makes it so easy for us to say something nice in a quick comment that can open the door to a new friendship. Don’t be shy!”
Annual Skills Audit
“We all have qualifications of some sort, yet our skillset goes far beyond pieces of paper,” says Jennie Eriksen, the Midlife Reinvention coach. “Midlife may be the perfect time to do something new. You have so much to offer the world yet without a skills audit you may not know which direction to begin. Knowing what you know and what you don’t know will guide you to seek the right help.”
Getting help from someone like Jennie is important when you know the statistics. Nearly 50 percent of all business startups never make it beyond five years; 46% of them cite incompetence as the reason for failure. Without due diligence at midlife, taking out your lumpsum pension and, ploughing it into a new business could be disastrous.
Here are the top three things Jennie wants you to think about:
Is there a desire for what you want to provide? People buy what they want, not what you think they need. For instance, people buy a car because they need transport. However, they will choose a Mercedes because they WANT one, not because they NEED one. The simple truth is people buy using their emotions. Finding out what people want is crucial to your success. Your task is to attract them through what they want, then educate them so you can supply what they really need.
Do you have a support structure? Starting a new business is a big commitment and challenge, and you need strong foundations. Do you have a support network in place as you embark on that steep learning curve of creating your new business? This could include a supportive family and friends network; a business mentor or coach who’s keeping you on track and working with you on targets, goals, accountability, knowledge; or staff and key vendors who truly get your vision and will support you in this startup and growth phase.
Do you have the right mindset? You must have a robust growth mindset when starting a business. From the outset, park limiting beliefs and fears and maintain positivity in challenging times. If you let yourself get distracted, if you feel dejected or unmotivated, you’ll find it difficult to achieve your goals. Keep your goals clearly and firmly in your mind. With the right mindset, however, you can go from uninspired to unstuck to unstoppable!
These tips can also be used for any midlife change not only just for starting a new business.
Tasha Chen, the founder of The Science of Getting Rich Academy, says in her lilting Caribbean accent, “Mojo can disappear if you have blocks around money. If you want to be free of financial worry, the burden of wondering how to pay your bills, or how to grow your business to create a consistent income you can count on, you need tools that you can use to move past them!”
With one in three of the UK’s population expected to only have a state pension available at retirement, most over 65 will not be able to afford to retire. Money issues are one of the key areas affecting midlife mojo.
Here are three areas that can cause financial blockages:
Despite reaching midlife your financial choices can still be affected by your family’s influence. The way you grew up and what your family taught you about money (or rather, didn’t), unless dealt with, will always be your go-to strategy. Money in many societies is a taboo subject, never talked about, therefore it is difficult to gain knowledge. Without being really curious as to how money really works, what abundance means or being wealth conscious there will always be a lack.
Often women do not feel worthy around money which can actually lead to a lack of worthiness, in general. When you do not feel worthy, automatically your financial flow suffers, you cannot receive abundance in your life. It is important to remember that self-esteem is something that has to be built up over a lifetime.
Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” Success without shining your light is difficult, if not impossible. Whether you want to be the best grandmother on the planet or own a Fortune 500 company, neither will be easy if you do not take responsibility for your life, use all your gifts to the fullest and come from the right place of energy.
Tasha says, “The biggest questions around money have to be asked time and time again. Without making the effort to find out where you are in your relationship with money, right now at this moment in time, you cannot realize the pain it is costing you today. Ask yourself, “What is stopping you from manifesting the wealth you want in your life? What are you afraid of? And what does this cause you to attract in your life? When you take time to connect the dots, then you will know where to start.”
We are often very good at planning our holidays or decluttering our wardrobes yet fail to spend time learning who we are today, planning our thoughts and ditching ones that no longer serve.
Women often arrive at midlife unsure of who they are. They have put others before them. Besides dealing with menopause, they are often sandwiched between their kids and caring for their elderly parents.
I work with many midlife clients helping them to re-find their mojo and get them back on track. Over the past 15 years, three themes have appeared constantly:
Setting boundaries can seem impossible at midlife if you have never set them before. Whether it is dealing with adult children, grandchildren, or a new relationship, remember that you can never control how someone behaves towards you, you can only control your own actions. Saying ‘No’, talking about emotions and feelings, being clear and sticking to your decisions can all feel foreign and alien to begin with. Define why you need a boundary, how you will implement it, and what you will do if the boundary is violated.
Being true to your values is important for midlife mojo yet many women do not know what their values are. Values are principles or standards of behaviour; a judgement of what is important in your life.
Bad habits can often drain your midlife mojo, especially if they are old habits gained over a lifetime. Acknowledge each habit and make plans to change them. Deal with one at a time. When it comes naturally to you, you can begin to make further changes.
There’s a FREE five-day Midlife Mojo Challenge starting November 18! Sign up now!
Kay Newton is an award-winning speaker, writer and midlife strategist. Follow her on KayNewton.com.
First published in eShe’s November 2019 issue