By following the advice in this post you will have the tools and mindset to conquer your self-imposed barriers to moving onwards and upwards in your career during Midlife
Imagine your mind as a ball of yarn, intricate, complex, and entangled. Each thread represents a belief or thought pattern, woven together to form your perceptions, attitudes, and ultimately, your actions. In midlife, this ball can become a glass ceiling, only reflecting the limitations and not the boundless possibilities that exist beyond it. What if you could untangle this ball, thread by thread, and shatter this glass ceiling?
Do you believe that age is a barrier to realizing your dreams? Or that it’s too late to pivot your career or start a new venture? If so, these are YOUR glass ceilings, YOUR beliefs and self-imposed barriers that limit YOUR potential.
Identifying YOUR Limiting Beliefs
A flashlight in the darkness, self-awareness illuminates the hidden, often unconscious, limiting beliefs that hold us back. Is the voice in your head your worst critic or your biggest cheerleader? Does it whisper “you can’t” or shout “you can”?
Imagine a gardener who, tending to her plants, pulls out the weeds hindering their growth. Similarly, self-awareness allows you to identify and uproot negative thought patterns, making room for positivity and growth. So, how do you cultivate this self-awareness?
Start by observing your thoughts, feelings, and reactions without judgment. Journaling is a brilliant tool for this. Check out Julia Cameron’s ‘An Artist’s Way’ for journaling inspo. Over time, you’ll notice patterns emerging, revealing the threads that form your very own glass ceiling.
Breaking Down Your Limiting Beliefs
Having identified your limiting beliefs, it’s time to pick up your hammer of reframing and start chipping away at that glass ceiling. Reframing is the art of changing your perspective, of seeing the glass half full rather than half empty.
Instead of viewing midlife as a barrier, could you see it as an opportunity? Even swapping the word ‘midlife’ with ‘in your prime’ can be a gamechanger. You’re at a time in your life where you have a wealth of experience and wisdom to draw upon.
If you think age prevents you from pivoting your career, remember Vera Wang, who became a fashion designer at 40. Yes that’s right, 40.
Shattering Your Glass Ceiling
You’ve identified your limiting beliefs and reframed them. Now, it’s time to shatter your self imposed glass ceiling to unlock your midlife power.
There are many inspiring examples of women around the world who’ve achieved great success in their chosen fields, particularly in the middle of their lives or even later. Here are a few examples to inspire you:
Julia Child: The American chef, author, and television personality didn’t start her culinary career until her mid-30s. She attended the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris when she was 36, published her first cookbook at 50, and started her television career at 51. Her approach to French cuisine revolutionized American home cooking.
Vera Wang: Before she was a world-renowned fashion designer, Wang was a figure skater and journalist. She didn’t design her first dress until she was 40. Now, her name is synonymous with luxury and elegance in the fashion and wedding industry.
Carmen Herrera: The Cuban-American abstract minimalist painter didn’t sell her first painting until she was 89! Despite this, she continued to paint for decades and her work is now exhibited in major museums around the world.
Mary Wesley: This British author published her first adult novel at the age of 71. Her books, including “The Camomile Lawn”, have since sold millions of copies, proving that it’s never too late to start a writing career.
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard: A German biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995, when she was 52. Her work on the genetic control of embryonic development was groundbreaking and has had profound implications for the fields of genetics and developmental biology.
These women serve as powerful examples of success, each in their unique way, showing that there is no age limit to achieving greatness and breaking through one’s own mental barriers. You are not alone in this journey. There are countless women in their prime who’ve shattered their personal mental glass ceilings and are soaring in their chosen fields.
And if they can do it, so can you.
It’s Your Time: Embrace Your Midlife Power
Why can’t you seize this moment, teeming with wisdom and experience, and use it as your springboard to success? Why won’t you shatter YOUR mental glass ceiling and let your ambitions soar?
Don’t forget, the only limitations are the ones we accept. It’s time to reject the self-imposed barriers, like society’s norms that say “you’re too old” or “it’s too late”. It’s time to embrace the empowering reality that age is just a number and it should never be a barrier to success. Never.
Remember, the most beautiful and resilient of diamonds are forged under pressure and heat. So too are your vision and aspirations shaped and crystallized through challenges and adversity. Your midlife isn’t a crisis; it’s an awakening, a realization of your inherent potential.
Redefining Your Narrative In Your 40s and 50s
In the grand theater of life, midlife is your second act.
Take a moment to reflect on the stories of women who have shattered their glass ceilings, not only in the world of literature and media, but also in the realms of business and politics.
Shonda Rhimes, the titan of television who, despite numerous rejections and setbacks, has changed the face of TV with groundbreaking shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Bridgerton. Today, she is the mastermind behind Shondaland, an entertainment empire that she built from the ground up.
Consider trailblazing business leaders such as Mary Barra, who climbed the ranks from an intern to become the CEO of General Motors, shattering her glass ceiling in a male-dominated industry.
Reflect upon the political landscape and you’ll find examples like Sanna Marin, the former Prime Minister of Finland, who took office at the age of 34, showing the world that age and gender have no bearing on leadership capabilities. Or Jacinda Ardern, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, who, in the face of adversity, showed resilience and compassionate leadership, making her an inspiration worldwide.
These women didn’t let age, gender, or society’s norms confine them. They embraced their potential, changing the world in their wake.
So, are you ready? Are you prepared to untangle the threads of limiting beliefs and weave a tapestry of empowerment and success? Imagine the possibilities when you break free from your mental barriers. Picture the power you hold when you believe in yourself unconditionally. That’s the power of midlife. That’s your power.
Own your Power. Step Into It. Say YES.
My Nugget of Wisdom
Learning from Eckhart Tolle, I discovered that the present moment is all I truly have, and it’s the only place where genuine transformation can occur for me. Midlife can be a time of inner tumult, as we grapple with perceived limitations that have trailed us for years.
Yet, Tolle’s words, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life,” deeply resonated with me and sparked a profound shift. Instead of dwelling on past failures or future fears, I began to more regularly harness the power of now. I try to focus my energy on what I can do in the exact current moment and it helps me make cracks in my mental glass ceiling. It’s a work in progress though and I need to be remind myself of this time and time again.
Just like me, you too can tap into this power of presence, peel away your self-limiting beliefs, and unlock your potential. You can do this, one present moment at a time.
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