The Art of Getting Unstuck: Fresh Perspectives and Actionable Steps for Midlife Transformation
You might be feeling stuck in one area of your life, or treading water in an overall feeling of stuckness. This week on the podcast I’m talking about strategies that help us break loose from feeling stuck.
I discuss the impact of hormonal changes in midlife, which can affect our motivation and nurturing instincts, and opens the door to being able to prioritise yourself more effectively.
If you’re feeling stuck and struggling to make progress, I can suggest some strategies for approaching the situation from a different angle. These methods often help to shake things up in a helpful way.
I go into the transformation equation, which is about internal reflection, plus strategic external action which creates a change reaction in your life. In addition, learn how to identify if you are engaging in excessive introspection!
Let’s have brave conversations, seek joy, and create change, we don’t need to settle for unsatisfying relationships or the stale status quo.
Come along for the ride as I share valuable strategies and personal experiences to guide you through midlife challenges, discover happiness, build stronger support systems, and embark on a path of personal development and fulfillment. Because you are worth it!
00:00:33 Insomnia, feeling stuck in different areas of life.
00:04:53 Recognize feelings of frustration, check in with yourself.
00:07:11 Midlife transition alters nurturing and caretaking.
00:11:01 Reconnect with passions, find time for vitality.
00:14:24 “Don’t always confront your stuck situation head-on. Try changing your behavior in other areas.”
00:19:20 Don’t settle, take action for a change.
00:22:17 Moving out of stagnation into growth requires building a support network and embracing others’ perspectives.
00:25:40 Seek support networks and embrace challenges.
Full Episode Transcript
Hello, my friends. Welcome to the podcast. This week’s podcast is how to get unstuck in midlife. I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t talk to a woman who talks about feeling stuck in her life and not, not all of them are clients. Many of these are just casual conversations that I have with women that I’m chatting with.
One recently was around a woman who was stuck in a pattern of insomnia. So waking up in the night could go to sleep, okay. But waking up in the night and then unable to get back to sleep or waking up a lot is another pattern that happens. And I really could relate when she was telling me about it, because I’ve been through the insomnia pattern as well and been really, really stuck in that.
And. It got to a point actually where I’d sort of just come to accept it, where I knew that I was going to wake up at four o’clock and I wasn’t gonna feel sleepy again till six o’clock in the morning, and that wasn’t gonna be enough sleep for me, the sleep that I had had. And so I would need to take a rest during the day and nothing wrong with that, but I knew that I wasn’t running on my full vitality, that there was a pattern of insomnia that I was.
I stuck in for a few years actually, and I tried various things and you know, things like magnesium helped and I tried other herbal remedies and it, it wasn’t until I started taking body identical hormones and melatonin that for me, that patent of insomnia shifted. But I’m not talking just about insomnia today.
I really wanna talk about these. Places that we get into where we feel stuck now you might feel stuck in terms of just, you know, your whole life. Like it’s sort of ground to a halt and there’s not that momentum forward.
So you might notice that you’re stuck in a particular area of your life. It could be in your, in relational dynamics with your partner with a workmate. It could be you’re feeling stuck, particularly with your career or your business. Like you’ve had this momentum in the past where it’s been felt like it’s been moving forward and it’s been growing, and then it’s steadied out and sort of leveled out, and that’s been okay.
But then the leveling out has sort of turned into, oh, I’m just not growing and evolving in this area. I’m feeling really stuck and really dissatisfied. So we might have that stuck feeling in a particular area of our life, or we might just have a general overarching, I’m feeling really stuck in my life right now,
and so I wanna talk about some strategies that are really helpful if this is going on for you. Because I do talk to a lot of women who are feeling very stuck for a very long period of time, and it’s a very common thing to arise in midlife, and I think there’s some ways that we can address it that are skillful, that help us to grow, that are beneficial for ourselves and the people that we live with and love with.
So the first thing I think is really, really important is that we recognize that we are feeling stuck. So recognizing the emotions that arise, that are connected with feeling stuck. So for some women it is, you know, like a feeling of frustration. And of course it’s really normal. We get, we’ve. Might feel frustrated in their life frequently, but if it’s something that is repeating itself over and over and over again until it becomes a steady stream of frustration, anger, sometimes at life circumstances, then we might sort of flag that as being oh, Actually have I sort of wandered into a state of feeling pretty stuck in my life.
I was talking to a friend today and she’s a mid midwife, and she was saying that their life had changed recently. So her partner had started a new business and that had stimulated her to want to create change in their living environment. So I wanna get into why that happens and how we can help ourselves out of that stuck place by creating change in different areas of our life.
But first of all, you have to recognize that you are feeling stuck. And the way we need to do that is to look within ourselves. So, We I think we are really well conditioned to put aside feelings of frustration, of dissatisfaction, of a generalized sort of disappointment in our life. Just get on with things.
And that really, yes, that really does serve us. We don’t wanna throw that all out. But the limitations of that are that when we don’t always do a good check-in with ourselves, like, really, how are you doing? Like when you check inside yourself and you turn your gaze inwards and you ask yourself, Actually, how am I doing in here?
What am I feeling? What am I thinking? What is the general weather in my internal state right now? So using the weather when we do a check-in with ourselves is quite a fun analogy. It’s a great way of noticing what’s going on inside yourself. Is it cloudy and gray? The winds of change blowing through your system.
Is it feeling like a still sunny day or has it been raining inside you for weeks, months, or longer? Is there a section of your life where it’s always cloudy, it’s always gray, and you’ve just tucked that part away in the corner because you don’t feel like you can do anything about it? You don’t have the wherewithal to change it, so you’re just gonna push it away.
I get it. I really do get it. We are juggling so much all these balls up in the air at the same time, and many of us are needing to support others around us emotionally, physically supporting the household.
Often we come in last, we put ourselves last, or we just come in last because that’s what happens, right? And that’s what we condition to do. And then here comes midlife. Here comes the midlife transition and the midlife. During the midlife transition, our hormones start to change. The hormones of caretaking and of nurturing start to lower, or they start to wobble and change during perimenopause and you know, leading into that perimenopausal time when you don’t even know that perimenopause is happening.
So those nurturing caretaking emotions lower. And so when those caretaking nurturing hormones lower your desire to caretake, To nurture will also lower. One of the biggest drivers of our behavior and our emotions are our hormones and they, they interconnect, right? So one influences the other, but when you start to come into this midlife transition, you’ve got fluctuating hormones.
And so what might have been a steady. Impetus to caretaking, to nurture now starts to change and you start to question, why am I doing this? Why is it all on me? I am feeling really overwhelmed and burned out by all of this caretaking, and that was certainly my experience in life as well, and what the great news is.
Is that we can make adjustments in our life without actually having to create massive, massive upheavals. Sometimes that is necessary, but other times it’s actually about reprioritizing yourself and your own wellbeing. So we know that in midlife, our hormones are changing our. Impetus to care taken to nurture changes as well.
It probably lowers very often. It does lower, and what that means is that then the self can get pushed to the front of your awareness of your focus, and you can embark on a journey of self-discovery and grow. This is the really exciting thing around midlife. Now, this is a natural thing that happens because of that change of hormones and all, all we need to do, it’s so simple.
It’s not so simple. I really get that, but I. What we do need to do is listen to what nature is providing. Nature is providing this impetus where we, you start putting yourself first. You start filling yourself up first and making yourself. Your focus. And if you have not done that in the past, then that is going to be quite a change of pace for you, but a very, very important one and really important for your vitality and the vitality and energy that you take into that second stage of life, going through menopause and beyond.
And then, Once we’ve acknowledged it, we’ve embracing this midlife transition that’s happening, then it’s time to reconnect to your passions. I can hear all the protests in myself. How many times have I said to my friends, I can’t. I don’t have time. I’ve got work.
I’ve got. Exercise I’ve got walking the dogs, I’ve got taking care of the kids. If a family member’s going through something challenging, that’s with me as well. I’ve got so much going on, I do not want to add an another thing that I have to do. The thing is with reconnecting with your passions, think of it as.
What you’re actually doing is opening up to allowing more vitality to flow through you. ’cause when you find that thing that you are passionate about and it’s most likely reconnecting to something that you used to be passionate about, that fell by the wayside, you are reconnecting to it. You are committing some of your time.
Even if you don’t have time, you’re going to carve out that time and to reconnect to your passion. What that helps us to do is loosen up our vitality, loosen up some of the armoring within our system so that we can get a better flow of energy, so that we can get excited about something. Again, really important in midlife to look at this again, and look at our life and think about, you know, am I really giving?
Myself, time to connect to something that I’m passionate about, that I find fun, that I get excited about, and I’m that person that would’ve said to my friends and did say to my friends, mate, I just don’t have time for this. The thing is, I needed to make time for it. I needed to carve out time and put myself forward.
Make myself a priority.
And the next piece involved in this of breaking out and getting unstuck is that we need to overcome fear and some limiting beliefs most likely. So what was behind this piece for me around, I don’t have time for those interests, for those patients. What was behind that was some limiting beliefs around valuing myself around play, around pleasure, around work and work ethic.
I had to look at those and I had to examine those because if I am just this robot that all I’m doing is working, all I’m doing is serving, and I’m not giving back to myself. I’m going to become tired, deflated, resentful, and that’s how it went. That’s what happened. That’s what I did. And so I needed to look at some of those beliefs around, you know, what is important for me?
In my life, what gives me pleasure and my beliefs around pleasure? And is it okay to put myself first? Is it okay to play? I still work really hard, but I also now carve out some time for play. And if you’re feeling stuck in your life, just either generally or in a certain area, look at that area and look at how much enjoyment.
Is in the mix there. If there’s none, then something needs to change. And the way we can create change when we are feeling stuck, we don’t always have to approach that stuck piece head on. So if I’m really feeling stuck in my job or my career, I’m just. Over my work, right? But I’m not prepared to look for another job.
I don’t want to get another job. I understand. You know, I like the organization that I work for. It’s pretty healthy on the whole,
or I might wanna get another job. I might wanna change the direction of my business. But there are some beliefs under there in my subconscious that are stopping me from doing that, and those beliefs will be connected to your self-worth, your self-esteem, your value, how you value yourself, how the world values you.
There’ll be beliefs in there that are holding you back.
What I suggest for clients in when they are feeling stuck, and it might say, for instance, in that area of my professional life or my business, and I’ve tried everything I can to make it better to change things, but nothing seems to be working well. A really great approach is to.
Change your behavior, but change your behavior in a different area of your life. Like do something different, actually create some change. So rather than hoping that that area or just generally speaking, my life’s gonna get better, I’m gonna get unstuck. You are not gonna get unstuck doing the exact same things that you’ve always done.
It just doesn’t happen. Nobody’s coming to save us and nobody’s coming to rescue us. We have to create change ourselves, and if we’ve tried to create change head on, we’ve met the issue head on and that didn’t work, or that didn’t create the change, or we’ve got some other situations or some other limitations.
Whereby we need to stay in that environment. Then what we need to do is to create change outside of that area. Go and start doing something else. Carve out some time for something else that brings you joy, that brings you passion, that excites you and interests you. Talk to some different people in your life.
Broaden your circle out instead of. Just spending time with your closer circle of friends. Go and meet some new people, meet some new people for coffee, have new conversations relating with others, and hearing other people’s points of view is such a powerful way to open up the doorway to change for us in our life.
So often we, especially if we’re. On a self-development journey or a personal development journey, same thing, right? We often try and change our beliefs, work on our emotions, look at what’s caused it. If you’re into affirmations, do all the affirmations meditate on what you wanna change
when actually a. Some of that can come from avoidance of actually taking the steps forward that are going to create change in your life, and so that’s why I suggest that if you’re feeling stuck, do something different. Not so much internally inside yourself, but actually go out into your life. And make new connections with people.
Make new connections with new activities, make new connections with new places. Because what happens then is the normal, everyday kind of boundaries and walls of your universe, they change of the world that you interact with. Changes when you create those changes. So for a lot of us that are interested in personal development, and I definitely fell into this trap, we do a lot of internal work, but we are not balancing it enough with external action and changes, making changes to our behavior.
Because if something isn’t working and you’ve done that internal work for a long period of time, or you’ve. You’ve taken actions and they haven’t gotten you where you need to go, then turn in a different direction, turn another 45 degrees, and go and take action on something else, on a different area with a different person.
It really does bring a fresh perspective to this feeling stuck state. That is all. So, so common in midlife. So common in midlife.
We don’t need to settle. Like I’m realistic. I understand some of life is mundane.
It’s if you’re a parent, you have a job. Part of our life is mundane. That’s a normal part of life, but we can also feel interested, excited. Passionate about different areas of our life. And what worries me most about women in midlife is when I see them settling for the status quo for shit that is not serving them for relationships that are disconnected, where you’re feeling flat unmet.
Disconnected, unsatisfied. If that’s going on for you right now, then you need to have some brave conversations that can be fun. Those conversations actually can be enjoyable. They can really like a spark, a new relationship, create some change. Like I said, I, it does, it breaks my heart to see women settling for.
Certainly for a life that isn’t bringing them some level of joy. All life comes with its ups and downs for sure. I am not denying that I am not a woowoo head in the clouds kind of person. I get. Life is up and down. Life is 50 50, but part of that 50 needs to be, I’m interested, I’m excited. I’m finding joy in my life, and if I’m not, then I’m gonna try something else.
I’m gonna include something else in my life that is gonna open my horizons, that is gonna get me meeting new people, even if I’m scared, even if I’m out of my comfort zone and I don’t feel like I show up as my best self, I’m willing to keep pushing myself forward into. New zones, learning situations with different people and different circumstances, and that’s, you know, that’s such a signifier of you as a human.
You as a woman who continues to grow in your life and moose out of that stuck place, moves out of that stagnant place and you’re moving into a growth so,
The final piece that’s really important around this is to build a support network for yourself. I am a very introverted person and I do my best internal work when I’m by myself, and yet, if I am doing that all of the time, then I’m missing out on the richness of life. I’m missing out on other people’s perspectives, horizons and viewpoints of life.
And I’ve seen in, you know, throughout my life as much as it was a struggle to make friends, and those, those first woman friends that I made in my twenties really moved me out of a very lonely place when I was a young woman. And they really, those friends really taught me. How to be a good friend and what it feels like to be part of a small group of connected women and how safe and nurturing and sometimes challenging for sure, but how much I felt like I was at home finally, I felt like I was at home and that network has changed over the years because, We go through these developmental cycles and what served us when we were in our thirties probably doesn’t serve us when we’re in our fifties.
So building a support network around you, and that might need to include some new people, some new groups of people, some new contacts where you are connecting with this fresh energy. That is supporting you to see your world in a different way, to even see yourself in a different way.
Building a support network is really, really important at any time of our life, for sure. But absolutely in midlife. Especially when we are going through perimenopause and menopause, to have that support network around you to feel like these people have got your back and I know life is really busy and you might not see these people, that you care about your friends as often as you would like.
That’s okay. I often think about my friends and maybe I won’t see them for weeks or a month or longer. And I think about them. And so, you know, I feel disappointed about that. And then I think, but you know what, if something happened, would they be there for me? Of course, they would be there for me. And so then I feel supported and comforted in my friendships in the connective network that I had, and I’ve made a conscious effort to grow that.
In the last few years, and that’s not easy when you’re a woman in midlife, right? It is so easy to make friendships when you’re a kid. You’re always at the same place. You have the same interests. Making friends when you’re an adult is a whole different ballgame, but it is absolutely entirely worth it. And.
There’s a lot of reflection that can happen in those support networks where you hear through the grapevine, you know, oh, so and so had that, and she tried that, and that worked really well. There’s all of that support that can happen, so if you feel like you’re living in a bubble, try something new. Break out of those day-to-day actions that are, that have been the same for a while.
Freshen it up. Go and do something that’s challenging. Go and do something that breaks you out of your comfort zone. Often when we change one area of our life and we break out of that mundanity in one area of our life, it will introduce energy and vitality to the rest of our life and really freshen things up.
So that’s my list on how to get unstuck in midlife. To create some change to shake loose of the doldrums, the mundanity, the boredom that occurs, and to really bring yourself forward and reprioritize yourself because you are so worth it, my friend.
You are infinitely worthy of your own love, support, and compassion. I hope this episode has been helpful this week. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with your friends. Let them know there is a community of women that are sharing the conversation.
And bring them in. Bring them in on the conversation by sharing this episode.
All right, my friends. Have an amazing week and I’ll talk to you real soon. Bye for now.