In this episode we dive into three powerful strategies that help women in midlife regain their momentum.
These momentum strategies are simple and can be implemented quickly, and they’ll help you to start taking action that moves you in a different direction.
We uncover why “should-ing on ourselves shuts down possibilities and how to replace SHOULD with more helpful generative words that inspire action.
Living a creative life that brings joy and connection is possible through reframing failure and removing the limiting mindset of ‘should’.
I share how through my dying mother’s shared regret I gained a profound insight that has helped me navigate the challenges of life and shape my path forward.
And we focus on how to transform failure into a driving force for personal development and fulfilled living.
With self-compassion and support, we can resource ourselves and live a fulfilled, joyful life without the need for perfection or validation.
So tune in to this week’s episode, as I share practical insights and strategies that help women in midlife regain their momentum.
Jump on the waitlist for the next cohort of The Midlife Upgrade Course here
Full Episode Transcript
Hey. Hey my friends. How you doing? Really excited for the podcast this week. I’ve had some really great sort of insights and aha moments from the midlife upgrade course. We are in the pilot round right now, and we’re a few weeks in and it’s been so great at the moment. The course is a combination of video learning modules and exercises that you do in your own time that’s on this really beautiful learning platform.
And then we meet once a week on Zoom. And on Zoom we can deepen into the coaching, we can bring forward anything that’s, you know, on top for us that we wanna deepen into, get support from around the exercises or you know, generally around our experience of midlife. And it has been so great to talk in that.
Smaller group, so there’s 10 of us, that smaller group of women in the same age and stage of life, relatively speaking, and just feel heard and supported and be able to really be honest about what’s going on for us. And so clearly I’m really loving it. By the end of the course, I’m going to. Re-release the course and we’ll enroll for another round.
But I will probably make a few minor changes to the way it’s structured, to the order of the modules, depending on the feedback from the current students who are just a fabulous bunch of women really loving the journey. And there’s been some themes that have shown up and some, you know, things that have really sort of hit me front and center around.
Far out. This is such a common experience for us as women, and I really wanna talk to you, my podcast listeners about it because I think these themes and these ideas and these strategies can be really, really helpful for us. But I, I, first of all, I really wanna lay the groundwork for this. Okay? So anytime I give you, Tips in quote marks or strategies.
I’m saying it’s in quote marks because, you know, we often, I guess we try and sort of simplify things down into tips and strategies and these things that we can do that are gonna fix our life or fix our situation. Well, for many of us in perimenopause and menopause, It’s a lived experience of these challenges that arise or these aging parents that you know are needing more of us and more time and more energy and more support from us.
Well, we can’t fix that. That’s the lived experience, that’s the ups and downs in the 50 50 of life. But we can support ourselves to be. As resourced as possible as we go through these sometimes challenging experiences of midlife. So when I bring in tips and strategies, which I’m gonna do today, I wanna really nestle them in with a really big helping of self-compassion.
We don’t take these strategies and sort of beat ourselves up with them or try to make our lives perfect with them because I actually think we can live really incredibly fulfilled, joyful lives without our lives needing to be perfect, without our lives needing to be an Instagram feed, right? ’cause we know it’s not.
We all know that’s not reality. So if we bring self-compassion along with us, as we might choose to implement some of these really cool reframes strategies that I wanna talk about now today, then what we’re doing is we are resourcing ourselves. But if we leave self-compassion out of the mix, Then we can use these strategies.
We tend to use these strategies to beat ourselves up, to give ourselves a hard time, to criticize ourselves, to further demean ourselves, and that we know is not the purpose of what we’re doing here, what we’re doing on this podcast. Not at all. You know that. I know that. So having said that, that’s our.
That’s our context for the podcast is bring the self-compassion along with you as you consider some of the strategies and reframes for really supporting you to be more resourced, to get unstuck, to get yourself into momentum. So that, is that quite a strong experience, quite a common experience for women in midlife?
Is that? We do feel stuck, we feel on this kind of hamster wheel of going round and round and round and kind of not getting anywhere. This is what I hear from women and probably worse than that. We’re not only not getting anywhere or feeling like we’re not getting anywhere, but our physical vitality is actually getting lower and lower and is not replenishing.
So we’re kind of getting more and more burnt out. That’s a really common experience for women in midlife. So,
so these are some things to consider if you’re feeling like, ah, I just wanna just get me out of this stuck place. You know, like I feel like I’m in my gumbo and I’m stuck in the mud right now. I really do know that experience well and I know very often for me that has gone along with, well, some of mine has been an intolerance to mundane aspects of life, that sort of part of my personality.
Although I do live a very mundane on the surface life, I also feel really deeply connected to my life, to the people around me, to my family. They’re spiritually alive and connected with nature and with my life’s journey. So whilst it might look kind of mundane from the outside, I am like every day excited, challenged, thrilled by this life that I lead.
And I want that for you too. And if you don’t have that or you are just feeling like, you know what? I feel like I really bloody need a nudge out to break out of my comfort zone. But there’s something holding me back. There’s something keeping me in the same place. I’m not taking those actions that I wanna take.
Then my friend, this podcast is for you. So
where do we begin? I. There’s a really one really easy little strategy that is actually really incredibly powerful, and it is around how we talk about our experience and what we want to do. Okay, so I want you to start noticing when you say I should do this. I should be further along by now. I should be putting my education to different use.
My business should be making more money. I should have da, da, da. Fill in the gaps. Should, has really no helpful place in your vocabulary. At this age. Yeah. So it might have been useful once when we were young, when we were learning how to live well and reasonably with other people in, within our society.
But it really doesn’t have a place in your life now as an adult midlife woman. Because all of those shoulds around how we behave in culture and society and how we don’t walk around being an asshole all the time, hopefully they’re all internalized anyway. But now what happens is that we should on ourselves way more than we need to.
And so a should here and there is. That’s okay. That’s powerful, of course. But when I hear a woman shoulding every few sentences, I should do this. I should be here by now. I should. This, there’s a little flag that goes up inside me a little. Huh? Let me take notice of this flag. And so when we shoot on ourselves, what we are doing is, it kind of is introducing this voice of, when I was doing my training, it was called the Super Ego.
Or the critical authority voice, that’s sort of the energy that is coming through when we shoulding ourselves a lot or frequently. Okay? And so what you can do is just pay attention to the language that you use when you talk, and if you catch yourself saying, I should more than three times in one day.
Stop. So if you hear yourself saying, I should more than three times in one day, the invitation is that you can remo that word from your vocab. For a week, for a month, for the rest of your damn life if you want to. And just notice what you replace it with and how it frees up your motivation. So when I say, you know, I should, for instance, I should be further ahead of my business than what I am now.
What happens inside me is this subtle, closing down to both motivation and possibility. I’m going from being, you know, the potential of being an open circuit. And when we’re an open circuit, we can receive much more in, in terms of potential possibilities, connections to being a closed circuit, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for new possibilities, new actions, and I should
when it’s used too much, it’s a form of self-criticism. It’s a subtle way that we are telling ourselves, well, we should be better than what we are basically. Right? Those are the shoulds that are closing down on possibility. So what can you replace them with? Well, you can be creative. You can say things like,
I’d love to create some time in my life to do some exercise that I enjoy. I’m really interested in. Growing my capacity for greater financial abundance.
I would love to take care of my physical body by introducing more whole green plant foods into my diet. So you can see how changing my language opens up my relationship with action, actually like. Okay, so if I would love to do that, I wonder what the next step is for me to be able to make that happen.
So you can see how we go from that closed circuit of, I should, when we remove that from our vocab for a certain amount of time, then we replace it with these more open, positive, generative. Words where our brain is being fed, information that opens it up to inspired action, actually, which I think is just such a great and easy thing to do.
And so then the next piece is if I’m feeling, you know, stuck in my life, I want to make a move. Maybe I don’t know what that move is. Maybe I do, but I’m just feeling, ugh, weighed down by it all. And say for example, I do actually know that I, I want to get out there and I want to change my working circumstances.
Right. But for whatever reason, I’ve been wanting to do this for the last three years and nothing’s happened. I actually haven’t done anything about it. I haven’t learned anything different. I haven’t networked in a different way. I haven’t applied for any jobs and I just feel a bit scared and stuck at this stage.
This is a common experience. If this is what’s happening for you and you actually do have a desire for change and it’s not happening and it hasn’t been happening for a number of years, and there might be, you know, small, mental or circumstantial blocks in the way, but there’s nothing really hugely significant, right?
If you take that bird’s eye view of your life, you could. Try and make these steps forward. If you just had that momentum, if you weren’t so scared or stuck or afraid, or not really sure why, but, but you are stuck, right? If that’s happening for you, I want you to go to this place of thinking about what is the cost for me?
If I don’t do this, what is the cost for me? If I don’t at least try? Put yourself 10 years in the future and look back on your life now and look back on that life path of you that didn’t try, that didn’t make an attempt, that didn’t change anything externally, and just stayed exactly the same as you are right now, even though there was a bigger part of you that wanted to go for it, that wanted to do something different.
Put yourselves 10 years in the future and now look back and you didn’t do it. How do you feel when you look back? Is there regret? Is there disappointment?
Is there a wishing? I wish she’d just tried to do that. I wish she’d just gone for it and been willing to fail. Just, you know, you can do this exercise, a really beautiful exercise. If you’re feeling like you wanna move, but you’re uncertain and you’re stuck and you’re afraid and you just can’t do it, you put yourself about 10 years in the future or or further, you can put yourself as an old lady and look back at yourself now and what’s it like?
What might it be like if you don’t try? If you don’t make an attempt, if you don’t make that change and just notice what those feelings are and you know, and often that’s enough to motivate us to actually go brick it. I’m just gonna do it. I’m just gonna have a go. It’s gonna be messy. I’m not ready, but I’m gonna do it anyway.
And that is the best kind of action to take. Just taking the action. It’s kind of cliched, but when my mom was really unwell and she sort of knew that her life was coming to an end, even though she didn’t want to accept that, that was a reality, but she certainly knew that her. Working life was done. You know, she was unwell.
She’d been in hospital, she was at home, she was in bed and she wasn’t in any capacity to do anything. And it all happened really quickly. And I was sitting with her so I have two sisters and one lives in Hamilton and one lives in Australia. And so I was here in Ngāmotu in New Plymouth, and my mum lives here and all lived here.
And I was sitting on the bed and she’s chatting to me and she’s like, you know what, if I could do my life over, I would actually go down a path with my life where I just did something that I really enjoyed and I’d do something more creative with my life. And because in her work life, she hadn’t done that.
She’d sort of done the job that she hadn’t liked and she had some success in her work, but it was not anything that she was super, super passionate about. And it was really interesting for me to hear that from her, actually. Because, you know, back then I would been in my work in the helping professions as a counselor and a coach for.
Over 10 years and it was going okay, it was going well. Like I did really, really good work. But I wouldn’t say I had a massively financially successful business. I probably would’ve got paid more if I’d stuck it out in in commerce, which I started working in. And so there was often this judgment coming from my parents.
I saw it as judgment. From their perspective, it was probably worry and concern. You know, we had this young family and both me and my partner were self-employed and in very creative industries and, and sometimes the finances were tough. I’d felt this, what I had, I had interpreted as judgment from my mom around that.
’cause it was often the questions of how’s it going and what’s the income looking like this month? And how many clients have you da, da, you know, all of that sort of thing. And then here she was doing her own, looking back on good life
and she just said, if I could do it again. I would do something more creative, something that I enjoyed much more. And I feel that, I feel that for my mom. You know, she died when she was 70 and she was an amazing gardener. She was actually really creative with cakes and art, but she was also incredible with people and,
she did the thing, she did the job. She wasn’t satisfied in,
in what she made of her life at the end of her life.
And so, you know, for me, a wolf on one level was really amazing to hear that from her. There was something in me that got healed. Hearing that from her because certainly my, you know, my career has been pretty alternative, definitely back then. There’s a lot more of us now that are self-employed. But, you know, 20 years ago it was a much, much safer bet to be working in an industry that I really wasn’t interested in, but that, you know, paid the mortgage, all that kind of stuff.
Yeah. So there’s that, that level of healing for me in that moment. But why I am reflecting on that right now is because we can actually put ourselves in that position of being jumping ahead in time and then looking back and looking with those eyes of what’s it gonna cost me if I don’t make a move, if I don’t try, if I don’t take different action.
The feelings, the felt sense that can arise in that time. And your body can be enough to stir us to go, if this, I’m just doing this, I’m gonna do it messy, I’m gonna give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen? I fail. So this now leads me to the next piece, and that is, That if we can be willing to fail, then we can take those messy actions.
This is gonna get us out of feeling stuck and being stuck by being willing to fail in quote marks ’cause I actually wanna reframe failure, wanna reframe this idea of what failure is. Because this is another piece that keeps us stuck in that same place and not trying new things, not willing to be shit at new technology or showing up on video or whatever it is.
Whatever our thing is
that when we. Choose to reframe. Failure to be, actually, I’m gonna take that word out and I’m gonna replace it with learning. I’ve learned so much through this process. I can look at a lot of my, the moves I’ve made in my business and the changes of direction that I’ve made. I could look at them through the lens of failure, or I could look at them through the lens of learning. And when we look at our choices and our actions and the things we are doing, the things we are trying to do through that lens of learning. Then we are willing to keep going. We are willing to make bold moves forward, small moves forward, scared moves forward.
But we’re making those moves and we are taking those actions, and they’re not all gonna work out the way we want to. They’re not all gonna come up shining and glossy and beautiful and a complete. Success from the outside, but there is gonna be so much learning in there. And when we can get our head around that and we get hungry for learning through not doing things right, or not doing things a hundred percent exactly as we wanted them to be, then we are reframing this idea of failure.
’cause if we can reframe failure, Then the motivation in us rises to be able to take these steps forward and change our actions to do one thing differently, to take a risk with your career, with your relationship, with friendships, with the movement that you do, with the exercise that you do, whatever it is for you that change.
What are the benefits that would come from an attempt or from a partial success?
When we reframe failure in this way, it no longer becomes a barrier and actually, We changed the meaning of that word for ourselves inside of ourselves.
So we reframe failure to mean learning, to mean growing, to mean evolving. Then we are much more willing to step outside of our comfort zone and take the steps that you know your heart is longing to take, that is gonna support you to live the most creative life, whatever that means for you. A life that your heart and soul longs for a life that.
Brings you joy and connection. A life that is full of meaning. And this portal, this midlife portal that we’re going through, I really think it is. It’s like a developmental shift that we are offered right now. Some of us aren’t gonna take it. I suspect because you are listening to this podcast and you’ve listened this far on the episode, that you are one of the people that is going to take that, that is going to make that developmental shift.
You are already making it. I hope, really hope that these.
Strategies have been helpful for you that you can take one of them. Just take one of the strategies that I’ve talked about today out of the three. Yeah, so there’s the, I should, taking that out of our vocab for, I would say take it out for a month, replace it. I get to, I choose to, I want to, I intend to.
I’m grateful that I can do this.
And then the next one was the rocking chair exercise. Put yourself 10, 20, 30 years ahead into your future and look back on your life. And
what if you didn’t make an attempt? What if you didn’t take a step in a different direction? What’s the cost of that? And then number three,
the pivot and the reframe on what failure means to us. And actually changing out that word for learning, for growing, for evolving, and really deeply understanding in the very bones of your being. That any change that you wanna make, any way forward in your life, any evolution you make at this age and stage of your life, there’s gonna be many learnings along the way and how glorious, because they’re all stacking up to the most rich, joyful expression of your life.
Okay, my friend, I hope that has given you some. Impetus, some encouragement to live your life your way. You have my support. You have my cheerleading. If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend. Let them know they’re not alone. You are there. Cheerleading them on as well. We’re in this together and we are moving forward together.
Can’t wait to talk to you again. Bye for now.