Midlife can be a challenging and transformative period for many people. It’s a time when individuals often reassess their lives, reflect on their accomplishments, and question their future direction. In a recent podcast episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Molly Seidel, a midlife change coach and the creator of the podcast “I Am This Age.” Our conversation delved into the struggles and opportunities that come with midlife, emphasizing the importance of self-discovery, embracing imperfection, and cultivating strong relationships.
The Challenges of Middle Age
Molly and I began by discussing the common challenges faced by individuals in midlife. She explained that many adults spend their early adulthood pursuing specific goals, such as a particular career, financial stability, or material possessions. However, upon achieving these external markers of success, they may find themselves feeling unfulfilled and questioning their life’s purpose. This can lead to a midlife crisis, a period of uncertainty and reflection.
I added that the definition of midlife has become more complex in recent years. People are living longer, delaying retirement, and often juggling multiple responsibilities, including work, family, and personal commitments. This can add to the stress and uncertainty of midlife.
The Power of Self-Discovery
To navigate these challenges, Molly emphasized the importance of self-discovery. She encouraged individuals to be present in the moment, explore new interests, and step outside their comfort zones. Trying new things, she said, is a way to understand oneself better and find new passions in life.
I agreed, noting that starting something new can be both humbling and liberating. It allows individuals to approach life with a beginner’s mindset, free from the constraints of past experiences and expectations.
Escaping the Trap of Comparison
Our conversation also touched on the issue of social comparison, which Molly referred to as “comparisonitis.” We agreed that the constant exposure to others’ seemingly perfect lives on social media can fuel feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction. Molly encouraged individuals to focus on their own journeys and celebrate their unique strengths and accomplishments.
The Importance of Relationships
We then shifted our focus to the importance of relationships in midlife. Molly mentioned studies showing that a strong social network is crucial for a long and fulfilling life. She encouraged individuals to evaluate the people in their lives and determine their impact on their well-being. Cultivating positive and supportive relationships can provide a sense of belonging, companionship, and emotional support.
Molly and I also discussed the concept of perfection and the importance of giving oneself and others grace. She emphasized that no one is perfect and that part of being a mature adult is understanding and accepting this. We also talked about the value of admitting when one doesn’t know something and the trust that comes with humility.
John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.