Often, when people reach a certain age, perhaps late 30’s to mid 50’s they think: “Is this it? Why does it all seem so pointless?” “Why do I feel so unfulfilled?”
You are not alone!
The midlife crisis has long been joked about, but it happens more often than people really open up about. From those niggling feelings at the back of your mind telling you that you’re not happy to full blown panic that this will be your life forever.
Forever: unfulfilled, and disappointed with how it turned out.
From the moment we are born, we are being socially conditioned, from our culture and upbringing, teaching us how to dress, wash, behave and work, to advertising, music, movies repeating themes and stories. The brain loves story as it works to pattern match and takes from the story what it needs to. It is one of the reasons that clinical hypnotherapy can be so powerful and effective in creating real behaviour change. As well as being the marketers’ secret weapon.
How much of our lives is “brainwash”?
Fairytales, Disney Classics, Rom-Coms, Coming of Age Teen Series, Beliefs, Idioms and Folklore.
They follow the same pattern, good conquers evil, love always wins, women should be rescued, men should be the hero. We all live happily ever after.
One of the most effective advertising campaigns in history became a standard by which we all lived and aspired to. De Beers and their slogan “Diamonds Are Forever”. With the story that when a man gave you a diamond it meant true commitment over any other jewel. They went further in the 1930s to persuade us that a man should spend one month’s salary on an engagement ring, then in the 1980’s extended that to two month’s salary. This is still a widely accepted belief.
An advertising campaign that set men up to fail and gave women a yardstick by which to measure their partners; love. How many beautiful relationships have been ruined because of a ring?
There are countless examples of movies, songs and books giving us a dream to believe in. Now, I’m not saying that having a dream is wrong or even bad for us, however, let’s couple that with an education system that teaches us not to question. That, for the most part, does not encourage curiosity and differing perspectives from the authoritarian teacher pupil relationship.
As we grow, we start to develop these limiting beliefs from everything we see, hear, experience, read, watch and get taught.
Limiting beliefs become the story that we tell ourselves that we can, can’t, should or should not do.
They make you believe that you are not good enough or that there’s no one as good as you. The different sides of the same coin.
Now, we have a generation who feel like failures because they don’t have children by the time they’re 35, with doctors telling us that our eggs are geriatric from age 37 and it’s our fault because we wanted the career. Or we end up feeling a failure, because unlike the baby boomers who wanted it all – the family and the career – when we had a family, our career started to feel so unfulfilling, but felt the guilt for wanting to work part time and then got shunned for not quite fitting in anywhere and definitely not getting promoted.
Is it any wonder that poor mental health and associated issues is one of the fastest growing conditions of our time?
That people are too scared to admit when their life is unfulfilled and instead fill it with the socially accepted bottle of wine every night, or binge watch Netflix or binge on sugar, to name but a few things.
These are escapisms.
You’re never too old to recreate, rebuild, start again.
Your life doesn’t have to feel mundane, there is more to life than the 9 to 5 grind and commute. You’re not too old to start again, to start from scratch. How many tribes, cultures revere their elderly and the wisdom they have?
My advice, as someone who escaped a life she hated, start from where you are. Start to question
every belief in your life, where did it come from? Whose voice can you hear when you repeat it? Who are you trying to please by not pleasing yourself? What if nothing changed and this was your life forever, would you get to the end of it and say “Yep, I fulfilled my potential, I was content and happy.” If you had the same numbers of years to live left as you’ve already lived, what would you want to do differently or experience more of?
The beginning of addressing why we feel depressed, anxious, fearful or not good enough is to create the awareness of what stories are consistently playing in your mind. What do you keep repeating to yourself and make the decision to do something about it?
Whilst you have breath, you have choice. Use it.
Laura Steventon is a mental wellness professional and consultant, specialising in working with those people who feel like their lives didn’t quite turn out the way they expected. They feel despondent and that life may be a tad pointless and definitely not fun! Utillising tools from Brain Working Recursive Therapy, advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy and NLP, life coaching, compassion focused therapy, neuropsychology, embodiment, polyvagal therapy and many others, Laura works to create the best outcome to guide her clients in reconnecting to happiness and vitality. She also consults for spas and is an affiliate coach for the Spa Professionals Guild.
Web: www.bwrtpractitioner.com | www.laurasteventon.com
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