This is an introduction and a list of signs to help identify midlife crisis for yourself or someone you love.
People often look for a list of signs to validate if a midlife crisis is at hand. The experience is a combination of feelings, events and physical changes that indicate a transformation is at hand. The final proof often occurs in retrospect after a person accepts they have changed and comes to terms with new life patterns. However, it’s possible to see the signs that forewarn of crisis. Over time understanding why these symptoms exist can actually help guide the mid life transformation process.
The truest indicators are the signs that actually illustrate drastic lifestyle changes in a person’s life. Most typically it will be friends and co-workers who diagnose the midlife crisis before the person in crisis will even realize it. In fact: just having someone point out you are in a midlife crisis can be enough stress to trip a person into actually starting a midlife crisis.
I developed this list of signs over a decade ago based on my professional and direct work with hundreds of people within midlife crisis. Even if you have most of the signs listed here, don’t panic. The most important truth is that this event doesn’t have to become a crisis. This should be a time of life to embrace change to become something greater. Don’t let this be a fear driven event, Julie and I will patiently walk you through the process to find answers. Our site has a comprehensive overview about midlife crisis to help you get the information needed for midlife answers.
The following is a list of symptoms that illustrate how defining a midlife crisis is truly relative to the person experiencing the changes.
A midlife crisis is actually the attempt to restart life to better fit a person’s heart. Due to existing personal commitments, it often isn’t easy to self resolve the inner conflict a person’s feels. As a result many times a person in midlife crisis will act confused or lost while trying to sort out the contradictions they feel and now have in their life. Also many times a person is trying to improve their life while not really understanding why they are acting in the manner they are. This mixture of conscious to unconscious actions often makes a person in midlife crisis unpredictable. This is also leads to the most dangerous midlife crisis symptom of denial. To confront a person in the initial stages of midlife crisis will often invoke and reinforce strong statements of denial due to the disconnect of conscious vs unconscious actions.
Most often a midlife crisis is defined well into the process of change. This is because it becomes most visible after the drastic shift’s in one’s nature. However, the process often has started long before the visible midlife crisis symptoms appear. It’s possible to aid a person to discover how to define life to fit better to what makes them content and happy. Care does need to be taken as often times a person in midlife crisis will feel trapped and in a corner without options.
Experiencing a midlife crisis is not about curing a set of symptoms. In other words this isn’t something you go to a doctor for a treatment to cure, rather this represents a time of life when a person is looking for an education to expand their life. It’s about shifting life to better fit where the person’s spirit yearns to be. A midlife crisis is a very natural biological and psychological process of a person maturing. While some of the symptoms might indicate a process opposite of maturing: at times a person needs to step backwards in order to move forward. This can also mean learning to play again since play is indeed a form of education.
Everyone evolves within their life as they get older. The truest resolution to midlife crisis is learning to embrace the facts of one’s change and investigate methods of transformation. To do nothing is to let midlife crisis decide how you change, Crisis still invokes change, but it’s an external change that a person no longer can control and often breaks those around us in the bargain.
Another problem is that modern western lifestyles are based upon chasing dollars and goals rather than supporting personal truth. People are so focused looking forward to their incomes and the next pay check that they forget or feel they cannot afford to embrace living to their true internal personal needs in the now. Sadly this way of looking at the problem in terms of finance only, also means just doing nothing and that only promotes and expands the crisis into happening anyway!
Understand: It’s far cheaper to address and educate oneself in this process than it is to pay the longer term consequences of letting it become a full fledged crisis.
One of the most difficult symptoms to resolve is the fact that people experiencing midlife crisis often feel separated, misunderstood and alone. A bigger truth when in midlife crisis is that you don’t have to be alone. Rather you can find solace with those that don’t limit the transformation by outside judgments. Many times people in midlife crisis seek solitude to more easily avoid judgment from others.
I know from personal experience you can find answers that gracefully work. This isn’t easy and this is always an educational process. Finding guidance can make this process more graceful by showing ways to work around the common pitfalls. Don’t look for help that tries to define you, rather look for help that helps you avoid common mistakes! The trouble is the pressing feelings of being alone and the need to make this process one’s own path often make it all the more difficult to find outside help.
We must also consider the partners of those experiencing midlife crisis. Some of the signs that midlife crisis partners often exhibit are:
As stated earlier: becoming judgmental or patiently waiting for things to resolve actually only reinforce the problems of crisis.
Understand that the process of change is often as hard for the partner as it is for the person experiencing midlife crisis. Partners often find themselves confused and even worse getting left behind as the person in crisis sometimes goes running off to search for freedom that eludes their capacity to define. This often forces partners to become more judgmental as they look for answers and this further drives a wedge between the partners. Know that the worse thing a person can do is to act in a judgmental manner that will actually aggravate a person in mid life transformation into running away straight into facing a full blown midlife crisis.
The most ironic fact is since partners are so close, they reflect each other. When one person is in midlife crisis, that midlife crisis is often psychologically contagious to partners. As a result, partners are often a few steps earlier in the process and this can allow the partner to approach their own mid life process more openly in terms of transformation. Since usually they are looking for answers to help their partner, partners often use those very same answers to help themselves unconsciously. Three times out of four it’s the partner who I first assist as they are usually the first person to contact me for help. Being earlier in their own process it is easier to help shift the process in transformation as they have made less mistakes to recover from. At this stage people are all too eager to avoid the problems they see from the other person in midlife crisis.
If you need help right away you can start here with this 30 minute video.
If you are on a mobile device and the video doesn’t play, you can watch directly on Vimeo instead here: Introduction to Midlife Crisis from Casey Kochmer on Vimeo. Learn how to regain control of your life. This 30 minute video covers:
If this page resonates with you, then it means: it’s time to change routines and shift how you move in the world. The very nature of the signs you are witnessing are also a reflection of a process of change. Denying change is what brings about the crisis you are in or feel is looming ahead of you. Holding on to old answers gives life no space to grow into something new, the very thing a midlife transformation is all about. To preserve the aspects of what you love most often means to release and switch around quite a bit in your life to open space for the path of discovering positive transformation.
Change isn’t easy, and the prospects of change often paralyzes the strongest person. Ironically when this is the case then the solution is often to take a simple retreat to pause and to reflect on one’s life. Sometimes to take pause in awareness itself is the change people need! Often times pausing means to stop the actions which were fostering the crisis. As a result, Pause isn’t to do nothing, pause is an active process of examining potentials and considering which options would fit best in life! People often need to be taught how to pause and this is why those in midlife crisis often seek to learn meditation as a technique of pause to help them find peace in their situation.
This is a time of choice, the choice of crisis or transformation. To do nothing is to pick Crisis, To do nothing is to continue living life to the past choices that led everything to this crisis you face. In these articles I give a person some basic information to work with, enough so you have a chance to encourage the process towards transformation. If you have questions then it is a simple matter to contact me to ask a question.
Without help, on average I see people take 3 to 5 years of many false starts and painful side trips before they settle down in their life. Also many of these people don’t end up in a place that truly matches where they were hoping to go.
With teaching and patient guidance Every person I work with works thru these changes in less than half the time ( 1 to 2 years of learning and exercises to rebuild a stronger life) and everyone I work with ends up in a place they want to be. Since I guide people to grow in their essence rather than chasing expectations.
The solution is about getting a new perspective to encourage actions that channel the crisis energy into constructive processes. Sometimes just asking a question is enough of an action to resolve a seemingly impossible crisis into a process of growth that truly transforms everything.
Please post below your midlife crisis experience or questions regarding helping you gain control of your midlife transformation. I will remove any comments which are rantings, are morality/judgement statements, link to outside pages or aren’t respectful.