What Is A Beautiful Warrior?

S2 Ep 24: 3 Ways Life Has Prepared You To ROCK Midlife

midlife call to adventure midlife mindset soft is the new strong strengths bridge May 20, 2023
Bernice McDonald, Women's Midlife Coach. Find your purpose & passion for Midlife

3 Ways Life Has Prepared You To ROCK Midlife


You’re standing at a crossroads in your life.

You’ve walked the path we call ‘life’ for 40+ years. That’s a lot of time. You’re smack dab in the middle section now. Midlife.

You can’t be who you were because there’ve been a lot of changes. The doors have closed. So who are you supposed to be now? 

Let’s say you’re standing on a stage in Carnegie Hall. The spotlight is shining down on you. (I know, that alone may terrify you but bear with me.)

You shout that question out to the hundreds who sit there watching you and what you get back is… crickets. Nothing. A heavy silence. Just blinking eyes.

But, in truth, no one answers because it’s your stage. You are making the decisions. They just happen to be there observing you. 

YOUR answer is the only one that counts. You are the one actor in your own play and that play is called, “My Life”.

That decision is not God’s. Not your spouses or your kids or your boss’ to make. 

It’s yours. Who am I going to be now? 

It’s kind of cool. The answer to that question should be yours. It’s your life.

So why is it so hard for you to choose who you’re going to be? 

Maybe it’s because you really don’t trust yourself. You are so used to having others decide who you are supposed to be

So when the time comes in your life, standing at a crossroads,  with you needing to make the decision about which way you go, you freeze.

After all, some of the choices you made in the past were pretty bad. And ended up hurting you. Embarrassing you. Shaming you.

This might have involved the person you married…

…or the way you mothered.

…or the job you chose.

…or the feedback you received about how you did these things.

By this time in our lives, many of us are limping from wounds that were inflicted by the bombs that have gone off in our lives shocking us nearly to death, by the boulders that have fallen on us flattening us for a time or by the rocks thrown at us with well-intentioned or not so well-intentioned people thinking we need to hear what they have to say.

Where do your thoughts go as you re-live each one?

What feelings come up for you?

Many of us by midlife are afraid to make decisions because we’re afraid the past equals the future.

The amazing news about life is this: the past does NOT equal the future. Every phase is a new canvas. And you hold the paintbrush in your hand.

THIS is when decide: Beautiful Warrior of Shrinking Violet? 

Your Beautful Warrior is YOU taking charge. 

YOU becoming the boss of your brain and not listening to all the stories it tells you. 

Truth is, your brain if just trying to protect you. That’s its job. And it just wants to keep you safe.

It’s greatest recommendation will be to tell you to stay small. Stay quiet. Don’t rock the boat because the past equals the future. And you want to stay out of trouble.

Your brain is lying to you

The truth is that the past has built an incredible strength in you. 

The painful experiences were creating strength. Creativity. Resilience. And a deep beauty that will keep deepening IF you decide to step up and live your life, not hide from it.

If want to be the shrinking violet and just coast safely into the future, that’s ok.

But if you want to feel alive…to be true to who you’re meant to be…to embrace life like the adventure it really is, then this next part is for you.

I’m going to give you 3 Beautiful Warrior thoughts that you need to keep at the top of your mind if you’re going to ride the rapids and feel the thrill of the risks yet to come.


Thought #1:  “I've overcome challenges before.”

Think back to some of the challenges you weren’t sure you were going to survive. 


The loss of someone you loved so much when the pain cut you so deeply you were afraid you would never stop weeping.

Being slammed with a health issue, suffering abuse or the humiliation you experienced because of that bankruptcy. 

Maybe you’ve felt the fear of not knowing how you were going to feed your kids next week.

Whatever terrifying or heart-wrenching story you had to walk through, looking back, you made it to the other side. 

Maybe ragged, torn up and shaken BUT you, lovely lady, lived to tell the tale.

Whether you realized it or not, this was you showing up as your Beautiful Warrior.

You tapped into the incredible resilience you have inside, taking one step at a time through that situation. You need to be proud of yourself.

You need to stop, take a breath and acknowledge right now that you did it. You survived.

Now, here’s where you really need to pay close attention: think of stepping into that same resilience and strength. 

There’s you. Using the strengths in your tool belt. Unafraid of bouncing back even if you are asked to face the most horrible thing that life throws at you.

And, on that note, imagine you ALSO using that same resilience and strength to embrace the dreams that you have barely dared to say out loud.

Maybe you’ve been afraid to picture the life you want to be living 10 years from now because you’re just too afraid of being disappointed. Of someone letting you down. 

Or of you letting yourself down.

What is it you’re really afraid of?

That you’re not enough - never were, will never be?

That you won’t survive if you have to fail at one more thing?

That you will disintegrate into nothing if you have to take that person’s criticism one more time?

Remember, Warrior. You've faced challenges before and come out the other side.

And you came out stronger. More resourceful. More compassionate. More resilient than ever before.

Look inside. You’ll find those strengths and so much more.

You’re not meant to shrink. You’re meant to stand strong - with purpose - to shine your light - no matter what.


Thought #2: “I have a wealth of experience and wisdom inside.”

 You’ve made mistakes. 

You’ve fallen down. 

You’ve survived your mother-in-law.

You’ve also had success. 

You raised kids. 

You learned to cook. 

You worked your way up to Manager. 

You found a way to replace the car that broke down. 

You went to school and finished your degree while holding down a job and going through a divorce.

What happened as a result? 

You created a wealth of experience and wisdom to draw upon. 

Think about the conversations you have with friends, your partner or your kids. You know what works and what doesn't. 

You get what’s going on when no one else sees it.

You know what you want and what you don't want. Even if you don’t talk about it much, you've developed a sense of self that is grounded in all you’ve been through.

When I sit down with women in my Women on a Mission Mastermind groups, I’m amazed at the insights each of you holds. 

You’ve walked through fire. And the fires of experience have given you a clearer understanding of your values, your standards, your weaknesses, what makes you unique in ways you haven’t even explored yet.

You just haven’t ever been challenged to see it. To record it. Write it down.

It’s these things about yourself that have prepared you to have the confidence to make the decisions you need to based on who you know you are.  

You are better equipped to navigate challenges and uncertainties than at any other time in your life. 

And your sense of self is not fixed or stagnant but will continue to evolve as you learn next year and the next and the next. You will keep growing if you allow yourself to trust what you know and what you’re hungry to become.

Be your own guide. 

Trust yourself and your instincts. You've been around the block a few times and you know what you're doing.


Thought #3: “I will never stop growing and changing.”

Finally, not only do you have a wealth of wisdom and experience stored up inside but you also know how to use it. 

If you choose to accept whatever missions life offers you, you will grow and train yourself to handle the challenge.

In the past few episodes we’ve looked closely at the 5 pillars of self-esteem as defined by researcher, Robert Reacher. 

These qualities are not for the faint-hearted. They are the qualities of a woman who can step into her Beautiful Warrior any time she chooses.

These are qualities she’s consistently training.

As my clients know, once you own these, you own your own identity in a way that’s powerfully confident.

"I am Soft and Strong." SOFT is an acronym for:



Fearlessly loving

True to myself.

Strong is what you’ve become on the inside, having walked this path for a few decades. You have the resources inside to create a life that looks like this:

I know what I need to feel secure: I know how to help myself feel safe; 

I know who I am. I have created my own unique identity.

I know how to accept myself and am comfortable wherever I am or whoever I’m with. I create my own place of belonging: 

I know my purpose: I know what I want to achieve;

I know my strengths. I am more than capable.

Imagine a bridge. On one side is life in your first 45 years. On the other side is the rest of your life, however many years are chosen for you to live here.

In the end, life is really about character, isn’t it? 

“Becoming”. Reaching for our highest potential so that we die knowing that we gave it our all. We lived through every experience and did it with as much courage as we could.

It isn’t about WHAT WE DO - it’s about WHO WE ARE.

Living in the determination to grow is the ultimate definition of success. 

Seizing every chance possible to learn gives us a sense of progress. And progress equals fulfillment.

To grow is to live. To live is to grow.

That thought, “I choose to grow”, even in the face of fear, focuses you on your character and eliminates the concept of ‘failure’. You will never fail if you choose to grow.

The steps over the bridge from where you were in the past 4 decades to where you are right now are all the strengths that you have grown.

Allowing yourself to focus on those strengths is magical. It’s life-giving. It’s the fuel for courage.


Draw Your Strengths Bridge

What does your Strength Bridge look like?

Take a blank sheet of paper. Draw a bridge in the middle.

  1. On the left side, draw you standing there. A stick figure will do. Nothing fancy.
  2. On the right side, draw you with your hands in the air because you’re celebrating. 

What are you celebrating? You decide. It’s ‘you’ going for: 

  • 3 things you’ve decided you want to accomplish
  • 3 qualities you’ve decided to grow

It’s ‘you’ becoming who you want to become.

  1. Now look at your bridge. Every slat on that bridge is a part of what’s making it a Bridge of Strengths, enabling you to leap over the gap from where you are to the midlife you want to live. Write those strengths all along your bridge, each one a slat that forms the floor that allows you to cross that bridge. 

Qualities like: 

  • Determination,
  • Learning
  • Courage
  • Wisdom
  • Tenacity
  • Purpose
  • Love
  • Openness

These are the qualities that were the results of your past. The qualities that you now carry with you into the future.

This is you. These are the strengths that live in you to create whatever life you want to create on the other side of your youthfulness.

These strengths have been built into you FOR you so that you can go on in your journey. In this middle part. To create your future.

These strengths are yours to use to create the legacy you’re leaving behind.


This is deep work. Beautiful Warrior training work. 

If you’re having a bit of a time getting your head and your heart working together around this, please reach out to me. I’m excited to help you. 

Becoming a part of a  Women On A Mission Mastermind group may be just what you need to be able to continue becoming all you’re meant to be in this life.

As your Midlife Coach, I'm here to support and guide you every step of the way.

That’s all for this episode, Beautiful Warrior. I’ll see you in the next one where we’re going to talk about the 2nd leg in this journey - discovering your personal mission. See you there!