How To Be Reslient and Courageous (+Proud of Your Midlife Self)Jul 04, 2023
It’s now, in midlife, that the last thought on your mind is how to be “resilient and courageous”.
Ever feel like you're teetering on a high wire, blindfolded, with the world watching below? One minute, you're conquering life's great balancing act, and the next - whoosh - you're in free fall.
I get it.
The midlife rollercoaster is not for the faint of heart. Fear, uncertainty, and change are the nasty gremlins that come along for the ride, uninvited.
Yeah, you've been shoved into the deep end. The kids are off, career's taking a twist, body's playing mischief, and all you've got is a lousy life preserver called 'courage.'
But hold up! WHAT IF this courage could be your life raft, your North Star navigating you through this seemingly impossible stage?
How about we unravel the magic of what it takes to get through all of it…the fear, the uncertainty and the change? Like a boss. Like a Beautiful Warrior.
Are you up for it? It all starts right here.
The Courage to be Imperfect
Right in the middle of all the chaos, have you ever paused and truly looked at yourself?
Not just a quick glance in the mirror while you rush about your day, but a deep, soul-searching look?
Never done this? It's time. Stop what you’re doing right now and go find a mirror.
The good news is that the reflection you see isn't a finished masterpiece or an idol to be worshiped. It's you - uniquely, wonderfully you.
I know. You want to be the masterpiece - and be it now.
But let me tell you a better way. A way that requires an unconventional kind of courage. It’s not about being some sort of superhero.
It's you having the courage to be imperfect.
Psychologist Alfred Adler, one of the key thinkers in modern psychology, spoke profoundly about the “Courage to be Imperfect”. His idea is straightforward, yet it flips our common perceptions upside down.
We're not canvases that require continual touch-ups or additions. Instead, we're more like sculptures.
And you’re the artist chipping away, honing, refining, discovering your true form hidden beneath the exterior.
Acclaimed social scientist and author, Arthur Brooks puts it brilliantly: "Focus on what age gives you, not what it takes away."
You're standing at a crossroads in midlife, but it's not a dead-end or a downhill slope. It's an opportunity, an invitation to mastery.
Face Life's Hard Truths
Life is unpredictable, and let's be honest, it's not always fair. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, life drops a bombshell, or flings a rock of expectation and criticism your way.
You have choices. You can crumble under the weight, or you can stand tall, face the adversity, and decide how you come back from it.
Enter resilience, your best ally in the face of hardship.
It's not just a fancy trait or a skill that you can put on your resume. It's a way of life.
It's the ability to adapt to change, to persist despite setbacks, to exhibit toughness when times are tough, to manifest grit when things get gritty.
Resilience goes hand in hand with courage. They’re best friends. Get to know one and you get to know the other.
Building Resilience and Courage
Now the million-dollar question - how do we build this resilience? How do we cultivate courage?
Ready for some Beautiful Warrior training?
1. Take Care of Yourself
It all starts here. Your bedrock of mental strength is physical well-being.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep - these are not mere checkboxes on a health chart; they're foundational habits.
The same applies to mindful relaxation activities, such as yoga, meditation, or even a leisurely walk in the park. Practice them.
What truly nourishes you? Include it as a non-negotiable part of your routine.
2. Embrace Challenges
Here's an unorthodox tip - seek out challenges.
Yes, you heard right. Don’t run from them - go toward them.
Let them be your proving ground. View setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. See them as the path to mastery.
You are the artist of your life, remember? Allow the tough times to be the training that reveals and sculpts a stronger, braver you.
3. Value Good Company
Ever noticed how your mood changes based on the company you keep?
Who’s in your circle? Are they positive, uplifting individuals? Do they inspire you to be your best self?
You can choose who gets the larger portion of your time. Give it to mentors who can guide you, peers who understand what you're going through, and a support network that has your back.
Their resilience and courage will rub off on you.
4. Manage Your Emotions
Being resilient doesn't mean suppressing your emotions or putting on a brave face all the time.
It means understanding and accepting your feelings. Just as the reflection in the mirror will never be that of a dream goddess, and that’s ok, you’ll never experience 100% good feelings every day of your life.
The good feelings will come back. though. As you sculpt out the real you beneath the exterior, you’ll discover that your feelings are attached to something that is happening in your world or your body or your life and your response to that.
Find the root thought and you’ll gain incredible insights into who you are. Those insights will guide you more and more toward managing your emotions so you can take the actions that will empower you.
5. Pursue Passion
What makes your heart sing?
What stirs your soul?
Whatever it is, chase it.
Passion ignites your spirit, fuels your resilience, and propels your courage.
It creates a positive feedback loop that lights up your self-confidence and infuses every aspect of your life with meaning and joy.
How To Live Life as a Reslient & Courageous Woman
Alright, you've started to cultivate resilience and embrace your courage. How does this translate into navigating midlife more gracefully?
When You Face Physical Changes
Be courageous. This is not easy. Bravely confront what’s happening in your body in this midlife season - the weight gain, the hot flashes, the peri-menopausal symptoms.
Remember: this is not you. This is your body. You live inside of it.
Be resilient. Step away from the loss (sometimes shock) and release the inner drive that has helped you do hard things in the past. Set your eyes forward. Try new approaches.
Focus on what you can control, instead of what you can’t.
When You Face Career Transitions
Be courageous. Accept that what was working before may not be working now. Ask yourself, “What if that is ok and could be exciting?”
Be resilient. Instead of falling into self-pity or blame, say to yourself, “I can pivot”.
Look for the next stepping stone to a richer, more fulfilling professional journey by tapping into your support network, seeking guidance from mentors, and letting yourself be open to learning new skills.
When You Face Empty Nest Syndrome
Be courageous. When the kids fly the coop, let yourself cry, feel afraid and wonder who you are now. Your kids are a large part of your identity so it’s going to be an adjustment.
However, don’t stay there in the puddle of tears.
Be resilient. Rediscover your individuality, explore new hobbies, or pursue passions that you've put on hold. You can recreate who you are in a way that you will love as much as you love being a mom.
When You Face Aging Parents
Be courageous. As your parents age and need your help, it's natural to feel overwhelmed. And sad. And maybe even resentful.
Let these feelings be there alongside you. Acknowledge them.
Be resilient. Be flexible. See this as an opportunity to love them more than ever.
Seek help. Establish clear boundaries. Prepare for potential losses. Learn effective stress management strategies and give yourself some love, too.
When You Face Relationship Changes
Be courageous. Stop. Breathe. Regroup. Feel what you’re feeling and be honest.
Take responsibility for your part.
Be resilient. Take action in small, careful steps. Consider therapy or counseling. Build a supportive network, put your self-care on priority.
Let yourself grow into using your past relationship experiences to create healthier ones in the future.
The trials and decisions you face in midlife are not just obstacles but opportunities. Each one is a chance to exercise your courage, to flex your resilience, and to sculpt out your true self.
The Dawn After the Midlife Storm
We've all been there, haven't we? The nagging voice that whispers, "This is too hard," "What's the point?" "I'm not cut out for this."
It's okay to feel the weight of these emotions. After all, navigating the midlife waters is no walk in the park.
But here's the thing, lovely. Every storm cloud has a silver lining, and this storm you're weathering? It's shaping you into the Beautiful Midlife Warrior you are.
Training you in how to be reslilient and courageous.
Remember, being resilient isn't about bouncing back like nothing happened. It's about springing forward, armed with newfound wisdom.
It's okay to be imperfect; it's okay to falter. Heck, it's more than okay. It's human.
Conquer the career transitions, relish the empty nest, extend love to your aging parents, and foster stronger relationships. Each hurdle is an opportunity to prove to yourself just how strong you truly are.
Now, go forth, seize the day, and paint the town red, for you're no longer a mere participant in the game of life, you're the master. Your destiny awaits. You've got this!