Defining your Midlife Values
Midlife is a time of transition, and this can often lead us to question who we are and what we want our futures to look like.
In this article, Justine Katherine, Founder of Urban Tranquillity, shares her story and explains why it’s so important to re-define your values in midlife.
Values values values––a subject very close to my heart. This revelation didn’t come about for me until I was 46, but when I came to identify and understand my true values, so many things became clear!
3 years ago, I was in the 18th year of my corporate career. I had a great job with a fantastic company, wonderful people and I’d worked my way up the ladder to a senior level. I also had (still have) a very happy personal life. All was good, right? Wrong!
Something was missing. I had a continuous feeling of anxiety simmering away. A feeling that I’d had for so long and grown so familiar with, it became the norm, but I knew it wasn’t right and I began to notice the feeling always heightened on a Sunday when the working week ahead began to loom––that real dread. I was living for the weekends, wishing most of my life away!
The thing is, I was privileged to have my health, friends, family, a job that many would love plus a happy personal life––what more could I want!? So, I constantly told myself I should be grateful and carry on. While I was incredibly grateful, the story I was telling myself kept me trapped in a job that no longer filled me with joy.
The feeling of anxiety and lack of fulfilment would not go away so I got to the point that I knew I had to make a change. There was something more I needed to do but there were so many fears and questions. Surely I’m too old to do something else now, but if I don’t do it now I will definitely be too old! What would I do? Will I ever be able to match my corporate salary if I change paths now? Is the grass really greener? What if I jump out of the frying pan into the fire? Forget it, I am too old. But no, it’s now or never!!!!
Cue Life Coach and Core Values…
So I got myself a Life Coach and we started working on my future vision by identifying my core values and leaning into my true passion…..For many many years I’ve had a deep interest in human behaviour and emotion.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had shelves full of personal development and self-help books dating back several years including the now classics––Brené Brown (Daring Greatly) and Susan Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway).Alongside my primary corporate role, I was nominated as an Employee Representative, helping others navigate their way through work-related challenges, which I absolutely loved.
This role was ad-hoc and short-term but I knew there was something along those lines that I needed to explore further.I’ve also said for years that I wish I’d studied psychology and become a therapist but there always seemed to be a reason I couldn’t, at least that’s what I told myself and I just carried on doing what I was doing.All of the clues, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle had been there for a very long time but I didn’t put them together because I couldn’t see how I could make changes, so I carried on with my safe, familiar career path.I was feeling the fear and not daring greatly. This needed to change!
Through the work with my Life Coach, it became clear that I had not been living life in alignment with my true values.
Once we had identified what my true values are, we looked at what needed to change in order to live life congruently with them––working through what was holding me back, my fears and limiting beliefs. We established that my calling was to become a coach myself but there was still a lot of fear around this. Would I ever be able to make a successful business out of it? Well, if I didn’t try I would never know so I bit the bullet and embarked on a fully comprehensive 12 month training programme to become a Life Coach.
I now have my own coaching business which I absolutely love and I am also studying to become a psychotherapeutic counsellor. My age has actually proved in some ways to be an advantage, because I have a level of knowledge, experience and wisdom that can be helpful when working with clients. Although my work is very much about the client rather than myself, I believe I can apply a greater level of empathy because of my life experiences.Who knew that identifying our true core values can set us off on such a powerful path!? (plus of course having a damn good coach!).
Why is it important to revisit your values at midlife?
Core values are our foundation, the roots of who we are, upon which our beliefs, attitudes and behaviours are built, driving what we do and why we do it. Kind of like the theme of our life.Our values are often instilled throughout our younger years by our parents, culture and other influences, but as we grow and become more independent, what we thought were our values may no longer serve us or may not be our own.
Our values can also change around key milestones, midlife being one of them, so it’s a fantastic time to really gain an understanding of what our true values are at this time of life and do a temperature check to see how aligned or misaligned we are with them.
Why is it beneficial to know our own core values?
When our foundation is unstable or our roots are stifled, the layers or branches above are weak. This could create a feeling that something is missing or give rise to stronger emotions such as frustration, anxiety, stress, worry, discontentment and confusion, ultimately preventing us from flourishing.
When consciously living congruently with our own true values, we are grounded/rooted and we feel content, happy, fulfilled and purposeful, living with intention.In order to start living life in alignment with our true values, we need to consider which values we are honouring and most importantly where we need to identify and change any behaviours that are not aligned. This was key to making the changes I have made in my life.
Choices & Decision-making.
Knowing your true values also provides an excellent framework for making choices and decisions. For example, when you’re trying to make a choice or decision, you’d consider which outcome moves you towards your core values and which outcome moves you away.
Identifying your true values.
What changes do you need to make in order to start living life in alignment with your true values? Well, firstly you need to identify them. If you’d like help with this, please get in touch to book a free 30 minute Discovery Call. We can have a chat about where you’re at and take it from there.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with these questions as a starting point…..What do you want your life to be about? This is not what you think you ‘should’ or ‘have to’ or are ‘supposed to’ do. This is what you really want.What fills you with joy/do you truly love doing? What really truly matters to you?
It is never too late to start doing more of what you love. The time is now!
More about Urban Tranquillity
Founded by Justine Katherine, Urban Tranquillityis all about creating a more fulfilling and purposeful life, in alignment with your true values.
No matter how big or small the challenge, coaching can help in a transformational manner or in its most basic form as a safe space to talk.
Justine Katherine offers various coaching options including a group self-learning course or one-to-one bespoke programmes for a period of time deemed appropriate, depending on personal desired outcome.