Are Your Listening?


A friend who is in her mid-40s told me that in spite of her professional accomplishments, her material possessions, and a fabulous daughter, she feels a lack of passion. Nothing is exciting for her any longer. Nothing sparks her interest. She may want to make a career change, but has no idea what she might want to do next. Like words from an old song, she’s contemplating “is that all there is?”

I experienced similar feelings prior to leaving my corporate career nearly a dozen years ago. Lack of passion, waning interest, and career dilemmas are common as women transition through mid-life. These challenges are written about in one of my favorite books – “The Breaking Point: How the Female Midlife Crisis Is Transforming Today’s Women”. Although Shellenbarger’s book was published eight years ago, it’s still relevant. I continue to hear the challenges of mid-life from many women I know personally and professionally.

What I learned from my mid-life experience is the lack of passion and emptiness is a signal that it’s time to change direction. Ignore the gentle nudges and they’ll get progressively stronger. Ignore them long enough and you may encounter illness, injury, accident, loss, or some other traumatic experience in order to get you to pay attention. Although it took me several years to make a career change, I was listening and am grateful my nudges didn’t have to progress to the destructive stage.

Much like the women in Shellenbarger’s book, my passion, creativity, and fulfillment were renewed when I took the leap and made the change. I found remarkable opportunities for personal, professional, and spiritual growth, and have been blessed with a wealth of people to guide and support me along the way. I was shown the truth of the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”.

What nudges are you receiving, about your career or another aspect of your life? Are you listening or trying to ignore their existence? What will it take to get your attention?

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