Bringing Your Best Self to the Second Half of Life

| July 18, 2018 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

by Christy Whitman

Poet and activist Robert Bly, now 91, once noted that we spend the first half of our lives placing the “undesirable” aspects of ourselves into a metaphoric bag which we drag in shame behind us, and the second half of our lives taking out of this bag everything that we’ve hidden away.  And although Bly equates this cycle of repression and reclamation to the psychological act of making peace with our shadow or dark side, it also describes a process that occurs in both the first and second phases of life.

When we’re young, we often view ourselves (and are viewed by others) as blank slates that must become filled up before we are in a position to contribute anything of value to others.  This explains why so much of the first half of life is devoted to accumulating all that we’ve been told will give us credibility and significance: We get an education and accrue job experience; we develop social circles and define ourselves according to the positions we see ourselves filling within them.  We acquire material possessions and the belief structures that justify them.   And by the time most of us hit midlife, our proverbial bags are completely full, in the sense that we have accumulated so many expectations and responsibilities that we often look back longingly at the days when we felt more like a blank slate.

Not accidentally, it is around this same time that we are also called to look forward to the second half of our lives, and to update the images we hold of ourselves so they fit the women and men that we are in the process of becoming.   But far too often, in our attempt to ensure that we are still relevant, we make the mistake of seeing ourselves once again as a blank slate that is somehow incomplete as it is, and believe that in order to powerfully move forward – professionally as well as personally – we have to go about the process of accumulating a whole new set of skills.

In reality, we have at our fingertips everything that we need to create a magnificent second half of life, and this includes creating a financially and personally rewarding career. What follows are two important shifts in mindset that will support you in taking stock of the assets you have already accumulated, and leveraging them to ensure that the second half of your life completely utilizes, and celebrates, your very best qualities and attributes.

Mindset Shift #1:

Rather than thinking about acquiring new knowledge, focus instead on reaping, reclaiming, and re-purposing the wisdom that your life experience has yielded so far.  What qualities, skills or insights do you now bring to the table that the younger version of you did not possess? Are you more confident? More trusting that life has a way of working out?  Less concerned with adjusting your behavior to be more pleasing to others? Make a list of all of the wisdom you have gained as a result of your life experiences, and as you do, acknowledge that every bit of it has value.

Mindset Shift #2:

Accept that you are the one who ultimately determines the quality of your life, and that you do this by consciously choosing the direction of your most habitual thoughts and emotions.  There is nothing inherently fabulous about being 30, and personal satisfaction is something that we all have the ability to choose (or to deny ourselves) regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  When you look for, take stock of, and give thanks for all that you have to offer and all that you appreciate about your life as it is, you raise your happiness quotient and magnetize opportunities to contribute the gifts that are uniquely yours to give.

About the Author:

Christy Whitman is a Transformational Leader, Celebrity Coach and the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Art of Having It All. She has appeared on The Today Show and The Morning Show and her work has been featured in People Magazine, Seventeen, Woman’s Day, Hollywood Life, and Teen Vogue, among others. Christy is the CEO and founder of the Quantum Success Learning Academy & Quantum Success Coaching Academy, a 12-month Law of Attraction coaching certification program. Christy has helped thousands of people worldwide to achieve their goals through her empowerment seminars, speeches, and coaching sessions and products.  Christy’s life-changing message reaches over 200,000 people a month and her work has been promoted by and featured with esteemed authors and luminaries such as Marianne Williamson, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marci Shimoff, Brian Tracy, Neale Donald Walsch, Abraham-Hicks, and Louise Hay. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband, Frederic, and their two boys, Alexander and Maxim.

Christy’s forthcoming book is called Quantum Success: 7 Essential Laws for a Thriving, Joyful & Prosperous Relationship With Work and Money. It’s being released September 25, 2018, by Enliven, a division of Simon and Schuster. To get a free copy of Quantum Success, go to this link: www.QuantumSuccessBook.com

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