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FREE CHECKLIST FOR THRIVING IN MIDLIFE

7 Ways to Find What You’re Looking For

by | Feb 23, 2018

So, you’re in middle age.

You’ve realized you aren’t quite happy. Maybe you’re not terribly UNhappy, but you know you could happier. Welcome to the “blerg”.

The “blerg” feeling is that one where you see that your life is just fine. You’re warm, fed, comfortable, cared for, supported and yet, you want more. If you’re feeling guilty about this, see this blog post (https://www.samsalenger.com/6-Steps-to-Getting-What-You-Want-Guilt-Free).

If you’re over the guilt, or at least ready to get moving already…read on.

One of the oddest things about the “blerg” feeling is that many times we don’t even know what we want. How crazy is that?!?! How is it that we can run households, raise children, have a career, feed ourselves, be supportive to friends, and all the other adulting we have to do, but we don’t know what we want for ourselves? It would seem, to a rational person, that the essential question of ‘what do I want’ would be the FIRST thing we could answer.

So…what’s the problem, ladies?

  1. If you’re like me, you were told both: you can be anything you want to be AND don’t be so dramatic, so over sensitive, so bossy, etc. And where did this get us? We were being told not to listen to our truest natures. No wonder we’re having a hard time now.
  2. You take care of everyone else first. AmIright?
  3. You’re juggling a shit ton of balls. Or as I sometimes feel, juggling electric eels. “How can I focus on what I want at the core of my being when I’m busy juggling these flippin’ electric eels…if I take my eyes off these f*^$#rs I’m gonna get hurt!”
  4. In some cases, there is a serious trauma that has occurred in your life and it’s really hard to see past that to even feel you are allowed to know what you want AND get it.
  5. Maybe you DO know what you want, but you don’t know how to get there or are up against some serious fear of taking the action steps.

There are probably ten thousand other reasons, but let’s move on to how to move past them and figure out what you want.

There is no one size fits all here. However, here are some tips and tools that may help you listen to your own desires. Imagine that! YOUR HEART GETS TO HAVE A SAY!!

TOP TIPS AND TOOLS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT

  • Meditation: I have a love/hate relationship with meditation. It’s so powerful. And I’m wiggly. I have a hard time sitting still for a long period of time. But it is essential to have some quiet in this world of constant input. Instead of thinking “I have to meditate” try thinking in terms of just tuning in. Take 5 minutes, or 2 or even 1. Use an app like Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, Stop Breathe Think, or Omvana. Many are free and are excellent for beginners. Or, even easier: do a breathing exercise like 4X4X4-breathe in for a count of 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds. Even this will begin to calm your mind and your body and allow you to tune in to what your heart is telling you.
  • Gratitude: I will never stop extolling the benefits of gratitude. Gratitude got me through my divorce with grace and laughter. When I start feeling down, I up my gratitude. It is a mindfulness of sorts as it makes you focus on what you have, and that can often reveal what you want. There are gratitude apps out there: Grateful, Gratitude, and Happy Feed are a few. But my favorite exercise is to get a gratitude buddy and write each other daily. Hold each other accountable. This really can be life changing.
  • Do some core value work: Often times when we feel “blerg”, it’s because one of our core values is out of alignment. For instance, if one of my core values is fun & enjoyment and I have nowhere in my life where I’m actually having fun or enjoying myself, my whole system is out of alignment and my energy is down and I’m seriously “blergy”. Remember, our core values are our GPS systems. Get that sucker on track! Check out this site for a great article on values as well as a list: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm
  • Identify what makes you happy: Ask yourself some serious questions and see where it leads you. Some examples:

When was a time you were deeply happy? Fulfilled? Excited? Proud? Engaged?

What were you doing that made you feel that way?

Who was around you?

Where were you?

What else contributed to your fulfillment?

These kinds of questions can lead you to identify what’s missing now, and what may really set your soul on fire again.

  • Review to your own story: So often we are addicted to our story. We tell ourselves this story as a way to stay small, safe, or not have to take risks or get vulnerable. Ironically, it is usually our story that keeps us unhappy. We have a belief that if we drop our story we die. NEWSFLASH: You are not your story! Write your story down, then read it from a new perspective. Read it as if it’s someone’s story you’ve never met…what advice would you give them? What would the you ten years from now have to tell the author of the story? And if you really want to step up the story busting game ask yourself this…is this story real or is it TRUE? Yeah, your story is real alright. But is it the TRUTH? What is the Truth? Change your story, change your life.
  • Ask yourself this question: How’s that working for ya? Ah, Dr. Phil. Genius question, pal. If it’s not working for you, what are you willing to change? And for a deeper dive: what is it costing you to keep doing things the way you’re doing them now?
  • GET SOME HELP: this is hard, folks. I’ve been on a journey of personal growth since my teenage years. I have been to therapists, psychics, healers, coaches, etc. I will never not ask for help because we do NOT need to do this alone. In fact, it’s pretty effin’ hard to do it alone because we have to navigate the fire swamp of our minds, and that’s some scary shit, right there. Having someone to help you will bring about answers and clarity way faster than doing it alone. And although your friends and family are wonderful, they have a stake in what you choose. Professionals do not. They can be your biggest advocates with only your agenda at the center.

So, my middle age maidens, let’s honor ourselves, our hearts, our desires and do some soul searching for satisfaction. ‘Cause, if not now…when?

Here’s to finding our awesome!

Sam

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FREE CHECKLIST TO THRIVING IN MIDLIFE

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