The Inviting Shift Podcast

S2 Episode 7: From Surviving to Thriving: Navigating Midlife with Support and Coaching

September 26, 2023 Christina Smith Season 2 Episode 7
The Inviting Shift Podcast
S2 Episode 7: From Surviving to Thriving: Navigating Midlife with Support and Coaching
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you navigating the tumultuous waters of midlife and feeling like you're just surviving instead of thriving? What if we told you asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, but a form of self-care? Join us as we peel back the layers on the importance of seeking support, sharing candid experiences, and offering up strategies on how to reach out without feeling like you're imposing on others. If you're in the middle of life's journey, you don't have to go it alone.

In the heart of this episode, we decode the numerous ways we can find support in our everyday lives. Be it through family, friends, mentors, peers, or coaches, there's a myriad of resources readily available. We delve into the potency of coaching and how it can fast-track your personal growth, offering external perspectives and tools that you might not have had access to. For those who feel they lack a supportive circle or can't afford a coach, we got you covered. We spotlight organizations and groups that can provide assistance and resonate with your interests.

Finally, we're going to get real about the transformative power of investing in yourself. We're talking about 'skin in the game,' clear goals, and expectations, and how these elements can enhance your personal development journey. Not to mention, we delve into the delicate art of cultivating a supportive network outside of coaching. Wrapping up, we discuss how finding the right kind of support and mentorship can offer a sense of confidence and joy that can completely reshape your life. So, strap in for an enlightening discussion, because we're about to make midlife a whole lot less daunting together.

Join us in the Modern Midlife Mentorship.

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Speaker 1:

Hello, welcome back you, beautiful midlifers. Today we want to talk about support, how we get support and why is it so hard for us to seek support. If you're like me, man, I have to really challenge myself with something or really struggle with something before I ask for help. I don't want it to be that way. I often am now challenging myself to ask for help even when I may not 100% need it, even when I think, oh, if I just struggle with this long enough, I'll figure it out, and I probably will. But I love the quote that says if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Speaker 1:

And this is something us GenXers could really latch on to, because, if you're like me, I was raised to be very independent. It's one of the skills my mother is best for teaching me how to be independent, and that meant that I only had to depend on myself. I can't remember how many times that I was told I was only going to be able to depend on myself, and so I should really learn how to do everything myself. And in a world of YouTube, couldn't we do that? We could, and often I still choose to when it comes to creativity or art or things that I don't want to be influenced by, but there's so many other aspects of life that could be so much smoother if I would just ask for help, ask somebody who knew something, somebody who's been through it, somebody who knows how to handle what I'm going through and I know for me. I often don't want to do that, so if this is you and your thinking support, I don't even want to talk about that. I want more how-to's on how to do it myself. Well, we need more support as we get older and we crave it more. We crave connections. I would crave going shopping with my friends, even if it was grocery shopping, because I've lived away from them for so long. We've been moving around, so I crave more connection as I'm getting older, and so asking for help and getting support is a really, really beautiful self-care thing so that we can get there faster.

Speaker 1:

And as we get older, I'm hoping that our minds are opening a little bit more, that there's a lot more perspectives on how we move forward. I swear this new, younger generation of my kids although they are self-sufficient, they're thriving more than I feel like I was when I was young. So there's more perspectives than our generation, our perspective, especially our specific perspective. But even beyond that, there's more possibilities than we could ever imagine. If we allowed ourselves to open up to possibilities and when we go to places like support groups where we can hear other people's stories and go, wow, that's kind of similar to mine, but what a different perspective that they have on it, we can learn more. We can open our brains more, become more open-minded to things and solutions that maybe we would have never thought of before, or ways of moving forward that we never would have thought of before. So I want you to really start thinking about what is it that you really want to shift in your life? This is the first question I ask all coaching clients is if you had this magic wand and you could change three things, what would you change right now? And you can think about that. As we go on, we'll talk a little bit more about it.

Speaker 1:

So what happens when we go to do it alone is we get these huge periods of being stuck. I'm working on a new creative project and I've got to a part in it that I've never done before, and I'm just like every time I haven't done something before, I can get stalled or stuck because I'm not sure of the perfect way to move forward, and of course we never will until we try the dang thing out right. We have to try it out ourselves. We can do a lot of research, we can find a lot of recipes, we can find the patterns, whatever it is that we want. But sometimes the doing is where we do a lot of learning. So moving forward is where support can help. They can challenge you and hold you accountable to move forward.

Speaker 1:

Independence only goes so far. At some point I'm going to need somebody's help, whether that's an electrician or a plumber or a landscaper or somebody like a doctor. Right, like I can't doctor myself. If my foot breaks, I'm not going to know how to set that. I need help. So it's okay that, as human beings, that we ask for help. I know that's a hard topic. We're going to talk specifically about that on an episode coming up but I want you to be convinced that you can and you want to do this for yourself and others. Remember that, at least for me.

Speaker 1:

I love to serve my friends. My problem is I always choose the wrong thing and the wrong way to serve them. If a friend would be like, hey, it would be so helpful if you could do A, b and C in this way. I would love that. Okay, you need flowers and a cake and a card for your birthday. I can do that. Is that what would make you joyful and happy? I want to do that. So so often we're not asking for help and we're kind of stealing that opportunity from our friends and our support groups and other people to be able to serve you, and we love serving other people when we are feeling healthy and happy. Right when it comes from the heart, we love that. So asking for help can be a gift to you or your friend. I have some notes here so that we can stay on track.

Speaker 1:

I just when we think about getting support or even a coach, a lot of people are like well, I can figure this out myself, and of course you can. I have no doubt most of us are quite able to move through life, but instead of surviving, I'd love you to thrive through the process, and that's where the role of coach comes in. So I just wanna go over really quickly how coaches are a little bit different than support groups or friends or family that are supportive. It's a little bit different, not better. That's not what I'm saying. I really believe you should have all of the above, but I wanna talk about the role of a coach, because often people don't know what does a coach do? In fact, I have friends who think that I pull out tarot cards and do energy healing, which is not the kind of coach I am.

Speaker 1:

There are those types of coaches, but each coach has their own modalities. They have their own specialties, what they really work on. So we wanna find not only why I need a coach, but how do I find they help you move forward with the proper expectations of what you should be expecting along the journey of moving forward, whether that's learning a new hobby, healing something, trying to get past something in your life, having more intimate relationships, having more confidence, running a mile, whatever your coach is for. So we're gonna keep in mind those three magic wand things that you wanna change. They can have tools to help you go there faster and more clearer. I mean, could you imagine if you had to just go through a math book and learned math, rather than having a teacher there to kind of help you with the right tools and figure out the right ways of doing things.

Speaker 1:

They can call you out on your BS. This is something that a lot of even support groups, don't are afraid to do, but definitely friends and family. They might hint at it, they might be passive, aggressive about what they think is wrong with you, but a coach will just directly call you out on your BS. Boy, it sounds like you're making up excuses. Is that what it feels like in your head, so that you can really stop the self's sabotage? They can hold you accountable for doing what you say you're going to do. I don't know how many times myself and my clients say wow, I know I should and could do it for myself, but knowing that I have to be accountable to someone else makes me really work harder and ensure that what I said I would do is done before I meet with them again. So it's really important to have somebody who will hold you accountable. Sometimes we have really great friends that'll just call us out on our BS, and sometimes we have really nice friends that don't wanna rock the boat. So that's for you to think about.

Speaker 1:

They ask you the hard questions, the questions that nobody else wants to ask you, and they help with this inner conflict. So they know what? That inner conflict? What if you're trying to lose weight and you have a weight loss coach? They're gonna help you. They understand the conflicts that are going on about food and exercise and all that other jazz. They are used to managing those inner conflicts so they can give you the tools to get there faster and get past those blocks.

Speaker 1:

What are the differences between, like having a support group or a friend or a mentor, rather than actually going out finding the right coach and hiring that coach? The biggest one is that coaches don't need to be loved. Do we love compliments? Do we love it when our clients get aha's and big wins and hit their goals? Of course we do, but our job isn't to be loved. It's to ask the hard questions. It's to be more direct so that you are actually moving forward rather than just venting or spinning around in your head and telling yourself stories. We want you to get past those stories so that you can start making progress, and that's what we're here for. We also have again those tools that might be specific to what you're going through that we can help you manage with tools. Get clearer so that you can move forward faster. We're also trained to get to the core of the issue.

Speaker 1:

So, instead of constantly focusing on all these symptoms, all these symptoms in my relationship, how, all these things that are happening at work, we get to the core of how you wanna show up At least, that's specifically what I do is how you wanna show up, and this could be anything how you wanna show up as a knitter or a runner or somebody who wants to lose that weight or someone who wants more confidence. How we get to the core of what's going on so that we can start solving that, so the symptoms will go away and we don't have to keep managing symptoms and they're specialists. Like I said, most coaches have a specialty. I specifically work with midlife women because, one, I think it's a cheat, because I think it's the best time of life and the best place to be as a woman, but secondly, because I've moved through a lot of these things. I'm still moving through a lot of them and I have tools that help me move through them without all of the traumas, that I can be joyful and confident in my midlife and feel really good about the way that I show up, which is the only thing that I control. So that's what my specialty is.

Speaker 1:

Whatever those three things are that you're trying to solve in your life. I'm wondering if you can look at those, those three magic wand things. Do they all seem like symptoms of one problem? If there was one problem, one underlying problem, with those three magic wand things that we talked about or that you're thinking about, what might that be If you changed how you felt about yourself? Would that change any of those things? If you change the way that you perceive the world, or opened up to more possibilities, would that be something that might solve all of those things in one fail swoop? So sometimes there's an underlying problem that could be linking all of the things that we think are going wrong or we want better. And if we can get to that, which is what coaches try to get to, we can move forward a lot quicker and faster than if they were just spinning around in our heads. So again, the benefits of coaching coaches often help people clarify goals and aspirations, right Like what is it that you're wanting to do? If you could wave that magic wand right now, what would be the end result that you'd be hoping for? We can develop customized action plans so we can help walk you through the journey from where you are to where you want to be.

Speaker 1:

Gaining new perspectives and insights is probably the number one thing that I offer my clients, mainly because I don't give them the same friend reaction of like oh that's awful, that was terrible, I can't believe. They said that. Instead, I'm like so what part of that is true? I asked the hard questions so you can get clear on what is going on for you, whether that be a trigger or a celebration or what situation. Whatever is going on, we're also about enhancing self confidence and decision making. The number one thing that I want my clients to be able to do is to make a decision in the moment and feel good about it, without regretting it or overthinking it later. I can't tell you how many times I've had struggles making decisions, or once I made a decision, I thought about it for days when there is clearly nothing I can do about it now. So I don't want you to do that. I want you to be able to make instant, intuitive decisions that feel really, really good.

Speaker 1:

And then coaches help accelerate progress and growth. I mean, have you ever seen an Olympian without a coach? And there's not, you know, sure. Could they learn how to run faster themselves. Of course they could. They have the coach they are pushing them to help them stretch into that discomfort so that they can really get where they want to go faster, okay, so what we want to do is build a good support system, and what this looks like it's not just a coach, although I would suggest a coach. But there might be some of you that are like, well, maybe I don't have the time, money, energy to invest in a coach. We'll talk about that in a minute, but let's just say that a coach is off the table.

Speaker 1:

There are still so many ways that you can get support in many, many aspects, right? So we talked about family. Some of us have really great family, like my husband, and they're so supportive and they always want to say nice things and be very, very proud of him. So maybe you do have family that is really, really supportive, and if you do, that's fantastic, and you still need more support than that. So then we go to friends. We might have friends. We might even have some really great friends who will call us out on our BS when we are BSing ourselves. We might. Many of us don't. Many of us have really nice friends that don't do that. So friends can be a good support system right, and they give us a space to vent, to share what we're going through, to be heard and seen.

Speaker 1:

All of those things are important. All of those things are things that we cannot do on our own, so that's why we need other people. Then we might have some mentors and advisors. There may be people at our job that are mentoring us into other things. There may even be we might have a mentor in running or crocheting, or people who you know the woman at the sewing store who can show you how to get that seam just right. Those are mentors. They're great. They have a lot of experience doing whatever it is, whatever their expertise is right. So they have tools, they have the support that in the knowledge that they can help you with. And there might even be peers and colleagues, people that you work with that can help, support you, help you move along, maybe even hold you accountable to career goals or project goals. So there's lots of places we can go If you do not have a group of friends.

Speaker 1:

There is an organization called Woman Within. I would love you to look that up. They have free women's circles in addition to the ones that we're doing, but they have a specific women's circle where there's no advice given, just really good questioning feedback. You can be seen, you can be heard sharing anything. It could be about work, it could be about your hobbies, it could be about your relationship, about what you're going through. In those circles you get to bring whatever is going on for you and then you don't even have to ask for advice. You could if you wanted to, but you don't have to. You can just get really good feedback to get more of your inner wisdom going. So I encourage you to look that up.

Speaker 1:

There's also support groups for whatever you want. There's book clubs, there's crocheting clubs, there's clubs for everything, even personal growth and self-discovery. You can find social groups or support groups for. So those might be really great places to go. When we think about those three magic wand changes, right, where could you get support for those three magic wand changes that you want in your life? There may be different things. It might be that you want to reduce your alcohol intake and so maybe AA or some other sober support group is helpful to you to really share that. See what other people are going through and stay on your track. Okay, trying to see what else.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and people have asked me, what if your family isn't supportive? There's a couple of things. You go find your own, right. Some of us have friends that are really great, adopted family members of ours, right. And then the second thing I would really suggest is whatever you need, go connect with the person who has it. So for me personally, my parents weren't that supportive it's a weird way of saying it but they weren't really supportive of my own personal growth, of anything else. We just don't understand each other, right, let's just put it that way. So it's not that they were unsupportive, just not the support I needed.

Speaker 1:

So when I want a mother energy, right, the mother energy that I want, not the mother energy that my mother is, which is not wrong, just different I go find a couple of women that I know in my life that have this big nurturing, teaching kind of mother energy, and they are my support. I've asked them. I've said, hey, look, you have this really juicy mother energy and I want that mother energy. Can I call you up and ask you to get into that energy of the mother archetype and mother me. Give me the answers that a mother might offer, and they can do that. So that's one thing that you can do for yourself. Same thing if you crave siblings or an auntie or a grandma, go find somebody with that energy that you're looking for and ask them. Because, again, most people love to hear that compliment like wow, give off this really juicy mothering energy. That's awesome. I would love to use that more. Right, if that's what you find really wonderful about me and helpful for me, okay.

Speaker 1:

So I want to talk again about coaching, because we talked about all the other types of support that you might go get. Oh, and I forgot about social support. So one of my favorite reasons for using social media is that there are so many groups on Facebook or wherever that are specific to whatever it is I'm looking for. I'm in some crocheting ones, I'm in some art ones, I'm in some business ones, I'm in some podcasting ones so that I can learn from other people. So that's another way of getting support in our social life. Right, this through social media. It's not always my favorite, but I do get a lot of answers and perspectives from people on data type, questions on how to, or give me your opinion, kind of things. So that might be one more.

Speaker 1:

But coaching is different, and one of the reasons coaching is different for me as a coachee right, when I go get a coach is that there's something different about me paying someone to hold me accountable right, I can put in a less BS, right, because they're going to call me out on it. All of these reasons I told you, a coach is good before. But the other reason for me is if I, the frugal woman that I am, invest in coaching, I know I'm going to show up for it. I know I'm going to invest my time and my energy, because where I put my money says this is important to me. So I want you to get to that point where you understand that, even though the cost of a coaching program that you want might be more than you've really invested in yourself before, that, whether it's getting a goal or starting a new hobby, or personal growth or relationship coaching whatever it is this thing is that important to me. What would I pay in order to change this in a matter of weeks or months, to have that magic wand? How much would I pay for that magic wand? Right, if we could just magic wand all of our problems away? That's why coaching is important is because once I make that monetarily investment, I'm invested. That means that I've thought about it, I am invested and so I'm going to change that thing, and this is true for most coaching clients. They put a lot more effort into changing the thing or moving forward if they have some kind of skin in the game, right?

Speaker 1:

The second reason people don't invest in coaching when I think that they really really should is their ego or their pride. Why can't I figure this out and I used to go through this myself why can't I figure this out by myself? Why do I need somebody to sit there and talk to me and just ask me questions? Why can't I come up with that solution by myself? Why can't I get to my inner wisdom on myself? Well, you can, and there's skills to it. There's skills to getting clear. There's really good questions to getting clear, and these are experts that know what those questions and those tools and those pathways are, and that's why you can go down the pathway a lot faster, without getting distracted off the pathway by this or that or the other thing. That's what coaches are there for. So if it's about your ego or pride, I want you to know you're going to be tons prouder of yourself when you stretch into those uncomfortable spaces that a coach might put you in and really start to propel yourself forward rather than getting stuck in the spiral.

Speaker 1:

And then a lot of people say, wow, this is time I got to change things. Yes, if you imagine this dream life where these three magic wand things have changed, where they have transformed and they were the biggest things, biggest challenges in your life, right, and now they've transformed. What time would you put in for that? This is about you and taking care of you. That's what midlife is about. The first half is doing the things that we think we should like parenting, starting our careers, going to get educated, all of those things.

Speaker 1:

Now, the second half is all about what you want, and this is how midlife changes, right, because we have a slightly less responsibilities as our kids are leaving the house and we're getting wiser. We're learning how to deal with bumps in the road and the things that are inconvenient in life, and so we have a little bit more space. But this time commitment, whether you're a mom of five under ten or you are retired, this is really what we make of it, right? We all have the same amount of time, yet some people transform their lives into matter of months and other people don't, and that's because we get to decide what is most important and that, if you're thinking about personal growth or even hobbies, whatever, think about where, how much progress you might make in a few months, and if you don't know, go interview some coaches. Most of them will meet with you and you get to know them and you can tell if they are the person to teach you what you need to know or maybe not. There's probably dozens and dozens, if not hundreds and thousands, of midlife coaches. If the way that I teach doesn't work for you, that's fine. There's plenty more right I'm not worried about and I think most coaches that are heart-centered aren't worried about getting every client through the door. I really want you to have the right experience and if I can't give that to you, I probably can share with you somebody else who might be able to. So if you're curious about coaching, set up a few free calls with people just to get to know them. Make sure that they are the person for you.

Speaker 1:

We also want to make sure that you're clarifying your goals and needs, meaning. What are those three things that you want to change, or what is your goal at the end of this coaching relationship? What are you hoping to achieve? What will be the marker to say, oh, this was successful, right, you need to get clear on that, because without that, you're not going to be able to know which type of coach might be able to be helping you the best, right? So you'll research those potential coaches. You might even ask for referrals from friends I'm sure you might have some friends who have had a coach before or even ask the coaches for referrals, if they have them.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so that's my spiel on coaching. Let's get into how to cultivate supportive network, right. So be on the coach. How do we get support outside of this? Well, we want to attend, maybe, networking events, whether that's social or professional, right, there's lots of those events. The reason I know this is because I've done so much moving around and in order for me to find friends. These are exact ways how I do this. I know, as we get older, it feels like it's harder and harder to make friends because we're no longer meeting with our kids, friends, parents, right, and no PTO meetings, all of that. So some ways that we can do that is attending these networking events.

Speaker 1:

Go to meetupcom. Find some local groups near you. They might have similar hobbies. If you are wanting to get better at running or a hobby of some type, go find those local groups. Look that up on Google, because I'm sure that there's lots of running groups, book groups, crocheting groups all across the country. Join professional groups or communities. You can always go to your local Chamber of Commerce and find out when the chamber meets, right, so that you can know more about the local people and the businesses. And if there's nothing like you want, I encourage you to start something.

Speaker 1:

I've started in business networking groups for women because I wanted other women who were in business for themselves to be around for support, so that we could support each other, so we could share what's working and what's not working and different resources. Right, I started those because there wasn't any that I really liked and I wanted one that was free, so anyone was able to come. So I started one. It still runs today, even though I haven't lived in that area for like five years. The group still runs because it was built with a purpose. I also have started women's circles in order to meet new women. If there was no women's circles in the areas that I was in. I started some new ones so that women could be invited and we could create a community, and that was really really beautiful as well. So, if there's nothing like what you want, start your own. It could be a book club, a running club, a quilting club, just a circle. Whatever it is, go start your own.

Speaker 1:

I hope that in here, I've been able to share with you why support is so important. I know I can go on and on about this topic for hours and many of you still would be like, yeah, I need to do that someday. Now let me go do this big list of things all by myself, right, but I want you to hear that many of my clients they use the same tools I taught them years ago today, and there are such transferable skills and tools that they can use them in any part of their life. Wherever they're having that emotional, mental struggle, they have these tools. They also still get a lot of tough love from me. Again, I'm going to ask questions that most of your friends would be afraid you would get mad at them for asking, but that's my job, because asking those hard questions often makes our brain have to think about something in a new way. So it's fantastic if you have friends that'll ask you the hard questions, and if you don't, I highly suggest a coach. Again, a coach is about seeing possibilities.

Speaker 1:

A coach, or support, is about seeing possibilities, letting go of the things that we don't want to let go of, that we don't haven't let go of right, and moving forward in a good way. That's whether it's support or not. We are inspired by others. That's why we watch a lot of fun little YouTube videos, right? We want to be inspired by others, and so being in a group or getting support in some way is a way that we can get inspired so that we can go the long haul, not the fast, speedy, easy way, right, yeah, it's not even easy, is it? Doing it on your own?

Speaker 1:

So I really want you to, I encourage you to revisit these three things that I asked you about in the beginning of this talk, the three magic wand things, and look at those and maybe just over the next few days, start thinking about wow, these are the first three things that came up. Are they related in some way? Is there a specific support group I can get for one, two or three of these things? Is there friends? Are there friends that I could be reaching out to, that we could support each other on these changes? If I know other women that want to change some of the similar things, do I need a coach? These are the questions that I want you to ask yourself. If you are interested, you're welcome to reach out and let's have a conversation to see who might be the right coach for you. It might be me, but often I refer people out as well if they have different types of problems or struggles, challenges that I don't specialize in.

Speaker 1:

So it's not about getting me more clients. This is really about you getting what you want out of life. So finding the support, the mentorship, the coaching, the support and the connections that you need in order to move forward in a good way. That's what I really want from you. I want you to have a confident and joyful journey. I hope that this was somewhat helpful in understanding how you can get more support, hopefully opening your heart to the possibility of asking for more help, whatever that looks like, and maybe even investing in yourself so that you can really have the life that you want to have physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I hope that you all have a great week.

The Importance of Seeking Support
Benefits of Support and Coaching
Coaching and Cultivating a Supportive Network
Support and Coaching for Personal Growth