Life is much more personal, complex, and nuanced than we think. However, in the middle of our journey, we can’t help but feel like we’re failing. I’m talking about that discouraging feeling that everyone else is blasting forward, while we’re falling behind in the race of life. Actually, where we are is exactly where we need to be. The thing is that we often compare our path to others that aren’t our own.
We should trust the timing of our lives, learn to read between the lines. Sometimes we’re not falling in love because whatever we need to know about ourselves is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes we need more life experience before we can breakthrough. Sometimes we need to go down a different path to get to where we want to end up. Sometimes the unexpected detours are the best parts.
At midlife, we should permit ourselves to flourish at our pace. We should consider the possibility that everything we have chosen to do until now has always been the right path, regardless of what we think we were supposed to do in our 40s, 50s or 50s. Endlessly comparing ourselves to others and idealizing their best qualities while underestimating our own, are self-defeating behaviours, and they hurt our self-esteem.
If we are still looking backwards, thinking we are not doing our best, we will not progress. To change course based on what others want or have will keep us perennially behind and at the behest of our peers.
It’s time to commit to evaluating future decisions based on our values and whether they present opportunities for us to grow. Being a late bloomer means our talents or capabilities are not visible to others (and sometimes to ourselves) until later than usual.
“Think of Joanne, a talented and creative woman who bounced from job to job throughout her twenties, working as a researcher, secretary, and English-as-a-second-language teacher – writes Kevin Evers on Harvard Business Review-. Clinically depressed, she felt like a total failure. But she took that feeling of despair and used it to her advantage. Since she hadn’t succeeded in following a standard path, she felt liberated to do what she’d always wanted to do: write fantasy novels for children“. You’ve probably heard of her. Her pen name is J.K. Rowling.