On the last few episodes of The Midlife Makeover Show, I have interviewed some awesome guests, and I absolutely love having guests on the show. For this episode though, I thought our guest today would just be me, myself, and I! We are gonna have a little chit chat with Wendy today!
The more that I have put myself out there in the world and shared more about The Midlife Makeover Show, I have been receiving lots of feedback of what you want to hear and what you need to make the changes in your midlife. That is so important to me! The reason why I do what I do is to help YOU! It’s true!
There are two things that I hear the most from my peeps:
#1 People want to know more about me and how I got from my breakdown to my breakthrough. How did I go from being curled up in the corner of my room bawling my eyes out, to dancing all over social media waving my hands around in the air like I just don’t care? In other words, you want to hear more about my story. My comeback story. You want to hear the good juicy stuff! I got you! I hear you! I am going to share more of my life story with you. I can’t do it all in one episode, because that would be a really long episode, but I will share a little bit with you today.
#2 As I read the emails, the comments, the DMs, and listen to the voice messages from people that are struggling at midlife, there is one common thread throughout them all, and that is, FEAR OF CHANGE. Majority of you WANT to change your life, but you FEAR the actual CHANGE. You fear the changes that you must endure in order to get to the life you want. Whether that be changes you will have to make at home, at work, where you live, how you live, changes you need to make in your body, your finances, and your relationships. Not to mention, as you make all those changes in your external world, there are changes taking place within your internal world. There are lots of emotions that bubble up to the surface throughout your transformation, and that can be scary as hell. Understandably so. All of this becomes so overwhelming that most people will just stay right where they’re at living a life that does not make them happy. Basically, they settle. Been there, done that! Well, I am going to do everything I can to help you move past that fear! We are not living a life of misery and mediocrity anymore! Not. Gonna. Happen.
Here is what we are going to do today. We are going to combine #1 and #2 by sharing my story and providing you with solutions and some encouragement to help you go from surviving to thriving. To get you from being curled up in the corner bawling your eyes out to dancing and waving your hands around in the air like you just don’t care. You don’t have to dance on social media, but I definitely support it! Dancing or not, I want you to be happy. And I want YOU to want YOU to be happy. Let’s dive in Mighty Midlifers!
Let’s take a journey back in time, shall we, to the year 2016. I was at the beginning of my midlife at the age of 43. I was married at the time, two of my children were out of the nest and one teenager was still in the nest. If you looked at my life from the outside, you might think that I was happy and that I had everything going for me. But deep down inside, I wasn’t happy. I tried to convince myself that I was happy, and I even felt guilty that I wasn’t happy. I would hear this nagging voice, “Wendy, you should be happy! Why are you such a brat? Why can’t you be content?”
I felt like I was living a lie though, and I didn’t feel like I was being my true self. Heck, I didn’t even know what my true self was. Who was Wendy? I don’t know! I spent majority of my life, if not ALL my life, making sure everyone was happy. Except for me. I was always last on my list. I never asked myself questions like, “What do you want Wendy? What would make you happy? How do you want to live your life?”
I finally began to ask myself these questions. As I answered them, I realized that I didn’t feel worthy enough to be happy. Again, I felt guilty for wanting more out of life. I also knew that in order for me to be happy, and for Wendy to be Wendy, I had to make some serious changes in my life. Including divorce. This was my second divorce by the way, which made me feel even guiltier. I felt like a horrible person for desiring peace in my heart and freedom in my life, which is so contradictory really. Guilt and peace don’t go together. It’s like an oxymoron. It’s like a peace riot. That doesn’t even make sense! Anyway, why should I feel bad to be ME? Why should I feel bad to love myself? Why should I feel bad to create a life that I enjoy? But that’s how I felt. I felt bad for wanting good.
Loving Wendy and creating a better life for myself seemed like too much trouble. I feared the changes I would need to make in my life and within myself. Besides the divorce, I would have to make a shit ton of money to get out of debt. Not to mention, I had been in business with my husband for the last 20 years, so I would need to build a brand new career.
It was all so overwhelming that I crumbled, and I fell into a deep depression. I don’t mean just kinda-sorta-sad-here-and-there depression, but more like I-no-longer-cared-to-live depression. Really. And that is hard for me to admit to myself and to the entire world, but it’s the truth. I had never felt like that before, and unfortunately it got worse.
Eventually, my husband and I decided to get a divorce. Although it was a peaceful divorce, it was still a loss and I had to grieve for that loss in my life. Shortly after we separated, my brother went into a coma and died about a week later. About 6 weeks after that, my dog died. About 6 weeks after that, my cat died. I know. It would make for a really good country song. The only thing I didn’t lose was the farm, and that’s only because I didn’t have one. I probably would’ve lost that too! Needless to say, I was in the deepest darkest depression, and I couldn’t see a way out. I felt like everything was dying in my life, including myself. Especially myself.
I don’t know if you have ever run a marathon, or if you have ever heard of the term, hitting the wall, but there can come a time during the race when your body can hit a wall. You freeze and you can’t go on. Well, that’s kinda what happened to me in my life. I hit a wall and I couldn’t go on. I was frozen. Numb. Paralyzed.
I stayed in the dark for a long, long dreadful time. Until one day, there was a glimpse of light. A miracle. I heard a voice, a voice much louder than the nagging voice that I had been listening to for the last few months, and it said, “Wendy, you have two choices at this point. You either do nothing and stay miserable, or you get up off your ass, pull up your bootstraps, and take a stand for your happiness. Enough is enough!”
Alright then! I heard that voice very loud and clear. Quite obviously, I chose option B. That was my wakeup call. Thank God. And thank you to that voice, most likely my brother, for encouraging me to get back up and go after my life like a badass mofo.
Making the decision to change my life was just the beginning. I actually had to MAKE the changes! I needed to deconstruct my old life so I could reconstruct a new life. Easier said than done, right? I didn’t care what I had to do though, because staying in misery was no longer an option for me. The fear of NOT changing was greater than the fear of changing. And although we may not LIKE fear, fear can motivate us! Fear can set a fire under your ass and fear can get you to move. Quickly!
To summarize what transpired between me waking up from a deep depression to living a life of freedom traveling the country in an RV and finally doing what I love, I moved from Virginia to Illinois and took a job selling homes for a large corporation. Although working for corporate isn’t my thing, especially since I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last 25 years, and obviously I have this crazy creative spirit that does not like to be confined, it was what I needed to do to get out of debt and to get me to a life that I love. Sometimes we must do the undesirable to achieve our desires. Sometimes we must take a job we don’t love to get to a job we DO love. Sometimes we must live in a place we despise to get to our dream home. Even if our home has wheels. Sometimes we must be alone for a while until we find a good partner in life. There is nothing wrong with making sacrifices to get you to the other side of the darkness and back into the light.
Do you remember the riddle, why did the chicken cross the road? And what was the answer? To get to the other side. Right? So why did the Midlifer cross the road? To get to the other side. To get to a life of freedom and happiness. You guys, even the chicken wasn’t a chicken. He was bold enough and determined enough to risk the busy road to get to the other side. You’re not a chicken either! You are a powerful, strong, resilient, miraculous being that CAN and WILL make the changes that you need to live a life of freedom and happiness. I want to help you cross that busy street and help you get to the other side.
I am going to share with you the 7 Steps that I took to cross that busy street to get me back into the light. These 7 steps are now known as my F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Principles. FREEDOM is an acronym for FREE, RESET, ENVISION, EXPERIMENT, DETACH, OWN IT!, MASTER IT! These principles are what helped me achieve freedom in my life, and I hope they help you as well.
By the way, it’s funny how things work out, huh? Through MY darkness, I am able to help you through YOUR darkness. I am so honored to have been your little guinea pig, and I would go through it all over again just to help you become happier in your life, too.
So here are the steps I took to get where I am at today!
- FREE – in order to create change within yourself and within your life, you must set yourself free. You must grant yourself permission to makeover your midlife. For me, I did this by practicing a lot of meditation to overcome the limiting beliefs I had about myself. I also got a great therapist that would help me through the depression and to help me heal from the many losses and trauma I had experienced. I finally gave myself permission to be Wendy and live my life my way. Guilt free!
- RESET – It’s time to hit the reset button! Take a hard look at your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, and realize what is not serving you well. Change your thoughts, change your life! I had to be really honest with myself on this one and stop doing what wasn’t working for me. Einstein once said that you can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it. I had to literally change my mind to create a new life. I need a mindset reset!
- ENVISION – This is the fun part! This is all about envisioning your dream life! Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? Dream big! No holding back! For me, I created a vision board of everything that I wanted. I also wrote in detail in my journal, without limitation, of everything I wanted in my future. I literally wrote the next chapter of my life. And so can you!
- EXPERIMENT – If you thought the last part was fun, this part is really fun! It’s time to experiment and try your dreams on for size. See what you like & see what you don’t like. Explore and have fun! I personally loved experimenting! And I still am! I think of life like a buffet. You go to the buffet and sample whatever you want. Try something out, and if you like it, go back for seconds. If you don’t like it, don’t ever get again. Simple as that. But if you don’t try it then you will never know!
- DETACH – Ahhh. Detach from the outcome. You have set your intentions and sent them out in the Universe, and now it’s time to allow your dreams to be manifested. Let go and let it be! This has always been a more challenging one for me, because I want everything to happen the way I think they should happen. Wouldn’t that be nice? We must trust and have faith that everything happens in divine order. Whatever will be will be! Let. It. Go.
- OWN IT! – That’s right! It’s time to own the NEW YOU and your NEW LIFE. Claim this miraculous being that you have created and set your boundaries. Be proud of who you are becoming! As I made changes in my life, I had to own these new changes by making no apology or explaining the who, what, where, when, why and how of everything I was doing in my life. My north star was my peace and joy and I kept marching towards that north star no matter what anybody thought. That is not being selfish when you do that. It’s called loving yourself and making yourself a priority. Let everyone else take care of themselves and be responsible for their own happiness.
- MASTER IT! – You are the master of your domain! If you want lasting results, you must practice what is working well for you. Continue to become the best version of you! Although I have made over my midlife, I am still a work in progress! We are all a work in progress. You never just arrive and then you’re done. The Universe and life continue to evolve, and you should as well. Continue to fine tune yourself and your life.
I hope today’s show gave you hope and some encouragement to help you move past any fears and worry that you might have in making changes in your life. Have faith in yourself that you can do whatever needs to be done to get you to a life you love. And don’t fear the fear. Let it motivate you.
And now for the Nuggets of Midlife Wisdom from today’s show:
- Put yourself on the top of your list and ask yourself, “What do I want?”
- Making the decision to change your life is just the beginning. You actually have to MAKE the changes!
- Sometimes you need to deconstruct your old life so you can reconstruct your new life.
- Although you may not LIKE fear, fear can motivate you! Fear can set a fire under your ass and fear can get you to move.
- Sometimes we must do the undesirable to achieve our desires.
- There is nothing wrong with making sacrifices to get you to the other side of the darkness and back into the light.
- You are a powerful, strong, resilient, miraculous being that CAN and WILL make the changes that you need to live a life of freedom and happiness. Have faith in yourself.
- Your 7 Steps to achieving FREEDOM at Midlife. FREE, RESET, ENVISION, EXPERIMENT, DETACH, OWN IT!, MASTER IT!
By the way, these 7 FREEDOM Principles are available as a download on my website. Go to wendyvalentine.com, enter your email address to become part of the Mighty Midlifer Club, and you can receive the download of the FREEDOM Principles. You will also receive a coupon good for my upcoming 8 week live group coaching program where we dive further into these groovy principles.
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