Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Friday, November 12, 2010

10 Reasons Why We Underachieve in Midlife

Are you in Midlife – over 35 maybe (perhaps well over 35) with lots left to offer to the world? You’re keen to make your mark and leave something behind for future generations?
Many people in midlife genuinely want to do something great but most don’t manage to do it. Why is that? What holds them back?
Here are 10 reasons why midlifers might underachieve (feel free to add more below):
  • Fear of failure 
  • Lack of money 
  • Not wanting to step outside of their comfort zone 
  • Concern about feeling foolish 
  • Not sure about their idea 
  • Underestimating their own abilities 
  • Don’t know where to start 
  • Don’t know where to go for help 
  • Fear of starting but not finishing 
  • Not having enough time
Each of these reasons is a perfectly valid reason for our midlifer to stay where they are and carry on with their usual routine. They may be perfectly happy, but they will get to the end of their lives and wonder ‘what if?’
As Henry Ford said, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ (my favourite saying)
So what's holding you back? Write down your list of reasons why you are not making your mark. Start with the list above and add/subtract your own reasons until you have your own list.
Take each one ask WHY this is a problem. Write down the answer(s). Then ask WHY again to get more detail. Continue doing this until you really understand the reason for your underachievement. Repeat this for each of your reasons.
Once you have done this, you will be in a much better position to understand your motivations and have some concrete data to work with to plot your course for a more successful future. Try it, what have you got to lose?
You've got it in you, I'm sure!
Rob Horlock has established The Mid Life Opportunity (, a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here