Identifying and working on changing habits that are keeping you stuck at midlife and beyond is a great way to put yourself in a strong position to create lasting change and achieve the results you really want consistently.

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The habit that will keep you stuck at midlife and beyond (and what to do about it)

The habit that will keep you stuck at midlife and beyondIdentifying and dealing with habits that are keeping you stuck at midlife and beyond is a powerful way to create change that lasts and get better results in your life and work consistently.  

A common habit that can have a big impact on keeping you stuck is talking to yourself in statements.  Here’s why that is a problem:

Statements change nothing!

For example, statements you might be saying to yourself might be things like:

  • I’m working more than I want to
  • I don’t have the life I really want
  • I feel at a crossroads in my life and want to change but don’t know how
  • I feel overwhelmed
  • I don’t have enough time or energy

The statements you tell yourself may well be ture. But talking in statements is a habit that doesn’t lead to actions and change. And without a next step or taking action nothing changes. You continue to stay stuck in the situation or circumstance that you don’t want.

The good news is that this habit can be changed into a much healthy habit that serves you better and helps you to work out a way forward. Here’s how:

Start fostering the habit of turning your statements into questions.

Questions are a powerful weapon in the battle to get unstuck. They help you explore ideas and options that can lead you in the right direction and to identify the next step to start getting unstuck.

For example, the statements listed above could become questions like these:

  • What needs to change so that I can work less?
  • What do I need to learn to create the life I really want?
  • What could I do to get clarity on what direction to take in my life and how to do that?
  • What do I need to do to feel less overwhelmed?
  • What would it take for me to feel like I have more than enough time and energy?

See the difference?

Questions are infinitely more powerful than statements. Questions lead to a different mindset about a situation. A different mindset leads to different behaviour and actions. And different behaviour and actions leads to different results.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing – Albert Einstein

So if you want to create real change and different results in your life and work at midlife and beyond, stop making statements about situations. Get into the habit of asking yourself questions instead.

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  • barneyausten

    Love it. Nice simple way of turning your thought processes on it's head to make sure you get what you are seeking.

  • Thanks Barney. You hit the nail on the head – turning round thought processes key to getting different results.

  • Love this post Ali.

    I annoy people a lot because I can be the why guy. Why are you doing this? Why don't you think you achieved this time? Why are we working towards this goal?

    When people can ask those kinds of questions they often find that the reasons for them not achieving something becomes apparent

  • Glad you like it Ben.

  • Ali,

    You can tell you're a coach; I love the way you've turned the statements into questions. This is such an under used skill when helping people to see through their problems to their desired outcome.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas



  • It is important for coaches, consultants and mentors to use questioning effectively to help clients. Equally important is to help people to create a habit of asking questions of themselves. Glad you enjoyed this post Paul.

  • Anonymous

    You are so right. Often we close ourselves off by such statements that we think are absolutely true. Sometimes I find it helps to ask even more basic questions, like ‘ Do I need to make more money at all?’ ‘ Do I actually need to be in this business relationship?’ etc. Have you ever found yourself exasperated over a situation and then in a simple quiet moment you saw that you didn’t need to be there at all, but until that moment you weren’t open to that simple question, so that solution hadn’t occurred to you?

  • Hi Ann
    Your comment raises a really important point – it is important that as we ask ourselves questions we should make sure that the answers are based on our core values and our vision of how we want things to really be. Otherwise it is easy to be finding answers that are linked to other influences that will take us off course.

    As you point out, it is important to find a quiet moment or some space to ask ourselves those questions to allow the mind to find clarity around the question. The mind needs space to process questions and to find answers. It just doesn’t happen if we are always busy which is why, as you point out, feelings such as exasperation can come up.

    Thanks for dropping by Ann

  • SharonGreenthal

    There are times when I do feel anxious and overwhelmed, and my husband always asks “why,” and I always start by saying “I don’t know.” But sooner or later I figure it out. Talking through those moments really helps.

  • I totally agree Sharon – verbalising it rather than letting it just sit eating away in our minds is really helpful. I think being outcome focussed rather than problem focssed is very powerful too.

  • Loved this one. Thank you for making us think.

  • I think that verbalizing also allows us to let go of those things not worth feeling anxious over.

  • Sherry Wernicke

    Asking the questions really empowers you and leads you to action whereas the statements are just that – statements that get you nowhere and convey a more woe is me attitude. I hadn’t really thought about it that way until now. Thanks. It will take some practice, but I suspect well worth the effort.

  • Thanks Barbara. Delighted you enjoyed it and that it gave some food for thought.

  • You are right Sherry, creating new habits that serve us better do take time and practice until they become natural to us…..but the rewards make it worth while sticking with it.

  • Delighted to hear that your questions are now evolving into answers. It can take time and patience but each step forward is progress and builds momentum.

  • Leanne@crestingthehill

    really interesting idea Ali – now I’m going to have to listen to the voice in my head more and see if it’s stating or questioning….and make some changes!

  • Leanne, awareness is the first step for creating change so paying attention to how you talk to yourself is a great idea.

  • Great idea and I love the Albert Einstein quote. I always feel that it’s better to concentrate on what we want versus what we don’t. Many self-help and positive thinking gurus say that whatever you focus on, you get.

  • Hi Shawn, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Totally agree on the focussing on what you want and the direction you want to head. And then creating a plan and take action to make that happen. As Pablo Picasso said “Action is the foundational key to all success.”