4 Stages Of Your Mid-Life Crisis And Why Each One Is Essential To Your Future Happiness

The path to a brand new you!

The 4 Stages Of A Midlife Crisis Women Go Through During Middle Age (Before They Find Happiness) Getty

Having a midlife crisis doesn't have to be a bad thing.

In fact, after you journey through each of the four stages of a mid-life crisis, many women start to embrace middle age and truly find happiness. But when you're in the midst of it, all you see are the unexpected life events that create turmoil — the glaring signs you're having a midlife crisis.

Coupled with the physical changes many women experience when aging, this can throw you into feelings of confusion, helplessness, and frustration — made even more difficult when old ways of dealing with things no longer seem to work. Motivations that used to carry you through tough times give way to deeply buried longings from an earlier time. 


The process can be paralyzing. Many women wonder what went wrong and if they will make it through this potentially turbulent landscape of change.

RELATED: 6 Steps For Dealing With Your Mid-Life Crisis (& How It Can Help You Reach Your Destiny)

If you find yourself in this place right now, take heart! What you need to know is that this a transition. You are being given an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Even though this process can be challenging, it is a tremendous opportunity.


If you understand and support what’s really going on deep inside you, you will emerge from your midlife crisis happier than before. You can achieve a greater sense of meaning, fulfillment, creativity, empowerment, and freedom, if you make the profound, conscious changes that midlife offers.

The real purpose of your midlife crisis is that your soul — the deepest most essential you — is calling you to create a more authentic expression of yourself: who you were born to be.

There are four stages to your transition that can help you emerge from your midlife crisis happier than you’ve ever been. Understanding the purpose of each stage can help you relax and go with the process — instead of fight it or be overwhelmed by it.

These are 4 stages of a midlife crisis middle-aged women go through before they find happiness.


Stage 1: Dissolving

In this stage you are letting go of your old life. The initial phase of any transformation is the process of dissolving all that is no longer needed — that which will not be part of the new life that will emerge from your transition.

Inner transformation begins by dissolving your ego’s connection to its sense of identity — the roles it has been playing — so it can be “reborn” into a more meaningful and fulfilling expression of you.

One of the key roles in this "dissolving phase" is to help you let go of the parts of your life that do not support who your soul desires you to be. It clears the way for the birth of a more glorious you.

What makes this dissolving process indicative of a midlife transition is the magnitude of letting go and your inability to either clearly navigate or have the energy to manage as you have in the past. The truth is the dissolving is being driven by your soul’s desire to express its full potential — your innate gifts, talents, and purpose.


Some signs that you are in the dissolving stage are: lack of energy to hold your life together, uninspired by your work or career, experiencing unexplained emotional volatility, limited motivation to start any new project and feeling drawn to spend a greater amount of time alone.

There are outer signs too: serious life events like the death of a parent, significant relationship issues or endings, a myriad of overwhelming health challenges, a career crisis or frequently a combination of these events.

This stage can be particularly challenging as parts of your identity and old life seem to fall away sometimes dramatically. It can certainly feel like a crisis and even a death to your ego.

The key to making it through this stage is to be kind and gentle with yourself, make self-care a priority, cut back on your commitments, and get support from a coach, therapist, or health professional who understands this process.


Stage 2: Inspiring

The second stage is about awakening your new life. Frequently before the dissolving process completes, the second stage of your transition begins. It is marked by the spark of energy to build a new life.

The inspiring stage is characterized by a growing enthusiasm and curiosity for exploring old dreams or new opportunities. Remembering unfulfilled dreams from your early life, an emerging passion for a new project, increasing interest in creative projects are all signs that you are entering the inspiring stage.

Your ego has a hard time with ambiguity and not knowing what’s coming. During the dissolving phase, your ego has likely dropped much of its old roles, and you could feel a bit vulnerable and unsure.


Experiencing the excitement of a new venture or opportunity can be intoxicating after the energy-draining time of dissolving. This makes it easy to jump in too quickly, without letting this stage of the transformation fully unfold.

The key to navigating this stage is to explore your inspirations without commitment. Try out new projects, take courses that you are interested in, go on excursions that excite you, explore new relationships. Play and check out the opportunities that inspire you.

But remember, this is not the time to make serious commitments. It really is a time of exploration. Commitment comes later.

RELATED: The Moment That Turned My Midlife Into An Adventure, Not A Crisis


Stage 3: Expanding

The third stage of your midlife crisis emerges out of the exploration from your inspiring stage and entails visioning your new, happier life. The expanding stage is your opportunity to step back, reflect and create a vision for your new life.

The inspiring stage of exploring new interests, trying on new roles, and learning new ways of being creates an expanded sense of self. Your ego is stretching and growing into a larger version of who it was before your midlife crisis. What you learn about yourself gives you sufficient knowledge and experience for envisioning your new life.

Now is the time to reflect on your life and see it with new eyes. This is an essential step in creating a new awareness that will shape a happier, more fulfilling life for your future. In this stage, you take time for reflection by stepping out of your life.

The key to successfully completing this stage is to actually take time out of your life to gain a greater perspective.


For example, taking a trip to a place where you feel you can pause, see with new eyes, and reflect is a great way to support creating your new life. While on your trip, it is important to reflect on the wholeness of your life and take stock of the learnings you have gained from the earlier stages of your midlife crisis.

You'll recognize the possibilities for creating a more fulfilling life and begin to create a vision of what your life could be going forward.

However, if you end your midlife crisis by committing too soon and skipping the expanding stage, you will limit your possibilities for creating a more meaningful and joyous life. Your opportunity to expand into a greater expression of your soul will become stunted in favor of your ego’s eagerness to jump ahead. 

The outcome of this bypass can lead to a continual jumping of your ego from opportunity to opportunity in search of the fulfillment that it seeks, never achieving the fulfillment your soul desires.


Stage 4: Manifesting

The last stage of the inner transformation process is bringing the vision you have created during your expanding stage into reality — manifesting your happier, new life.

Finally, after the seemingly endless months of waiting, you feel forward momentum. You have shed what you no longer need. Your new values, desires, and expressions are emerging and forming in your life. You start to see the path for manifesting the vision of your new life.

Your movements become more focused and accelerated. Clarity about direction, career, relationships, and contribution now fuel your choices and behaviors.


Your energy and excitement for engaging in an outer life returns and you feel motivated to reconnect with those who you now consciously choose to have in your life.A glow of new life radiates from your whole being.

While exciting and energetic, the manifesting stage can be messy. Your vision as imagined doesn’t always turn out the way you anticipate. Things take longer than you expect.

You can encounter blocks. New shortcomings emerge, and you may experience false starts. Doubt about whether you have taken the right course of action can easily seep in and deter your determination.


However, with perseverance, determination, flexibility, and commitment to your soul’s vision, you can manifest your new life.

While not always easy, each stage of your midlife crisis moves you toward creating a more fulfilling and authentic life. It brings more confidence in your ego to trust your soul.

Consciously navigating each stage helps your ego learn how to listen to your soul’s guidance and to create a happier life of greater expression, meaning, authenticity and fulfillment.

RELATED: Why Some Wives End Up 'Hating' Their Husbands After 15+ Years Of Marriage

Nancy Monson, MBA, MA, CPCC is a Soul Purpose Advocate who, after experiencing a challenging midlife crisis herself, guides successful, strong-willed middle aged women through the unexpected turmoil and confusion of a midlife crisis. For more information about how to navigate this trying time, download her free eBook, Understanding Your Midlife Passage, or request a free consultation on her website.