If you recognize these 9 signs, you’re probably having a mid-life crisis

by Shela Riva | December 23, 2023, 8:57 pm

A mid-life “crisis” is described as a time when individuals make impulsive, life-altering decisions.

I use “crisis” in quotation marks because it paints a negative picture. While it can be a negative time, it isn’t always!

According to mainstream media, someone going through a mid-life crisis might buy expensive new vehicles and gadgets, or embark on dramatic life changes in an attempt to rediscover the excitement for life that they’ve lost over the years. 

Well, as someone who has witnessed the mid-life crisis in real life, it can sometimes look exactly like this. 

But everyone is different, and it can be a unique experience for each individual with subtler signs that indicate a period of self-reflection and questioning. 

If you’ve been wondering whether you’re experiencing a mid-life crisis, here are 9 telltale signs to help you recognize it:

1) Wanting to make drastic lifestyle changes

A primary sign of a mid-life crisis is making drastic lifestyle changes, like selling your house and moving, traveling, or quitting a long-term job. 

You might have been an accountant their whole life, but suddenly you’ve decided to start a company or become a full-time triathlete or mountaineer. 

This isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes during a mid-life crisis, people find the courage to do the things they’ve always wanted to – but never felt brave enough to take the plunge for.

This can be an incredible and much-needed change that offers freedom and respite from external expectations that may have held you down throughout your life.

So allowing yourself the freedom to make drastic life changes might be a sign of a mid-life crisis, but honestly, who cares?

If that’s what it takes to do whatever you want with your life, it’s worth embracing.

2) No longer caring about other people’s judgments

The second sign of a probable mid-life crisis is that your fears about other people’s judgments of you or what you do, go out the window.

You realize that life is too short to not do what makes you happy, so you go after that no matter what other people think or say. 

In fact, most of the signs on this list will happen due to you no longer caring about other’s opinions on how you live your life.

It can be an incredibly freeing thing to experience at this unique time in your life. 

3) Feeling dissatisfaction about where you are

One of the early signs of a mid-life crisis is a feeling of dissatisfaction about some or all of your life choices so far. 

You might find yourself feeling unfulfilled in your career or personal life, empty, or longing for a sense of purpose. 

This dissatisfaction can manifest as a desire to make significant changes, sometimes impulsively.

Others may question your sudden change of attitude or the way you express your dissatisfaction. Just be careful of how you communicate this to those closest to you, as it can be easy to hurt your friends and family with these thoughts and impulsive actions. 

4) Becoming more aware of how short life is

Our mortality – we mostly don’t think about it when we are young. 

But as you reach mid-life, you become more aware that the time you have in this life is decreasing. This can cause sadness, an urgency to fulfill your goals, or even depression.

If harnessed right, this feeling can fuel the desire to make the most of the time you have left and make a change for the better.

5) A strong desire for new experiences

Do you have an intense craving for new, exciting, or even adventurous experiences?

You might feel like you’re snapping out of a haze of living life within certain parameters. 

You might suddenly feel the urge to take up activities you’ve never considered before – or have considered, but didn’t feel brave enough to start – including new hobbies, sports, businesses, or creative endeavors.

This desire for excitement and new experiences is one significant sign of going through a mid-life “crisis”. 

6) Making major changes in your appearance

Making big changes in one’s appearance is the sixth sign of a mid-life crisis.

As you’re seeking new experiences, you may feel the need for a new identity, which can start with physical changes.

This could look like starting to work out more regularly or intensively, getting a drastic hair change, changing your style, or even getting cosmetic surgery. 

While not everyone undergoing a mid-life crisis makes radical changes in their appearance, these changes are a common sign.

7) Change or conflict in your relationships

Mid-life crises can deeply impact your romantic or even familial relationships.

You may experience dissatisfaction, changes in how you feel towards your partner, or question the longevity of your marriage or long-term partnerships. 

It’s not uncommon to contemplate divorce or engage in affairs as a way to find excitement or recapture your sense of self.

But be wary of acting on these feelings, as they can permanently affect your family’s dynamic or relationship with you if you have children. 

8) Reviving your youthful self

Maybe you were into playing the piano as a child, stopped playing for 40 years, and have a sudden inkling to take it up again.

Maybe you have a desire to buy the car you once had when you were young to re-experience the joy of driving it.

In a mid-life crisis, you might revisit activities or hobbies you enjoyed in your youth to experience the nostalgic feelings you first felt when you were younger. 

9) Inner transformation

If it’s not as externally obvious as the signs listed here, a mid-life crisis can also be a very internal transformation. 

Through a new level of self-reflection, you may find yourself contemplating your values, beliefs, your purpose, and what you want your life to mean. 

It can be a beautiful, yet challenging process to go through the upheaval of everything you’ve believed for most of your life. 

Stay open to change – it’s never too late to become a better version of yourself. 


The awareness of life’s brevity during this time can fuel your passion for new challenges and adventures. These experiences, even if they initially seem impulsive, can sometimes lead to a more fulfilling life.

Just be sure to go about them in a meaningful and thoughtful way, staying considerate towards those closest to you. 

Don’t let the impulsivity of this time cause you to turn away from those who have always been there for you – unless it’s truly for the best.

As you strive to rekindle your youthful spirit or embark on an inner journey of self-transformation, remember that this period can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself, discover new passions, and redefine your sense of purpose. 

Embrace it as a chance to grow and to become a more authentic, joyful, and free version of yourself.

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