Most people, by the time they hit forty, expect to have accomplished a lot with their lives. If you hit the mid-life speed bump, and somehow feel like you are never going to get over it, there is help. Emotionally speaking, you can see a counselor. As for your career, there is a career coach. Here is how a career coach can help you feel like a success, rather than a failure.
Listing What You HAVE Done
Right now, you are focused on the "have not" in your life. A career coach will tell you to stop that, and list everything you HAVE instead. More to the point, you will have to make a list on everything you have accomplished. This is important, as it will help turn your attitude around and give you some new directions to take.
Listing What You WANT to Do
Maybe you feel the way you do because you have not done what you really wanted to do with your life, or you missed some opportunities you want to go back and seize. List the things that you want to do. You want to attend a summit meeting and be a translator because you speak perfect French? Put that down on your list. Put small goals down too, as even small, short-term goals can make you feel really good about yourself and motivate you to do more.
Breaking Things Down in Baby Steps
Sure, it sounds a little silly, considering you could probably do several baby steps toward a goal in a single day. Yet, this is more effective than you realize. It helps you see what you need to do for every attainable goal on your list. For example, let's say you want to get fit. Obviously, that means changes in lifestyle, diet and exercise, but you give yourself excuses to not do it. List little things you can do to change that and you will not feel the need to give yourself an out. Walk or bike to work. Drink five cups of water instead of five cups of coffee. Little baby steps add up to one fully accomplished goal.
Every life and career coach will tell you that you need to prioritize. Put yourself first. Put important responsibilities second. Everything else comes third, fourth and fifth. If you do not prioritize at forty, you can expect to have regrets at eighty.