Home > Wellness > Happiness

I’m 40 and wasted my life: What to do (13 Tips)

In this blog post, we will provide how to tell when you feel “I’m 40 and wasted my life” and what you can do to not waste your life.

We all feel like we are a failure in life and that we have not achieved anything in life. But that does not mean that you have wasted your life. You have gained a lot of experiences in life and that has shaped you the way you are. You need to learn from your past, accept the situation you are in, and then see what changes can be made in your life.

How to tell when you feel “I’m 40 and wasted my life”

When you feel “I’m 40 and wasted my life” here are some of the feelings and behaviors you might notice yourself doing:

  • Just being good enough is okay for you
  • For you only work is what matters
  • You are running after what is the latest trend
  • You are glued to your phone or tv
  • There is a part of you that is stuck in the past
  • You find the fantasy world your escape from reality
  • Others tell you what to do
  • You have excuses for not to work hard

Just being good enough is okay for you

Nowadays you feel that just doing the bare minimum is good enough and that you do not need to put extra effort into anything. You just feel like you need to get enough done for the task to be over. Giving your best and putting in all your effort is no longer your priority and that it is okay for you to slip up in your work. This is true not just for your work but also for your relationships. You no longer put in full effort into maintaining them. 

For you only work is what matters

Once you have reached 40 you feel like only work is what matters in life and nothing else. You can be seen only interested and your world only rotating around your work life. No other aspect of your life entices you or makes you feel motivated. All your energy and attention is paid to your work with no time for anything else. You feel like your life is a waste cause you have nothing in life except work.

You are running after what is the latest trend

You are constantly looking for what the latest technology or trend is being followed and you want that. Be it the latest phone or clothes you want the latest and you want them now. If you are unable to get it you feel like a failure and that you haven’t achieved anything in your life. Being at the top is your priority and if you can’t get it, the second best is not even an option.

You are glued to your phone or tv

The only happiness you derive from life is from your phone or tv. You live your life through social media where when you see other people’s lives you feel like you have achieved nothing in yours. You feel defeated and like a failure compared to the life they are living. You are not seeing what their life is in reality but only what they are posting. 

There is a part of you that is stuck in the past

There is a part of you that is still reliving your 20s and being nostalgic about the life you had. You are not happy with where you have reached and built up. Instead, you are focused on the things and experiences that you are no longer able to experience. These could be the fun times you had with your friends and the crazy memories you made with them.

You find the fantasy world your escape from reality

You are constantly dreaming about a fantasy world where you are successful and at the top of your game. You use this fantasy world as an escape from your real one. You catch yourself longing for more things in life that you are not able to experience right now.

Others tell you what to do

Even though you are 40 years old you find yourself seeking the help of others around you to help you with decision making. You are told by others what to do and how to do things. This can make you feel like you are not in control of your life and that others get to decide your path. You feel like you have wasted your life and are now dependent on others for guidance.

You have excuses for not to work hard

You find excuses to not work hard and have a tendency to procrastinate. You delay the work that needs to be done or does not give in your best. You catch yourself trying to find an easy way out and not give in the required level of effort. You are likely to not be the best version of yourself and do your best.

What can you do to avoid the feeling of “I’m 40 and wasted my life”

Here are some tips and techniques on what you can do to avoid the feelings of “I’m 40 and wasted my life”:

  • Try dreaming bigger
  • Let your past experiences create your path forward
  • Re-evaluate your purpose in life
  • Find what motivates you truly
  • Do not let your past hold you back
  • Helping others will help you feel better
  • Look for what makes you happy
  • Do not hold high expectations from life
  • Show gratitude for what you have accomplished
  • Experiment with things in your life
  • Accept your life and move on
  • Take responsibility for where you are
  • Stop making excuses

Try dreaming bigger

To help stop feeling like “I’m 40 and wasted my life” you need to start dreaming bigger than what you do right now. You need to give in your complete best and be on top of things. Once you start to dream bigger you will try and put in more effort to reach it. You will then not feel like a failure and that you have wasted your life. 

Let your past experiences create your path forward

Rather than dismissing your past as the cause of your failure see it as the path that will help you reach your potential. To help stop feeling like “I’m 40 and wasted my life” you need to use this experience to formulate your journey forward. You need to learn from your past mistakes and ensure that you do not repeat them. See where you went wrong, try again and ensure that you do it right this time around. 

Re-evaluate your purpose in life

To find purpose again in life, you need to re-evaluate your core beliefs and principles. You need to understand what you want from life and what is a successful life according to you. You need to see what you aim to achieve in life and how you can work towards achieving it. You need to focus on the important things and that can be done only when you know what your priorities are.

Find what motivates you truly

Once you know what your priorities are, find within them what truly motivates you to work hard and be successful in life. Find where your locus of control, that is the motivating factor lies. Is it internal motivation like the satisfaction of doing things right or external motivation like the praise of people? To help stop feeling like “I’m 40 and wasted my life” you need to know what drives you and use it to fuel yourself.

Do not let your past hold you back

Do not let your past dictate where you end up in life. The things that happened, are now not changeable and there is no point in thinking about them anymore. You need to let go of your past and not let it hold you back. You have the right and control to change your future.

Helping others will help you feel better

When we feel helpless, helping others makes us feel better. If you help someone you will feel like you did something and changed at least one person’s life in this world. That feeling can help with stopping feeling like “I’m 40 and wasted my life.” You would have made a huge impact on someone’s life.

Look for what makes you happy

Rather than running behind materialistic things in life and what others define success as, look for what makes you happy. What provides satisfaction and content to you. To help stop feeling like “I’m 40 and wasted my life” you need to ask yourself what you want from life. 

Do not hold high expectations from life

Do not have very high expectations from anything in life, remember to put in the effort and hope for the best. No one has control over the outcome and accepting that can help release the guilt of not doing better. To help stop feeling like “I’m 40 and wasted my life” you need to set realistic goals in life and work towards achieving them. 

Show gratitude for what you have accomplished

Being content with what you have is also very important to help stop feeling like “I’m 40 and wasted my life.” Be grateful for what you have struggled to reach so far. Remember that It is your effort that has gotten you so far and that you have achieved a lot. Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t.

Experiment with things in your life

Try new things and don’t be afraid to experiment. Even though you are 40 you have the right to have fun and try on new things in life. You have aged not retired from having fun and being innovative.

Accept your life and move on

Accept how your life turned out to be and be content with it. You may not have everything you wanted but you do not need everything you wished for. In case you have difficulty accepting it, seek the help of mental health professionals.

Take responsibility for where you are

You reached her based on the decisions you took and the paths you chose. The only person responsible for being in this situation is you. So rather than finding excuses or blaming others, take responsibility for your actions.

Stop making excuses

Taking responsibility for your situation includes not making excuses for where you are. You need to own the fact that your decisions led to this and that you are the one who can change it again. Take control of your life and make it the way you want it to be.

In this blog post, we will provide how to tell when you feel “I’m 40 and wasted my life” and what you can do to not waste your life.

References

https://medium.com/publishous/what-to-do-if-you-ever-feel-like-youve-wasted-your-life-acf024715b65

https://www.selfstairway.com/wasting-your-life/
https://www.simplemindfulness.com/what-to-do-with-my-life/

Was this post helpful?

Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.