Kate Stevens

Kate Stevens, Life Coach

At a crossroads in life? 5 powerful tips to chose your path

Woman at a crossroads in the countryside - a metaphor in life?

4 minute read with resources

It’s not uncommon to find yourself at a crossroads in life. And if you’re in midlife, the ‘midlife crisis’ can seem very real; feeling stuck, unfulfilled, or unsure which path to take.
Maybe you’re considering a career change or life change or thinking, ‘is this how I want the rest of my life to be..?’.

The great news is that there are plenty of options available to help you.

Here are some life coaching tips that I notice are useful in my work, to help make sense of this pivotal time of change.

1.    Take time to pause (rest)

When we take time to pause, we rest and digest – essential for the parasympathetic nervous system to perform its basic functions.


  • Alleviates or reduces stress
  • Promotes wellbeing and productivity
  • Increases energy over time

We know that if we’re not well rested, we don’t operate well; moody, tired, make mistakes, feel on edge – the list goes on.

This article talks about the importance of taking breaks for wellbeing.

Taking a pause – a break –  may be challenging if you’re feeling overwhelmed or feeling stressed. Here are some practical options about what it could look like for you;

  • Time off work – a holiday, sabbatical, time in lieu etc
  • A day by yourself to get away. IE the seaside, a long walk in the country
  • Micro doses of rest – build and boundary small breaks into your day. Ie work 25 mins, rest 5 mins – Pomodoro Technique https://todoist.com/productivity-methods/pomodoro-technique


Benefits of taking a break

  • Breathing space away from the situation
  • A break in your routine, which may not be serving you
  • Time for you

By resting we put ourselves in a stronger position to make better decisions and be a nicer person inside and out.

I run a group Walk and Talk for Midlife Women in Beckenham Place Park. Check out my Pause Outdoors collab here.

Take a Pause Outdoors


View over green hills in the UK countryside with blue sky

2.    Work out what matters – values

Having paused, you’ve started to reset. Now to work out what really matters to you. These are your VALUES – your guiding principles on how you live your life and are unique to you.

Getting clear on your values enables you to notice;

  • Where you are living your life in line with your values
  • The choices you make – if they’re good/right
  • What’s making you unhappy/ dissatisfied and understand more importantly, why

If your values – what’s important to you, are not present, you might feel discombobulated (my favourite word!). By doing this work, you might find clues that indicate why you feel like you’re at this crossroads in midlife.


Being aware of your values can give you;

  • Clarity – work out what you really want and;
  • Confidence in your decision making

Email me if you’d like an exercise on identifying your values, here.


3.    Have fun – imagine what your life could be like!

You’re at this crossroads in midlife, you’re clear on what’s important to you and you choose your best path…;

What does your life look like now? (!)

Visualisation can be powerful.

You might have a really clear picture of where your future lies, or a sense of how you want to feel, or a lifestyle you’ve dreamed of but never articulated…

Studies have shown that people who visualise themselves flexing a muscle achieve actual physical strength gains.

Find out more by listening to Dr. Michael Mosely on his excellent podcast.


I have a beautiful visualisation exercise in my coaching toolkit; you imagine your future self and through certain steps and questions, we bring it alive!

I remember this exercise working with my client, Sharon. She said that she’d like to live on a canal boat. I invited her to really go into detail and describe the boat, the surroundings, who was with her – so her image became almost real.

Sharon says she, ‘…initially found it a bit odd!’ (!) 😂

‘I think it made the boat idea more real, somehow more tangible. Like a step closer! So many ideas whirling around but that experience helped to cement the boat plan..’

Now she lives on her canal boat.

Dreams can come true.

(Thank you Sharon for your permission to share here).

Whatever it is, can you visualise what and how your amazing life could be like?
Women reversing her canal boat with Mallard flying overhead
Sharon on her canal boat, Roma

Benefits of visualisation;

  • Creative – brings that dream alive
  • Playful – brings out your inner child!
  • Fun – gets you excited about your future
  • Your brain effectively believes it’s real!

There are many different mediums to imagine and visualise; storytelling, a mood board, writing, painting.

4.    Make it your goal

Your goal could be, “ I want out of my job and into something more fulfilling”, or, ‘I want to make a decision about what next in life’.

  • Work out ‘what’ is your end goal – what do you want to achieve specifically?
  • Break it down into small, manageable steps – the ‘how’
  • Write it down – people who write down their goals are more likely to succeed in achieving them
  • Keep reviewing and checking your progress

This means you’ll take measurable steps towards what you want to achieve and you’ll be proactive.

Make your goal SMART;


Benefits of having a goal;

  • Direction – to work towards
  • Focus – eyes on the prize!
  • Clarity – you know what you’re doing
  • Purpose – your reason – your WHY
Woman in icy lake taking a cold water dip. Wearing gloves and bobble hat
Me at Beckenham Place Park lake in the ice. It was the COLDEST water I’ve ever been in.

5.   Get support from someone who can help you

Reaching out to say, “I’m at a crossroads – help!”, puts it out there and take some pressure off you. Having someone who’ll actively listen to you, or advise or inspire you, are all great qualities at this time of need.

I firmly believe as a Life Coach that everyone has the resourcefulness in them to change – they just need help teasing it out, feel safe to to do so and have the motivation to explore it.

Working out ‘which way’ at your midlife crossroads takes time and reflection. It’s challenge, it requires your best thinking, ideas, clarity, a plan.

Yet the effort – the payoff – could FAR outweigh what you’re currently experiencing. People like Sharon (and me!) come out the other side thriving, realising it was always within our reach.

If you need a hand, this is what I do in my work; I help midlife people unlock their potential – life coaching outdoors.




Join my monthly Pause Outdoors – a Group Walk and Talk for Midlife Women.

Take a Pause Outdoors



Client agreement - ground rules.

1. Bring my whole self to this process; professionally and personally.

You cannot separate your professional and personal ‘lives’.

2. Be present in the moment and connected.

… to the coaching; what you’re thinking, feeling, experiencing. And…to nature if and where we are outdoors. If we’re on headphones, I’ll invite you to be descriptive of your environment too.

3. Bring the agenda to each session and keep your overall objective alive.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Be goal and action orientated – bring what you want to discuss and achieve to the session; OR
  • Talk and see what lands – exploratory and intentional.

I will bring the process, tools, ideas, resources and best practice to best support you towards your goal/intention/objective. More in your pre-coaching questionnaire. 

4. Give feedback and be responsive.

Coaching is collaborative. Neither of us should guess where we stand. I ask you to give me feedback and respond – you can rely on me to give and do the same.

I aim to get back to you within 24 hours of you emailing me, even if it’s just to say ‘I received your message’ before I respond properly. If it’s over the weekend or holiday, this may take longer.

5. Do the work in the session and in between sessions.

…so that you get the best value, even when it’s challenging. I might suggest a piece of work based on what you brought to the session. Mainly you will decide your course of action.

Whichever way, I’ll invite you to:

  • Reflect more; through walking, writing and whatever else fires you up, to help you achieve your objective.
  • Explore more; be curious and follow those trails of thought, intentionally
    Practice more; habits? Actions? Keep trying/tweaking.
  • Note what’s coming up that’s important or interesting to you in the session. I may share a few bullet points with you after, via Google Docs.

6. Session duration and timescale.

Generally a session is an hour but happy to shorten or increase session lengths, as and when we both can, that day. Where either of us thinks it appropriate, let’s say in the session. Timescale – let’s keep to the timescale agreed in the contract.

Additional information...

  • Coaching is a relationship designed to facilitate the development of personal or professional goals and develop a plan/strategy for achieving those goals.
  • It is comprehensive; it may involve other areas of your life beyond what you may have originally intended. It is your responsibility to choose and decide how to handle this, or even whether to.
  • It can be challenging; digging deep, creating better habits, becoming more self-aware, changing unhelpful beliefs you hold about yourself to something more helpful. There will be ups and downs. You will gain new insights, learnings and perspectives to help you achieve your goal.
  • You – the Client, are solely responsible for creating and implementing your own physical, mental and emotional well-being, decisions, choices, actions and results arising out of or resulting from the coaching relationship and your coaching calls and interactions with me – the Coach. As such, you agree that the Coach is not and will not be liable or responsible for any actions or inaction, or for any direct or indirect result of any services provided by me – the Coach. 
  • You – the Client, understand that in order to enhance the coaching relationship, you agree to communicate honestly, be open to feedback and assistance and to create the time and energy to participate fully in the program. I will do the same.
  • Coaching is not a substitute for counselling, mental health care or substance abuse treatment.  If you are in any kind of therapy, please tell me.  Tell your practitioner (medical or therapeutic) of you working with me.
  • I ask you to agree to commit to the coaching sessions to facilitate the required change.
  • I will treat you as the expert regarding the subject matter, which is…YOU.
  • I will allow time and space for you to explore your thoughts and think for yourself, no interruptions. There may be long pauses or silence sometimes to elicit more.
  • What goes on in your sessions is confidential. I do not discuss it with anyone. There may be occasion when it is my duty to break confidentiality:
    > If I feel you or I are at risk of harm.
    > Criminal / illegal activity.
    > A safeguarding concern or something else so serious that warrants concern.
  • I may talk to my coach or supervisor about issues arising in our sessions without ever naming or giving away you as the client. This is to ensure I am following professional and ethical guidelines and delivering my best. I subscribe to these by the ICF; https://coachfederation.org/code-of-ethics
  • Qualifications and CPD; I am an accredited coach. This means I have trained, practiced and qualified with Animas Centre for Coaching (Nov 2020). I hold a ‘Diploma in Transformational Coaching’. This is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
    > I have my own coach and group supervision
    > My CPD includes –  Outdoor Intelligence for Online Coaching (Oct 2020) -Positive Psychology (Feb 2021

My accreditations


My story

I’d been trying to work out ‘what else’ I could do with my career and life.

After 20 years in HR and with the children getting older, I wanted to change careers, but into ‘what?’ And ‘how’ was that even possible? And…’who would take on a mid-40’s apprentice?’!

I took small steps to boost my confidence and mindset; a regular ‘walk and whinge’ with friends to offload, short courses to up-skill, more running, more netball.
I asked my workplace ‘what else’ they needed that I could help with – ‘job crafting’. 

I was trying to make changes but it wasn’t really working. I was still frustrated and now, more miserable. I needed a different approach to find a way forward and release the building pressure I felt.

Hiring an accredited coach with whom I knew I could work with, enabled me to take a good look at myself – at times, uncomfortably.

To be listened to without any interruption, or judgement was empowering and I started to recognise what made me, me – my personality, strengths, what energised me and made me happy. What if these things amounted to a job I would…love…?

I followed my curiosity and dabbled with ideas about potential jobs, tasks and environments that would suit me, with a new, growth mindset.

I started to shift perspective. When I finally realised the ‘what’, I felt an energy and sense of knowing that was powerful. And I laughed, because it had been right in front of me!

Coaching undoubtedly helped me get to know myself, to see my potential and what was possible. I wholeheartedly decided through those sessions, on what and how I wanted things to be.

It had taken me two years of feeling stuck and miserable and a number of hours to be liberated.

This is what I now do with my clients. I help them rediscover themselves so that they can play to their strengths and thrive.