I’m sure most of us know what a quarter life crisis looks like – it happens somewhere around your mid-twenties to early-thirties when you look at your life and where you are now and start to question everything! The Guardian states that 86% of ‘millennials’ face a quarter life crisis and I know for sure I was one of them.
When I turned 25 I was totally and 100% confused. I didn’t know what I was doing or why I didn’t feel like I had everything figured out. Being a millennial is tough – there is so much pressure out there now to be something and to create something of yourself that it’s so hard to know where to go. There is so much pressure to succeed in every area of life before we hit our 30’s – relationships, career, finances, travel, you name it – we have put that self-made pressure upon ourselves or feel that pressure from other people to achieve perfection in every area. Now doesn’t that sound harsh?
To top it off, we are constantly bombarded by images and stories on social media of what our friends have achieved and what the lives of ‘successful’ people look like. We compare our lives to those of seemingly ‘successful’ people, which send us into a state of pure anxiety that we haven’t reached our goals of where we are meant to be. That’s when we start to question everything about our lives.
… and many more!
Hitting a quarter life crisis can be confusing, overwhelming and quite lonely. No matter what the crisis is, it will always be a crisis and can lead to us feeling totally in despair. It’s never fun to feel like you’re not good enough or that your life isn’t where it’s supposed to be. In fact, a QLC (quarter life crisis) can lead to seriously negative thoughts and feelings. I know when I hit mine it took a lot of effort to even get out of bed and shower in the morning! Everyone handles their QLC differently but in my experience it involved:
But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that way for you?
That your QLC is the best thing to have ever happened to you?
What if I told you that your quarter life crisis can be a fun and exciting experience rather than a lonely pit of despair?
Well that’s exactly what I’m telling you! Yes being a millennial is tough, but it also means that we are faced with fantastic opportunities for growth and exploration. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you find yourself facing your own crisis – you can turn your thoughts on it around and make it into something magical. Yes, crisis mode automatically sends us into a state of depression and panic, but it doesn’t have to. Here are 5 ways that your crisis can actually be the best thing to ever happen to you.
Being a millennial means that more often than not we are in the social media circle – Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, you name it and we have probably tried it. I love social media but sometimes we start to judge ourselves against other people’s lives, we look at our friend’s lives that seem seemingly perfect and question why we don’t have a perfect life too. That’s the clue here – SEEMINGLY. During a QLC we forget that people only ever show case the highlight reel of their life. Everyone goes through ups and downs yet social media posts only show the good and that when comparisons become ugly.
By comparing yourself to other people, you’re taking away the control from yourself. You are in control of your life, so take back that power to make your life happen for you!
Stop comparing – seriously, what good is it doing for you?
Instead, start to manage your expectations on your life and ask yourself what is it that you really want and what is it that you want to change.
Put yourself back in the driving seat of your own life and start to take control over your journey. You don’t have to know everything! You don’t have to know the future or where you want to go, you just have to get a general idea and start heading in that direction.
Make a list of a few things you know you want to change in your life and start taking the steps to get there.
For example: When I hit my quarter life crisis I had no clue where I wanted to go but I did know what I didn’t want my life to be like – so I started there. I made those small changes to get me out of a situation I was in and moved forward from there – remember it’s all about baby steps.
Being in your twenties and early thirties is the perfect time to discover what you’re passionate about – why? Because you have minimal commitments! You can afford to be selfish with your time, your needs and your desires. Rather than questioning your life in a negative way, start to question your life in a positive way. What do you love to do, what do you need in your life, what do you want more of etc.
Finding your passion can be quite tricky, especially when we don’t know what we are supposed to be doing with your life. Just ask yourself some simple questions and write everything and anything down. You never know where your thoughts will take you and guess what? They don’t have to be concrete answers either. Take the time to get your brain into creative mode and nothing is definite. Be selfish with your time and use it to explore your passion. This leads me on nicely to the next point…
Explore every single area of your life! Once you know what you love, start to dig deeper and do those things as often as you can. If you love animals then help out in a shelter. If you love telling jokes then go to a comedy open mic night. Even for those chocolate lovers out there, there are loads of chocolate making classes to have a go at!
Get yourself out of your rut. Your life won’t change or become the life of your dreams by continuing to live it exactly the same. If you want something different for yourself then you have to do something different. Get out of your comfort zone and try out new things, join new groups or classes, make new friends, open your mind and expand your bubble. By exploring what you love, you’re not only learning new things and making new connections but you’re also exploring what you want your future to look like. You never know what might come from one of your adventures – so make your time count!
Learn what makes you tick. So many of us go through life living through another’s eyes. We see what someone else is doing and question if we should be doing that too, or because another person loves one thing we feel we should love it too. Along the way we forget who we are and we lose that connection with ourselves. Treat your quarter life crisis as a time to get back to your centre and re discover who you are.
Think about what you want and what you don’t want, learn to respect your feelings and appreciate them for what they are. Be who you want to be because at the end of the day, who are you trying to please? You need to be true to yourself.
This is also a perfect time to take control of your feelings and work on your emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence grows over time, but working through your QLC means that your fast forwarding that process and quickening the rate at which yours develops. That is amazing as not only do you respect yourself more but you’re then able to move forward living life authentically and knowing how much value you bring to the world.
Finally, create a dream board. I love a good dream board. They are fantastic for motivation and inspiration. Create a board full of images and words that describe what you want your life to be. However you see your ‘dream’ life, create it on that board and depict the future you want for yourself. Make sure it’s somewhere noticeable so that you can see it everyday. Let it guide you on your journey and remind you that you are in total control of where you want to be.
Make the most of your quarter life crisis as it’s such a valuable time to truly find out who you are – and isn’t it more rewarding to find that out now rather than 30 years down the line? Stop thinking you don’t have it figured out because trust me, you do. Focus on your body and your mind and be kind to yourself. Almost everyone goes through a QLC and you are not alone – you can always seek help and that’s why I love coaching so much! It’s so exciting to discover your passion and what you’re truly gifted to do.