So, you've been out of school for a few years and all of a sudden you feel stuck. You're in a rut questioning whether this is really the career you want, whether this is the city you really want to live in, and whether this is the relationship you really want to have. Welcome to your Quarter Life Crisis.
The Quarter Life Crisis seems to be a new phenomenon that is hitting young adults in their mid to late 20s. You have spent your entire life moving forward, going from Elementary School to Middle School to High School to College. These have been very strong milestones in your development, and ways to measure progress and growth. But what happens once you finish your education and you start working? Yes, there are annual job evaluations to help you measure growth and development but promotions are slower to come by and progress slows down. You start to stabilize and in so doing start to feel stuck. You start to ask yourself "is this really all there is?" or "what now?". These are common feelings and questions to have at this stage in your life.
This is the first time in your life where you are in complete control of your life and your destiny. You no longer have to please mom and dad by going to college or studying a specific topic. You can create your own path with your own destiny. When this realization hits you can feel anything from excitement, elation, fear, anxiety, and depression. The emotional spectrum of responses to this realization are as great as the behavioral ones. Some people change relationships, move, go to grad school, or change careers completely.
Ways to Navigate your Quarter Life Crisis
Ask yourself how you want to spend your life. I know it's a big ambiguous question but it allows you to start to dream again. Figure out what your life at 30, 40, or 50 would look like if you lived a life of purpose and fulfillment. The more details you imagine, the easier the exercise is. Give yourself moments during the day to return to dreaming about your future, reviewing what you've dreamed up so far, and figuring out what to add to the dream.
Once you have a solid picture in your mind about what you want your life to actually look like, start to identify the parts of your life where your dream meets reality. You might already be living in your dream city, or have your dream partner, or work for your dream corporation. For most people, part of the dream has already come to fruition. This is such an important step because it allows you to realize that you are already succeeding in certain aspects of your life.
After you have dreamed for a while, allow yourself to pick one specific part of your dream that you have not achieved yet. Then break down that dream in small, actionable steps that will get you from where you are right now to where you want to be. Set up a timeline, and behavioral goals that will get you there.
Finally, share your dream with a trusted person who will support you in your steps and will hold you accountable in order to increase the chances of success in following through on meeting your goals. If you need help with any part of this process, please book an appointment so that we can create a plan together on how to get you out of your quarter life crisis.