How is this possible? Your college graduation day feels like yesterday and you can still remember the priceless feeling of accomplishment. You knew exactly what you wanted and you were on the fast track to getting everything you’ve always hoped to have in life.
Lately, however, you’ve been questioning some of the core values that have defined your life up to now. Am I really a business person? Am I better suited to be an entrepreneur? Do I want to settle down with someone and have children? How will it all fit into my schedule?
If you are in your 20’s or 30’s and you feel uncertain about your career, worry about life or if you don’t exactly feel like an adult yet; you may be going through a quarter-life crisis.
The interpersonal and professional problems that people in their 20’s and early 30’s are experiencing in our modern world are no laughing matter. Moreover, many individuals in their 20’s think of life as a competition. Research suggests that the main challenges that 20-somethings and people in their 30’s face are a result of internal conflict, identity confusion, and uncertainty.
It is human nature to have trouble figuring out what your next move will be at various points in your life. There are no easy solutions to help you figure out what your perfect life path will be. Nevertheless, there are small steps you can employ to assist you throughout your quarter life crisis.
If you think about it, this period of uncertainty could perhaps be an opportunity for you to grow as a person.
What’s a Quarter Life Crisis?
In 1968, Erik H. Erikson published papers suggesting that human beings experience up to eight different developmental stages in their lives. The research of this developmental psychologist is the foundation of what is now known as the “quarter-life crisis”.
A quarter life crisis is basically an intense period of soul searching along with stress that occurs in your 20’s or 30’s. It can stem from the time-period directly after adolescence when many young individuals start to doubt their lives and begin to realize the extent of the stresses connected to adult life.
This happens more often than you might think. A recent LinkedIn study concluded that around 75% of people between the ages of 22 and 33 have dealt with a quarter-life crisis.
The typical candidate is smart and highly driven and they feel like they have not achieved their full potential or that they are falling behind. Others may either be unemployed or under-employed despite having a “magna cum laude” degree. Some people could be unhappy at a job that they used to dream of having.
Perhaps you planned on becoming a mom someday and now you can’t imagine handling a toddler’s timetable along with a work routine involving little sleep and caffeinated drinks.
What Can Cause a Quarter Life Crisis?
If you are overwhelmed with constantly questioning your career, relationships or your purpose in life, don’t be alarmed. It is actually fairly normal. Young people are faced with many types of pressures these days which can lead to a quarter-life crisis.
Getting Passionate About Your Career
Navigating the ever-evolving complexities of the professional landscape and following a career that you are passionate about can be very challenging. Many young adults feel like they can’t find the right career path despite the fact that they were brought up to be ambitious. It is not unusual to change jobs as a result of a quarter-life crisis.
The pressure to get onto the property ladder can be immense for people in their 20’s and 30’s. People also tend to find it difficult to deal with the realization that they may still have a long way to go before they can buy property.
Finding The One
Young adults may be obsessed with finding “the one”. The pressure of finding a partner and maintaining relationships can be overpowering. Most people seek to find romantic relationships in fear of spending their lives in isolation.
4 Tips for Escaping the Crisis in Your Mid-Twenties
There is no quick-fix solution, but these four ways could help you to figure out what you can do to escape the spiraling tornado of your quarter-life crisis.
Practice Self Compassion
Going through the twists and turns of a quarter-life crisis is very difficult and you will only make it worse by being too hard on yourself. The best thing you can do is to remind yourself that this life stage can have positive aspects that can enable you to make the necessary changes to progress in life. Keep an open mind. The crisis will not last forever and you may be happier in the long run.
Reach Out To Your Peers
By sharing your future plans with others, you are more likely to get support from people who can assist you in achieving your breakthrough. Talking to people about the issues that you are burdened with can help you rationalize the problem so that you can solve it with greater ease.
Talking to friends and family members is a great place to start. It is also a good idea to get an unbiased opinion, especially from people with experience in your industry. You can also discuss your thoughts with a network of people through social media.
Figure Your Own Journey, Don’t Compare It to Others
Comparing yourself to other people can distract you from what you want to do with your own life. Remember, you are not at the exact same stage in life as your friends. Whatever your definition is of success or whatever makes you happy should be enough to guide your decisions.
Find Your Passions Outside of Work
If you are in the midst of a quarter-life crisis, it can be useful to channel your unhappiness and frustrations into something else. Consider taking up a side hustle to find some happiness in a career. Furthermore, you could try experimenting with creative activities like drawing or photography.
Aim to Grow Through Life!
Many people in their 20’s or 30’s find themselves caught up in a quarter-life crisis shortly after letting go of the fantastic feeling of graduating.
If you are having a quarter life crisis, don’t despair. Think of it as your chance to step back and re-evaluate your life. You have an opportunity to research your options and find your true passions. Whether you want to start a new career or travel, you need to be aware of what your possibilities are.
Find the courage to admit what you want in life. If you don’t have the guts to say what you want to become in life, no-one will hire you to be it!