So it seems that 86% of millennials will at some point go through what we call a Quarter Life Crisis, and that number seems to be increasing.
What used to be the infamous Midlife Crisis where your dad realizes he wasted his life not living the dream and maxes out his credit card on a mustang, we now see another crisis stage that hits in your twenties instead.
Pretty sure this is the first time kids will go through a life crisis before their parents, but then again, millennials are born to outcrazy your ass.
It’s one of our many talents.
Welcome to the generation that is constantly setting higher goals, thinking outside of the box, pushing the limits; more ambitious, more stressed, and has a higher rate of anxiety and depression as a result.
Although I can definitely recommend spontaneously quitting your job, hopping on a flight to Bali, then getting drunk and dating your bartender, there are more sane ways to work through your Quarter Life Crisis.
Here are five steps you can take today.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
When you feel insecure about your life path and identity and everything else going to hell, chances are you end up scrolling through social media and looking at everyone living the life you wish you had. You compare yourself to your friends and what they’re doing in their lives, you think back to everything you could have done differently, and you secretly wonder if you’d been one of those Instagram models if you’d only started doing Yoga back in high school.
These what if’s are useless so stop it.
The problem with Social Media is that we are getting constant access to information we’d be better off without, and once you know it’s there it’s hard to stop comparing.
Do you really need to know what Freelee is eating for breakfast?
Did it not just make you feel even more useless because her breakfast is better than yours?
On the other hand, these Instagram models are spending their days dealing with the pressure of running their accounts, constantly trying to maintain a good feed, engagement, and increasing their following. Trust me, it’s hard fucking work.
They’re the kind of people who will go to Bali specifically to work on their Instagram feed, who spend hours editing a photo where the lighting isn’t good enough, only to lay awake at night because it threw off their entire aesthetic and this could affect their brand.
More than that, most of them also go through their own life crisis, because they know that what they’re doing can’t last forever and what the hell are they going to do when it’s over.
Ever had a bartender ask what you do for a living and you proceed to mumble into your wine because you know he’s getting his Masters and bartending and you feel so fucking useless in comparison?
It’s nothing but way to ensure chronic feelings of disappointment and underachievement.
We’re all at different stages of our journey, and more than that, we all have different definitions of success.
Take A Step Back and Identify The Root Cause
Write it all down and look at your life from an outside perspective.
Categorize your life and write down where you are now, your long term goals, mid term goals and short term goals. Define your values, be specific enough to know when you hit them, but vague enough to allow for figuring out the details along the way.
How much do you want in your bank account by the end of the year?
How much do you want to earn per month?
Do you want an apartment in the city?
Do you want a job where you can travel?
What appeals more: stability or freedom?
Do you want hourly paid or commission?
Identify the root cause of your feelings by looking at the areas where you’re lacking, then focus on them. Build them up, make the changes necessary to ensure long term stability within all of the categories that make up your life.
Be Nice To Yourself
Going through a life crisis in your twenties, or at any point for that matter, we have a tendency to become our own worst critic. So I advise you to focus on being nice to yourself ASAP, because this stage of your life is difficult enough so let’s not make it worse.
It’s also important to remember that this can be a fucking blessing in disguise, because this is the time you’ll rethink and maybe make some huge decisions that are going to change your life in the future.
Instead of ignoring the problem, you’re taking action, you’re trying to figure it all out, and I bet you’re never going to regret that.
One day you’ll be thanking yourself for having done something about it rather than continue on a life path that made you feel like shit.
Network: Find Those Who Know What You Don’t
Discuss your situation with the right people, go out and find those who have been through their own quarter life crisis, and learn about their strategies.
Sure, it’s great to talk to friends and family about your feelings of discontent, but there comes a time where you need to go out and ask more relevant questions.
Find those who went back to school in their late twenties and got a completely different degree – was it worth it? How did they do it?
Find those who got several part time jobs to allow them to work freelance on what they were truly passionate about – did it work?
If it didn’t work out, are they still glad they tried?
Then, once you figure out what you can imagine yourself doing for the next thirty years, find the people who are already doing it and ask even more questions.
Get to know those who have experience in your industry instead of waiting for yourself to figure it out with time.
Research: Plan Your Next Step
Now that you’ve rationalized your problem, come to terms with the fact that something needs to change, stopped criticising yourself for being in this situation, and expanded your network and knowledge – it’s time to act.
Don’t become one of those people who continue making the same mistake just because it took a long time making it.
Take action now.
Whether you’re deciding to quit your job and go to Bali for a year to work on your writing, get a Yoga Instructor Certificate in Costa Rica, or changing your current courses in school – start now and take the first step.
Be aware of your possibilities. Sure, it might be scary as fuck, and not everyone will see the logic in what you do, but it’s also going to feel amazing once you realize you’re doing the right thing for you.