You’re sitting at a coffee house catching up with your friends after a while on a fine Sunday evening and they’re telling you how their life has been. Monica is working as a head chef at Allesandro’s. Rachel is working as an executive at Ralph Lauren and Phoebe is planning her wedding with her fiancé Mike Hannigan.
Suddenly you find yourself comparing your life with theirs and you feel very unfulfilled and dissatisfied with your life. You wear a smile and congratulate everybody for their successes but you feel lost.
You’re still figuring things out and having difficulty choosing a direction but you crave being settled like your peers are. You tell yourself to suck it up and find something permanent but you don’t know if that will make you happy either.
You just want somebody to tell you what you should do next. You wish for a fully laid out guide for the next 30 years of your life.
You are not alone….
LinkedIn published research that indicates that 75 percent of 25-to- 33-years old have experienced a quarter life crisis or are going through it.
As teenagers, the majority of us were busy preparing for college and parental guidance often helps postpone the panic about life’s big questions such as “What do I want to be?”, “Where do my interests lie?”, “What is the best suited path for me?”.
These questions reappear when you graduate and enter the rat race to find the perfect job. You try your best to find career options that will give you autonomy, creative freedom, a good payscale, feel fulfilling and make your parents proud. Very soon hopelessness sets in when you enter the workforce and realise how far reality is to your expectations. This is the period of time when most 20-somethings wonder if the choices that they made were really for them or if there is something better suited for them out there.
This is also the time when you are suddenly expected to take responsibility for your actions and are held accountable for your life . When the fear of uncertainty regarding your future sets in, it’s the final domino that begins the chain reaction to a quarter life crisis. Suddenly you feel the world is against you.
It can feel very threatening to change your current situation, to decide whether to be in the same direction or to strive and struggle to lead a life of desires.
Stop Wondering, Start Working
Now that you know you want to change the current dynamics of your life, stop making excuses as to why it cannot happen. You can either start working now or you can wait another 6 months, maybe a year or two to make the same decision.
Even if you are aware of what’s happening, you might still be confused on how to go about dealing with the crisis that you are in.
Don’t worry. We've got you covered.
1. Believe in Yourself
When you share your ideologies of how you want to lead your life to other people, you might get let down by many of them. You need to stop comparing yourself to others, have faith in yourself, your dreams and find people who believe in you as well. Social context makes a big difference during your twenties.
This might not be easy but it is the better alternative to spending the next 40 years of your life filled with regrets. You can start following your dreams now or you can read another article in 15 years about mid life crisis.
2. Avoid hasty decisions
It can be hard changing the direction of your life especially when you feel like you’re growing old with each passing day. At this point, you just want to make the change fast. You wish your dream could be at your doorstep, but pause.
Nobody has got it figured out. Nobody instinctively knows what they want to do with their life. Moving fast and impulsively in the direction that you desperately want to be in can result in another wrong choice.
Take your time to figure out what you want to do. Ask yourself these questions: “Does this work really give me happiness?”, “Do I have potential in this field?”, “What kind of impact can I create with my work?”
We often create mental timelines for achievements and feel let down when our current life doesn’t match with it. This doesn’t mean that you are failing. We need to readjust our mental timelines realistically. Figure out who you are or who you can be even if that requires you to slow down for a while.
3. Make an action plan
When you do figure out which direction you want to be headed. Create a well organised and structured action plan. How are you going to do what you have planned?
A lot of different things work for different people. Some people like to work with vision boards. Some like to create a planner scheduling all the concrete details. You can also use different applications like google calendar to set daily reminders of the work you’ve planned.
The same strategies don’t work for everyone. The point of all this is to not lag behind and get distracted from the end goal. You can choose to work however you like to but an action plan to strategize your tasks might be very useful for the longer run.
4. Ask for help
As you start engaging yourself in this journey, do not hesitate to take help from other people. You’re going to find a lot of hurdles, instead of giving up, find the people who are already doing this or people who can help you with the hurdles.
Do not be ashamed of not knowing. Be ashamed of never knowing. This will require a lot of will power and determination to make it work. Very few people have the courage to make the change and to not settle for something that isn’t fulfilling .
Make the ask. Do the hustle. Get the dream.
5. Set a deadline
A goal will remain just a goal without a deadline. When you have made an action plan, set a deadline to complete it. If you don’t keep track of time, you’re going to fall back to the same unhelpful routine.
You will never be able to fulfill your goal if you don’t have a set date to do it. Have you ever submitted any college assignments without the professor giving a deadline for it?
It can be very scary to be on your own for the first time but you can power through your quarter life crisis for a bright future ahead. There have been studies which indicate that 80 percent of the people who went through a quarter life crises had an overall positive outcome at the end of it. Appropriately working through your quarter life crisis can also decrease the chances of you facing a midlife crisis.
If you’re currently going through a quarter life crisis which is making it difficult for you to move in a direction that you want, a little bit of professional help can go a long way. Reach out to our counsellors at Lostalittle. You can avail your first session at only Rs. 99/-