One day, you are happy with your post-graduate work. The next, you are struck with the crippling fear that this is it. This is how you are going to spend the rest of your life, even if you really are not happy. Welcome to your quarter life crisis. It is the time when people say, “Just deal with it,” even as you struggle to wake up in the morning.
Your quarter life crisis is not just another phase. It is a moment in life when you can make some serious decisions and turn things around for the better. Here are seven ways to power through your quarter life crisis and become stronger and happier:
1. Know thyself
Developing “you” is the essence of the quarter life crisis. That is why everyone goes through it, because our minds need to catch up with our bodies and learn how to calm down. As you start to clamor over everyone else’s successes and minimize your goals, just remember that you do not know yourself yet.
That is why you have to look at what everyone else has do (monkey see, monkey do). Instead, figure out what matters most to you – your values. Do you seek money, stability, adventure, romance, creativity, or knowledge? Figure out what motivates you, and thenreconstruct your life around that.
2. Work on your EQ
During the first quarter of life, you were conditioned to rely on what others told you how you should live. You unconsciously took influences and inspiration from family, teachers, friends, and social media. Now, at this stage in your young adult life, you are beginning to see that some of those lessons were complete bull.
You realize that you have to start connecting with yourself and with others on a different, more compassionate level. Use your quarter-life crisis as a bootcamp for constructing a strong mind-body connection. Learn now how to understand your thoughts and emotions. See those feelings in others, and then resonance compassion. In other words, do not react – respond.
3. Take responsibility for your life
Ever hear the saying that “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”? When you begin to see as everything affecting you as 100% within your control, you begin to understand how your attitude about life can change your life.
Rather than blaming others for where you are now, only ask yourself what you could have done differently, how you should have behaved, and what you can do to avoid any further troubles. Further, the next time someone starts to irritate you, think to yourself, “How am I contributing to this issue? How can I ameliorate it?”
4. Stop comparing
Everyone on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will usually share the highlight reels of their life with some heart-warming bloopers thrown in. Very rarely do you see the actual stream of events. This creates a warped sense of reality.
You think that you are the only one who is not doing their dream job, graduating school, making big bucks, or finding the love of their life. But you know what? It is all an illusion, so stop focusing on what others are doing and be you. You can only live your life and be yourself. So stop comparing.
5. Never think about “should”
Obligations hold us back. It is not hard to see that. Thinking about what you should be doing for someone else simply because you are obligated to through societal views can dampen your outlook.
Oftentimes, because of obligation, you lose sight of your own motivations. Stop thinking about what you “should” do and more about what you want to do. Life is not about living vicariously through someone else. Your life is yours alone.
6. Tackle your fears head-on
What are you so afraid of, anyway? Failure? Repercussions for trying to pave your own way? Buck up, kid. No one ever made history by doing what society asked them to do.
No one goes places when they let someone else or their fears take the steering wheel. You have to be proactive in life, even if that means going against every negative thing you ever heard in your life that put you down. You have to rise above the fear or else you will drown in it.
7. Put yourself out there
In other words, connect with other people going through what you are going through. Sure, wearing your emotions on your sleeve may be hard at first, but starting something that helps you build community and find support is just another level of developing emotional intelligence. So, start a blog, join a club, volunteer for a cause, or do something that speaks to your need for fulfillment.
Hopefully through these tips you see how normal a quarter life crisis is. The good news is that you are not alone, first of all. Second, you have people who were once just like you that overcame their troubling quarter life crisis to become famous stars or world-changing leaders.
Just because you may not like where you are right now does not mean that the future is stale. The anxiety, crushing depression, and fear of failure are going to fade in time.
Stay strong, keep fighting the good fight, and do these seven things. It might not be daily, and sometimes you may want to quit, but do not give in. You will get through it. I did, and so can you.