Wait wait wait…before you start rolling your eyes, just hear me out. We all know (or have experienced) the fact that sometimes when things feel like curses to us, they’re just the gift we need. Sometimes we need an extra kick in the bum to finally push us off the couch.
Anyone who has ever felt like they’re going through a quarter life crisis knows how much it sucks. You wake up one day in a life that turned out to be the total opposite of how you’d imagined. And to top it all off…no one understands you because on the outside looking in, you’re living the American dream or seem to have it all; a fruitful career, a happy family, and wonderful benefits. What more could you possibly want? Before I answer that, let me briefly explain what a quarter life crisis is to the people who don’t know.
A quarter life crisis is something that some young adults experience as they adjust to the stress and responsibility of adult life. People report feeling overwhelmed, scared, confused, lonely, and even lost. Its a period of time where sufferers feel enormous pressure to perfect every area of their lives and may even beat themselves up for not meeting some of their goals. It effects young adults in their mid 20’s to their mid 30s.
It really isn’t about how great your life may look on paper. It’s about how you feel in that life and if your way of living aligns with your vision of what you want your life to look like. Let’s face it, we’re all on borrowed time so it just makes sense to make the most of every second we have here on this amazing earth.
We need to be making the most out of our lives. We want to be sitting in our rocking chairs at 95 years of age while reminiscing on the many incredible moments we’ve embraced in our lives. That no dream stones were left unturned. That we had so much fun and accomplished so many of our goals and desires that we couldn’t formulate a bucket list if we were offered millions to do so. Who needs a bucket list when you’ve risen to your calls and paved your own path all along?
But Back To The “What More Could You Possibly Want” Part…
One of the biggest areas of contention for quarter-lifers is career unhappiness. Maybe you’ve outgrown your career? Maybe you chose the safe path to appease your parents? Maybe, like me, you’re a 1st generation American and you had to go the safe route because taking big career risks isn’t something your family understands? Maybe you forgot how to dream big? Maybe you want to travel more and your J-O-B clashes with your travel goals? Maybe you’re sick of working in an office and you’d like to earn a living working from home now? Careers don’t have to last a life time anymore and if you’re unhappy in yours, don’t be afraid to move around.
Here’s Where A Quarter Life Crisis Can Be A Lifesaver…
Realizing that you are in a quarter life crisis is the proverbial wake up call you need to re-design your life so that it aligns with your vision for yourself. It’s a time to sit and reflect on what it is YOU REALLY WANT and go out and get it. Now the thought of that might overwhelm you, but if you don’t recognize this as a call to action now that it’s screaming into your ears…imagine living the WHOLE rest of your life feeling exactly like you feel now? That would suck right??
Here’s the thing…whenever we come to a crossroad and the path you usually take is filled with potholes, that’s your opportunity to take a new route home. So instead of beating yourself up for ending up in a place you don’t want to be, do these 3 things instead:
1) Give Yourself A Huge Pat On The Back For Accomplishing Everything You’ve Accomplished So Far
Whether or not it’s a career you hate, becoming a parent, buying a house, getting a degree, taking fantastic care of the pets in your life, or taking that trip abroad that ignited the flame for more travel in your heart. We all have a story, take a second to appreciate the beginning of yours. Back to being 85 and on that rocking chair— your life story will be much more interesting since you’ll be adding in some cool detours.
2) Don’t Be Afraid Of The Detours—They Add Flavor To The Punch
When our parents came up, things were different. Life was simpler. It wasn’t uncommon for people to work the same job for most of their professional careers. We live in a time period where “normal” is relative. People are finding new meanings for the word “normal” every single day. This is a time period where finding your version of normal isn’t only “okay”, it’s celebrated!!
If you don’t believe me, take social media for example…it’s revolutionized the way people do business while creating dozens of income earning possibilities that didn’t exist in our parents’ time. There are 18 year olds earning 6 figures on youtube. Or social media obsessed consultants that earn a generous living managing the social media accounts of various businesses. Those J-O-B-S didn’t exist 25 years ago and people who are making a living with social media weren’t afraid to take the plunge and try something different.
If you already know what you want to do, you’re ahead of the herd because a lot of us quarter-lifers struggle when it comes to figuring out our next steps. Give it a try and it just might work out. Worst case scenario, you learned something new that may serve you in ways you may have never imagined in your next new career.
I was a delivery nurse prior to becoming an entrepreneur. Even though I no longer practice nursing, I learned to deliver phenomenal customer service and how to make people feel comfortable in tough situations. Those skills have been key to my success as an entrepreneur. As we live our lives, we gain valuable tools along the way and sometimes we don’t recognize how those tools help us in other parts of our lives.
3) Obstacles Aren’t Always As Big As They Seem. Avoid Being Overwhelmed By Learning To Break Things Up Into Smaller Palatable Steps.
If you already know what you want to do, it may not require immediately entering a $60,000/yr biz school or going out and getting biz cards, or having an LLC created. Break your ideas up into smaller steps.
Say you want to start a dance school for example…Your first step doesn’t have to be going into debt and purchasing a building to host your center. Start small and scale up. Maybe start teaching private lessons in people’s homes (minimal overhead required) or an outdoor park. Build your clientele up from there and then you could consider leasing out retail space with your new profits. This also gives you a chance to test out your business idea to see if you’d really want to do it professionally and to test out the profitability of the idea while minimizing your initial investment.
Some Final Thoughts…
Ok. Hopefully you can see how a quarter life crisis can be turned into a positive. Don’t let the crisis consume you, let it inspire you. Let it drive you into your purpose. Let it propel you into necessary action. On the road to happiness leave no dream stones unturned. What are you doing to turn your professional lives around? Share your thoughts below…