Are you at that moment in your life where you don’t know your purpose? Do you often stop and wonder what you have amounted to in your life? Then, you may be experiencing a quarter-life crisis.
A few friends of mine are going through their quarter-life crisis, or whatever you want to call it. Some are unemployed or underemployed, despite their university degrees. Others are leaving long-term relationships and/or moving to new cities.
They are dealing with a great amount of uncertainty. They don’t feel fulfilled in their jobs, they don’t know where they’re headed with their careers, and they keep comparing themselves with others.
I also was that person, unfulfilled and wanting more, more, more. I didn’t feel fulfilled in my job, didn’t see myself choosing my current accounting career path for long. The classic quarter-life crisis scenario. The only thing is that I took action a few months ago and continue to take action. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made!
I want to teach you how to take action, how to get out of your quarter-life crisis even though it might feel like you’re on thin ice.
Because you deserve a fulfilled life.
You deserve that great job.
You deserve that great business.
Because you are able and worthy of living your best possible life!
So I’ll be walking you through how to solve any problem by taking action!
What Is A Quarter-Life Crisis?
A quarter-life crisis is a period of questioning almost everything. During your early twenties up to mid-thirties, you may undergo a period of self-doubt and uncertainty. During this phase, you experience soul searching to look for your life purpose. This is usually triggered when a major transition or an existential event happens.
This is a crisis that most individuals go through. It is a common issue that people seem to go through in their lives. Some people rise above it, but there are some people who do not. So know that you are not alone when you feel down and out due to a challenge or problem you are facing now.
You can feel like the whole world is against you – a painful feeling that could make you anxious or depressed. This feeling can trigger panic and guilt when you don’t know what direction your life is heading. This nagging feeling can end up with negative thinking that can cause further stress and anxiety.
Factors That Lead To Quarter-Life Crisis
You might be wondering as to why you are experiencing this quarter-life crisis. Some certain factors and instances lead you to this:
You may come to a phase where you ask yourself, is this the right job for me? Am I on the right career path? Will I be more successful if I choose a different occupation?
These are just some questions that you can be asking yourself. You cannot help but compare yourself with others, which can lead to self-pity or low self-esteem.
Certain individuals worry about getting a partner. A person who they can live with for the rest of their lives and grow old with. A feeling of security that they long for when they get older. They want to have someone to share their lives with.
Getting married is a big step and a big change that every individual may or may not go through in life. Spending a lifetime with someone is such a big decision that some people may have difficulty coping. So everyone must be mindful of this big, big decision in their life.
Some might get overwhelmed by having kids and how to take care of them. Others take care of their old parents, which may confuse them about which priorities to deal with. Being in this kind of situation makes it a lot more challenging as you are dealing with lives other than your own. The challenge is doubled and makes an individual all the more suffocating.
Taking care of yourself is already challenging, but adding another human life, whether a child or a parent, can contribute to your situation.
Your Purpose In Life
You may also be questioning yourself about your purpose in life. What is your worth as a human being? Are you making the right choices and decisions in your life? These kinds of existential questions could potentially lead to depression or anxiety.
Asking yourself again and again about this without having the correct answer leads to a confusing and problematic situation. Not knowing the answer to these questions will eventually take hold of a person’s life and affect their every move.
Some individuals are fearful of the impact of every single decision they make, as this may or may not have a lasting effect on their life. This may cause irrational decision-making, negative emotions affecting their health, and an overall sense of dread during this period of time.
11 Ways To Overcome Your Quarter-Life Crisis
Quarter-life crisis may be difficult to deal with. So, here are the ways for you to try and overcome your quarter-life problem.
1. Talk About Your Quarter-Life Crisis
This is the #1 place to start! Talking with someone about your issues enables you to see them in context. When the issue is going on and on in your mind, it will only get worse. I advise you to talk to someone about it to put things in perspective.
It seems that everyone has it together, and you don’t. Honestly, everyone has their own struggles. Everyone goes through the process. We just don’t want to see it. Trust the process. You will get where you want to be.
2. Be Grateful For Your Quarter-Life Crisis
Your perception of falling behind and comparing yourself with others might not be the whole truth. Often we only compare ourselves with those who have it better than you (at least, that’s what I do). This is a common event in every person’s life.
You only see a fraction of what other people have done, but you use this to rival your own life. But you do not know what the person went through to achieve or succeed. This may be the more appropriate measuring stick for your life rather than looking at the result only.
When you look around you, there is always something to be grateful for. If you are unemployed, be thankful that you can live at your parents’ house. When you get paid minimum wage, be grateful that you are employed. When you are unemployed and struggling to pay the bills, be grateful for your family, your friends, your support system, your drive to keep searching.
You get the point. There’s always something to be grateful for! What really helped me focus on the positive is to write down 3 things that I’m thankful for before I go to bed.
3. Search For Your Passion
If you think that you are not fulfilling your purpose or direction in life, you might as well find what you love to do. Find yourself something that would motivate and bring out that fire in you. Turn those negative feelings into a positive analysis of what will make you better as a person. Coping with change in mind should be a better way to overcome this situation.
This does help not only your well-being but also your overall perspective in life. Doing what you love can help you get through the rough patch you’re currently at. So, set those worries behind and find that passion!
You’ll never know, but that passion may turn into a side hustle, leading us to the next step on dealing with a quarter-life crisis.
4. Start A Side Hustle
Not just any side hustle, but a side hustle that is more in the direction of what you feel called to do. Think about what you want more of in your life? Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t.
I started my blog after almost a year of struggle and frustration. I was insecure to start working a job initially, but I felt like I didn’t have any choice. Once I started working, I felt completely unfulfilled by my job. I didn’t want to work for someone else, I wanted to work for myself!
The problem was, I didn’t know what, and I didn’t know-how. I applied to two seminars, one by T. Harv Eker called the Millionaire Mind Intensive. I found so many great people there that I would owe it to them and to myself to start taking massive action!
Within weeks of attending the seminar, I started my blog. If we skip the mental breakdowns, it went quite smoothly. I just started. I took action. Every day I get up at 6 am, write until 8 am, go to work, and write again.
Working my day job is easy because I know it’s just something that I do to keep my income while building something for myself. I feel like I’m Superwoman with a secret life that no one knows about. It’s awesome!
Starting a side hustle is a very realistic way to enjoy your career and continue to get your salary. Go volunteer, start that blog, start selling those printed dog shirts (that’s my backup idea when this blog doesn’t work out, I love dogs)!
[Related Read: Side Hustle Ideas to Make More Money]
5. Self Care Is Important
Going through a crisis needs a strong mind and body. Take care of yourself so you can cope with difficulties and face them without being scared. Moreover, you would be able to handle stressful situations with ease.
If you are having a hard time, it’s okay to stop and recharge yourself to better deal with issues. Sometimes it is better to take time off as this would reset you mentally and have a clearer mind on your perspective. Time outs are important as this can help you refocus and allow your mind to be clear of the next steps you need to take.
6. Value Your Time And Don’t Let It Choke You
You do know the saying that you only live once? You only have one life, and you should make the most out of it. Instead of drowning yourself in negative energy, realize that your life is too valuable. So make it a point to live your life to the fullest.
Remember that. Every time things become challenging, remember that you live your life only once, so re-adjust yourself. Know how good your life can be if you put your mind to it.
Breathe and relax. This is a good exercise when a challenging situation arises. Stop, breathe and relax. This is your reset button so that you can adjust yourself to the situation at hand. Knowing that you can pause and refocus is a good exercise to follow whenever the going gets tough.
Learn to let go. The earlier you realize that there are some things in life that you cannot control, the better you can handle yourself moving forward. Always remember that these things happen for a reason and that you will feel better after these challenges.
Learn to be positive, and positivity will attract and follow your life. As you learn to master your emotions, channeling positive energy will attract every facet of your life. Since there will be little to no negativity controlling you, positivity will become your nature. This should help you so much as you move towards a more fulfilling and rewarding life.
Know the value and beauty of life so that you may concentrate on what truly matters. This will surely help your overall disposition in life. Love and live your life.
7. Stop Comparing
Many individuals have the tendency to compare themselves with others. This could make you feel less, especially when you heard that your college friend is already earning big and living the life you always wanted. Then, disappointment comes in, which wasn’t there before.
You can always train your mind not to compare yourself with others, for you may not know that they are also experiencing difficulties in their lives. Sometimes, when we compare ourselves to others, we tend to focus our energy on other people’s lives instead of pulling ourselves up.
Comparing yourself with others will just make you lonely and will never have contentment. You always want more. Learn to love what you have, be a better version of yourself, and it will lead you to happiness.
8. No Wifi, No Worries
Dealing with a quarter-life crisis may be stressful at some point. Taking a little time off on social media can help you cope with emotions and negative thoughts. Why? Because social media can increase anxiety and depression, especially considering what you are going through.
You cannot control what other people post and show on social media, but what you can control is the amount of time you expose yourself to this platform. Again, do time-outs. This will very much help you be happier in your life.
Taking a break from social media can give you more time for yourself and reflect on what you truly want. This is also a way to rest your mind from the different issues you see. The best thing about unplugging yourself from social networks is you get better sleep, and you wake up more rested.
You may be dissatisfied with your life. Then this is the best time to do other worthwhile activities to better yourself. There is a whole bigger world out there than the confines of the internet and social media.
[Related Read: 105 Wonderful Things To Do With No Money]
9. Focus On Yourself
Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the only person who can help you is you and you alone. There may be people who can give you advice, but it’s still you who can and will decide on what is best for you.
Coping with life is sometimes tricky, but if you do not help yourself first, you may not get the life satisfaction you plan for yourself. Don’t let yourself sit in the corner and let your quarter-life crisis eat you. Learn to cope!
Open your thoughts and feelings to other possibilities. This may very well be the difference between rising or falling from your crisis. Again, breathe and let it all out. Rise from the ashes and be a better person ready to take on the world!
10. Have FUN!
Don’t forget to have fun sometimes. Take a break from what you are going through, as this can help you emotionally. Having fun doesn’t mean that you are getting away from your problems. It can also be your stress reliever.
It is healthy to go out and have fun, as this can take your mind off the negativity inside. This lessens the burden inside and relieves stress. Be happier and be healthy so that your life can be better and brighter.
11. Take Action, Take Action, Take Action
We all know the cliche quotes;
- Start before you’re ready
- The best time to start is yesterday, the second-best time is now
- A year from now, you will wish you’ve started today
But you know, they are very, very true.
Because you have to start before you’re ready.
Because the second-best time to start is now.
A year from now, you’ll wish you’ve started today.
Because you can do it.
Because you are the only thing holding you back.
If you don’t start, you will be sure never to get anywhere.
When I’m hesitant about taking action, I ask myself.
Conclusion – How To Deal With Quarter-Life Crisis
Almost every individual goes through a quarter-life crisis. So know that you are not alone in this. This is a common challenge every person usually goes through. That is why there have been studies and researches done to understand and provide help to those who endure these issues.
You may want to opt for health professionals to help you with this. There are psychologists and counselors who can help you with this, but this article can be your quick guide on overcoming this problem on your own.
Always remember that your life is a gift that you need to cherish. You only live once. It’s a saying that can help you withstand this crisis and make you such a better person. Be a phoenix and rise from this to become the best person you can be. It’s all up to you.
What is the one step you are going to take today?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.