25 Oct 2019
Your Quarter-Life Crisis
Do you feel like you are at a crossroads in your life? If you are in your mid 20s to early 30s, it is highly likely that you are going to experience a quarter-life crisis. And it is very different to it’s middle-aged cousin, because you definitely can’t afford a Ferrari! But you are not alone, a recent study by LinkedIn found that 75%, of the thousands of 25 to 33-year-olds surveyed, have felt this anxiety over the direction and quality of their life. It is an age where you start to feel the pressure of time and take stock of your dreams and goals.
Clinical psychologist Alex Fowke defines a quarter-life crisis as “a period of insecurity, doubt and disappointment surrounding your career, relationships and financial situation” where you haven’t lived up to your own expectations.
When you were 15 planning that you would own a house, be in your dream job, married with your first child and a golden retriever called Maggie by the time you were 25, it all seemed very feasible! But now you are 27, single, renting (or still living with your parents) and trying to pay off your ridiculous student loan while budgeting your $18 Smashed Avo. It’s natural to have a reality check!
Sometimes you have to make life choices before you know who you really are. Then you get to your mid to late 20s, and some of these choices are revealed be out of sync with your true destiny. This ‘crisis’ is in your internal conflict with society’s standards and these external expectations that no longer match your internal values of who you are or want to be.
With big milestones like marriage and homeownership getting pushed back for millennials (with many of us questioning these traditions altogether) it is not uncommon to start to look towards your careers to validate your sense of self. According to the LinkedIn study, the top concern (61%) in a quarter-life crisis is finding a job you’re passionate about. The other top reason is comparing yourself to your more successful friends.
Comparison is the thief of joy, yet you also have to navigate the alternate reality that is social media, where everybody’s grass looks greener (it’s a just filter!) And now you are inundated with possibilities and are always being exposed to ‘more’. This constant stream of your peers and idols living their best lives, can make you feel like you are falling behind and not achieving your full potential, which further fuels your insecurities and disappointment, and puts extra pressure on your relationships and goals.
You are shown a kaleidoscope of opportunities yet there is a complete lack of stability in your life. As a result, the quarter-life crisis often manifests in running away to start again, gain perspective and find yourself.
And honestly, you do need to get away! Being in a new environment will help you listen to your intuition and follow your bliss. It will give you clarity on what is working in your life and what isn’t; giving you the opportunity to let go of the things that aren’t serving you. It will help you re-discover your passion (read our blog on discovering your passion here) and those things that you do to make yourself feel good and not because you have to or as a means to an end. Get away and do some soul-searching, start healthy habits like starting daily yoga and meditation practice, and tune in to yourself to find some focus, hope and clear-sight to make the necessary changes to get on track.