Have you had the heavy head on the pillow constantly wondering if this is all there is to life? Is there anything better than this? Thinking back at how awesome college or being a kid was? Wondering if things would be different if you had studied something else? Did more?
You’re thinking ‘damn, life is not turning out as I wanted it to…my parents had already owned a house at my age!’ Maybe you start to blame your parents for pushing you too hard or maybe not pushing you enough.
You’re starting to become jealous of your friends who seem to have it all figured out and you start to feel numb You become insanely scared of fear of failure instead of thinking fear is awesome and reach a state of limbo, driven by ‘what ifs’?
You’re thinking about all your choices, too many ideas, and you realize that there is not enough time to put it all into action and create something awesome.
You’re daydreaming of doing something crazy but you’re on the road to indecision. I know, I was there too…it’s hard…
Everyone has heard of parents or friends fall victim to a mid-life crisis. They suddenly wake up and realize whether naturally or because of a massive change through being made redundant by the company they’ve devoted their life to – that they are completely dispensable.
Worse yet, they’ve misspent the better part of their lives working for someone else in a job that merely pays the bills and provides material wealth, rather than challenging their capability, supporting their emotional well being and allowing their personal strengths to develop into something beyond themselves.
With today’s globalized world and so much possibility before us, more women are finding themselves in a quarter-life crisis. They know there’s more to life than slaving away in a dead-end job, but they’re just not sure how to break the cycle and transform their lives from wandering to Wonder Woman. It’s great that we’re realising this sooner rather than later, but how do we deal with these feelings of misdirected talents and untapped potential?
Try these 5 simple strategies for coping with (or warding off) a quarter-life crisis:
- Re-evaluate your relationships. If you consider that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, this might help explain the way you think, feel and act. List those five people. Do they possess characteristics you would be proud of? Just as our clothes sometimes become worn and need replacing, occasionally people do too. If you’re spending time with comfortable, judgmental or reactive people, this is bound to restrict your thinking, risk-taking and proactive Wonder Woman attitude!
- Home is not where you live, but where they understand you. You cannot thrive as a creative professional if you are reduced to an isolated desk cubicle, where the topic of conversation ranges from printer maintenance to staff parking. So you want to run your own business? Sign up to the women’s networking group in your area and start attending meetings. Give yourself an imaginative title, create yourself some business cards and start networking with other likeminded women who can share their experiences and entrepreneurial passion.
- Travel. Sheltered people consider travel to be a way of escaping problems. If you’re heading off to Vegas after a relationship breakdown, this could be the case. If you’re visiting a third-world country to volunteer in a women’s shelter, or applying your existing skills in a new environment that helps you feel good about yourself and makes a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, you’re likely to return home with a whole new lease on life. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone…and you’ll definitely find it travelling!
- Clarity. It’s impossible to achieve your goals if you don’t know what they are. Sit down and start brainstorming. Create lists of your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as the pros and cons of the situation causing you to question life: finances, emotions, health, relationships,. Not only will this provide clarity on your current situation, but it will also help define the next logical direction and steps to take. Vision boards are a great way of visualising desires (it’s also a good excuse to catch up with the girls and take some time out for you!)
- Explore! Still have no idea what you want to be when you grow up? Hey, don’t stress. It’s only a quarter-life crisis, remember? Take some time out to explore and try new things. There are loads of ways you can get involved in the community and meet new people without quitting your day job. Take a free weekend web coding course at your local library, start the gardening blog you’ve been dreaming about for years, sign up for a 6-week aerial yoga course, or search hobby groups in your area on Meetup.com – they’re always excited to welcome new faces.
The world really is your oyster, and with a community of Wonder Women behind you, you can’t go wrong! If you’re suffering from (or have survived) a quarter-life crisis, we’d love to hear your story. You can even write about it for our blog if you want to help other women through sharing your own experience!