So, you’re stuck in your Quarter Life Crisis.
It’s a bummer time, isn’t it? You feel like all of your accomplishments were for nothing, or anything you try is never really good enough. You’re swamped in a world of everyone else pushing forward, while you seemingly take two steps back. We know, because we’ve been there. Which means, we know how to get out of it. Phew! So take a deep breath, and know that today is the day you will begin your journey of conquering your Quarter Life Crisis.
May the Blush be with you.
1. Stop Comparing. Now.
Comparing is probably what got you in this mess in the first place. Let me guess–you logged on Facebook, saw all of the pretty careers and pretty weddings and pretty babies, and cried yourself to sleep. (We don’t know this from personal experience or anything…). But you cannot compare the beginning of your journey to the middle of someone else’s. You have to stay focused on your own path, your own pace, and your own goals. Comparing is crap. It will only make you second guess EVERY decision you’ve already semi made, and get you spinning in circles. You will never be able to achieve someone else’s life, because that’s not your purpose. Your purpose is to live your own.
Take away? Judging is no longer your hobby anymore. Find a new one.
2. Talk About It
A lot of people feel really ashamed about feeling stuck. The irony is, the majority of all 20 somethings have felt super stuck at one point or another, and all they wanted to do is talk about it, too! But oh…it’s so embarrassing. No one wants to admit life isn’t turning out the way they wanted. Especially not when Facebook is a glowing advertisement for how EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING BETTER.
So, be the brave one.
Talk about it. You don’t have to talk about it everyone–but try talking to your best friend. If that doesn’t work, try a family member. And if that doesn’t work, well then you’re reading this blog, and you have GOT to be aware that we provide life coaching (hello!). In order to get out of this crisis, you must release these ugly feelings holding you back. Get them out of your system by vocalizing everything it is that you feel. Be heard. Be validated. Because guess what? This is normal. Yes, this crisis is completely normal. Trust us, you’re not alone.
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3. Quit Should-ing Yourself
Ah, expectations. Such brats. They torment you and tease you and make you feel like anything you have ever accomplished in your life is as puny as puny can be. Yeah. They suck.
So ditch ’em.
Stop SHOULD-ING yourself. Stop beating yourself up for these phantom accomplishments you were “supposed” to achieve. Let yourself just be! You want to know how we already know you’re awesome? Because you’re worried about your future. You care. You’re spiraling into a hazy fog because you are so freaked out over the fact that you might not have an awesome life. And THAT above anything else is a great indicator for the opposite. You will get through this because you want purpose. You want meaning. You want happiness. And if you want those things, you will get those things, because you will work for them. So give yourself a break, and let these extreme expectations go!
No more deadlines, no more age limitations, and definitely no more should-ing….because we know you’re doing it.
4. Do Some Self Due Diligence
Once you’ve cut out those masochistic behaviors, it’s time to move on to the fun stuff. Now…the big question: Do you know yourself?
Like, really know yourself?
Many of us think we do…but we don’t. We are going to suggest something to render this, but we don’t want you guys to roll your eyes and write it off immediately. So don’t please!
We want all of you to research your personalities. Myers-Briggs. Enneagram. The Big Five. Whatever test you can get your hands on, do it. These personality tests open the doors to really exploring who you are, what you love, what you hate, and where you thrive. My personal favorite is the Myers-Briggs, and you can take the Blush version of this test here! Then, I recommend moving onto the Enneagram here.
These tests do not DEFINE you, but they give a blueprint for where to start. And BONUS–they give insights into strengths and weaknesses, careers, relationships, and more. If you feel stuck, there is a reason, and you need to make a change. But a lot of times, we either a) don’t know what to change or b) know what to change, but don’t know how. These tests can help. They can give you direction and clarity. Take the tests, read up on the results, and let us know what you find out.
Spoiler alert: After you read the results, you’ll be well on your way to thinking you’re the most legit human ever.
Ok, now for the super fun stuff. Do you spend any part of your time daydreaming? If you’re not, you need to start. It’s awesome. Try to daydream before bed, at the gym, in the shower…whenever you have time. Visualize yourself in five years, ten years, twenty years. Don’t limit yourself. What does it look like? What are you excited about? What have you achieved? How AWESOME are you?!
It’s fun, right?
Now, compare your vision to the personality tests you just took. Where are there similarities? Are there traits that you may possess that would naturally make you great at these future endeavors? Told ya.
Through daydreaming you can tap into what it is you really want. You can see yourself happy and accomplished. You can put out into the universe those desires that you’ve been hiding. You know how when you feel bad, more crappy things seem to happen? Yeah, me too. But imagine the opposite! You put these super happy thoughts out into the world, and all of a sudden, you feel way better about where it is that you’re going. Maybe you’re not there today, but you now have an idea as to where you will end up. And that right there is a fabulous start.
Ok, now that you have some glimpse of a life that you really want, it’s time to research how to get there. Maybe in your dream you saw yourself as an accomplished professional in a specialized field. Great–time to look up some graduate programs. Perhaps you saw yourself on this awesome creative endeavor. Also great! So maybe it’s time to quit your day job, start bartending, and get to work. Maybe you saw a special romantic someone (aww!). So let’s join a few dating apps! For all you girls out there, we really like this one and this one. Whatever it is that you believe will be the key to a fulfilling life, there is no reason not to explore it.
Spend a few hours a week browsing the Internet, reading articles, or talking to people in the sake of research. Either way, chances are you will end up piggy backing off of your original idea, and that’s even better. Be precise, because the more specific you get, the easier it will be to achieve what you want. Have funnnnnn!
7. Find Support
It’s hard to change your life on your own. Sure, you can do it, but why would you want to when other people can join the cause? You’ve already talked about the things you didn’t like (refer to #2—keep up please!), so now is the time to share the happy things. The things that you want. The things that you are actively trying to achieve. Let your friends and family HELP you. You never know what their networks or expertise can offer.
On another note, now is the time to try and find some sort of a mentor figure. Somebody who you look up to, somebody who may have the same interests as you, and definitely someone with more experience than you. Listen to them. Take some advice. Let them help you set some small goals to reach. For instance, in addition to our awesome clients who have different goals and objectives, we also have plenty of girls who have joined Blush that want to be life coaches. And what do you think we do? We help them figure it out. We offer advice, anecdotes, and little nuggets of wisdom that we wish we would have known when we were first starting out.
Point is, plenty of mentors are out there and available, and some might cost a bit of money (that’s why they’re called coaches). But it’s worth it. They’ll make you feel fabulous. (We know this…because…we’re awesome.)
8. Put Yourself Out There
So you’ve researched and dreamt and talked and all of those good things. Now it’s time to give it a whirl. You want to be a writer, eh? Well then, it’s time to write. Put some words down on paper. Submit them to publications. Start a blog. Outline a book. You want to be a photographer? Take some pics. Post em on Facebook. (And send us the link por favor!). You want to be a nurse? Enroll in a class. Buy a few books. And if you want a partner in life–you gotta go out and meet one. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, just take at least one action to get you moving.
We just want to note, that yes, this is scary as hell. What if you fail? What if it’s embarrassing? What if you don’t think you’re any good? It’s so normal to get caught up in these paralyzing thoughts. So let’s go through them.
What if you fail? Well, you won’t. You might not like it, or it might not come together all at once, but that’s not failing. If you give it enough shots to know that something really isn’t clicking with you, no big deal. So go back to #4 and start dreaming. It’s not that you failed, it’s that we need to pivot.
What if it’s embarrassing? It’s always awkward the first time you really take yourself seriously. You can talk about working out all day long, but the first time you try out the treadmill, you almost feel like a fraud. And…now you want to leave. But don’t! Every marathon runner started somewhere. (And yes, please extrapolate this to other activities!) After you keep trying, we promise it will feel more and more comfortable. All of a sudden, the gym isn’t as intimidating. Working out is actually fun after a few weeks! OMG. Crazy. So keep going.
***PS–The first time we published a Blush blog it was the most terrifying experience. What if it wasn’t any good?! (Don’t answer that.) But here we are a year later still going strong!
What if you’re not any good? If you seriously feel like you aren’t good at what you are trying to accomplish, you haven’t given it enough time. And the reality is, the ONLY thing that matters is that you enjoy it. I love Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that experts are experts, because they spent hours and hours perfecting their craft. They aren’t fabulous because they have this unique and inherent talent—they are fabulous because they kept at it. (Even Macklemore agrees.) If you enjoy this new change in your life, the skills will follow.
The more energy you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Don’t cut yourself short before starting. Allow yourself to go for it!
9. Invest in Yourself
Do not be afraid to put money, time, and effort into yourself. Don’t feel selfish. You deserve a shot at a happy and fulfilling life, and most of the time that requires some self R&R. Maybe you need to pay for a certification course. Guess what? That investment will pay off in the future. Maybe you need to pay for a website and some freelance graphic designs for your blog. Wonderful–people deserve to see your work. Plus, if you never get it out there, nothing will ever come of it! That’s a guarantee. Or, perhaps you want to pay for a coach to help you along the way (WHAT GREAT IDEA!). Just please do not feel like a brat for believing in yourself enough to actually give yourself support. You do deserve it, and you will make yourself proud.
All right guys, you have some work to do. Remember these 9 steps don’t happen in a week–these thing take a bit of time. Don’t be discouraged. The beauty isn’t the end result, the beauty is in the work that goes into it. You need to feel like you are working towards something, and these steps will help you. Remember that we support you and think you are great already! Can’t wait to see what’s next for you.