What to do when you’re having a quarter-life crisis
August 5, 2020
You’re now in your mid-20s, living your normal life, earning from a job you may or may not totally like. Then all of sudden, people your age are starting to get married, excel in their carrier, and buy cars or houses of their own. And there you are, trying your best to avoid insecurity but, deep down, you are subtly downgrading and comparing your life with theirs. Welcome to the quarter-life crisis.
In a survey commissioned by the professional network, Linkedin, at least 87% of 25 to 33 years old Filipinos are experiencing a quarter-life crisis. It is a stage when someone is starting to question their capabilities, success, and life in general which often leads to anxiety or depression.
Common signs of a quarter-life crisis
You are frustrated to know your purpose in life
You are feeling behind compared to the people you know
You are feeling stuck or trapped in life
You feel like you are getting old but not growing
You are doubting whether you are actually skilled
You feel like you are not earning enough
With the current situation and fast-paced turn of events, I would say even ages below 25 are already going through this phase. Landing a great job, having a long-term relationship, being able to support the family, or putting up a business — these are only some of the worries that go around the head of a 23-year old like me. And recently, a friend opened up to me, saying she feels as though everything around her happens so quickly as her friends are starting to get married. So do I. Many of my acquaintances have had their babies, getting engaged and whatnot.
While avoiding a quarter-life crisis is easier said than done, I believe there are other things you can do to eventually change your outlook and transform the doubts into encouragement.
Just because people your age seem to be getting their lives together, it does not mean you are losing in life. The thing is, other people’s milestones should not devalue all the efforts you have done. You are doing okay. We have different rhythms and what works for them may not work for you or vice versa.
When you accept that you’re not supposed to run according to other people’s speed, you will have better chances to get your own life together, slowly but surely. Walk at your own pace and celebrate even your smallest wins!
Focus on your own life
I would say social media contributes a lot to this crisis. It is a platform where people post their successes and milestones, a facade of what life really is. And when you consume a lot of it, chances are you will end up thinking a lot about how come these people are living life easier while you are feeling stuck.
Insecurity usually triggers a quarter-life crisis. When you always look at what other people have been doing more than yourself, you will start comparing your accomplishments. This is why I recommend trying your best to focus on yourself. Put all the attention in improving a certain aspect of life that you wish to achieve. Because when you do, you will eventually learn about yourself and you will feel a lot more confident in your decisions.
Appreciate the now
If there is one thing I learn about this, it is to appreciate the present. Not everyone was not able to reach the age that you are now, and I think that’s something to be thankful for. Also, have you ever thought about how far you have come? Look back and see. Are you the same person? Are you proud of the baby steps you have taken? Because you should, and that’s when you will escape from the prison of your self-doubts.
To end this post, I know it is easier to say “stop comparing and smash your goals” because, in reality, we have our own struggles. But, dear, you’re still young—we are still young. We have plenty of time to evaluate what we really want in life. You do you and take your time.
Have you gone through a quarter-life crisis? Share your experience in the comments!