Our generation has the unique distinction of being the first generation to experience a so-called “quarter-life crisis.” (yay, millennials!) You may be familiar with this and the feeling of anxiety, dread, and self-doubt that happens in our 20s. Our parents were homeowners with kids, stable jobs, and pensions at our age – where have we gone wrong? Do we even want those things!? Who am I???!
Relax. While things are different for us than they were for generations past, we still have so much control over our lives and futures. Here are 13 things you need to give up if you want to get over your quarter-life crisis.
1. Blaming your parents.
I know, it’s so easy to blame them because they DID screw you up at least a little. Everyone’s parents do. We will too. But here’s the thing – you can choose to carry it with you and use it as an excuse to act a certain way for the rest of your life, or you can choose to be different. Guess which one is going to feel better and lead to a more fulfilling life?
2. Blaming your ex.
They totally suck, I’m on your side. They let the best thing they ever had walk out of their lives, sure. But if you’re still blaming them for what is happening in your life now, you are giving ALL of your power away. See, you’re actually in control now. You decide what you do and how you act – you even decide how you think. Wish them well (mentally – you never have to talk to them again) and move on.
3. Blaming yourself.
Do you know what purpose “I hate myself,” “I’m a total mess,” and similar phrases serve? They serve to make you feel horrible about yourself without ever changing. Like for some reason beating yourself up will make up for things in your life being how you don’t want them to be? Does that even make sense? You don’t have to hate and blame yourself to change your life. The fact that you do is probably why you haven’t changed to make things better for you.
4. Going to bed way too late.
Ok, something a little less heavy. Some of us are definitely night owls, but the world is structured for the early birds, and if we just went to bed a smidge earlier, we’d probably feel a little better. Sleep is actually really important. Getting a decent night of sleep can change your whole mindset. Next time you find yourself opting to zone out on social media when you’re sleepy instead of crawling into bed at 9pm, put down the phone and get to bed. Just try it once – I promise you’ll like it.
5. Saying “I don’t know.”
When you say this, I smile because you and I both know that you totally do know. You are either afraid to say it or afraid to acknowledge it to yourself. Ban this phrase and replace with “I will figure it out.” You could also get old-school life coach on yourself and ask “if I did know, what would it be?”
6. Being a hermit.
Sometimes it feels so good to Netflix and chill – with yourself – but you are a social creature. All humans are. We really need real human connection. No, social media doesn’t count, and no, shallow small talk doesn’t count. Remember to leave the cave every once in awhile to grab dinner with a good friend and swap stories from real adult life.
This one is pretty obvious, right? Yet you are still doing it. You know that tiny voice screaming “Remember your goals!!!” when you have enough money for rent and bills only yet you opt to hit Sephora Rouge instead? Please listen to it. You deserve to have an amazing life, and it will not happen if you are the one standing in the way.
8. Postmating every meal.
There’s nothing good about this. It’s bad for the budget, it’s bad for health. Set some limits – and learn to cook. Hop on Pinterest and search “easy, healthy recipes.” Try new ones each week. Eat vegetables. Your bank account and body will thank you.
Perfectionism is low key ruining your life, there’s no other way to put it. You’re so hung up on doing things perfectly that you never.do.anything. Done is better than perfect. Taking action gets more results than snailing your way to perfection. Perfect is an illusion you’ll never reach.
10. Being so free that you have no structure.
Freedom is sooo good, but you’ll never accomplish anything if you don’t give yourself at least a little structure. I get it, we aren’t really taught how to create structure – it’s imposed on us from birth through college and then suddenly we’re adults and expected to set our own schedules, make our own healthy meals, and decide when to do laundry? It can be a lot, but you can handle it.
11. The need to have it all figured out.
Here’s a little secret I want to share with you: No one has it all figured out. Not even Beyonce. We’re all just figuring things out as we go, hoping for the best, making mistakes, and learning. You don’t have to know how and when you’re going to retire when you start your first job. You don’t know how you’re going to buy a house or have kids, or when you’re going to buy a new car. Settle on down. Take the next right step you can see.
12. Obsessing over the worst case scenario.
I’m sure you’ve heard of manifestation – the real secret behind it is that there is power in your thoughts. When you direct them toward the worst case scenarios and negativity, what do you think happens next? New rule: if you find yourself answering “what if?” with horror stories, make yourself then come up with the best case scenario. Then decide which feels better to think about.
13. Worrying about what other people think.
Waste of time. Other people’s opinions are truly none of your business. Get a core group of real, quality friends (like max 4) who you really trust to have your back. You’re allowed to care a little about their opinions, but for the most part, listen to your own intuition. You know what to do. I believe in you. You can do this.