12 signs that you’re legit having a quarter-life crisis (and what you can do about it).
So do these sound familiar? 'What’s wrong with you?! – these are the best days of your life!' / 'You don't know how lucky you are – the world’s your oyster!' / 'You can do anything you want with your life – the opportunities are endless!' / 'You don’t know you’re born – you’ve got your whole life ahead of you!'
Well-meaning statements for sure, [most likely from your parents, let’s be honest. Bless.] but they're also completely unhelpful statements that have the opposite effect of their intention. It's so hard for anyone who's not a millennial to truly get how freaking hyper-stimulated and eternally-distracted we are. The fact that we have so many options and so much choice is what makes decision-making, and moving forward all the more paralysing (and a quarter-life-crisis all the more likely tbh). And do you have to be 25 to have one? Definitely not! I believe you can have a quarter-life crisis anywhere from the age of like 20-ish to 40-ish. Regardless of your actual age, the relevant part is that this isn't a mid-life crisis – you're not in the zone of buying a yellow cabriolet and dating a hot young thang 'cause you feel like you missed out in your youth. It's a crisis you tackle as you're trying to get to grips with adulthood and find your way in the world – and that crisis can certainly span your 20s, 30s and maybe even your 40s.
And I'm guessing you're here to find out if you're actually in quarter-life-crisis-ville or not. If you can relate to two or more of the below, it's pretty likely that you need to change up how you're doing things, 'cause the way things are going right now, isn't making you a happy bunny my dear. Let’s take a look at the tell-tale signs;
1. You’re asking yourself; What’s my purpose?! What’s the point?! Is this all there is?!
Hmmm, some pretty big questions right there. But totally deserving of answers too. These kind of questions mean you're craving a life more fulfilling than what you have right now, but your frustration lies in not knowing how to find that fulfilment. (Pretty much ensuring that you're firmly in the thick of a quarter-life crisis). But don't worry, I got you 💋
2. You’ve totally checked out of your job and can only just about manage to do the bare minimum.
When you've totally lost your mojo for your career, it might just mean that you need to quit your job and get hooked up with a new one. Or it might mean you need to make some bigger changes in your life. Is it genuinely just your job getting you down and you just need a fresh, new challenge? Or are you disillusioned by your career as a whole and just feel part of a soulless, endless rat race? If you're the latter, it sounds like you're in QLC city honey.
3. You’re eternally torn between the excitement of travel and adventure vs. the security of a career and hard-cash.
It's a big decision to make that's for sure – how to know if you should go travelling or focus on your career. But if you're finding it impossible to feel resolved or move on from making a decision on it, then it could be due to your quarter-life crisis clouding your judgment. (And you'll need to address your crisis before you can move on. Trust me.)
4. You feel like a failure for having to live with your folks/having zero money/*insert-other-self-bashing-statement-here*.
When you're in the thick of a quarter-life crisis, it's so super-hard to feel any kind of gratitude for what you do have. All you can possibly focus on is what you don't. Your mindset is firmly in the self-defeating-talk zone and it feels like you're failing at every. part. of. your. life. If this is you and you're struggling to see what you're not failing at, this post on working out whether you're settling for a mediocre life might be a handy read for you 💋
5. You feel an insane pressure to be in a serious relationship.
And you find yourself comparing where you're at, with where your parents were at by your age (most likely married, mortgaged and maybe even babied-up once or twice). That's some pressure to live up to. And what does a quarter-life crisis do to that pressure? It makes it worse. Where the feck can I find 'the one'? Is there something wrong with me? Should I be doing something different? Should I settle for someone I'm not mad about just to have someone? Am I always gonna be on my own? 😩 Yeah thanks quarter-life crisis.
6. You feel an even crazier pressure to decide if you should have a family or not.
If looking for 'the one' wasn't freaking hard enough, then sure, why not throw 'creating humans' into the mix too?! The added bonus of this one, is that you get a ticking biological clock to dial up the pressure in your decision-making too 👍🏻 fun times. But just be aware, yes there's only a relatively short window for these things, but your quarter-life crisis could also be making you worry about this waaaay before time. Something to think about.
7. You can't decide whether you want to be treated like an adult, or mothered like a wee baby.
You crave complete independence from your folks, and demand the respect from them, that you deserve, as a fellow grown-up. But man is it lovely and warm and safe and cosy being completely smothered and minded by them. Having that little retreat into not having to think about your career, your relationships, your future, and being able to just feel like a kid again who's being brought their dinner feels so so good. In fact, if you have a cat and you've envied their cushtee eat/sleep/laze/repeat-life more than once, you're very likely in the land of quarter-life crisis my friend.
8. You can’t help comparing yourself with where your friends are at, on every. freaking. level.
Ah man, her job is so cool 😩 Her boyfriend's so hot and so kind dammit 🙄 OMG she's got the cutest apartment 😔 ...when you find yourself fixating on what someone else (or maybe even everyone else other than you) has, I'm sure you know deep down no good's gonna come of it. But you also can't stop yourself either. And that's because it's easy to lay the blame elsewhere. It's way easier to put the reason your life isn't how you want it, at someone else's door. Rather than confront it and fix it yourself. And that's a quarter-life crisis right there: because you don't know how to confront it or fix it yourself. So in external-fixation you remain.
9. You've made a by-the-time-I’m-30/40 bucket list, and you're horrified by how little time you have left to do it.
So maybe you've got an idea of things you wanna get done by a certain age. Maybe you've worked out some dreams and aspirations you'd love to accomplish. But what you haven't done, is make any steps whatsoever to fulfilling them. And this can arguably feel even more deflating than having no dreams at all – because you feel you're letting yourself down and wasting time. A key side-effect of QLC syndrome.
10. You’d rather get pissed and make out you’re having the time of your life, than admit you're the furthest from having the time of your life.
Denial is a b*tch. She's that bad influence friend that stops you confronting stuff, in favour of smushing it under the rug so it can trip you up later. And there's no more clingy a friend in a quarter-life crisis than denial.
11. You’re crazy-ambitious, but equally crazy-indecisive.
If you're fortunate to have some beautiful ambitions in life, and a real drive to reach them, then congrats. You're in a super-privileged position 💪🏻 But if that's coupled with the most indecisive nature on the planet, then you're eternally and forever stuck – between ambition and indecision. You know what you want but there's no way you can ever make any progress to get there. Like ever. Enter = your shiny, new quarter-life crisis.
12. You feel past the ‘best bit’ of your life, but didn’t feel like you did anything of note to make them 'best bits'.
This might sound like it's hinting at a mid-life crisis, but it's not 😇 If you maybe feel you didn't make the most of your care-free teens, or your exciting college-days, then it can feel pretty bleak to suddenly find yourself firmly in the thick of the responsibility of adulthood, without having had any real fun before it. Rather than try and re-live those best-bits (a la mid-life crisis), you're more prone to resorting to making yourself feel sh*tty about it and beating yourself up for it instead. Typical QLC-standard.
All in all, things probably feel pretty bleak right now.
So. The bigger question is, what can you do about it?
Now I can totally relate to every single one of these, believe me, I've been there. And if any of these feel like they've tapped into the mechanics of your brain just a little bit, I want to share this with you 👉🏻 it gets better. In fact, it doesn't just get better, if you can really tune into your self-awareness and work out what you want to get from your life, it gets freaking awesome.
But I also know that the tuning-into-yourself process isn't as easy as it sounds.
Which is why I've created a 100% FREE online mini-course just for you, to help you with just that. And it's now open for enrolment! 👏🏻 eeeeeeee! 👏🏻 I'm so freaking excited to share this with you, I've worked so hard on it and I've had soooo much fun creating it. But more than that, the idea that I might be able to change your perspective on your future, even just a tiny bit, makes my heart just feel so full ❤️️
So what's this course all about? Well the full details are here, but as a quick overview – it's an online learning programme that will help you create and kickstart your life plan, within 5 transformative days. And no, you don't need to book time off work or anything, you can squeeze the coursework into just half an hour each day. Mega or what?!
So what are you waiting for?
If you suspect someone you know might be going through a quarter-life crisis, it would make my heart so freaking happy if you shared this with them, truly 💋 I'd be so grateful.