My Top 10 Cures For A Quarter Life Crisis
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
HAPPY QUARTER LIFE CRISIS TO ME!
I’m THAT girl that LOVES Birthdays.
Something about the day of birth - whether it be mine, my mommas, my best friends, or my acquaintance at work (...really though, it could be ANYBODY) - sets a spark off in me.
In all honesty, I just adore a special celebration anytime, anywhere.
And, I think we all could use an extra excuse to celebrate - especially this year.
Whether you cringe at the idea of someone singing the HB song or not (I think many of us do after it turned into a 2020 hand-washing theme song of sorts), the event that is turning 25 can make even a birthday lover like me want to hit the fast forward button.
AND the rewind button.
All at the same time!
Leaving you feeling stuck, scared, and seriously unsure of what the heck to do next.
And yet, I’m STILL determined to be the girl that goes all out for birthdays, and I feel so lucky to get to share this weird AF one with YOU!
The truth is, THIS birthday, (you know, the quarter life crisis one?), just hits a little different.
Maybe it’s because we’re often told that our 20’s will be the best years of our lives, and thus we are impacted into feeling like we only have FIVE FREAKING YEARS left until it’s all over for us.
Or maybe it’s because they may not have felt like the best years at all, and that’s even scarier.
Maybe it’s because most of us Millennials grew up with technology at our fingertips, influencing us to not only compare our successes with those of our neighbors, or the girl at the local grocery store, but with the 4.5 BILLION people online, across millions of miles of planet.
But I didn’t want to guess what your reasons were.
So I asked you, via IG ;)
The wealth of responses varied from people mentioning “more botox” to feeling fearful that they were going to end up like Rachel Green turning 30.
Friends fans, you are my people!
Anyways, I just want you to know I GET IT.
Turning a quarter life older when you don’t have it all figured out yet can be scary.
I mean, you don’t want to end up poor.
Or worse - unhappy!
But more than that, what each response shared was this overwhelming desire to levelup your lives as you get older.
And avoid being the one who “peaked in highschool” at ALL COSTS.
You want to feel like you’re growing, expanding, and reaching newer, better, HIGHER heights.
And doing it ALL with #NoRegrets, right?
What you REALLY want is to feel like you’re thriving at every age.
I get this.
And that is what this Quarter Life Crisis Guide is here to help you do.
So just think of this blog as that botox boost, but for the brain. ;)
This Quarter Life Crisis Guide is going to go DEEP into that forehead, and sort out the fears from the faith, with the intention of opening up a dialogue of advices to equip you with the confidence to take life into your own hands, at any and EVERY age, as well as give you some practical tips and tools to apply today.
Because I know you, balanced being, and I know that you want to uncover the breakthrough balance that allows you to embrace the best years of your life, without losing sight of your future - especially in a season where choices can feel limited.
So, here are your top 10 Quarter Life Crisis questions, answered. ;)
(Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that, if you go through them to purchase, I will receive a commission. All items were linked based on my raw recommendation and honest adoration for the product, not because of the commission, but please keep in mind that whether or not you are inclined to explore them is completely up to you!
XO - Kendra)
Quarter Life Crisis Guide, Stop #1 -
What the heck is a quarter life crisis, and how do you know it’s not just something your Mom says to scare you at the supermarket as she tries to convince you: YOU NEED THERAPY?
Before we dive in, allow me to clear up exactly what a Quarter Life Crisis is:
In pop psychology, (and according to Wikipedia), a quarter-life crisis is a dilemma, "involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one's life," which is most commonly experienced in a period ranging from a person's early twenties up to their mid-thirties.
You fit the criteria?
Good, keep reading.
Not between 20-40?
Still keep reading! These methods I’ve got for you today apply to any age.
SO, a Quarter Life Crisis IS a REAL thing....PHEW!!
Breathe out a sigh of relief with me right now and realize that:
You’re NOT alone.
There’s nothing wrong, off, or odd about you for feeling caught in this Quarter Life Crisis...You’re NOT a finicky machine, you’re a HUMAN BEING.
Now, this doesn’t mean that absolutely EVERYONE between the ages of 20-40 experiences a Quarter Life Crisis.
But, think about it like the Freshman 15 - it’s very rare if you don’t.
And if you’re still reading this, I’m going to go ahead and guess that you, (like me!), have felt a few flavor’s of these feelings too.
Now that you know there’s nothing wrong with you, let’s hand the *metaphorical* mic to Marie Forleo, (bestselling author, entrepreneur, and Oprah’s “Thought Leader of The Next Generation”), to find out what IS wrong:
In her #1 NYT Bestseller, Everything is Figureoutable, she says:
“Quite simply, none of us were given an owners manual at birth. Our educational system doesn’t train us to harness the power of our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and the wisdom of our bodies.” “It doesn’t teach us how to develop winning mindsets, perspectives, and practical habits not only to meet and overcome life’s challenges but also to experience real joy and fulfillment.”
Feeling PO’d at the world?
Don’t fear! I’m about to hook you up with 10 reliable resources right here!
Marie makes one thing clear - feeling unprepared, inept, and maybe even a little insignificant - it’s not your fault.
But you DO have the power to change it.
So, as Marie puts it simply, so will I when I say: Stop judging yourself, and stop judging your judgements.
Because that cycle is UG-LY...trust me.
Instead, I encourage you to LEAN IN to these feelings (with me here on the week of my 25th birthday!), instead of trying to avoid them.
Cuz bandaids are for beaches. ;)
And unlike a blind date, you can’t go ghostin’ your own life.
SO, big girl britches on - we’re ripping the bandaid off, examining the wound, and illuminating a CURE for the cause, one Quarter Life question at a time.
Question #2: But what about the MONEY? (Quarter Life Crisis Coins)
We’re gonna get this one over with REAL quick.
As Mark Twain says - eat your frogs first!
(Meaning get the sucky thing over with straight away)....soooo...STOCKS?!
If you couldn’t tell already, I’m not an economics gal...I’m a CREATIVE OKAYYY? ;)
But I’ll still share one piece of advice when it comes to cash mula, and that is to adopt those activities that add ALL SORTS of abundance into your life - not just the ones that weaken your wallet!
And for those of you serious about stocks - allow me to set you up with Mr. Billionaire Buffett, sharing on stocks and other shiz.
Seriously though, the guys got a few good points, the fifth being my favorite!
For those of you that (like me) didn’t even blink an eye when offered to read an article about money, a one sentence recap:
Buffett's best point = invest in yourself.
AKA: what you’re doing right this very second babe ;)...CHEERS!
Quarter Life Crisis Question #3: How do I avoid feeling like I’m running out of time, when I’m only 25?
As speaker, teacher, and mind shifter, OrganicallyJamie shares:
OOOPH that one hits a bone, doesn’t it?
The rainbow sprinkles on top though?
That was all in her caption.
It reads, “For some this quote can be triggering, making you feel like you’re not doing enough. The truth is how we spend our time is A CHOICE. The more we recognize that the more we live a life aligned with what we want rather than scrolling through it like a zombie. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to do more. It just means be mindful of what you’re doing and how you’re spending your time. Remember, your biggest commodities are your time and your attention…”
Jamie just gets the fact that your time is uniquely yours, and it’s not something you owe anyone.
(You especially don’t owe it to the perfectionist fairy perched on your own shoulder either.)
Realizing that your time and attention are your biggest commodities is not meant to make you feel like you should be doing more.
It’s meant to meet you where you are, and remind you to be mindful of the minutes, mindful of the moments, and mindful of the person those moments are morphing you into.
Just like Stephen Covey says in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Maybe for you that means you want more moments making time for the people you love, and maybe that means you want to move that extra hour of TV to tomorrow instead of today…
More than anything though, I think it means that we get to define our time for ourselves.
Because no one knows what’s “making the most of your time” but YOU.
Now, if you’re like, “WAIT, I don’t know HOW to define my time in the most productive way,”...Don’t you worry, that’s what we’re going to talk about next, my balanced being!
But just one more thing:
I want to give you a practical tool to try too. :)
Engage in a goal setting session to set your priorities straight.
Sit down, set a timer for 20 minutes (or whatever time you’ve got!) and just GO.
Write what you really want within the next few years (physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, etc.), and try to allow yourself to expel your ideas without judgement.
Once the timer goes off, rank the things on your list in order of how important they are to you.
*Pro tip: It’s okay to think materially (remember, NO judgement!), but try to think mindfully of the moments, memories, and those that mean the most to you too, which I know you do!
Quarter Life Crisis Question #4: How do I override the overwhelming feeling of running in the endlessly spinning wheel of “the rat race”?
Chugging along on that quarter life crisis car - we come across something I was invited into realizing through the inspiring words of Rupi Kaur.
I promised It’d be next, didn’t I? ;)
In a push away from productivity perfectionism, Rupi writes:
In explaining the purpose of the pages within Home Body, (which the page above is pulled from), Rupi talks about redefining productivity from a human lens.
Well because our society has traditionally defined productivity as how much one produces.
The issue is: We’re not machines, we’re humans.
Which means we can’t run ALL LIFE LONG...No matter HOW HIGH you turn up the lights and AC. ;)
And even if we were machines, we’d still need an occasional reboot and recharge, right?
Looking through a human lens opens our minds to realize that sometimes rest is just as productive as production itself.
Just like making meaningful moments with loved ones is just as productive as making the means to provide for them.
And (the second part of this being) on those days where you miss the mark, don’t prioritize the “right” thing, and maybe choose TV over taking your Grammy out to dinner, give yourself grace then too.
Because the truth is, you can never really know which moments will end up meaning the most in the end.
Hindsight is 20/20, but something I personally have to remind myself is that I can’t just apply the “laws of life” when it’s convenient for ME.
Meaning that I want to avoid living a life where I only give up gratitude to the Universe, God, (whatever you call it!) in hindsight, but instead I want to try and apply that wisdom to where I am right now, (as a form of foresight into my future), and thus allow myself the opportunity to live with that true trust, appreciation, and abundance mindset in as many moments as I possibly can.
Because I truly believe, as Tony Robbins teaches, that life is happening FOR you, and not TO you.
(Even when it seems like it’s purposefully trying to come for your throat like you took it’s only newborn child!)
Still deciding if you agree?
Then answer this for me: Will it make your life better, your days happier, and your decisions easier if you BELIEVE this or DON’T believe this?
Because I would argue that oftentimes the thoughts, emotions, experiences and actions our beliefs birth are of equal importance to that of the belief itself.
As a religious studies minor myself, this is one of my most important beliefs about belief.
And also one we don’t have time to talk about today...but don’t you worry - it’s comin’! ;)
Quarter Life Crisis Question #5: How do I decide what the next BEST move for me is?
Dude, decisions can be debilitating.
“Make or break,” “all or nothing,” “fly or fail”...sound familiar?
As a *recovering* perfectionist, I have to push and stretch every part of my spirit to avoid overthinking on this one, and this is what I’ve come to realize:
Yes, decisions are serious.
Although, in my experience, taking them too seriously leads us to a funeral of our own sense of control, confidence, and creativity.
And that straight up sucks!
So, what’s the best way to approach your agency, and make the choice to just DO the damn thing?
The truth is, you won’t always KNOW your best move.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be an activator in your own life, it just means you shouldn’t become a savage animal stressing over it.
It’s a common misconception (and also one I’m seriously SO guilty of!) that deceives us to believe that when we make a decision we are choosing between two dichotomies - this or that, left or right, right or wrong, black or white.
But when you really think about it, the truth is, there are never really only two options.
Because everytime you decide between two things, you’re neglecting, or not choosing, an infinite amount of other options.
(I see you slowly nodding ;)
And although that may, at first, make you feel like a loose balloon in an ocean of hot air, open to the will of the wind - I urge you to instead allow yourself to be uplifted in feeling this floating freedom.
Try it Today:
When it’s not time for a change or a choice, don’t stress it - simply stay floating and free!
When the time does come to make a difficult decision, be decisive even when it hurts.
How? Mirror my best friend Brinny McGhee (I mean...common, how cute is her name?!), and place parameters on your decision---DING DING --- this means DEADLINE TIME!
Mark your calendar for when the decision needs to be made, fill up your pro’s and con’s list, and when that calendar timer goes off (no setting to snooze!) take the action, and trust.
You’ve got this!
Quarter Life Crisis Question #6: How do I avoid feeling pulled in ALL of the different directions, time zones, phases, and passions of my life at once?
In the rare case you’ve been living under a rock (or a pineapple under the sea), let’s talk about what this “rat race” REALLY is.
In short, it’s reaching the end of the day, month, year, and wondering, “what did I even do?”
As Home Body, by Rupi, reads, “Even if we did SO much it was like we were never mentally and emotionally there for it because we were just being pulled along in the rat race”
So, how do we WIN the race of rats?
Become a cat...MEOOOOOWWWW.
Trust me, you never wanted to be a rat anyways. ;)
Nope, not even the cute Ratatouille kind!
You want to be a chilly kitty - (in the chill-laid-back kind of way and not the cold kind of way) - sunbathing in that sweet spot of not looking back OR looking forward, but remaining right in the mindful middle.
And it’s something I personally practice everyday, because the robotic rat performance is something I know we both want to avoid at all costs.
(Key word: *practice*)
The next time you find yourself living in the limbo of life inside your brain, try this trick I learned in a college yoga course:
Choose one activity you will be mindful in today...(keep it simple-start with one)!
If it’s brushing your teeth (my personal favorite), notice every bristle on every gum...If it’s eating, chew every bite slowly, savoringly, and with intent. Think about where the food came from, how it tastes, what it’s textures like, why you’re grateful to be eating it, etc.
Although these exercises in mindfulness may seem minor, they can have a major impact on your wellbeing.
Not because brushing your teeth with intent will change your life, but because, like anything, (with enough practice) you can build up to living this way in ANY and EVERY moment, enabling mindfulness to transform into the default state in which you do all things - with intention, presence, and purpose.
Quarter Life Crisis Question #7: What if I get lost in the WHAT I want and HOW to get there? What methods can I use to balance my time, in the meantime?
You may have heard that your WHY is way more important than your how, or even your what.
And that is absolutely right.
Well, (I’ll talk about this in depth when we take a sunny sail to Spain in next week’s blog), but the baby scoop is that your beliefs are the base for the actions you take.
And if you believe you have a purpose, and a passion driving you to do a thing, your “what’s” and “how’s” can only expand to support you from there.
My question to you is:
What’s YOUR why?
While you think about it, let me reveal why I’m asking:
We can often get so lost in our “what’s” and “how’s” that we realize we’re not even serving our reasons (or “why’s”) for doing the things anymore.
My, “Work life balance? Don’t know her!” chicas - I’m looking at you…(and myself in the mirror ;).
Which leads us to (fellow *recovering* workaholic) Rachel Hollis, who, in Girl Wash Your Face, gently reminds us to, “Work just as hard for the fun moments, vacation moments, and pee-your-pants laughing moments as you do for all the other things.”
In other words, we don’t want to lose our reasons for working within the work itself.
Need a little extra help?
Check out this exercise to support you in working for your ‘why,’ instead of allowing your ‘why’ to get lost in the work:
Reflect on your WHY in these moments of debilitating decision, rat running, (or anything else we mentioned above!), and let it guide what you do, where you go, who you go with, and how you get there.
See...told ya ‘WHY’ tops all!
Quarter Life Crisis Question #8: How do I make my moments really matter?
As you may have read on my About page, I am currently copywriting and creating content for a team working on a transformative new program revolutionizing the way we optimize our brain health.
One of the brain experts leading this charge of change is neuroscientist and ultimate performance specialist Joseph McClendon III.
As the right hand to Tony Robbins for 30+ years, Joseph has mentored millions across the world, with one of his most powerful teachings illuminating the power of praise and celebration, backed by neuroscience.
Let me just say, the mental health secrets shared in these studies are astounding, and I want to share one with you right now:
A study performed by psychologist Ed Diener essentially showed that, “the frequency of your positive experiences is a much better predictor of your happiness than is the intensity of your positive experiences.”
The author of the Harvard Business Review article continues, “When we think about what would make us happy, we tend to think of intense events—going on a date with a movie star, winning a Pulitzer, buying a yacht. But Diener and his colleagues have shown that how good your experiences are doesn’t matter nearly as much as how many good experiences you have. Somebody who has a dozen mildly nice things happen each day is likely to be happier than somebody who has a single truly amazing thing happen. So wear comfortable shoes, give your wife a big kiss, sneak a french fry. It sounds like small stuff, and it is. But the small stuff matters.”
Celebrate the small stuff.
Shift your life.
Quarter Life Question #9: How can I avoid comparing my Quarter Life accomplishments to others in a world of highlight reels?
First of all, if the grass looks greener on the other side...it’s probably a filter ;)
But the filters can look so freaking FUN, I know, I know..
I also know that, as Rachel Hollis writes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
That doesn’t mean it’s easy for us to avoid though.
Especially when the world’s filled with people every place you look!
Thankfully, Joseph drops knowledge on this note, and nudges us to, “Look to yourself for progress and look to others for possibility.”
Simple to say, maybe not so simple to do - but at least we have a strategy now, right?!
So, Joseph confirms that we CAN still look, we just want to look through a different lens.
Second piece of advice?
#FreeTheFilter, be a part of the truth - and if you’re so inclined - post or share those sincere sentiments with loved ones, because that’s who it starts with.
(And by #FreeTheFilter I simply mean to show up as your authentic self online...I don’t necessarily think slapping Sepia on the photo stands to stop you in doing so.)
Not ready for that step publicly?
(Until about a week ago, I wasn’t either.)
Start with yourself in the mirror if you have to.
Oh - and DELETE the damn app if you think that will serve your life, goals, and authentic embodiment better.
Because no platform is worth sacrificing the real you.
Quarter Life Question #10: How does a multi passionate and multidimensional mama make it in a world where there are an infinite amount of possibilities, but you can only embody ONE person???
For our final question, I’ve got a serious question for YOU: What would your 10 year old self have to say about who you are, and what you’ve become?
Would they be proud?
Or would they be pissed you’re not a pop star? ;)
Do you even remember what you wanted to be way back when?
If you don’t remember, it’s okay to take a moment, a minute, or more to think - whatever you need.
Personally, I phased through acting, singing, and all SORTS of stuff I thought I’d pursue, but what stuck with me was my deep desire to expand my individuality across countries and cultures, and live a life #wildNfree.
And that’s a side of me I want to do everything in my power to preserve, and keep alive and kickin’ always.
And so, when the words, “What would your 10 year old self say,” came out of Jenna Kutcher in a challenge to the crowd at a (virtual) Tony Robbins team growth conference, a lightbulb went off in me.
Okay, more like a FIERCE FLAME, flickering at me to find a way to keep that wild-child Kenny close, while continuing to create this career-loving Kendra.
And, to be honest, this is the one I’m still figuring out as I go.
But here’s what I do know:
You don’t want to lose what makes you uniquely YOU. (You may need to strategically spread one section of self to the back of your bite for a bit - like nutella on toast - but that doesn’t mean you’re abandoning it, you’re just savoring it for a special time!)
You do want to dig deep for those 10 year old dreams, and trust me when I say the treasure trove is worth it.
Add those 10 year old dreams you still cherish keeping close somewhere within your handy dandy little “Priorities List” you began at the beginning of the blog. <3
The Cure For the Quarter Life Crisis
The bottom line is: There’s NO expiration date on success, and it’s not “too late” for you either.
(Seriously, check out this GirlBoss post on lady-bosses who leaped to success “later” than most!)
And call me cliche, but like a fine wine, you only get richer with age, baby. ;)
My final advice to you?
Realize that it won’t always be perfect and pretty, which is all the more reason to fall in love with the journey, instead of being mindlessly dead-set on a destination.
Because you and I will live MANY lives within our lifetime, and maybe even within this singular year.
Although, when you can acknowledge ALL “ages” and aspects of yourself as whole, is when I believe you will also feel most aligned, fulfilled, and in flow.
So never forget to lean into the beauty in the unknown, because that’s where the growth and discovery is!
Now, I KNOW your 10 year old self knew that...(and even got excited about it)!
Does she, or he, still know that now?
As you reflect, I wish to leave you with this:
Above everything, please know that every phase of your being (adolescent or old and wise AF!) are welcome, valued, and appreciated in this space.
And although we can’t control everything (especially in our wild world right now) know that you can count on me to be here every Wednesday, with a new adventure awaiting for us to embark on, together.