Here’s how to keep your quarter-life crisis from breaking you down

There are so many reasons why young adults might not feel “good enough.” It doesn’t help that as you look around, it seems like all your friends are already on the fast-track to figuring out their life’s purpose, leaving you spiraling in the dust.

This can feel like a heavy burden to bear in the early stages of your career.


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Recent research from LinkedIn found that among the main sources of emotional unrest during a “quarter-life crisis,” the most common one is finding a position or career that they love; the second most common was seeing how they measure up to peers who are doing better.

Censuswide surveyed more than 6,000 people ages 25-33 in the US, India, the UK, and Australia for LinkedIn.

Here are some of the findings and how to cope with a quarter-life crisis of your own.

This is what really stresses out young adults

As it turns out, weathering a quarter-life crisis is definitely common — the professional networking platform found that a staggering 75% of people 25-33 have gone through one, which is usually linked “to feeling like they are at a crossroad in their career.”

LinkedIn found that 59% of people 25-33 haven’t been clear about what they want “to do next in career or life,” 54% are troubled by “career options,” and 49% think they don’t rake in enough money.


Here’s how to manage a quarter-life crisis

Use these tips to navigate your flood of emotions.

Drop the word ‘should’ when it comes to yourself

Remember that everything is relative.

Kali Rogers, CEO and Founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, explores why you should “quit ‘should-ing’ yourself” during a quarter-life crisis in HuffPost.

“Stop beating yourself up for these phantom accomplishments you were ‘supposed’ to achieve. Let yourself just be! You want to know how I already know you’re awesome? (Other than the fact that you’re reading this.) 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,” Rogers writes.

Make a habit of talking it out

Don’t go through it alone — get some perspective.

Varci Vartanian features advice from Nathan Gehlert, Ph.D., a Washington D.C. psychologist who leads a support group called QuarterLife+10, in The Muse.

“Gehlert asserts that women are at a significant advantage in any kind of crisis, as they tend to seek support more frequently than men do. ‘The best and first thing you should do if you’re feeling stuck and unhappy is to start talking to your friends,’ he says. ‘I struggled similarly in my 20s — it helped me remember that my perception of ‘falling behind’ wasn’t really accurate.’ He also recommends an outside-of-work mentor, as your boss may not always have your best interest in mind. ‘It’s really important to have someone who you can be completely honest with,’ he explains,” Vartanian writes.

Go and do something about it

CreateU founder Jules Schroeder spoke with Robert MacNaughton, the cofounder and CEO of the Integral Center in Boulder, CO, during the Unconventional Life podcast and featured his advice in Forbes.

MacNaughton grew up questioning larger societal concepts and has deemed this ‘Postmodern Integral Theory,’ which, Schroeder writes, “reflect a healthy skepticism towards traditional world views in order to transcend limited thinking and achieve greater mindfulness.”

“The war of our identity and figuring out who we are and what we care about is our opportunity. This is the reason to get out of bed in the morning. Start a business, post something on Facebook and see what happens,” MacNaughton told Schroeder.