The Quarter-Life Crisis: A Opportunity for Change

CoachHub · 25 January 2023 · 7 min read

While a quarter-life crisis may be a time of distress, fear and uncertainty, it can also be an incredibly important and powerful phase. A quarter-life crisis suggests you have reached a point in your life and/or career that is no longer satisfying. You may have come to a place where you can no longer tolerate the lack of fulfilment in your life and are desperately longing for something more.

This is a great place to be, even if it may be painful and unsettling. The discomfort of this time is simply highlighting the elements of your life that need to be shifted, changed and removed. Should you decide to embrace this, lean into the discomfort and follow what it is saying then you can use this time to create positive change in your life.

quarter life crisis

Understanding the Quarter-Life Crisis

A quarter-life crisis is a very common experience for a young adult. Individuals reach a time in their life when they wake up to what is truly important to them and are willing to let go of what originates from external expectations and societal pressures.

A quarter-life crisis is only a crisis when you do nothing about it. This is a time to listen, to understand what you truly value and to identify what is not working in your life. You can use this time to your advantage and learn to channel the energy of frustration into redirecting your life so it aligns with your true values.

Anything can cause a quarter-life crisis such as a change in professional circumstances, a loss in your personal life or an evolution of your mental state. Whatever the cause, welcome it. The common symptoms range from disillusionment, loss of meaning, dissatisfaction with current circumstances, high irritability and rejection of past norms and expectations.

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Coping with the Quarter-Life Crisis

Like anything in life, it is not the event that matters, it is your reaction to the event. Whatever has sparked this phase in your life is largely irrelevant to the big picture. Whatever lies beyond your control should be left alone and your focus and energy should be channelled into responding in the most empowering and constructive way possible. Below outlines some possible points to keep in mind during this time:

1. Self-care and compassion

Times of uncertainty are much smoother when you take care of yourself. It is easy to turn against yourself when you are going through adversity but this is exactly when you need self-compassion the most. When everything is uncertain you must be a reliable source of love and compassion for yourself. While external circumstances change, allow your treatment of yourself to be stable and secure. Devote yourself to taking care of your needs and doing the things you love. Allow yourself to feel everything that is coming up without judgement or resistance. Avoid self-criticism and instead, encourage yourself to take action and move through this time.

2. Introspection

The way out of a mid-life crisis is knowing what to do next. In order to have clarity over what to change, where to go and what to release, you must become aware of what is truly going on within. Improve your self-awareness and you will understand the root of your current emotions and the shifts in your values. Use this time to go within and watch the shifts in your perspective, values and emotions. Take time to reflect and understand the origins of your feelings and soon the next step will reveal itself. Experiment with different journal techniques to discover more about yourself and your values.

3. Mindfulness

Establishing a daily mindfulness practice can help reduce stress and anxiety and enable you to detach from negative thoughts. With mindfulness, you develop the part of yourself that simply observes your thoughts and emotions. With this skill, you can watch your thinking and choose not to engage in certain patterns of thought that are not serving you. In time, you begin to see the impact of your rambling thoughts on your perception of your reality. You may begin to take charge of your thoughts and begin to construct a new way of thinking that results in a more joyful and empowered life experience.

4. Seek external help

Talking to someone about what you are going through may relieve the heaviness of some of your feelings. This can be a trusted family member or friend or even a professional coach or therapist. There is huge value to be found in simply expressing what is going on within you. Reach out for support and openly share what you are going through. Having a support system during difficult times is vital. Once you feel supported and understood, you will have released so much of the suffering surrounding a quarter-life crisis.

5. A future vision

Piecing together a vision for the future and a strategy of how to get there is key to finding clarity during a quarter-life crisis. It is ok not to know what you want but it is wise to at least be engaging in the process of self-discovery. It can be hard to find direction during a crisis but slowly piecing together a vision of the future can be immensely motivating and grounding. Ask yourself what you want your future to look like, what you want your daily life to look like and what would make you feel truly fulfilled. Be patient and give yourself time to discover the answer.

 

The Opportunity for Change

A quarter-life crisis is a powerful time for growth and personal development. It reflects a huge shift in what you are looking for in your life. What is important to you has changed and this may cause a sense of dissatisfaction and uncertainty. This is a great opportunity to restructure your life and redirect your path so it can align with a higher version of yourself.

In order to turn this time into an opportunity, it is vital not to resist the changes this time is bringing. You may feel the need to let go of some aspect of yourself or your life. You may feel compelled to destruct, redirect and make big changes. Do not resist any of it. Let it all fall down, release what is coming up and trust that what comes next will be better.

This is a time to tune into what your dissatisfaction is pointing to. This is important information on what you truly value. Do not reject your feelings, open yourself to new perspectives and allow the unfolding of change to occur. With this new information, you can inform yourself of the next steps to take.

A quarter-life crisis is a period of rerouting your life’s direction. It is a transition phase that will lead you to a new reality that better serves you. Step into the discomfort of this time. Resist nothing and follow your instincts. Do not be afraid to deconstruct elements of your life and allow yourself to fully let go of what is no longer important to you.

 

Digital Coaching

A personalised digital coaching program can be an excellent resource during a quarter-life crisis. A coach can help define your values, set a vision for the future and hold you accountable. Programs can be tailored to your exact needs and can take place in any location. With a small investment in yourself, you can receive expert support and guidance toward creating the next phase in your life.

A quarter-life crisis can be an incredibly frustrating and confusing time. With regular coaching sessions, you can better understand yourself and your emotions and overcome the challenges that are holding you back. Digital coaching is the perfect tool for overcoming a quarter-life crisis. This is a challenging time but with the right support, you can turn it into a very constructive experience.

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Conclusion

Despite the challenges of a quarter-life crisis, this time is truly an opportunity to create the life that you desire. Once you surrender to the discomfort of this time you can open yourself up to the information it is bringing you. Using this knowledge you can understand what needs to be let go of and what direction you should take next. Reaching out for support during this time will undoubtedly contribute to you using this time as an opportunity. A digital coach can offer a much-needed objective perspective and help define what you want the next phase of your life to look like. Remember that this phase is temporary and will ultimately serve you in the long run.

Cathy Stapleton
Cathy is an Irish writer based in Berlin, Germany who is passionate about using words to inspire growth. As a certified mindfulness facilitator and performance coach, Cathy aims to create work that helps people connect with themselves and heighten their awareness. When she is not writing she is usually running in nature, meditating or contemplating an existential crisis.

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