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5 Phases of a Quarter Life Crisis -- Are you in one RIGHT now?

Rachel Estapa

I'm on a mission to turn the term "Quarter Life Crisis" (QLC) into "Quarter Life Opportunity" because that's exactly what it is --- a turning point in your life where YOU'RE totally responsible for your self and the direction your life will take. Think of your QLC as an "update" button - keep pressing X and everything stays the same...press UPDATE  and....

"But that's the scary part!"

For years, the course ahead was laid out very well, then after the initial high of post-college life (somewhere between the mid- to-late twenties) a crash occurs. You're not sure who you are, where you're heading, and doubt if you're equipped to even "get there" - where ever THERE is!  QLC is all about becoming yourself and re-examining who you REALLY are...because the old definitions just don't feel quite right.

A majority of my clients come to me because they've heard about the Quarter Life Crisis, are experiencing one now, and want to feel better. Having gone through my QLC,  I know how confusing and painful it is, but also know the other side of it is fantastic -- but that's not the point -- the point is to guide others through whatever they are experiencing, because this crisis really is a huge lesson in self and is a chance to finally become who we know we really want to be.

So - where are you in your QLC? Here's an excerpt from an article outlining common phases:

Phase 1 – A feeling of being trapped by your life choices. Feeling as though you are living your life on autopilot. Phase 2 – A rising sense of “I’ve got to get out” and the feeling that you can change your life. Phase 3 – Quitting the job or relationship or whatever else is making you feel trapped and embarking on a “time out” period where you try out new experiences to find out who you want to be. Phase 4 – Rebuilding your life. Phase 5 – Developing new commitments more attuned to your interests and aspirations.

Understanding which phase you're in can help you breathe a bit easier and explain why you're feeling the way to do. But like anything...a plan of action helps move things along [ahem, via coaching?] and makes the trek into 'You 2.0' more powerful and lasting.

Crisis's push you out of your comfort zone...that's how you grow. How we handle these challenges and what we learn through the process  is more telling of who we really are than the outcomes. The point of the QLC isn't to unravel everything you know about yourself...it's an opportunity to upgrade in maturity and wisdom about who you really are so you can chart and walk along the path towards who you truly want to become.