Feeling Behind In Life | Quarter Life Crisis

I feel like I’ve wasted another year. Looking back at how this year panned out for me, I feel like I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing yet again. I am currently 25, about to turn 26 in two months and as much as I know I have a lot to be grateful for, I feel like I have nothing to show for it. I’m torn between whether I’m going through a ‘quarter life crisis,’ just feeling behind in life, or both. It feels like both.

When the new year began I was incredibly hopeful that this year would finally be the one. I was so convinced that this year would be different, one that will completely change my life for the better and prove to myself that I am actually capable of achieving everything I’ve ever wanted and for a while, it actually did happen. I felt like I was finally being given a stepping stone to go after the life I always wanted. That’s what hurt me the most. I felt like I was so close and out of no where, the rug had just been pulled from under me in more ways than one.

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re going through something the similar. I am writing this post because I want you to know that you are not alone. In the course of a month, I’ve experienced the loss of my grandfather, having to abruptly relocate, followed up by being broken up with. I am in so much pain emotionally that it hurts physically.

Regardless, I still choose to be an alchemist of life.

Feeling Behind In Life
Quarter Life Crisis

1. You’ve Already Stepped Up

Remember when I said I thought I was being given a stepping stone and how I felt the rug was just being pulled out from under me? Well, a few days ago I cried to a friend of mine about how I was feeling behind in life and she looked at me in total confusion and said, “Alana? You did step!! You-have-already-stepped! Look at how much you’ve grown as a person!?” The way she said it was like as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Hearing that made something in me click and I hope it does the same for you too. For the past few years, I’d been stuck in a rut because I just didn’t know which direction to go and felt like I wasn’t really good at anything. I lost my worth, my passion, my drive and felt like I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Going through all the things I went through this year, helped me break down to the point where I had to reinvent myself and my identity which ultimately took me from one stepping stone to another. I now know exactly what I want, where my passions lie and exactly how to get there.

The point of this story is that nothing you ever go through in life is in vain, everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we just don’t realize it because that’s when the transformation is taking place.

2. Stop Waiting For The Next Best Thing

I feel like I finally understand what it means when those motivational speakers on YouTube say, “stop waiting for the next best thing to come in order to be happy, be happy now!” Last week I went out to meet some people for a job interview. The days leading up to the interview I thought to myself, “I am so happy! I got my foot in the door, I did it!” I was so confident things were going great in my life just because this one opportunity presented itself to me and I now had reason to be happy again. Not long after, literally like two days after, my thoughts had changed.

I started thinking to myself, “I’ll relax after I get the job,” and there it was. I was prolonging my happiness until the next best thing came along. In that moment I asked myself, will I ever be happy if I actually get this job? Or will I just continue to say to myself, “I’ll be happy when I start my first day on the job,” or “I’ll be happy once I’ve settled three months into it…” After having that little epiphany, I told myself I’m gonna be happy regardless of the outcome of this situation.

The lesson here is that no matter where you are in life or what you go through, you’re always going to have obstacles. Those obstacles may be big or small. They may be in your career, job, school or relationships. The point is, you’re never not gonna be challenged by life. You just have to learn how to enjoy the journey and not wait until the next best thing comes in order to be happy or you’ll be chasing happiness for the rest of your life.

3. Be Grateful For The Ordinary Moments

When we’re feeling behind in life, most times nothing is actually going on to make us feel that way. The issue is that we feel unsatisfied because we think that things just aren’t happening fast enough. This where self-doubt, negativity and self-sabotage comes in. I’m not saying stay stuck or don’t grow or progress in life and have bigger goals. All I’m saying is be grateful for what you do have in those moments where you’re feeling behind in life. If there’s anything I’ve learnt this year, its that when shit hits the fan, all you so desperately want back are those ordinary moments again. To have that loved one back at the dining table, to be working on another project with your coworkers or to be lounging around hand in hand with your partner again, those are the little moments we want back so desperately when everything goes wrong.

There are so many times where I’ve found myself in places where I just didn’t see how good I actually had things until I lost them. I know many of you can relate. The key is to always be grateful and patient. Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t work towards the things you want in life. All it means is that everything worthwhile takes time, effort and patience.

4. Focus On Systems, Not Goals

This is something I learnt from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. I love how he describes that winners and losers both set goals, however the difference between the two, is that winners don’t focus on the goal, they focus on the system put in place towards reaching that goal. This struck a chord with me because I feel like we’ve all been winners and losers in our lives and I noticed that the times where I was always at my most successful would be when I just put my head down and did the work.

If you’re feeling behind in life, you probably also feel like you don’t know where to start. You can start by asking yourself what the is the system that needs to be created in order for you to bridge the gap between you and your goal. How can you make a 1% change in your life each day that gets you one step closer to achieving what you want? Here’s an example, I want to achieve a certain amount of page views within the next few months, that is my goal. However, the only way to bridge the gap between where I am right now and where I want to be depends on how many blog posts I write before that time and how often I market my blog on social media.

So the system I have created for myself in order to reach my goal is to start now, by writing at least two blog posts a week and posting something on social media everyday. Don’t focus on the result you want, focus on how you’re going to get there. Start now by making small, daily, achievable changes to your routine in order to get there.

5. Change Your Perspective

Moving abruptly during an already emotional period is an experience that can really put things into perspective for you. It made me realize just what our parents and families go through to keep a roof over our heads and put food on our tables. When I was going through my moving period, it wasn’t easy to say the least and thankfully it didn’t last too long because I had options. By options I mean I had a family that loves and cares about me regardless of what I’ve done or haven’t.

There was a time where the college grad in me used to loathe living with family because naturally, I just always wanted my own freedom. I know a lot of people my age joke about, “do you want to save money by living with your family or do you want to keep your mental health by living on your own?” Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand where they’re coming from. However, moving out on my own made me realize just how much things were handed to me and how blind I was to everything my families done and sacrificed for me. My perspective on living with my family used to be, “they don’t love or respect me and what I want.” That was so far from the truth.

Sometimes we go through these setbacks in life in order to humble us and realize just how much people actually do for us. If I never went through what I did this year, my eyes would’ve never opened to how much I already have to be grateful for. What’s more amazing, is that I can now see it in every other area of my life too.

6. You Cannot Plan Life

Last but not least, because sometimes we all need a reminder – You. Cannot. Plan. Out. Your. Entire. Life.

Life happens to us all! It is not meant to be this rigid thing that goes according to a step by step plan. It is ever changing. What is guaranteed today, may not be guaranteed tomorrow. Trying to plan your life is absolutely pointless. What is more pointless, is living according to expectations that you were conditioned to think belong to you. Beliefs like having to be married by a certain age, have kids, a career and have it all figured out just doesn’t make sense. We all come from different backgrounds, circumstances and starts in life. We all have ups and downs at different times. You have absolutely no reason to be feeling behind in life.

Stop thinking you’re a failure if you haven’t figured out what you want to do yet. If you’re going through a quarter life crisis – your age is not some deadly countdown. The older you get, the more experience you have. Go wait tables, make some money, and explore your passions. Stop feeling like you’ll never find a way out of your situation. You will! Believe in miracles and that anything can happen and it will! Do what makes ‘you’ happy, with ‘your’ life!

7. Stop Allowing Guilt To Paralyze Your Decisions

This is something so underrated and not talked about enough with women. Usually when you’re feeling behind in life, you’ll notice the reason why is because you’ve been taking the short end of sticks for a long time. Guilt makes us silence ourselves about things that bother us and overlook a lot of things that are not okay to the point where it paralyzes us. It gets to a point where we just try to smile the pain away. As women, we feel the need to keep other people happy, to the point where what we want no longer even matters anymore. We do this all the time, especially in relationships and just don’t like to admit it. We get into a mindset of lack and become afraid of losing people so we just remain complacent. That is at least until enough becomes enough.

We have to learn how to start making decisions based on how good they make us feel. Its so important as women that we learn how to be more selfish, especially in relationships. I see this over and over again in my own life and so many other women. We associate love with sacrifice and don’t know when to stop sacrificing whether that is our time, energy, even our bodies and more. When we no longer ‘sacrifice’ or ‘give’ or ‘love,’ it makes us feel guilt because we associate all these things with ‘love.’

I could write a whole other post on this but my point is, we need to learn how to be more selfish. Start making guilt free decisions. If you’re tired, cancel, if you don’t want to, say no. Learn how to love yourself first and keep your standards high!

8. Good Things Come To Those Who Do The Work

Patience is a superpower to not feeling behind in life. Yes, you may be knocked down today, but tomorrow holds new opportunities you can’t even imagine yet. If you only would just be patient, do the work you know you need to do in order to get to where you need go, God, the universe or whatever it is you choose to believe in will provide the rest. When you choose to have a mindset of lack and run back to people, situations or things that are clearly giving you resistance. You choose to block yourself from the better things life has to offer you.

I recently caught myself in the act of unconsciously repeating something that I thought could take my pain away and make me feel good again. I had gone through a lot and just wanted a quick fix to forget about everything and move on. Immediately I asked myself, “pain now? Or pain later and doubled?” I stopped right there as I was in the act, about to go through with it and chose, ‘pain now.’

Sometimes we don’t realize the unconscious loops we keep ourselves in. If a problem is repeating itself time and time again in your life, at some point you have to look at yourself and say, “why is this repeating itself again in my life, what am I doing or not doing for this to continue?” The moment you make that conscious decision to be aware of how you’re sabotaging yourself, choose to break the cycle and then do the work it takes to move forward in life, that is when your life will begin to change.

Thank you!

I hope this post helps you find yourself a little. I know and understand just how difficult this time of year can be. If you were feeling behind in life or going through what may seem like a quarter life crisis too… I hope you really see that there is always a way out of your situation. Remember, you’re not alone in whatever you’re feeling. I know the feeling can be really lonely but nothing lasts forever. You have more than enough time and resources to figure things out and get to where you want to go. Just believe in yourself!

Thank you for reading this far and supporting my blog. If you would like to read more content like, ‘Feeling behind in Life and going through a Quarter Life Crisis,’ you can subscribe to my mailing list here. When you subscribe to my mailing list, you will also get immediate news on any latest projects I’m working on! I also have a Master Your Mindset Course that I’ve created a while back if you’re interested. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love my course! For now though, I hope you have a wonderful day or night ahead.


Alana – Mae


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