Advertising
Advertising

Don’t Worry: It’s Alright To Feel Lost At 25

Don’t Worry: It’s Alright To Feel Lost At 25

There’s no doubt that a person’s twenties are often some of the most exciting—and most terrifying—years of their life. Finishing college (if attended), entering the workforce, possibly starting a family, or just trying to climb up the corporate ladder are things many people in their twenties are busy doing. However, for some of us, things seem to take a standstill by the age of 25 and we have no earthly idea what we’re supposed to do with ourselves. If you’ve found yourself in this boat in your twenties, don’t worry: it’s alright to feel lost at 25.

I remember the day I graduated high school. I was sure that my identity struggles and career struggles would take care of themselves. My peers and I eagerly went off to college and pursued different paths, but for some reason, I never seemed to find my path as quickly as I thought I would. I changed majors three times, had a slight identity crisis, dealt with some major points of grief, and spent most of my early twenties figuring out what I would finally finish up my college degree with. Throw in some odd jobs, financial aid stresses, family issues, and you’ve got an equation that comes out equal to a seriously lost individual.

Advertising

By age 25, I had finally graduated with a degree I was happy with and passionate about: nutrition science. Even though I left college with a mountain of student loan debt, I was certain that I’d find a job and that things would just take care of themselves. Guess what? That didn’t happen. In fact, I spent the next two years looking for a job and feeling incredibly lost in life. Where had things gone wrong? What specific decision led me here?

If you’ve ever found yourself in these shoes or felt lost at some point in your life, don’t worry. Things do finally work themselves out and you’ll see the pieces of life start to come together within a few years. To help you get there much quicker than I did, here are a few tips I’d suggest anyone follow.

Advertising

1. Don’t Let Your Major and Possible Job (Current or Future) Define You

Many times in our twenties, we have to work jobs that might not be what we set out to do with our lives. That’s okay. Don’t worry about your job defining who you are. If you feel you need to make a change, then by all means, do it. Don’t be afraid to go after your dreams, but also don’t worry if you have to work a few crummy jobs to make ends meet. In the meantime, when you’re off work, be sure to explore activities of all kinds that you’re passionate about, no matter how small they may seem. Doing this will often lead you to a career area you might be able to look into at some point. You’ll also be able to deal with life a little bit easier when you are participating in something you’re passionate about.

2. Try Your Best to Let Go of Past Failures

Whether it’s a job, relationship, school program, or anything else that just didn’t go like you planned, try your best to let it go. You can’t take it with you, but you can let it make you stronger and smarter. Don’t let your past define your future, always look ahead and just keep stepping forward. This makes you feel more accomplished and able to approach things that come your way with a new mindset. Failure and regret get you nowhere, but taking one step, day by day in a new direction, does.

Advertising

3. Don’t Let Anyone Define Who You Are

It’s very easy to get caught up in relationships with friends, family, and partners during our twenties that end up making us dependent on others for happiness. Do your best not to let this happen. Having a strong sense of self is important for helping you not feel lost in life, and if something was to ever happen to one of these relationships, you’d be stronger for always being yourself. Don’t let others define who you are and what you want to do with your life. Be yourself and always remain true to you—no matter what.

4. Be Smart With Your Finances

This step is often hard for many people in their twenties when jobs can go up and down and debt often starts to pile up. No matter how little money you make, be smart with it. Remember that you don’t need to have the newest of everything, and minimalism is highly underrated. Being smart with your finances will give you an internal confidence and also help you be in a better condition if something unexpected happens in your future. If you don’t make enough money or are already having financial problems, try to find a side job or evaluate your spending right now to see how you can improve things. Look into free budgeting tools online and through mobile apps that can help you with this.

Advertising

5. Reach Out to Others

It might also be helpful for you to reach out to others who are older than you and let them act as mentors during this time of confusion and loss. Not many people had their entire lives figured out at 25, so take advice from a variety of people and think about their experiences. This doesn’t mean you have to take all of their advice or repeat their choices, but insight from others can create new perspectives and possibly even new ideas that may lead you towards a better path.

Remember that no one gets an award at age 30 for having a perfect life, so if you’re in your mid-twenties and sweating things, don’t worry: it’s alright to feel lost at 25 or any other age. For more inspiration that may help you get through your twenties a bit easier, consider trying these 20 Things Highly Successful People Do in Their Twenties.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via images.unsplash.com

More by this author

10 Blow Your Mind Dipping Sauce Recipes That You Need To Try 10 Blow Your Mind Dipping Sauce Recipes That You Need To Try How To Be Happy: 12 Things You Should Do Today 10 Delicious Ways to Increase Your Fiber Intake to Lose Weight More Easily 5 Important Things Most People Miss About Health and Nutrition Top 8 Effective Ways To Quit Coffee Painlessly

Trending in 20-Something

1 One Solid Practice for Tackling Low Self-Esteem 2 If You Want To Get Help From Others Easily, Remember To Avoid This Mistake 3 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience 4 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane 5 The Battle Of The Voices In My Head

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

Advertising

It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

Advertising

2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

Advertising

And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

Advertising

Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

More About Living Your True Self

Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next