Just over two years ago I graduated PT school, got engaged to the love of my life, turned 25 and felt incredible. I had always wondered if I would experience a quarter life crisis and when I turned 26, I concluded that I would not.
Well, over the past 6 weeks of full-time entrepreneurship, I can states that my quarter life crisis ran 2 years late. This blog is about feeling lost after a big career change and how I’ve moved forward through that experience to feel good again.
Here’s What I Was Feeling
When I left my job, I knew that I made the right decision but I still didn’t know what that meant for me long term. In other words, I knew the feeling that I was chasing and the impact that I wanted to have but I didn’t know the specifics. That combination of big picture conviction without big picture detail left me feeling lost and disconnected.
When I began working from home, I had more freedom with how I spent my time and that left me feeling overwhelmed with opportunities. Everywhere I looked, it felt like I could forge a path forward. That left me with diluted focus and as a result, diluted results. Some emotions that resulted were frustration, disappointment and confusion.
When I started spending more time on social media to promote my coaching, writing and other content, I began to compare where I was to those around me. Even though I knew it was never apples to apples, it still haunted me and left me feeling unsure, unmotivated and unsatisfied with the progress I was making.
When I took a step back to assess how I spent each day, I realized that I was missing people. I was isolated in an apartment and was craving connection that I had taken for granted when working in the clinic. That left me feeling alone.
Here’s What I Did About It
Before going on, let me express that these past 6 weeks have not been bad at all, just challenging. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed to make a change and here’s what I did to navigate this quarter life crisis that caught me off guard.
I reached out for help – over the past few years I’ve come to understand and embrace the fact that there is no shame in reaching out for help. I’m grateful to have a circle of friends who support me, encourage me and elevate me. Being able to talk about what I was going through made me realize that I wasn’t alone and it allowed me to work through emotions. Getting guidance from people who had been where I was proved valuable beyond measure because it allowed me to be efficient in working through the challenges that I was facing.
I took action – one of the biggest reasons that I am where I am is because I see the value in imperfect action. Most people (myself included) have a tendency to shut down in response to feeling lost and/or overwhelmed. However, from previous experience, I trusted that action would be the best path forward. Even though I didn’t know what I needed to do, I kept moving forward and before I knew it, things became clear (kind of like defogging car windows). I could go on forever about this, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll leave it here; action produces clarity.
I looked inward – it didn’t take long for me to realize that before I could make meaningful impact on the outside, I needed to be clear on wanted to be on the inside. I spent quite a bit of time reading, writing, praying, reflecting and being alone with myself without distraction from the outside world. This meant that I spent many early mornings in solitude getting to the heart of who I am. With that work underway (it’s never done), I feel more confident living from the inside-out and not the other way around. Finding that alignment is hard work but it’s well worth it.
I trusted the process – as cliche as it might be, having faith that things will work out allows us to persist through even the most challenging times and that’s the truth. I wrote an entire blog about this topic, but for the purpose of this blog, let me keep it simple. To me, trusting the process means believing that even if you can’t understand it in this moment, that everything is happening for a reason and working for your good. It comes down to controlling what you can control and surrounding to the rest. Trusting the process is beyond challenging but also incredibly freeing.
I’m glad that I won’t have to experience another quarter life crisis, but I’ll be vigilant when mid life rolls around (half-joking). In all seriousness, I hope that you’re not feeling lost, but if you are, know that you’re not alone. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anyway that I can help you navigate this season of life. To end, let the simple quote below guide you as you navigate this season of life (or keep it in your back pocket for the next).
Thank you for reading!
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