You’ve been told, “the sky is the limit.” “The world is your oyster!” “There’s an opportunity at every corner!”
Wait…. Which corner? ….An oyster?
Who came up with this stuff, anyway?
As a 20-something you’ve launched into adulthood. When you were younger you dreamed of the time that you’d be in charge of your own life; no one to answer to but yourself. You'd decide where you work, how you'd spend your time and money and how often you'd clean your bathroom and wash your sheets.
Now that you’ve arrived, things are feeling a bit weird.
You’ve checked the typical boxes on the to-do list; got your degree, searched for a job in your field, moved out, and tried your hand at the dating scene. But there’s one problem…You’re wondering, “is this really what I signed up for?”
You’re living a sea of what-if’s and if-only’s. Your brain is in overdrive, questioning every decision you make and then stressing about how it will look if you fail. You want to know it all; you pretend to know it all.
On the outside you’re cool, calm and collected. But, underneath the “I’ve got this” exterior, you’re waiting to cry and scream at the top of your lungs that you don’t know what the hell you are doing, or why you’re doing it. You don’t want anyone to know the struggle, but...
You endlessly complain about the boss that is slowly killing your spirit. You remain in the relationship that seems to be good-enough because it’s hard and uncomfortable to meet someone new. You pass up the networking opportunity because you feel a bit like a fraud.
You stuff the insecurity, anxiety, sadness and frustration deep down inside. Everyone else seems to be doing just fine... you just need to buckle down and get through it, right?
You're hoping that if you white-knuckle it long enough, this will all pass.
Let me tell you something about your brain.
Your brain is still growing and developing well into your 20’s. In the 90’s the National Institute for Mental Health found that as a 20-something, thousands of new connections within your brain are forming, resulting in an exponentially increased capacity for learning and personal growth.
These are the years that your brain is naturally in overdrive, re-learning how to handle your emotions, how to negotiate tough social interactions and how to interface with your social and professional worlds.
If taken advantage of, these years can help form you into the “grown-up” that you want to be.
In these years, if you take the time to learn how interface with your toughest emotions and define what is most important to you, you are actually setting yourself up for much less emotional distress in the decades to come.
So, what does that mean for you?
- It’s time to do a bit of self-exploration. What are you most passionate about? What do you value the most in life?
- Now is the time to look at how you are interacting with, or trying to control, your rawest emotions. Are these control mechanisms serving you?
- Consider if the way you are living now is in line with your values. Is your day-to-day getting you closer to the life that you have envisioned for yourself? If not, can you image taking steps to start living in a way that is authentic to what is most important to you?
- How can you make the most out of your current relationships while building new connections that are meaningful and feed the person you want to become?
- Take some time to consider if you are in autopilot. Are you sliding through your 20’s the easiest way possible? Or are you actively deciding and shaping what you want your life to look like?
Throughout your 20's and 30's you will learn how to live independently, decide on a career path, make your first major purchases (think cars and houses) and decide who (or if you will) to start your family with.
I get it, this is heavy stuff.
As your brain is hitting its final growth spurt in your life, you have a prime opportunity to learn how to navigate these decisions with confidence. Your brain is setting you up to successfully learn, and put into practice, new ways to cope with stressors and emotional overwhelm, while actively moving toward the life that you want to lead.
Now is your opportunity to begin carve out your own path. One that is authentic to the life that you imagine.
I want you to know that I’ve been there. I’ve felt similarly to the way that you do right now. And, I’m ready to support you and guide you past the obstacles and roadblocks that are getting in your way of feeling confident and self assured.
I offer online and in person counseling for young adults who are feeling lost and overwhelmed with emotion as they settle into adulthood.
Together, we will look at where you are and dig into where you want to go. You will learn new ways to keep moving in that direction while interfacing with the emotions that have been stuffed, numbed and avoided in effort to appear like you've got it all together.
Contact me to let me know what struggles you're facing. I'd love to share how I can support you through them, because I know as well as you, #thestruggleisreal.