Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
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25-10-2016, 05:59 PM
Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
Hi there people. I hope you're all doing well.

So today I woke up and anxiety struck. This usually happens to me when I'm under stress. The reason for the stress? I just moved far, far away from my childhood home, and I'm about to start a new 12-hour a day job on Saturday (please pray for me to the Flying Sphagetti Monster. Ramen.) As an introvert, change is always hard for me, and new places, people and situations send my brain right to DEFCON 5 alert state for no good reason. It's irrational, it's primitive, and I can't help it. No matter how much I try to reason with myself. It takes time for me to become comfortable in my new surroundings.

On top of my usual fears, I've been having kind of a quarter-life crisis. I can't help but compare myself to other successful people and constantly wonder if I'm ever going to accomplish any of my dreams. I've always wanted to write movies and novels (I'm writing one right now, one frustrated key stroke at a time), and produce audiovisual content. I've always had a knack for that kind of thing. My previous job back at home occasionally allowed for those opportunities (although it was mostly writing), but my new job doesn't. It has nothing to do with it.

I changed jobs because from what I made from my previous one, I couldn't live on my own. I liked it (most of the time anyway), but I was growing a bit tired of it, and there was a lot of uncertainty on how long it was going to last (the institution had financial issues). I needed to be on my own, so I took a leap of faith. It's long hours, but it pays well. Well enough for me to start saving and build some sort of foundation. My parents lived paycheck to paycheck, so I'm kinda on my own financially.

However, I can't help but think I'm failing. The prospect of pursuing a career doing what I've always thought I'd do is scary. What if I fail? What if I don't make it?
The fear of failure is paralyzing.

Still I will give it a try. My plans right now, as I said, is to build a foundation and then grow from there. Have some sort of safety net because right now I don't have any. I don't want to go through life feeling like a failure.

Anyways, if you have any thoughts or feed back I'd be glad to hear it. Also, if you've read any good books about these issues that come at it from a realistic, scientific point of view (none of that self-help crap, please) feel free to suggest it.
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25-10-2016, 07:00 PM
RE: Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
Just get in and grind on it. Pay attention to the politics of your new fellow employees, since it only takes one lying, back-stabbing mofo to ruin it. If the pay is good enough, that can be incentive to stick with it. You shouldn't compare yourself to your fellow workers, beyond gauging how well they do their jobs Vs. your performance. If you wake up with a pounding heart, make sure that you are getting enough exercise (my commute made it really difficult to do so, and my longevity will be affected by it) and a good diet. Just don't give up.
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25-10-2016, 07:09 PM
RE: Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
Congratulations on your new job and location!

Being on your own is going to build your confidence, especially if you take a little bit of time every week or so to pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished. (For example, write it in a journal: this week I paid the electric bill, figured out a shortcut to work, got 5 pages of my novel done, made a new friend at work, etc.) It's good that you understand that you respond reluctantly to change. You know it will take time for you to get comfortable, so you're going to have to experience feeling uncomfortable/ill at ease/homesick, etc., for a while. If you don't blame yourself for having uncomfortable feelings, and reassure yourself that the feelings are temporary, you'll have more energy and the feelings will pass faster (in my experience).

When I feel overwhelmed by taking on lots of new challenges--I am often over-committed, that's how I like things--I start thinking in terms of process rather than product. That is, I decide how much time I intend to work on a certain project in the next week, or in the next day, set the timer, and go.

Regarding fear of failure, a lot of insanely smart and gifted people have it. (So do people without much talent, of course--it's fairly universal) Trying as hard as you can is terrifying, especially once you find out how talented and hard-working others in your field are. It may help to reframe your pursuit as getting as close to your own best as you can--to see how deep you can go into your craft, art, etc., and all of the amazing and exciting things you'll learn along the way.

Best of luck.
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27-10-2016, 05:21 PM
RE: Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
(25-10-2016 07:09 PM)julep Wrote:  Congratulations on your new job and location!

Being on your own is going to build your confidence, especially if you take a little bit of time every week or so to pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished. (For example, write it in a journal: this week I paid the electric bill, figured out a shortcut to work, got 5 pages of my novel done, made a new friend at work, etc.) It's good that you understand that you respond reluctantly to change. You know it will take time for you to get comfortable, so you're going to have to experience feeling uncomfortable/ill at ease/homesick, etc., for a while. If you don't blame yourself for having uncomfortable feelings, and reassure yourself that the feelings are temporary, you'll have more energy and the feelings will pass faster (in my experience).

When I feel overwhelmed by taking on lots of new challenges--I am often over-committed, that's how I like things--I start thinking in terms of process rather than product. That is, I decide how much time I intend to work on a certain project in the next week, or in the next day, set the timer, and go.

Regarding fear of failure, a lot of insanely smart and gifted people have it. (So do people without much talent, of course--it's fairly universal) Trying as hard as you can is terrifying, especially once you find out how talented and hard-working others in your field are. It may help to reframe your pursuit as getting as close to your own best as you can--to see how deep you can go into your craft, art, etc., and all of the amazing and exciting things you'll learn along the way.

Best of luck.

Thank you both for your replies and good wishes. I hate that in most jobs you have to deal with stupid politics. I just want to do my job, get paid and go home. But no, you also have to deal with needless drama. In my previous job I managed to avoid drama 90% of the time. Hopefully I can do the same in this one.

It's a great idea to write my accomplishments in a journal of some kind. Sometimes when I feel down, it is harder for me to remember the things I've accomplished. Writing them down might help with that.

I guess my inability to believe in myself comes in part with my religious background. I was taught people are 'blessed' with certain talents, as if it was something innate that not all people have. There is dispute among experts on whether how good you are at something is determined by genetics, trying hard or both. I guess I'm scared I'll find out no matter how hard I try I'll never be 'good' at what I want to do because I just 'don't have it in me.'
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27-10-2016, 05:21 PM
RE: Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
(27-10-2016 05:21 PM)IgniteThought Wrote:  
(25-10-2016 07:09 PM)julep Wrote:  Congratulations on your new job and location!

Being on your own is going to build your confidence, especially if you take a little bit of time every week or so to pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished. (For example, write it in a journal: this week I paid the electric bill, figured out a shortcut to work, got 5 pages of my novel done, made a new friend at work, etc.) It's good that you understand that you respond reluctantly to change. You know it will take time for you to get comfortable, so you're going to have to experience feeling uncomfortable/ill at ease/homesick, etc., for a while. If you don't blame yourself for having uncomfortable feelings, and reassure yourself that the feelings are temporary, you'll have more energy and the feelings will pass faster (in my experience).

When I feel overwhelmed by taking on lots of new challenges--I am often over-committed, that's how I like things--I start thinking in terms of process rather than product. That is, I decide how much time I intend to work on a certain project in the next week, or in the next day, set the timer, and go.

Regarding fear of failure, a lot of insanely smart and gifted people have it. (So do people without much talent, of course--it's fairly universal) Trying as hard as you can is terrifying, especially once you find out how talented and hard-working others in your field are. It may help to reframe your pursuit as getting as close to your own best as you can--to see how deep you can go into your craft, art, etc., and all of the amazing and exciting things you'll learn along the way.

Best of luck.

Thank you both for your replies and good wishes. I hate the fact that in most jobs there's stupid politics. I just want to do my job, get paid and go home. But no, you also have to deal with needless drama. In my previous job I managed to avoid drama 90% of the time. Hopefully I can do the same in this one.

It's a great idea to write my accomplishments in a journal of some kind. Sometimes when I feel down, it is harder for me to remember the things I've accomplished. Writing them down might help with that.

I guess my inability to believe in myself comes in part with my religious background. I was taught people are 'blessed' with certain talents, as if it was something innate that not all people have. There is dispute among experts on whether how good you are at something is determined by genetics, trying hard or both. I guess I'm scared I'll find out no matter how hard I try I'll never be 'good' at what I want to do because I just 'don't have it in me.'
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27-10-2016, 05:53 PM
RE: Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
Congrats on your new job! And as FB has said, don't compare yourself to others--instead work hard, focus on your own talents, and work on improving those. If you do those things, chances are, you will be successful.

In terms of achieving your dreams, what does it take for you to get there? Make a plan of attack and do it. Most people who achieve their dreams keep at it. Sitting on the sidelines worrying about achieving your dreams is not going to get you there.

It's okay to fail. When you fail, you get up and try again. You don't quit. That is how you achieve your dreams. If achieving dreams was easy--everyone would be living their dreams. The failing is what makes it all worth it--the failing is what makes you better. Embrace the failing.

Good luck with everything! Keep pushing forward.
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27-10-2016, 06:43 PM
RE: Dealing with Quarter Life Crisis
(27-10-2016 05:21 PM)IgniteThought Wrote:  
(25-10-2016 07:09 PM)julep Wrote:  Congratulations on your new job and location!

Being on your own is going to build your confidence, especially if you take a little bit of time every week or so to pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished. (For example, write it in a journal: this week I paid the electric bill, figured out a shortcut to work, got 5 pages of my novel done, made a new friend at work, etc.) It's good that you understand that you respond reluctantly to change. You know it will take time for you to get comfortable, so you're going to have to experience feeling uncomfortable/ill at ease/homesick, etc., for a while. If you don't blame yourself for having uncomfortable feelings, and reassure yourself that the feelings are temporary, you'll have more energy and the feelings will pass faster (in my experience).

When I feel overwhelmed by taking on lots of new challenges--I am often over-committed, that's how I like things--I start thinking in terms of process rather than product. That is, I decide how much time I intend to work on a certain project in the next week, or in the next day, set the timer, and go.

Regarding fear of failure, a lot of insanely smart and gifted people have it. (So do people without much talent, of course--it's fairly universal) Trying as hard as you can is terrifying, especially once you find out how talented and hard-working others in your field are. It may help to reframe your pursuit as getting as close to your own best as you can--to see how deep you can go into your craft, art, etc., and all of the amazing and exciting things you'll learn along the way.

Best of luck.

Thank you both for your replies and good wishes. I hate that in most jobs you have to deal with stupid politics. I just want to do my job, get paid and go home. But no, you also have to deal with needless drama. In my previous job I managed to avoid drama 90% of the time. Hopefully I can do the same in this one.

It's a great idea to write my accomplishments in a journal of some kind. Sometimes when I feel down, it is harder for me to remember the things I've accomplished. Writing them down might help with that.

I guess my inability to believe in myself comes in part with my religious background. I was taught people are 'blessed' with certain talents, as if it was something innate that not all people have. There is dispute among experts on whether how good you are at something is determined by genetics, trying hard or both. I guess I'm scared I'll find out no matter how hard I try I'll never be 'good' at what I want to do because I just 'don't have it in me.'

I'm just going to quote one little piece of your reply: "There is dispute among experts on whether how good you are at something is determined by genetics, trying hard or both. I guess I'm scared I'll find out no matter how hard I try I'll never be 'good' at what I want to do because I just 'don't have it in me.'"

My response: short version: fuck them. Slightly longer version: try not to be so focused on validation from other (not you) sources. History will provide you with a plenitude of people who were applauded by contemporaneous audiences, but not critics, and--more importantly--vice versa. Your job, as an artist, is to tackle each project with everything you have. And that's your ONLY job. Do your stuff, go on to the next thing. Don't invest any of yourself in the "enough" fucks (not good enough, smart enough, talented enough)--if they're paying you, THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH!
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