Ways the 30 Something Crisis Comes About
So many of us in our 30's seem to find ourselves waking up and wondering what's happened to our lives. We don't want to go to work, the day seems to drag itself out and life looks bleak. Yet we see others who are out there living their lives vibrantly and passionately. How is this so? How have they managed a career change successfully?
We can either keep going in the same direction or we can look about our lives and be ready to explore, to seek positive change.
The great news about choosing exploration and positive change is it can happen at your own pace - you get to control the journey away from frustration towards fulfillment.
Signs to Recognise You're In Crisis
Sometimes we get so busy in our lives that we shunt aside the signs we're experiencing that are telling us we need to change things up. Feeling anxious, depressed, dissatisfied with your life, frustrated or simply just over it are all valid indicators that we're out of balance and experiencing crisis.
The term 'crisis' might sound dramatic but really it's a opportunity to step back and look at our lives. It can save us from deep regrets about a wasted life in years to come. By recognising that we're not happy we give ourselves a chance to create the type of life we want.
It's so easy to get into work and along a professional pathway that just happens rather than is planned. Life just happens. Getting a chance in your 30's to pop your head up and look around what's happening is a fantastic opportunity to set yourself on the path you want to explore for the next ten years.
Coming through anxiety or depression takes it own amount of time but the experience of coming through it is an opportunity to find the authentic you - who you really are and what you really value in life.
On the outside you can seem to have everything you could ever want - a high status job, highly paid, loads of material status symbols and living the dream. On the inside you feel like you're missing something. This is a sign for you to take control of your life - and it could very well be taking control of your life for the first time.
From the time we're children, through school and uni and coming out into the work force we very usually tend to be going with the flow. As little ones our parents control our lives, at school and university the education system directs our days and once we're out into the work force we're doing what's needed to get the work and career we're after. If we're lucky there's someone in our lives who gets us asking and exploring questions about values, experiences we want to have in life, the sort of person we want to be and what qualities we want in a partner and our friends. Mostly we don't have that person come into our lives.
It's in our 30's that we get to ask those questions for ourselves. And we find out what we need to be questioning by exploring ourselves, reading, talking, listening and educating ourselves in ways we haven't done before. So to help you explore further we've got 7 tips to help you break through the murk.
7 Tops Tips for Breaking Through the 30 Something Crisis
1. Create more balance in your life. If daily life is dominated by work then there's a huge burden put on that one element for it to be fantastic. When you balance life out more with attention to relationships, exercise, hobbies and developing your own authenticity creates balance and will let you enjoy your work again.
2. Explore whether work deserves to have all the high expectations that are put on it. Consider whether you want it to be enjoyable but not your core definition as an individual. Are there other definitions that are important to you. Try listing who you admire in life and why. If you can't think of anyone, start reading some biographies and having a good look into other's lives.
3. Make a list of 10 things you enjoy doing that are about you and not about work (or the thing that's been taking the majority of your time). If 10 seems daunting, start with three. The write a paragraph (or more) of why you enjoy it. How long has it been since some or all of these things have been a regular part of your life - honesty with yourself is really important here.
4. Develop skills and learn new things so you can grow both as an individual, emotionally, professionally and as a member of your community. By doing new things and growing opportunity has a chance to offer new options in life.
5. Give yourself time and space to explore through reading, studying, meditation, exercise, travel and a life coach - it's about investing in you so you can find the paths in life that bring you fulfillment. The studying can be evening college courses in something you've always wanted to try. The exercise can be swimming and yoga. The travel can be annual or biannual long weekends away. The life coach can be a birthday present to yourself for 6 meetings or 6 months. It can easily start off as accessible and achievable goals, it doesn't have to be a big huge commitment.
6. Make changes now. Don't wait for an optimal time. If you're showing signs of being in crisis then the right time to be doing something is now. It can be as simple as reading a book like Eat, Pray, Love or going for a daily walk to exercise and think. It's the doing, the starting that matters, even if it is a 'small' action.
7. Recognise that the process of finding what matters in your life and what you want to have in it is one of months or years. It could have you in the same profession or it could have you taking a new path while using a lot of your existing skills. It isn't a quick fix, nothing worthwhile ever is.
Finding a Rich and Rewarding Life
Once you're feeling happier and positive about life again many of the anxious fears that you might have had at the start would have dropped away and it is much easier to try new courses, meet people from different walks of life and know what sort of behaviour is acceptable for you and what simply isn't.
Often assessing life in your 30's leads you into having a very satisfying and rewarding 40's. But if you push aside the warning bells and push on being unhappy with work you're at risk of serious regrets in later life and missing out on a lot of joy.