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Feeling lost in your 20s is a pretty common feeling among people in our age group. We’re just starting to figure out who we are.
Maybe you’ve moved out of your parent’s house for the first time and you’re trying to navigate how to run a household.
Maybe you’ve just gotten out of college with a ton of debt and no savings plan for your future.
Or maybe you’ve gotten married, started having kids, and are trying to navigate how to raise a healthy, happy family.
There are so many different scenarios you can get yourself into in your 20s, and we all are struggling no matter the circumstances.
No matter what, your struggles are valid. Even if you feel behind in life, or not where you’re “supposed” to be. It’s pretty likely everyone in their 20s feels like that.
Even if it looks like they have it all together.
So, if you’re feeling lost in your 20s, here are a few empowering things you can do to help.
1. Trust yourself
The number one thing to do is to trust yourself.
You have gotten yourself this far. You have done everything that you know you need to do, and you will get yourself through this as well.
Like you have probably heard the saying “you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great!” and it’s 100% true!
Even though you may have no idea where you’re going, you need to trust yourself that you’ll figure it out. Because you always have.
And, let’s be real here, no one has it all together or knows exactly where they’re going. Not even that girl on Instagram who looks like she has it all together, not your parents, not even me who is giving you steps on what to do right now.
I have not a single clue what I am doing with my life, but I am focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. Taking whatever step feels right in the moment and going from there.
And that doesn’t mean you can’t have a vision for the future, you definitely should, and probably do.
But even if you don’t that’s okay. Because the future is so far away and it’s always changing. Your plan now may not be your plan tomorrow.
I know my plan is always changing and evolving!
But you need to trust yourself that you’re going to get where you need to go and right now at this moment, you’re exactly where you need to be.
2. Let go of anxiety
And with that, you also need to let go of anxiety. Let go of the need to control every outcome of your life and just trust that things will work out.
If you are coming from a place of anxiety, and you’re not trusting yourself or the universe that things will work out the way they should, you’re coming from a place of lack instead of a place of abundance and confidence.
This is something that I have just recently learned from my mindset coach. Holding too tightly to the outcome and your goals can hurt more than help.
Because anxiety can stem from a lack of self-confidence, and that isn’t going to help you attract the things you want into your life. You want to be as high-vibe as you can be.
And that controlling, un-trusting, lack-type vibes is not a high vibe at all.
Now does that mean you need to be happy and high vibe all the time?
No that’s not what I’m saying.
We don’t want to shove our emotions down until we can’t feel them anymore, we don’t want to push them away and pretend they don’t exist.
No one is high-vibe and happy all the time.
But what we do want to do is work through our emotions in a healthy way.
Understand why we’re anxious, what is making us feel this way, and move that anxiety through and eventually out of our bodies.
3. Try journaling when you’re feeling lost in your 20s
One of the best ways to do this is through journaling. I have found that journaling has helped my mental health and overall mood in such an insanely positive way.
If you’re brand new to journaling, it can be a bit hard or overwhelming to do. You may not have any idea what to start writing about.
That’s where journal prompts come in!
Throughout my journey to understanding myself better and to stop feeling so lost, I’ve used journal prompts to work through my emotions.
If you want to try out the same thing, check out these 95 thought-provoking journal prompts for mental health I have in my shop!
There’s also a bonus workbook to help you work through your goals and really help you get your life together in your 20s!
4. Let go of the need to control everything
You also need to let go of the need to control everything. I’m really bad at this myself, so it’s something I’m working on.
And the need to control everything, especially for me, likely comes from past trauma.
As a kid, I did not have much control. I was in bad situations where I was controlled and felt I had none of my own. And that manifests into adulthood with the need to control everything just because you can.
If this is something that resonates with you, now that you’re an adult, you’re (hopefully) away from the people that controlled you when you were younger.
Now, you’re out on your own and everything is up to you. You can make all the decisions for yourself.
So now you try to control everything.
Another reason could be, and I know this is true for me as well, is if you were always put into unsafe situations as a child where you felt you had no control or never knew what the outcome was going to be in a situation, then now you may feel the need to control everything so that you know the outcome.
Because not knowing the outcome or the situation you’re putting yourself in can be scary.
However, that leads to you potentially pushing away opportunities that the universe is trying to send to you.
So for example, if you’re trying to control everything or plan out every little detail of how something in your life is going to go, and you hold onto that so tightly, you may miss the other big opportunities being sent your way because you’ve tunnel-visioned and clung to another outcome.
This can also come from not trusting yourself, so every detail needs to be planned and executed to a T.
So working through that anxiety, distrust, and not trying to control everything can really help.
5. Pay attention to what lights you up
Once you kind of work through the negative stuff, we can move on to the more positive side of things.
Are you glad to hear that? I know I am!
And it’s definitely easier said than done, getting rid of the negative things or beliefs in your life is not going to be an overnight thing.
Sadly, you can’t just flip a switch and *poof* all of it will be gone.
It’s really an ongoing thing, and you may notice that after you feel better and you think you’re healed, you may be thrown into another situation that brings up even more things you need to work through.
That’s okay. Healing is an ongoing process and it takes work to do.
But, once you feel you’re in a good place, you want to pay attention to what lights you up in life.
If you’re feeling really lost in your 20s- maybe you hate your job and you want to quit, or maybe you want to start your own business but you have no clue what to do.
Maybe you just got out of college and are getting ready to start a career. Or maybe you changed your major a few times or even dropped out because you realized it wasn’t for you. (I’m with you there!)
In order to find out what you really want out of life, pay attention to what lights you up.
And this doesn’t have to be a job or a career that you’re thinking of. That’s just a really good example.
I know people who don’t have dream careers and are okay with doing whatever pays the bills. They’d rather focus their time and passion elsewhere.
That’s okay too!
This can be something as simple as seeing a car on the road that makes your eyes go wide. Maybe that’s the dream car you decide you want.
Or maybe you find this topic that you can talk about for hours on end, and decide to start a podcast, a blog, or a youtube channel about it.
If you love crafting, maybe you sell things on Etsy as a side project. Or just take up drawing in your free time.
Whatever it is in your life that brings you joy, how can you bring more of that into your life?
How can you find the money to buy that car you love, move into the dream neighborhood that’s to die for, or even bring a small bit of happiness into your life by adopting a cat or dog.
6. Set goals
Once you figure out what lights you up, you can start setting goals to work towards them.
Setting goals is the perfect way to start getting more aligned with yourself and not feeling lost in your 20s.
Where do you want to be in a couple years? And I know this can be a hard question, so you don’t need to have every detail figured out.
Especially because we don’t want to cling so tight to the outcomes that we block any other blessings that may come our way.
Maybe you know you want to have a great group of friends to hang out with, be more confident, own a house, or get married.
Think up as many goals as you can and write them down. From there, you can work backward.
If you know you want to buy a house, do you have a savings plan in place? Do you have a budget so you can be in control of your money?
It’s of course going to be hard to predict what house prices will be 5 years down the line, but you know you’ll need a big chunk of change.
So how can you start saving now to get there?
Or if you know you want to have a good group of friends to hang out with, are you putting yourself in positions where you can meet more people?
Texting friends on Facebook, making plans to hang out, frequenting coffee shops, or other places you can meet people?
If you’re holed up in your house all day, too afraid to text people it’s likely you’ll never reach that goal.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Set up a big goal for yourself (With a date to hit it by, if you’d like or if it’s realistic to do)
- Break that goal down into small chunks (For example, a 5-year goal–>1 year –>6 months –>3 months)
- Decide what steps you can take today to get there
- Stay the course, even if you get knocked off. Get back up!
7. Embrace uncertainty and change
Embracing uncertainty and change is really hard to do at any age, especially when you’re feeling lost in your 20s.
Because we have a lot of pressure as women to have everything figured out.
Our “biological clock” is ticking and if we’re not “married and having babies by 30” all of a sudden we’re unwanted and have one foot in the grave.
Which, I mean, come on?! By 30 years old?! Most people will live well into their 70’s and 80’s right now. You’ve barely lived by the time you’re 30.
Tons and tons of things will change in your life and you have so much freaking time to figure it all out.
But, if you’re feeling lost in your 20s and you’re hoping something will change, well… nothing changes if nothing changes.
Meaning, if you don’t embrace uncertainty and be willing to change, you’re going to stay stuck right where you are.
And what’s scarier? Changing for the better or realizing in 5 years you’re in the same position you are in right now?
Personally, I think being stagnant is way scarier than taking the risk to live a better life.
8. Practice compassion and self-care
But at the end of the day, you don’t want to be too hard on yourself. You know you’re doing the best you can.
Don’t forget to love yourself for who you are right now. You’re not a self-improvement project that needs to constantly be fixed. You are whole as you are.
You have your entire life to figure out who you are, and it’s going to be a consistently changing thing as you get older.
Who you are now in your 20’s is likely not who you’ll be in your 30’s, 40’s, and beyond. So take comfort in knowing that you will constantly evolve and change with the times.
Practice compassion for yourself and make sure to include self-care into your routine.
Take advice from those that you trust and are further ahead in life than you are. Read self-help books to understand yourself n a deeper level.
Reading self-help books like You are a Badass and Embrace your Almost, among others has been a huge help for me.
So if you’re still feeling lost in your 20s, check out this next blog post about 9 Healthy Habits you Won’t Regret Picking up in your 20s!