Quarter-life crises are real things, and it can take a lot of strength (and stumbling) to overcome them. At some point (or several points) before your thirties, it's very likely you'll become overwhelmed with the weight of career choices, relationships, and all the life decisions you have before you.
Navigating a quarter-life crisis can be daunting, but after taking a deep breath, there are a few straightforward things you can do to feel in control again. If you feel like you're in the midst of confusing times that have you questioning whether you're following your calling, here are three simple steps you can take to get yourself back on track.
Stop comparing yourself to others
In our social media–saturated world, it can be difficult to ignore all the things your friends are doing—traveling the world, advancing their careers, having babies—without comparing their accomplishments to your own. Remember the grass will always look greener on Instagram, and what you see in your newsfeed is a curated look at the best moments all your friends are experiencing. Everyone has their ups and downs, so to focus on your own growth and success, you need to look inward. Focus on yourself, and take time to ask yourself questions like what do I want to do for the world? and what kind of life do I want to be living five years from now?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you
When you're going through a challenging time that forces growth and change, it's important to have a strong support system. Make sure you've created a network of friends and contacts who support you and your ambitions. If you're still finding your footing and don't have friends who are close by, grow your connections by attending conferences and volunteer projects in line with your interests, or ask friends to intro you to people you think you'd click with.
Tackle your fears
One of the biggest things that limit our growth in life is fear of the unknown. Yes, we'd like to take that risk—leaving our jobs, moving to another city, or completely changing career paths—but we're scared of that lack of security. It's impossible to grow if we only live within our comfort zones, so tackle your fear of the unknown, and turn your challenges into opportunities.
Find these tips inspiring? Tell us about your path to figuring out what you want to do in the comments.
This post was originally published on October 9, 2016, and has since been updated.