How to Find Direction In Life As a Young Adult

You’re confused on where life is supposed to take you right now. Being a young adult, it feels like you’re behind in life for not knowing what you want to do with yourself. You don’t want to work that fast food job forever (although there’s nothing wrong with that) and you know you want to find your true passions. 

Lately, you feel like everyone around you has their life together. They’re going into their dream, high paying jobs. Maybe they’re graduating from their colleges and moving onto the next academic level. It could be that they’re more educated than you on issues such as stocks, investments, and you feel super behind on all of it. Or maybe your friends aren’t finding their way but you are still upset that you aren’t either. 

woman with red hair looking forward

The truth is, we live in a society where we are expected to have things figured out before we even graduate high school.

We are expected to apply to colleges our senior year, and starting freshman year, take AP classes or get yourself set up with a future internship. We’re expected to make all of these business connections, and get our name out there.

It’s quite the rat race. If you fall behind, even a little, you don’t have a chance they say. You need to be on top of your game always, having the next step figured out, and a back up plan for your back up plan. 

To be honest, this is very unrealistic. Most people can’t go on and pursue their dreams of becoming a pediatrician or engineer, and it’s not that simple to just have things figured out.

We need time, money, and experience. Unfortunately, that’s not so easy to obtain these days. Depending on circumstances, we may need to work two jobs just to keep up with rent, buying food, and sustaining ourselves. We likely don’t have time to become a full time student – let alone afford it. 

And if you didn’t go the school route, you’re probably feeling judged or that you’re making the wrong decision. It’s emphasized that if you don’t go to college, you won’t achieve much in life. But then again, how can you go to college if you’re working full time jobs?

Our Simi Valley therapists help guide you to discovering your true passions and help you create the mindset to achieve them within anxiety and depression therapy,.

man in a blue shirt standing at the peak of a mountain

How to Find Direction In Life: Recognize you’re enough in this moment.

Even though you may not be exactly where you want to right now, it’s okay. You really shouldn’t be too hard on yourself about it. Life is work in progress, and it seems like a majority of our life purpose is to explore, find ourselves, experience setbacks, and rise up from them again. 

Just because you’re not in school doesn’t mean you’re incompetent. Just because you’re not working that six figure dream job doesn’t mean you’re incapable. 

What are some things you’re proud of right now? Could it be that you reached your savings goal for the month, or that you practiced self care in a moment of need? When you are feeling down, make a list of things you’re proud of that you did today. They may seem small to you, like you were proud that you held the door for someone, but you need to recognize these small moments to be able to appreciate them.

Being grateful for yourself and what you are doing in the moment will help you feel more secure with yourself. It’s not healthy to compare yourself to others and what they may be doing, because they have an entirely different circumstance going on. 

man in hat standing in a gree field

How to Find Direction In Life: Consider making a list of things you’d like to learn about.

You know what your passions are, yet are feeling frustrated that they are not yet in your grasp. Or, you haven’t a clue what your passions are, and you’re freaking out because you worry you’re running out of time.

Just know, you have time to figure yourself out. And you wouldn’t want to rush into a commitment with a career or job if you feel it doesn’t necessarily make you happy, anyway. So there are benefits to taking time in figuring out what you want to do and mastering your craft. 

woman in a blue dress smiling standing next to a white car

Along with your list of what made you proud, make another list of things you’d like to learn about. Maybe you want to know more about how to cook a creme brulee.

With aspiring dreams to cook, download Pinterest to find and save ideas about the best ingredients, the best pots and pans, and the best way to prepare it. Consider getting a notebook just to document ideas you’d like to look up and learn about.

It can feel frustrating to know what you want to do and not be able to do it yet. Take some time to browse the internet, go into a library, or just brainstorm what you want to do. Narrow it down to understand whether you like animals – what kind of animals? Reptiles, mammals, house animals, wild animals? Maybe you like sports – what kind of sports? Football, baseball, cricket? 

What kinds of jobs are available to work in these specific interests? It’s important to look into the types of experience needed and what you can expect on a regular basis.

We may not know what we want to learn about or what we want to do with our lives, and that’s okay. It will help to make a list of what you’d like to find out to get a better idea. 

How to Find Direction In Life: Practice mindfulness on a daily basis.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation – and don’t get turned off by the word meditation just yet – that focuses on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment without judgment or interpreting. 

Although meditation may seem cliche to you, don’t knock it before you try it. Find a comfortable place to sit or lay, and close your eyes. Set an alarm for 5-10 minutes after you begin mindfulness meditation. 

So, what does it mean to practice mindfulness? It involves breathing exercises, which can vary depending on what works best for you. Try taking deep breaths in, and slowly release them out. Breathe in slowly until you physically can’t anymore, hold it, and slowly release all of the air back out. 

While you’re doing this, try to understand what emotions you’re feeling. Relax your shoulders, close your eyes, and let your body sink in. Maybe you’re feeling tense today. Maybe you were triggered by something related to family, something a loved one said, and you’re feeling down about it.

woman blowing a dandelion

It’s important that we are aware of ourselves in the moment so that we can self soothe and take the proper steps to work through it. For example, you may realize you have a lot of negative self talk.

How to Find Direction In Life: Don’t compare yourself to others.

At the end of the day, the grass always looks greener on the other side, right? It can be hard to not compare yourself to others, especially if you’re the same age or if they’re younger and doing more than you are in this moment.

Although you may be guilty of doing this, just know that it’s not healthy and you only risk setting yourself back further. 

In order to best prepare for your future and what you want to end up doing, you need to be easy on yourself and love yourself. Although it may not seem like it, you do have time to figure out your life. And you want to be able to have time to do so.

It’s good to try out new things anyways, and if they don’t work out, they don’t work out. It takes some accepting and patience, but you have the power to create real change and work through times of self doubt or hatred.

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About Simi Psychological Group

We are a team of therapists and psychologists in Simi Valley, Ca. It is our passion to help our clients figure out how to find direction in life!

We offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing