Feeling lost in your 20s? Don’t fret. We’ve all been there!
“Society puts a lot of pressure on people in their 20s to “figure out” their lives,” – Gary Vaynerchuk
We all feel like we have to make a life-changing decision to make ourselves better during our 20s. I’ve been there, too.
And it’s totally okay.
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If you’re at that point of your life, whether you’re in your early or late 20’s, I get you!
That’s why in this post, we’ll not talk about figuring out life in your 20s but we will try to navigate that “feeling-lost” state in your life so you can live your life at your own phase!
Before we continue, I would like to share with you a tool that will help overcome feeling lost in your 20s! The Exploration Digital Guided Journal is designed to help you find and understand yourself, figure out what you truly want out of life, and find a way to get where you want to be. With 365 journal prompts for self-discovery, you’ll learn to create a deeper connection with yourself step by step each day. Click here to learn more.
Why do people feel lost in their 20s?
There are so many reasons why people feel lost in their 20s and sometimes, it depends on the decisions we made from the past.
However, 20s might be confusing and complicated to navigate because it’s the transition from teenage life that we get used to to adulthood.
When we are teenagers or younger, most of the time, we rely on the rules or conformity accepting the fact that we are still too young to decide for ourselves.
During those times, we are still trying to adapt and learn to cope up in the world that we are in.
Adulthood is the period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity have been attained, according to Britannica Encyclopedia.
Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age 20 or 21 years.
Is it normal to feel lost in your 20s?
The short answer is: YES, it is totally normal!
Transitioning to adulthood is normal. It is part of the human lifespan to reach full physical and intellectual maturity. However, life isn’t meant to be perfect and easy.
Personally, I believe that life is a series of learning things every single day and as we age.
We are meant to explore and learn new things as we live.
Life challenges, such as feeling lost in 20s is like something that we have to learn to manage and overcome so we can still live our lives to the fullest.
5 Pieces of Advice from Bloggers and Business Owners When You're Feeling lost In 20s
I’ve interviewed three wonderful bloggers and online business owners to ask them how they deal with feeling lost in life.
These pieces of advice are not just for when you are feeling lost in 20s, but you can also apply these in any points or aspects of your life. Whether you are starting a new business, moving to a new University, or trying to make decision for yourself.
Practice self-compassion. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Helen Plehn
As a professional mix-media painter and certified crystal healer who runs a creative business called Helen Creates Beauty, Helen experienced feeling lost or stuck in a rut before starting her career.
In case you don’t know, Helen and I collaborated for an Instagram Live which we talked about journaling for self-knowledge! Watch the replay here.
Helen was born in Guangzhou, China. In 2007, she came to the US to pursue her higher education with a full scholarship. She eventually got her Ph.D. Program to become a professor, and got married to the love of her life.
“Everyone thought I was at the peak of my life except myself. I had severe anxiety and depression and frequented therapy offices.”
During those challenging times of her life, Helen decided to find true lasting happiness.
Self-compassion helped her accept herself and her struggles.
“I was very harsh and critical of myself which was not the best place to start accepting myself. The main reason being I was forcing myself into the successful mode the society defined: get a decent job and have a family at a specific time. Not everyone fits into this mode!”
Self-compassion especially in rough times is such an important step to help you overcome challenges or feeling lost in 20s.
Acknowledging where you are at this point of your life, and not trying to be someone you know you’re not, is a form of surrendering. It is accepting that you can’t control everything and that’s okay.
Self-compassion is a love-driven force.
In her book Self-compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, Kristin Neff wrote
“So why is self-compassion a more effective motivator than self-criticism? Because its driving force is love, not fear.”
When we accept ourselves by being kind to ourselves, we release control and fear. We let everything happen and let ourselves know that we are still guided and supported.
Unlike when we are self-critical, we keep controlling things that are out of our control. We suffer and feel frustrated because we can’t achieve the outcome that we want. We want to be in control of everything because we fear things might not go well.
Practicing self-compassion when you are feeling lost in 20s means loving yourself unconditionally.
Not judging yourself for not being someone else but just allowing yourself to just be present and experience the highs and lows of life.
Trust the process.
- Helen Plehn
Another piece of advice that Helen gave is to trust where you are.
10 years after starting her spiritual journey and finding true lasting happiness, she can now finally say that she’s living the life she wants and brings her joy.
Imagine if Helen became impatient and wasn’t able to trust her process. She might not be able to achieve the true happiness and fulfillment she always dreamt of.
“The deeper you get to know yourself, the more clarity you will gain, it takes however long the process needs. It is different for everyone. It took me almost 10 years to get to this point!”
Trusting is letting go. Letting go of anxiety about the future and fully surrendering.
We know that it’s hard to believe that you could overcome feeling lost in 20s.
However, instead of focusing on the outcome, enjoy your journey because the true reward is not overcoming challenges and achieving something.
The reward is in the process, the lessons you’re learning along the way.
Helen Plehn overcame her challenges with the help of a lot of resources. Here are some of them you might want to try:
1. Taking Enneagram Test
Enneagram is a personality typing system that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. You can take the FREE Enneagram Test here created by the Personality Path.
2. Keep a journal and self-reflect regularly.
Journaling is a great way to get to know yourself better. I have published a full guide on how to keep a journal and some useful tips to help you:
3. Deepak Chopra’s Books and Meditation App
One of my favorite books from Deepak Chopra is The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success which talks about practical steps and wisdom you can apply in your life.
Deepak Chopra’s 21 days of Meditation Experience is a free guided meditation you can join using their free mobile app or on Chopra’s official website!
Connect with Helen Phlen Online
If you want to learn more from Helen, feel free to join her Joyous Club on her website. She offers free self-healing and discovery resources all the time. You can also check her out on Instagram or say Hi to her via email!
Take a week off from everything...
- Lindsey Brogan
Moving on to the third piece of advice for when you feel lost in 20s is from one of the amazing bloggers I get connected with!
Lindsey Brogan runs a blog while working a full-time job within the construction sector. She is also a volunteer Community First Responder for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
She talks about general lifestyle issues and some book and beauty reviews on her blog. It’s also where she keeps her goals in check such as blogging, career, personal, and health.
Recently, I also nominated Lindsey for the Golden Bloggerz Awards! Check out the full blog post here.
Lindsey experienced feeling lost in life about ten years after losing her parents.
“I was in a rubbish job with rubbish people. I lived in a rental and I didn’t drive. As much as other people live with those things and feel fulfilled, I was very unfulfilled.”
She realized that what will help her to overcome feeling lost and stuck in a rut is looking for happiness within. Not from material things, but what she felt inside herself.
“Happiness started from within, to remove the feelings of being lost or stuck in a rut I needed to look within.”
Calm down. Slow down. Breathe.
Sometimes, we feel lost because we feel like everything is moving so fast. You’re starting to get old, your friends, family, and peers are achieving great things in life, and a lot is going on outside which will make us feel left behind.
Taking a break sounds counterintuitive but the truth is, slowing down will help you get back to yourself, release pressure, and connect to your inner self because after all, life isn’t a race.
Once you start to take a step back and look from within, you’ll realize that you don’t need social pressure and you won’t feel left behind. You’ll take back your power to live your life at your own phase.
Starting to Self-reflect
Giving yourself a 1 week, 3 days, or even a day to take a step and self-reflect. Self-reflection is vital to check in within ourselves and to connect with who we are.
Once you finally give yourself a break from your work, school, etc., ask yourself these question:
- How do I feel at this point in my life?
- Am I trying to control things that are out of my control?
- Am I struggling to be myself and to pursue what I really want?
Feel free to journal these questions or simply contemplate about it. You’ll be surprised by the things you will discover as you dig deeper.
The Wheel of Life Exercise
Another way to self-reflect is to use the tool called Wellness Wheel. It is basically a tool to help you be aware of where you are in each area of your life and live life with balance.
I mentioned this exercise in a blog posts where I talked about my Top 3 Self-discovery Exercises.
Make a list of what makes you happy, then make a list of what makes you sad…
- Lindsey Brogan
Another piece of advice from Lindsey which I totally loved is creating a list of what makes you happy.
Once Lindsey realized that she had to look within to stop feeling lost and stuck, she started anew with all the things that make her happy.
“Build your life around the things that make you happy, then start afresh. As you live your life try to add more of what makes you happy and remove what makes you sad, whether this be people, material things, what you do or anything else.”
A lot of times, we’re feeling lost in 20s because we are still holding on or trying to fit ourselves into places, people, and things we’ve outgrown.
Identifying what to let go
Transitioning to adulthood sometimes could also mean changing things or the environment. That way, we will be reminded that it is okay to keep moving without the things or people we get used to being with.
Creating a list of what makes you happy and what makes you sad will help you identify what are the things, beliefs, or even people you need to let go of.
Lindsey needed to really identify what makes her happy. Changed her routines, removed negative feelings, thoughts, self-limiting beliefs, and people in her life.
After a year, she finally knew true happiness. Today, she’s on a journey of becoming debt free, practicing self-care and well-being to improve her mental health, and creating her dream life.
Try these resources which helped Lindsey to overcome feeling lost in life:
1. Listening to podcasts
I would highly recommend tuning into Self-discovery with Jacklyn Steele. She talks a lot about finding yourself and knowing what makes you come alive. I absolutely love this podcast!
2. Practicing gratitude
Listing things I am grateful for is one of my go-to cures for a bad day.
I’ve been using the mobile app called Nuna. It is an AI powered 24/7 mental health support with unlimited access to tools like gratitude journal! Check it out and try it for free!
Connect with Lindsey Brogan Online
Feel free to subscribe to Lindsey’s blog so you’ll never miss every single post she publishes. You can also find her on Twitter.
I would recommend that the person listens to their heart and their gut feeling because it knows what they want before making a decision.
Another amazing blogger that I’ve met lately is Riyah of Riyah Speaks.
Her blog is a lifestyle and wellness blog that covers various topics such as self-care, self-love, mental health, positivity, and overall wellness.
She runs digital workbooks for self-care and planners store on Gumroad. She also sells physical shirts, candles, pins, stickers, and mugs that are self-care, self-love, mental health, or seasonal themed on Etsy.
Riyah decided to go for a Master’s Degree but before that, she felt lost and stuck.
“I was unsure about which next life steps to take, and then when the pandemic came, I felt even more lost.”
Riyah was confused if she is making the right decisions or she’s just trying to make sense of her overall life goals.
Following her heart and her guts is what she did that helped her overcome feeling lost and confused.
“After listening to my heart, it became easier to make these decisions, and I no longer felt lost.“
Connecting with Your Authentic Self
Listening to what your heart truly wants and to your gut feeling is a way to connect with your true self.
Feeling lost in 20s is hard to overcome if we refuse to listen to our voice within. We shut our inner voice down because we are afraid to trust ourselves.
Trusting yourself is the foundation of loving and believing in yourself. If we keep ditching our inner voice all the time and listen to other external voices telling us all the “shoulds”, we most likely lose track of who we really are.
To overcome feeling lost in 20s, learn to trust yourself by getting to know yourself better.
I created a FREE Digital/Printable Workbook to discover yourself. This self-discovery workbook have exercises that I personally use to help me when I was feeling lost.
Reading this great article from the Harvard Business Review helped Riyah to listen to her heart and motivated her to overcome feeling lost. You can check it out as well!
Connect with Riyah Online
If you want to learn more about Riyah, make sure to check out Riyah Speaks. She has a lot of resources and tips about self-care and wellness. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!
What advice is helpful to you?
Let’s face it, dealing with feeling lost during our 20s is not easy. Sometimes, you will feel like you already figured it out, but other times, you’ll feel confused again. You don’t have to worry about it.
The best thing that you can do is to keep going because accept it or not, the world still goes on. Life moves on even if it’s hard on you sometimes, and you need to, too.
Great things happen if we keep moving and learning even if we’re feeling lost in 20s! And of course, if you need a tool to overcome feeling lost, don’t forget to checkout the Exploration Digital Guided Journal!
What advice is helpful to you? Do you have any favorite random life advice? Some quotes to live by? Let me know in the comments section below!
Jocelyn is a coffee lover who believes that a bad day with coffee is better than a good day without it. You can find her obsessing over stationery, hanging out with her cat, or singing her favorite Taylor Swift songs.