Ruby Sky Coaching How do you know if you're going through a Quarter-Life Crisis – 3 signs to look for. Ruby Sky Coaching


He lives with his girlfriend and cat - he’s a real adult.


This is a word for word quote from my 23-year-old daughter when describing someone she works with. 


So, it got me thinking, what is a real adult?


What defines a real adult in the eyes of a girl in her twenties?  Clearly, my daughter views co-habitation with a partner and owning a pet together as one definition.  Or is it someone who has got their life together, in her eyes?  With a good job, self-sufficient (living away from parents’ home, no longer needing external financial assistance), happy with a long-term partner?  Is it someone who has become a parent themselves? 


Or is it state of mind?


Should someone in their twenties or thirties be a real adult?


Indeed, how does society define a real adult?


Although turning 18 gives you legal adult privileges, everything happens so much later in today’s society and there is no real definition of when adulthood begins.  It is a very elastic principle and there have been studies showing that adolescence lasts until you are 25 and probably even later!


So, what actually is a Quarter-Life Crisis?


The term mid-life crisis is a well-known one and although ‘mid-life’ is now a lot later than it used to be (or so us mid-lifers like to think!), it is a crisis that seems to be about balancing family needs and responsibilities with your own needs – separating the individual from the family group.  


The quarter-life crisis, on the other hand, is not as well-known but seems to start when an individual leaves the structure of full-time education, enters the world of work and starts to have responsibility for themselves.  Often the idea of a strict timeline for one’s life can lead to stress and anxiety that you are behind on this timeline that you have set for yourself.  Comparing yourself to the previous generation or even to your peers can lead to feelings of failure and disappointment.


There are often a lot of shoulds in the vocabulary of someone going through a quarter-life crisis.  “I should be more settled in my job by now, I should have met the person I'm going to spend my life with by now, I should have more friends, I should have less friends, I should exercise more, I should have more fun, I should have a better social life, I should have moved out of home by now….” and so on.


So, 3 signs to look for if you think you might be in a quarter-life crisis:


  1. You feel behind on the timeline you have set for your life, but you also lack direction and motivation in your career or relationships or overall life purpose. You are having a crisis of confidence, of not having achieved what you thought you would have achieved by a certain age and panicking that you won’t ever achieve it.
  2. You suffer from comparison anxiety most of the time and feel that it consumes you at times. But you also have a fear of taking that first step into something new as you are scared that you will be going down a path of no return and you will be stuck.  
  3. You feel your life should be different, but you are struggling to find out what is missing. 


Does any of this resonate with you, or someone you know?  


So, how can coaching help someone going through a quarter-life crisis?


Coaching can help clients understand themselves better, work out what really matters to them through questioning and self-reflection to create a stronger sense of identity and self – i.e. you get to know yourself better.  Something I wish I’d done at a much earlier age.


Often just voicing your concerns and anxieties to someone who is prepared to listen can lead to a clearer mind and help you take that all important first step in the right direction. Once a client has worked out what is important to them, they can set a goal to work towards and put in place some tangible actions to reach that goal.  


It's called “transformational coaching” and, although you won't suddenly become a different person, it’s all about changing how you think and react to situations you are faced with.


If you would like to know more, then contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book a free half hour chemistry call to see if we can work together.



Quarter-Life Crisis