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Feeling like a failure in your 20s

By 9:30 AM ,


When I graduated from college last year, I was pretty terrified about what the future held. My senior year was full of some of the darkest times of my life and left me feeling pretty exhausted by the time graduation finally rolled around, mentally, emotionally and physically. I fully expected that next summer to be a hard time for me. And I was right.

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The next several months of my life were full of trying to pull myself out of months of hard times. I was trying to get myself right emotionally, nevertheless while applying for jobs and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Trying to figure that out is hard enough regardless of where you're at in your personal life, so this was even more intense for me.

And it didn't really go that well. I've managed to find some work online to do (along with taking up blogging, of course, which has proven to be rather influential in my life), but I haven't found a great solid job yet. I've been struggling with insecurity with that ever since the day I graduated, which is mostly to blame because of comparison.

Yep, at 22 years young, I have already experienced feeling like a failure. And I'm sure that if you're in your early twenties and reading this, you likely feel the same.

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It's kind of insane, really. Why should anyone so young and inexperienced already feel like a loser? I've got over half a lifetime ahead of me and plenty of years to accomplish all the things I want. Why are we putting so much pressure on ourselves to become "successful" and do all the things everyone else is doing?

It's true that comparison will be the death of us all when it comes down to it. You're scrolling through your Facebook feed, and oh, look - another friend has gotten an awesome job. Keep scrolling, and someone you graduated with is getting married. Scroll some more, and someone just landed their dream internship. It's a mine field for your self esteem.

And it's no lie that a lot of pressure have been put on millenials in recent years. Because we're in the age of technology, generations ahead of us and younger than us are counting on us to pave the way for what else is to come. That's a lot to take on!

Also, it doesn't really help that the working world is offering less and less jobs, it seems. It's a hard time for anyone to be getting a job, so we should really all just be thankful for getting what we can.

But you know what I think is one of the biggest problems that twentysomethings face?

We're a generation of dreamers.




Being a dreamer is great, don't get me wrong. It's one of my favorite characteristics of myself and people I surround myself with. But it's hard, because being a dreamer means that you either A) have an immense amount of expectations for yourself, or B) you get inside your head so often that you neglect actually acting on your dreams and fantasies of the life you desire.

Neither one of these is a good way to think. If you put too much pressure on yourself, any little setback (which is a natural part of life) will discourage you and put you back at square one. You'll likely even give up on the dream completely. And if you never act on your dreams, well, it's probably even less likely to happen.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, if you're feeling like I am, I think there are two things we have to focus on to help get ourselves to a healthy place mentally and emotionally:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
  2. Don't pressure yourself so much.

I've been spending a lot of time trying to work on these personally and try to focus on what I want in life without worrying about what everyone else is doing. 

If you're struggling, you're not the only one!

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6 comments

  1. I love this. I definitely understand exactly how you feel, as I am kind of in the same boat. College was my escapism from some not so great things happening in my personal life, so graduating meant finally having to face it all. Reminding myself that I'm only 22 and I can't compare myself to others is the best thing for it.

    Keep your head up, girl. :)

    iamkelskels.blogspot.com

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    1. I completely agree! College was great and a good escape, but it also caused a lot of hard times as well. It's simple, but comparison is the worst. You keep your head up too, doll! :)

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  2. This is such an inspiring post, and I know exactly what you mean. Last year I had a bit of a crisis of confidence - I didn't like my job much, felt like I was really behind what all my school and Uni friends were doing. I'm starting a new career in February - it's an entry level position again and I'll be going from the ground up, but it's something I've always wanted to do. Comparing myself to others is something I've always been guilty of, but I'm going to try and focus more on myself and getting to where I want to be rather than comparing.

    Milly // Mini Adventures

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Milly! It really is scary when you leave school behind, especially when your friends are still at school. I'm dealing with that, too. I'm happy for you starting a new career though - a fresh start is always a great time to learn about yourself and I hope that it is everything you wanted it to be!

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  3. I completely agree with this - I am a natural dreamer and always feel done after the tiniest of set backs! We need to learn to be kind to ourselves and realise that we're only young, and this is the time to enjoy life and not worry too much :)

    Good luck with finding a job, it's hard but once you get there it will feel amazing! :) until then, have some fun!! :)

    Hazel xx

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    1. Exactly! We're young and have the rest of our lives to worry! :)

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