3 Ways to Survive Your Mormon Quarter-Life Crisis

by | Oct. 21, 2017

Mormon Life

2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

One of the biggest problems I had while I was going through my quarter-life crisis was thinking everyone else my age was doing so much better than I was. I would see them embarking on their budding careers or starting a family and think, compared to them, I was a total failure. 

Then one day, I was having lunch with a good friend of mine I thought had it all together. I was expecting to hear how much she loved her job, how exciting her life had been since graduating, and what her plans were for the future. But that wasn't what she told me. 

She said she hated her job, was frustrated with her dating experiences so far, and didn't know where her life was going to go from here. 

Throughout this conversation, I was surprised to hear she shared many of my same fears and anxieties. I saw the same trend when I really talked with other friends my age who I thought had it all. They all had fears and insecurities; none of them were the Instagram-perfect people I had imagined they were. 

Starting out is supposed to be difficult, for about 90 percent of us at least. Comparing our efforts to others is rarely, if ever, productive and inaccurate because we don't know the inner struggles, the things we don't see on Instagram or Facebook.

And seeking praise for how well we are doing won't do any good either. 

As President Boyd K. Packer said in his April 2007 talk general conference talk, "The Spirit of the Tabernacle":

"To seek after the praise of men, the scriptures caution us, is to be led carefully away from the only safe path to follow in life. . . . And the scriptures warn us plainly what follows when we 'aspire to the honors of men.'"

It doesn't do us any good to compare our efforts, at any point in our lives, with the success we see in others. No one is perfect. Everyone has their trials; everyone has their struggles. Comparing ourselves will not make anything better, and our time and energy could be spent somewhere else anyway. 

3. Develop New Talents and Spiritual Gifts

I had a lot of time on my hands during the months I was searching for a job, and I started noticing there were skills mentioned in all the applications I filled out that I could develop more. 

I went to the library a lot and signed up for free online courses to learn more about the skills I wanted to develop. 

Not only did this make me feel like I was in control, it also helped me spiritually. I began to wonder what spiritual gifts I had that I could improve or new ones I could develop. 

And as I started researching spiritual gifts, I realized there were more than I thought there were. 

In his October 2017 general conference address, Elder John C. Pingree Jr.of the Seventy said:

"A number of spiritual gifts are documented in scripture (see 1 Corinthians 12:1–11, 31Moroni 10:8–18D&C 46:8–26), but there are many others. Some might include having compassion, expressing hope, relating well with people, organizing effectively, speaking or writing persuasively, teaching clearly, and working hard."

As I spent my time working on new talents and developing spiritual gifts, I felt like I was doing more of what my Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I felt like I was able to see a little bit of what I could become and what He wanted me to do at that time. 

Everyone has moments in their life where they feel like they are in crisis. Whether it's a quarter-life, midlife, or third-quarter life crisis, we sometimes have periods in our lives where we wonder if this is it. 

It's not. There is so much more to life than our perceived short-comings and disappointments. Service, not comparing myself to others, and developing new talents and gifts were just a few things that helped me realize this. And each of them was based on something I learned before while studying the gospel. 

That's the beauty of the gospel; we can find hope and peace by living its teachings, no matter what we are experiencing in our lives, and become a better person than we were before. 

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