- Not in a career related job or the job that you trained for? Working on contract? No benefits?
- Still paying student loans? No car and using public transportation?
- Still living with your parents? Wanting to save for that house but can’t?
- Looking for a partner? Wanting to start that significant relationship?
- Biological clock ticking? Desperately wanting children?
Is this your life? Are you in your late 20s or early 30s?
Recently individuals who are stressed, depressed or anxious about their lives are asking me for help. They are looking for answers and wondering why they don’t have the life they want. They are upset because they have “done all the right things” are not where they expect they should be in life. I recently interviewed an acquaintance who is not part of my practice in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the issues.
From her perspective she believes she was “sold a bill of goods”. She was led to believe that if she went to school and worked hard that she would have a good paying job after, be able to afford a home, and have certain socioeconomic status. In her opinion men her age are not mature or looking for a committed relationship. On the other hand she acknowledges that men her age want to be on a career track before starting a family. She wants to have children and is very aware of the biological pressure that her age is creating. In the end it was clear that Cheryl (not her real name) felt like a failure.
It will be fine. Don’t worry. I am sure that you will meet someone and be pregnant in 2 years. You will get a full-time job. Family and friends try to reassure. All of these statements are dismissive and unhelpful.
How do you change expectations and accept where you are in your life? Cheryl was aware that she needed to change her expectations because otherwise she would be miserable. Changing your expectations is not easy. Cheryl shared a story about a male friend who re-framed his life. He changed his expectations and is now working for a different employer, seeing a woman that he would not normally date and living somewhere unexpected. He is much happier.
From a CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) model changing your expectations is about changing your core beliefs. Core beliefs come from family and culture. They are not easy to change. Addressing the feelings around not reaching milestones is important too. If you are not where you want to be in your life you are likely grieving. Take time to acknowledge the feelings. Try not to compare yourself to others. Every situation is different. If you need assistance with this multi-faceted problem contact Annette by clicking here or book online. Listening. Guiding. Caring.