“Everyone is doing better than me”
Call it the social media effect or simply human nature but it’s very common to look at others your age and think that they’re much further ahead in the game of life than you are, says Jo Eckler, Psy.D, licensed clinical psychologist and author of I Can’t Fix You Because You’re Not Broken. This can make you feel depressed and discouraged, leaving you wondering how you fell so far behind. To find real happiness, however, you’ve got to resist the urge to compare, she says.
Reframe it: “Social media isn’t reality and it isn’t fair to compare my worst to other people’s best.”
“I’m just a hot mess”
At some point it became “cute” for young adults, women especially, to act as if they don’t know what they’re doing and are constantly living in a state of crisis. As you get older, though, you may look around at others and wonder how they got it all together while you’re still figuring out Adulting 101, Dr. Eckler says. It’s time to stop shaming yourself for choices you’ve made in the past and embrace your smarts! Instead, try following these things naturally successful people do every day at work.
Reframe it: “I’m a competent, reasonable adult and I can handle this.”
“I have to find my purpose in life”
It’s a myth that you have to have one concrete reason you’re here in order to live a fulfilling life, says Helena Lass, PhD, psychologist and founder of Wellness Orbit. In reality, spending all your time trying to find that “one thing” that will answer all your hopes and dreams can make you miss all the small-but-great things you have going on right now. As you get older, give yourself permission to keep looking for the big answers but also to be satisfied with what you find along the way.
Reframe it: “It’s more important to find meaning in my life now than to spend my life searching for meaning.”