Quarter Life Coaching: A Way to Solve the Quarter Life Crisis

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Shorter Version

Est. Reading Time: 1 Minute

The steps and process to determine and paint the picture of who you’d like to be “when you grow up” can be uncertain and stressful. Stats show many millennials feel the stresses and strains of this question, leading to a quarter life crisis, or an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty in your 20s. With the right commitment and framework, you can begin to move in a direction and see real progress that you will be pleased with and excited about.

Start with you

Let’s begin with what I believe is a crucial fundamental assumption. Each person is wonderfully unique and beautiful and has a treasure of gifts and talents. To achieve happiness and “success” as life unfolds, you need to commit to discovering what these are and then use them to the best of your abilities. It’s this journey of discovery and personal growth that will lead to a meaningful and successful life. It will curb the effects of a quarter life crisis.

Following a proven framework will provide structure and streamline the process

So you’ve invested a ton of money in education and time in experiences. My guess is that maybe your university and experiences may (or maybe not?) have helped you discover your gifts and paths but that you are still feeling a void, maybe a big one, on how to best move forward. The moving forward is about personal growth.

The good news is there are proven simple principles that describe this “how to.”

These can be super helpful in shortcutting potentially long and frustrating roads of doing things on your own. You just have to make the decision to learn and use them. 

Get started… a quarter life crisis is all about the journey

Your journey begins with small steps, today. By getting started with you, following a proven framework, and committing to taking steps of personal growth each day, you are on your way! Enjoy and treasure your journey. 

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Longer Version

Est. Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Let’s work through a quarter life crisis

You are feeling some sort of void, maybe you’re not even able to articulate it. You just feel/know or are even anxious about where you are and what you should be or could be. Recognize that you are not alone, just about everyone goes through this. With so many options, paths, and pressures, it’s perfectly understandable. 

My goal with this post is just to set the stage and provide a framework to get you started. There will be more posts in the near future to share additional perspectives and guidance that will give you the knowledge and tools to move forward.

It starts with you

Take a deep breath. The world’s population is now greater than 7 billion people. In some ways, we are all the same. But in many more ways, we are different. We are all different because of our truly unique combination of what we were born with and the life experiences we have had. No one is like you.

You have wonderfully unique and beautiful gifts, talents, and experiences. No one knows and feels these like you do. 

So as a young adult how do you find these? Wow, what a question! My guess is that you know more about them than you think. 

Why Quarter Life Coaching?

From the heart side, start with reflecting on your thoughts and actions over time. What are the things that you have naturally gravitated toward or could do easier than most? What truly brought you joy? Where others let you know you were really good at? For me personally, I was clueless as to what I wanted to study in college or do for work, where I would live, and if/when I would marry. With that said, in my years through high school I liked projects and solving problems. I could easily talk to and truly enjoyed helping people. I liked going to new places. My family, friends, and faith life were important. As time has unfolded these “early signs” have become the foundation of my personal and work life. What are these types of things for you? 

The good news is there is also some science to help you better, and more confidently, understand you. There are many good self-assessment tools available. Two that I would recommend are CliftonStrengths and DiSC profile. They are proven tools used by thousands of professionals. While they will cost a few dollars, I am confident that the investment is well worth it. It may save you years of self-discovery and help you to develop plans and goals with improved confidence.

Let’s talk about success for a minute

When we are not sure what we want to be during a quarter life crisis, it’s very easy for others to define success for us. These inputs can be from people who are close to us, our social media friends, and the daily barrage of other media we see. As you need to start with you, this can be a real challenge.

Here’s what you need to remember and hold dear as you define success:

  • You are uniquely you…beautiful and treasured. The picture of your success is your picture. Make it yours, with your heart, soul, values, gifts, purposes, and dreams. It doesn’t need to exact; it does need to have enough to be your North Star as you make decisions on a day to day basis.
  • Success is a journey and will be continuously unfolding…you can start tomorrow to define it and take personal growth steps to make it happen. It’s all about the journey.

The framework for overcoming a quarter life crisis

Let’s start with a few things regarding what is a framework and why it’s important.

A framework is a process for showing the “how to”  – beginning with “the basics” to start and then refining over time.

Good frameworks are principle-based. They are time tested, they apply to all, and they do not change over time. Frameworks provide a structure to move forward and manage your actions, decisions, and behaviors.

You can approach your life’s planning and personal growth adventure in one of two ways:

  • Figure it out on your own approach: If you decided to take up golf tomorrow you could go to the store, buy some clubs, and head out to the driving range to get started without any lessons or guidance. To be honest, this was my approach to set my life’s path and while it worked ok, I know I wasted years doing things my way. You can try this approach for your life planning and path too. It may be successful, maybe not.
  • Use a framework approach: So you buy the clubs and take some lessons. Now you’re talking! The instructor helps blaze the trail and sets your swing. Life planning is a lot more difficult than learning golf. Most of us don’t even know what a “life planning swing” looks like. With a framework, we know where to start and how to move forward with confidence.  

The options

Now that you understand more about the importance of framework, let’s talk about the options for picking one. There are many good ones out there. You can feel free to do your own research. There are two that I have come to treasure and have become the “go-to” both for me personally and when coaching and coaching others. 

Stephen Covey has an approach that many others have used. The fundamentals are in the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People book. The book and the related programs are part of the “tool kit.” As their site says this program: “ignores trends and pop psychology and focuses on timeless principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity.”

The second option, and the option I will be sharing more on, is the John Maxwell program, which is also very prevalent in the market. While similar to the Covey program, there are more options and materials that I have found to provide additional support and guidance over the long term.

Quarter Life Coaching Involves Answering These Questions

To get us started on self, let me ask you the following questions from the book, “Your Road Map for Success:”

  • For what am I searching? What is that strong desire buried in your heart, something that speaks to your deepest thoughts and feelings?
  • Why was I created? Certainly a deep question.
  • Do I believe in my potential? Quite simply, you have to believe; once you believe, putting in the work is much easier.
  • When do I start? Take the advice of President Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Own your purpose, dreams, and actions.

Time to get started. What’s next?

It’s time to invest in your future and begin to find your answers to the questions mentioned above.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more important information regarding this framework. In the meantime, feel free to look into the books Your Roadmap for Success or The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell.

I’m excited to help you on your journey. 

Actionable Steps


It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Commit to the process of discovering and building your path. Just a few minutes a day is all you need.


Make your choice

Pick a framework to provide the necessary skills and guidance. 


Move forward

Start with yourself. Once you understand you can move forward with confidence.

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About the Author

Tim Rolfes

Tim Rolfes

Senior Program Manager

Tim is a Senior Program Manager at the Christ Hospital Health Network, where he recently led their team to open a Joint & Spine Center. From start-ups to mature businesses, local to global, Cincinnati to Hong Kong, he’s seen it all. As a business driver, community leader, and personal coach, he specializes in helping people and organizations find and maximize their talents and opportunities.
Full Bio | Connect With Tim | LinkedIn

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