THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION
To my great pleasure, I have completed the specialised Millennial coaching course at the Dutch Academy of Psychotherapy. Every new generation that enters the job market faces its own unique challenges that are specific to its respective socioeconomic moment. The Millennial Generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) may have many opportunities before them, but this multitude of possibilities, coupled with the ever higher expectations placed upon them – and indeed that which they place upon themselves – can feel too overwhelming to navigate alone. I am here to assure you that you do not have to do it alone. It can feel stressful to know that you are responsible for creating your life and happiness in the midst of a society that all too often leaves you behind and a media which bombards you with negative headlines about your generation and even the planet we live on. Naturally this makes many young people feel like they have failed before they even truly begin their lives, and it can feel tempting to give up and reconcile yourself to defeat. I am here to show you another way to find meaningfulness in your life and pursue happiness. There are increasing and developing opportunities as the job market and the very nature of work itself evolves with the times, and the types of studies and degrees you can pursue change accordingly. Furthermore, many young people are becoming increasingly aware of the responsibility they have towards the planet and environment.
All of this, however, is the source of many of the triggers that cause panic and stress, insofar as some might see these evolving possibilities as positive, but for many, the changes feel more like fluctuations; full of instability, uncertainty and inconsistency. There is always an intense pressure to determine the most perfect, most ideal course of action when faced with a major choice: which degree to study, job to apply for, partner to seek; and so on and so forth through all of life’s most defining, pivotal moments. It is propagated that perfection is vital and essential to our happiness and fulfillment – but the reality is, perfection is not attainable. Therefore, too many of us feel unhappy, unfulfilled and defeated. Such negativity is unnecessary and is merely the outcome of a fatally flawed outlook on life. We can all agree that there is a lot resting on the shoulders of millennials, perhaps more than they are even aware of as individuals – but when the load is eased, or even lifted, they will feel undeniably lighter. From Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), quarter life crises, thirtysomething dilemmas; and in turn the Zoom yoga sessions, Whatsapp groupchats and countless social media apps which are supposed to alleviate these stressful phases; the daily grind of Millennial life is constant and can sometimes feel unbearable.
People have many ways of coping with this, but not all of them are healthy and some are even dangerous. For some of us, we bury ourselves in work or studying; we devolve into manic exercising or fall into disordered eating habits in an attempt to feel some sense of control in our increasingly uncontrollable lives; we can even become victims of addiction, to drugs, alcohol, sex, you name it; these are all forms of numbing oneself, inadvertently distracting oneself from the actual problems by creating new ones. However, there are of course also possibilities of less severe outcomes. Most common is burnout, which many people suffer in their twenties and thirties. This is often an accumulation of the aforementioned stresses. Short term interventions from a qualified coach may be necessary to identify, define and solve the relevant issues: the aspects of your life that create imbalance as a result of key problematic moments.