6 Ways to Get Out of the Twenty-Something Rut

6 Ways to Get Out of the Twenty-Something Rut - Too Polished

September 6, 2018

If you’re in your twenties and you feel like you’re in a rut, you’re not alone. Apparently it’s a thing. To be honest, school and pressure from parents don’t adequately prepare us for adulthood despite what most people believe, and there is a lot of figuring out we have to do before we are fully (or even semi) functioning adults. And even then, safety’s not guaranteed.

We are brought up in a world of black and white where in school if you study, you get an A. Follow the syllabus and the rubric, you get an A. You’re successful! But when life hits you the normal rules don’t apply and it can feel like you’re starting over. Better yet, it feels like you’re playing a game you never agreed to start.

Going through ruts is something everyone’s experienced at one point or another, myself included. When this happens, it’s up to you to evaluate your life and discover what it is that is making you feel stuck and fix that thing.


Your knee-jerk reaction when realizing you’re in a tough spot may be to blame yourself for the position you’re in. Most of us have extremely high expectations for ourselves (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) but when we fail to meet those expectations we want yell and scream at ourselves.

As with any authority figure, yelling at someone for their mistakes won’t help them fix the problem, it will probably make it worse. When we reprimand ourselves for our mistakes, it can often turn into a spiral of self-loathing. Instead, take a moment to acknowledge your mistake and think about what you could have done differently. If you find yourself spiraling, tell yourself that you’re human and it’s ok to make mistakes. Everyone does. It is so important to have this mindset, because it is a tool that will help you bounce back more quickly from mistakes over time. Mindset is a muscle we have to exercise daily, and you can start now.


Sometimes we feel like we’re in a rut and we don’t really know why. It could be a job, city, our health, or a number of other things. When we feel like this, there is obviously something missing from our lives and it’s our job to figure out what it is. For life in general, I highly recommend reading (or listening to) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. This has probably been one of the most helpful books I’ve read to date, and I listen to it several times a year to feel empowered and get perspective. I really like The Career Code by Hillary Kerr and Catherine Power (the ladies behind whowhatwear.com) for helping you find direction in your career path. I also found exploring my Myers-Briggs Personality Type helped me narrow down career choices and understand why certain paths didn’t suit me and focus on what careers could make me feel fulfilled.


You know what gives you the power to do almost anything you want? Money. Everyone is in a different situation when it comes to finances, but most people always have places where they can save instead of spend. Don’t let your bank account determine what opportunities you can and cannot afford. Learn to sew (check out my DIYs or some of my favorite DIY bloggers!), shop secondhand, and cook at home. Money looks so much better in your bank account than in your closet, despite what Carrie Bradshaw may say.


I have friends pursuing careers in event planning, accounting, and working on their Phd. I could easily look at these people and think I’m a failure or that I’m behind, but my career path is different, and that’s ok.

We are all on our own journey and sometimes all we can do is push forward. Though you may have friends that appear to have it all figured out with all the success and money, that’s rarely the case.  I like to think about Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff from the My Favorite Murder podcast talk about where they were in their twenties – battling mental health issues, struggling with drug addiction, bombing on stage at comedy clubs – and now they are HUGELY successful podcasters (among other things) that use all of those years of hard times to add to their humor which is what made their podcast successful. Comparing yourself to others takes your energy off what you’re trying to improve in your life, and it’s just a waste of time.


Daily habits are the building blocks for long-term success. We often make daily choices that hold us back from feeling fulfilled and happy for the sake of comfort. My life changed dramatically just by waking up an hour and a half earlier. Was it easy? No, I love sleep. But I was able to get important tasks done before most people get to work and that made me feel accomplished and productive every morning. What habits are sabotaging your happiness?


If there is something you want to do – start a blog, a Youtube channel, write a book – because you’re passionate about it, you need to be doing those things. Whatever your career choice or personal goals, passions shouldn’t be ignored. I love sewing for the sake of making clothes. I don’t want to be a fashion designer, or even sell the clothes on Etsy. It’s a cathartic process that is draining (in a good way) and I am rewarded with a beautiful finished product that makes me proud. I really loved the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) because she talks about the importance of being creative purely for the sake of being drawn to create something. 

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Thanks for stopping by!



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