QuarterLife Crossroads

an 8×8 second read

Hot in my sessions with GenZ and Millennials is freedom of choice. More specific the stress choosing adds to life. I’m not talking about happy little options – the color of new sneakers or which festival to attend – but potentially life shaking moves.

The abundance of options serve as a smoke curtain. It’s not so much about sorting out all possibilities. The real work doesn’t take place in the external world but is an inside journey: exploring your why.

What do you feel passionate about? What matters most? Which pathways are realistic? We need questions to discover our purpose. The fun part is that as a child we learn asking ‘why?’ is irritating. Parents don’t seem to have patience with the endless why-ing of kids.

It takes courage to jump into the deep. Asking why brings you in contact with your core. One challenge is that we are self-critical. We have judgements about good core versus bad core. Especially in a world that focusses so much on sunny side up.

Another thing is: we love to delay and procrastinate. In the choices closest to our heart – healthy lifestyle, starting a family, growing a business, taking that gap-year – we hold off and rather focus on diving into more pleasurable events.

There is a Disney Land full of escape possibilities that rewards us with dopamine. We grow attached to external pleasures and become co-dependent. Tricky but true: the same applies to unpleasant events. We can become addicted to drama as well. In the end our smoke curtain causes delay in making core contact.

You can easily see how things become blurry. Choosing is all about backpacking your inner realms, finding purpose and learning to discern what options match your why. Feeling, choosing…ACTION. Ready for the ride?

Carina Wiegman

 

Burnout: Millennial Melt-Down

an 8×8 second read

Burnout is one of the biggest mental health challenges young adults face. Every 1 out of 7 Millennials show burnout symptom. BO seems forever high on the hype cycle. I feel cautious writing about it since there are so many self experienced experts.

There’s a lot BO young adults have in common. Still I saw in my contacts with millennials and Z’ers that burnout is a highly individual proces as well. A personal adventure of finding your voice and having the courage to broadcast it. People loose their fire when life domains are not aligned with their core being. This mechanism cost too much energy.

One thing you can do to get insights on your energy level is to keep an energy diary for a month. Noticing thoughts, feelings and actions that give and cost energy. Too many energy absorbers are your warning sign. The rule is: do more of what gives you energy. Wipe out the energy monsters.

A nasty add-on is having weak boundaries: they can make your passions go up in smoke. Burnout is not bad or good. Judging doesn’t bring us any further. I have seen many people shine after a complete melt-dow. You can rise from BO like a Phoenix by learning how to say NO.

Saying yes to tasks at work, BFF dates and that wedding planner question when you actually want to say NO doesn’t help you. Create space before you react. Train yourself in time-outs so you can reconnect with your true feelings. Your body sure gives clear signs! Saying “No, Thank You” boosts self-confidence. Practice this to re-wire your brain.

One last point I want to make is that BO keeps you in a tight physical, mental, emotional, behavioral and spiritual loop. Pampering the symptoms won’t work. Burnout asks for a holistic approach. This takes time and deep delving. Follow your own pace to get back in your seat of power.

To rise from BO you first have to come to a halt so you can eventually create space to reclaim your sparkle. Good luck to all and please share your experience and wise advise.

Carina Wiegman

Get Honest, Get Real

an 8×8 second read

I broke my heart.
Never knew it could fall into so many pieces

As a little girl I wanted to learn all languages so I could talk with everyone around the globe. Coming from a single parent welfare family in my teens I thought I would never be rich enough to travel.

Age 41 I left Holland for a 2 year adventure with husband and backpack. Stretching way beyond comforts and time zones. Meeting amazing people from all walks of life. It was a crazy adventure.

Gratefully I experienced that there is a universal language: laughing, being kind, humble, open to experience, playful. What you give attention grows. So what qualities do you want to meet and greet in your world?

I know a bit better now. But somehow it was easier to connect, play and tribe when I was traveling. I was closer to nature. My nature. Ever since I got back I feel a little heartbroken.

Ironically the song Amsterdam by Nothing but Thieves best describes my bitter sweet ache. “I left my hart in Amsterdam” they lyric loud.

Mine broke down along the way thanks to all the inspiring people I met and beautiful places I visited. Home truly is were the heart is: everywhere around the globe.

Love to meet you one day, someplace, offline or online. Happy to connect.

Admit it: You’re Hooked!

an 8×8 second read

For teens and tweens the struggle for independence can be hard especially since opposite forces trick us in all sorts of addictive patterns. The mechanism is very easy to explain.

Co-dependent behavior releases happy hormones that hook the brain in loop-activity to all kinds of stuff: social media, sugars, approval, drugs, toxic relations, drama, gam(bl)ing etc.

Any subsequent meet-up with a favorite trigger tightens the wiring in the brain-emotion-action circuit even more. Why do we fall for this?

Our thought, emotional and behavioral patterns have survival value. It’s through pattern recognition we gain a sense of meaning, environmental control and future predictability.

Though this seems like a great way to save time and energy this type of wiring creates a fake identity. Control is an illusion, the future is uncertain and the only thing we do know is that there will be surprises.

To become really independent and detached means becoming aware: between trigger and response lies your free will. There your are in your seat of independent power and can start to create your future more freely.

Enjoy the ride!

Carina Wiegman

My GenZ Guru

an 8×8 second read

How’s summer treating you? I just spend a happy week in Italy with my GenZ niece, Flora. Born GenX I feel a very close connection to her generation. Here’s what I learned from her.

Whether it’s Florence, Venice or Milan, Flora loves to shop. Saving her money for big beautiful brands, clothes and make-up. All trends, instructions and reviews she watches on YouTube first.

Biebs, Katy Perry and Selena Gomez are so last year. Flora’s role models are vloggers & bloggers like Anna Nooshin, Monica Geuze and this YouTube boyband which name I totally forgot.

 Facebook is old-school millennial media. My niece connects with her friends through Snapchat and Instagram. Happily one afternoon at the beach she offered: “Can I show you how Snapchat works?” Yeah sure!

Being connected all the time is just as important as get-togethers with peers. Having fun, discussing every possible topic, sharing opinions and getting feedback on feels, looks and actions.

As most GenZ, Flora valued Wi-Fi more than the free toiletries, rain shower and awesome breakfast in our cozy Florence hotel. “I hope they have good Wi-Fi”, is definitely her mantra.

Learned so much from hanging out with Flora. In return It was great sharing my passion for traveling with her. Tanti Saluti.

Carina Wiegman

Thaasophobic? Go Slow!

an 8×8 second read

This month’s issue of Dutch Glamour Magazine talks about a typical Millennial and GenZ problem: Thaasophobia. So if you feel restless all the time and fear sitting still this phobia could be yours.

The pre-occupation with more and more things to do and bucket lists is merely symptomatic. Start with Why, Simon Sinek would say.

The why can be obvious, e.g. you find it difficult to focus. Too many options and possible futures keep your energy whirling crazy. Or maybe you fear to miss out and don’t want to choose in the candy store of life.

Keeping yourself busy can also hide disappointment with reality. Today we learn that you can accomplish everything. But if trouble comes in paradise and we experience set-backs you might feel that not everything in life is makeable.

Instead of slowing down or coming to a halt you choose to do more. At one point you are totally brain-wired to active mode. You get symptoms of burn-out, depression, anxiety etc. I see it in my work all the time. What can you do to slow down and break the habit?

Say you get a disturbing message from your boss. Be aware that between stimulus and response lies your free will. This is your seat of power from which you can choose to react or not. Here you can slow down and rethink options.

Another trick is trying something completely different. In case your project is not going well do less, not more. Play harder instead of working harder or simply do nothing for 5 minutes. Practice this to rewire your brain.

Me, I slow down best while traveling. One time in Belize while rushing to buy a bus ticket one guy cheered in Caribbean English: hey girly, go slow. Whenever I feel stressed out I think about this simple wisdom and slow my pace.

Carina Wiegman