You know the phrase "Pick your poison?" Well, sometimes life doesn't exactly let us pick, and we find ourselves sitting in bed at 2:00 AM worrying to death about a problem that we can't seem to solve.

You know the phrase “Pick your poison?” Well, sometimes life doesn’t exactly let us pick, and we find ourselves sitting in bed at 2:00 AM worrying to death about a problem that we can’t seem to solve.

Take heart! You’re not alone; we at GenTwenty have wrestled the same fears and made it out the other end with a story to tell!

Poison: Failing
Antidote: Getting up again

Failing is a terrifying prospect. We, more than any generation, are paralyzed when faced with the possibility of failure. We’re afraid to let others down, we’re afraid of our dreams not happening the way we planned.

There’s an ever-nagging sense that if we try and fail, it’s proof that we are not as competent, independent, or creative, as we believe others to be. This attitude is poisonous in every sense: emotionally, psychologically… It can even bring us down physically.

But what you must remember is that failure means you tried, and trying means you succeeded. When you fall you don’t just get up again. You get up having learned a lesson and knowing that you have it in you to fight.

Poison: FOMO
Antidote: Doing what you love

Ah, the now notorious FOMO. (That’s Fear Of Missing Out for those of you who haven’t yet diagnosed your symptoms.) It’s wonderful to have so many options to choose from, both in career and personal life, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming, especially with social media constantly reminding us what all our friends and frenemies are choosing.

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You *think* you want to go to culinary school in Dunkirk, but then you see pics of an old classmate wearing Manolos in Manhattan gushing about her #dreamjob, and suddenly you wonder: Is it OK that I want to spend years learning to mince and slice in a town no one’s heard of? Will you always wonder what life would have been like if you’d followed in the footsteps of someone else?

Sweetheart: chill. First of all, dig a little deeper and make sure you’re doing what you love and you’re not just trying to impress someone else or create an enviable Instagram. Second of all, it’s OK to try different things. Afraid of trying and failing? See number one.

But lastly, you cannot live your life wondering “what if.” So long as you are pursuing what’s in your heart, you won’t be let down. Oh, and maybe hang this on your wall.

Poison: Money issues
Antidote: Budgeting appropriately

We’re all familiar with the stress that money can bring. From deciding whether to drop $200 on a winter coat or putting it toward your car repairs, to learning what a 401K even IS, to wondering whether you’ll ever be able to afford a trip to Europe, money can create all kinds of anxieties.

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While I can’t make your salary grow, I can guarantee that budgeting wisely will change your life. (Note that I didn’t say budgeting, but budgeting WISELY.) GenTwenty has a number of excellent, down-to-earth tips on how exactly to keep yourself sane on an entry-level salary.

The foundation for succeeding when it comes to budgeting is to ensure you take care of yourself. That’s right: along with rent, car insurance, and food, you should carve out a small amount of cash to fund fun. PSLs, a new pair of boots, and dinner with friends should be prioritized.

When you are happy and comfortable with your financial choices you won’t feel trapped and driven to spend money you don’t have.

Poison: Loneliness
Antidote: Learning to be alone and exposure to company

We are a lonely generation. Articles telling us to “get out and meet people” are infuriating for millennials since our social skills have been honed online, and frustrating for introverts because showing up alone at a MeetUp sounds like hell. So what do we do? Call up a few friends for brunch? What if all your college friends have moved on or you don’t know anyone in your new neighborhood? Loneliness is a scary and overwhelming thing.

So now that I’ve fully depressed you, what is the antidote to the poison of loneliness?

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It’s a twofold attack plan: before you can address loneliness, you must be comfortable with being alone. I don’t just mean wine and Netflix on your couch. I mean looking forward to solo walks in the park without worrying what all the hot jogging couples think of you. I mean relishing evenings spent sitting by the window, mindfully munching on Chinese takeout, your phone turned off, and accompanied by nothing but your thoughts. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll come to love these moments — and yourself!

But what about spending time with other people? Maggie at GenTwenty has some refreshingly new ideas to meet people if you have trouble with the typical “join a club” type suggestions. Also, don’t underestimate the power of being around fellow humans without actually “hanging out” with them. Read at a coffee shop, go see a concert, or sign up for a guided tour!

Life can be scary, but every poison has its antidote. Which one works for you?