1. You’re able to go for at least a day without updating your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account and not be bothered by losing followers, since you know that losing a few followers isn’t going to destroy your entire self-worth.
2. You have created a morning ritual for yourself. Though it may be imperfect and simplistic, you don’t put yourself into through nervous wreck to make it Instagram-worthy or overthink how your morning routine would look to other people. You don’t care if it’s not glamorous, envy-inducing, or perfect. You just care about how good it feels to enjoy the morning.
3. You have accepted that fact that you probably need to keep your day job for the next decade and not be able to travel to all the places that other people on social media are traveling to or make your dreams come true before you turn 30. You know that not everyone can be extraordinary, famous, or go viral. And that’s okay.
4. You are able to go through a day of work and feel content with the work you’re doing, even when it’s a terrible day. You feel less anxious than before because you know that your hard work and perseverance will pay off, and it is unwise to make rash decisions (quitting, following your passion solely for the emotional high and external image of the ideal, and going through life without a plan) based on a few bad experiences.
5. You plan ahead, but you also allow room for the unexpected and are able to accommodate people who need your help without feeling resentful. You don’t feel as upset when things don’t follow your meticulously crafted plan.
6. You’re beginning to understand that you don’t need to outshine others or try to be like someone who has massive success to feel good about yourself. You pursue self-improvement activities from a place of wholeness, not from a place of lack. You want to be better than who you were before, for yourself only, not for seeking the applause of others or trying to earn the love of people that have rejected, bullied, belittled, or ignored you in the past.
7. You’re able to nap and sleep for an hour longer without feeling like you’re not measuring up to the expectations of productivity gurus. You are able to enjoy a time of rest without beating yourself up for “not getting anything done.” You have accepted the fact that you are allowed to go at your own pace and don’t have to sacrifice sleep for the vain attempts to outdo other people in whatever field you’re working in.
8. You’re able to go through weeks of not spending any money on nonessentials without feeling deprived because you recognize that your old coping mechanisms of buying stuff to make yourself happy won’t solve your underlying struggles with self-acceptance. Instead of shopping, you spend time on self-care activities like journaling, walking, meditating, organizing your personal space, and just sitting in silence.
9. You can eat healthy and forgo unhealthy and processed foods without feeling like you’re restricting yourself to a diet. You actually enjoy eating salad, legumes, beans, and anything else that is nourishing and is considered real food. So much that it’s become second-nature to choose what is healthy, and you’re able to resist unhealthy foods without feeling like you’re resisting them, in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
10. You no longer use entertainment as a form of escapism. You are selective about what you watch and you only choose shows and movies that actually mean something to you and inspire you to be creative, so you no longer binge-watch anything for the sake of escaping from real life or alleviating boredom and stress. You also tend to gravitate towards books that challenge and enlighten you, instead of books that offer a temporary escape from life or a magical, quick-fix solution to your problems.
11. You are able to enjoy prolonged periods of solitude without feeling lonely. You don’t try to seek attention from others or hang out with random people for the sake of not being alone.
12. You have gotten extremely selective about who you let into your life because you recognize that in order to grow, you need to surround yourself with people that contribute something meaningful to your life and help you become better in a constructive and loving way. You are able to set firm boundaries without feeling sorry for anyone because you know that having a few deep friendships is best for you.
13. You’ve become more ruthless in weeding out life aspirations that were imposed on you from a young age – this means that you’re able to discern which goals are actually yours and which goals are from outside sources (parents, society, school, peers, etc.). You no longer aspire to become what others wanted you to become, nor do you allow their ideas of success to infiltrate your concrete definition of success.
14. You are at peace with the fact that you absolutely don’t have to get your dream job at the age of 21, get married at 23, become a millionaire at 24, become a CEO at 25, buy a house at 26, travel to 25 countries by the time you turn 27, prove every single person in your life wrong at 28, and retire at 29. You have embraced the fact that you can live a life in obscurity, work at a job that isn’t glamorous, and create awesome things that you don’t always share on social media, and still be joyful, complete, and free.
15. You are more in love with your own life than someone else’s and wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone in the world. You have finally realized that the only life worth living is your own, and there’s nothing in this world that can complete you because you already have everything you need that keeps you whole.