9 signs you’re moving forward in life, even if it doesn’t feel like it

Sometimes it’s tough to gauge whether we’re making progress in life. It can feel like we’re stuck in a rut, even when we’re actually moving forward.

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit, and I’ve been there too. You’re putting in the work, but everything seems static.

But sometimes, the signs we’re advancing aren’t as blatant as we’d like. They can be subtle hints that we’re evolving, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

In this article, I’ll share with you 9 of these signs that you’re moving forward in life, even if it doesn’t feel like it. 

Let’s get started. 

1) You’re uncomfortable more often

Growth isn’t always comfortable. In fact, it’s often the exact opposite.

Think about it. Every time you’re learning something new or stepping out of your comfort zone, there’s a good chance you’re feeling a bit uneasy. That’s because progress involves venturing into unfamiliar territory.

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit, and I can tell you from personal experience that discomfort is often the price of admission for personal growth.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about living in a perpetual state of stress. It’s about pushing your boundaries and expanding your comfort zone.

If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable more frequently, don’t fret. It might just be a sign that you’re moving forward in life, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Growth and comfort do not coexist. So embrace the discomfort and celebrate it as a sign of progress.

2) You’re embracing impermanence

In Buddhism, one of the key concepts is the idea of impermanence – the notion that everything is constantly changing.

As a student of Buddhism myself, I can tell you that understanding and embracing this concept is a powerful indicator of personal development and moving forward in life.

Why? Because it suggests that you’re beginning to let go of rigid expectations and learning to flow with the changes life throws at you. Instead of resisting or fearing change, you’re accepting it as a natural part of existence.

It may not feel like it, but this acceptance can lead to a more peaceful and contented state of mind. It allows you to navigate life’s ups and downs with grace and resilience, rather than getting thrown off course by them.

If you find yourself becoming more adaptable and less fearful of change, take it as a sign that you’re progressing, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Embracing impermanence isn’t about giving up control; it’s about understanding the nature of life and learning to ride its waves instead of fighting against them.

3) You’re making mistakes and learning from them

We’ve all heard the saying, “Mistakes are the greatest teachers.” Yet, so many of us still fear making them.

I used to be the same. As the founder of Hack Spirit, I’ve had my fair share of missteps along the way. But instead of seeing these as failures, I’ve come to realize they’re signs of moving forward.

Here’s the thing: If you’re not making mistakes, you’re likely not pushing your boundaries or trying new things. And that’s not how growth happens.

Making mistakes means you’re taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. It means you’re daring to try, even if there’s a chance you might fail.

But here’s the crucial part – it’s not just about making mistakes; it’s about learning from them. That’s where real growth happens.

When you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, see it as proof that you’re moving forward in life, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

Progress isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes it’s a winding road filled with potholes and detours. But every step along that road is a step forward.

4) You’re practicing mindfulness

In Buddhism, mindfulness is a vital principle. It’s all about being completely present in the moment, fully aware of where we are, what we’re doing, and not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s happening around us.

As an expert in Buddhism, I can tell you that practicing mindfulness is a significant sign you’re moving forward in life. It shows that you’re learning to live in the now, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Mindfulness allows us to experience life more fully and handle our emotions more effectively. It helps us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our reactions, which is crucial for personal growth.

In my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I delve deeper into how mindfulness and other Buddhist principles can help us lead more fulfilling lives.

If you’re making a conscious effort to be more present in your daily life and interactions, give yourself some credit. It might not always feel like it, but this is a clear sign you’re evolving and moving forward.

Mindfulness isn’t about achieving a state of eternal calm or emptiness. It’s about becoming an observer of your thoughts and emotions without judgment. And that, my friend, is progress.

5) You’re feeling “stuck”

Now, this might sound counterintuitive, but stay with me here. Feeling “stuck” can actually be a sign that you’re moving forward in life.

How? Well, feeling stuck often means you’re realizing that something needs to change. It’s a sign that you’re becoming more aware of your desires, dreams, and the things that no longer serve you.

It’s like being stuck in mud. You might not be moving at the moment, but the struggle and desire to get unstuck is what eventually propels you forward.

I’ve been there too. There were times when I felt trapped in my own life, not knowing which direction to go. But it was this very feeling that pushed me to reassess my priorities and make necessary changes.

If you’re feeling stuck right now, don’t despair. It may just be a sign that you’re on the verge of a significant breakthrough.

Sometimes, it’s the struggle that cultivates growth. So embrace it, learn from it, and let it guide your journey forward.

6) You’re becoming more compassionate

Compassion is a cornerstone of Buddhism. It’s about recognizing the suffering in ourselves and others and taking steps to alleviate it.

As an expert in Buddhism, I believe that growing in compassion is a clear sign you’re moving forward in life. It shows you’re developing empathy and understanding, which are crucial for personal growth and meaningful relationships.

Becoming more compassionate means you’re learning to look beyond your own needs and desires. You’re becoming more connected with the world around you and acknowledging that everyone has their own struggles.

This doesn’t mean you have to solve everyone’s problems. Compassion is also about listening, being there for others, and offering support when needed.

If you find yourself becoming more empathetic and understanding towards others, take it as a sign of progress.

Compassion isn’t about being a doormat or tolerating unacceptable behavior. It’s about acknowledging the humanity in all of us and treating others with kindness and respect.

7) You’re letting go of comparisons

We all tend to compare ourselves to others. It’s a natural human tendency, but it can also be a significant source of unhappiness.

I know this all too well. As the founder of Hack Spirit, I used to compare my success to others in my field. It was exhausting and took away from my own accomplishments.

But with time, I’ve learned that everyone’s journey is unique. Comparisons only distract us from our own path and rob us of joy.

Moving away from comparisons is a sign you’re growing. It shows that you’re becoming more confident in your own skin and recognizing your own worth.

If you find yourself comparing less and focusing more on your own journey, take it as a sign that you’re moving forward in life, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

There’s no one else like you in this world. So focus on being the best version of yourself, rather than trying to measure up to someone else’s standards.

8) You’re saying “no” more often

Now, this might seem counterintuitive. Often, we associate progress with saying “yes” to opportunities. But learning to say “no” can be an equally powerful sign of growth.

Why? Because saying “no” means you’re getting clearer about your priorities and boundaries. It shows that you’re no longer willing to spread yourself thin or agree to things that don’t align with your values or goals.

I’ll be the first to admit, learning to say “no” wasn’t easy for me. As the founder of Hack Spirit, I felt the pressure to seize every opportunity. But with time, I realized that not every opportunity was worth my time or energy.

If you’re finding yourself saying “no” more often, don’t second guess yourself. It may not feel like it, but this is a sign you’re evolving and moving forward in life.

Saying “no” to what doesn’t serve you means saying “yes” to what truly matters. And that’s a sign of progress.

9) You’re cultivating gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful principle in Buddhism. It’s about appreciating what we have right now, rather than longing for what we don’t have.

As an expert in Buddhism, I can tell you that cultivating gratitude is a clear sign you’re moving forward in life. It shows that you’re learning to find contentment in the present moment and appreciate the blessings you have.

Gratitude helps us shift our focus from what’s missing in our lives to the abundance that’s already present. It promotes positivity, reduces stress, and leads to greater happiness.

If you find yourself practicing gratitude more often, take it as a sign of your personal growth.

Gratitude isn’t about ignoring life’s challenges. It’s about finding the good in every situation and appreciating life’s simple pleasures. That is truly moving forward.


Remember that progress in life isn’t always about grand achievements or radical transformations. Sometimes, it’s about those small, subtle shifts in our attitudes and behaviors that signal we’re growing and moving forward.

Whether it’s embracing discomfort, practicing mindfulness, or cultivating gratitude, these signs all point to the fact that you’re evolving, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

And if you’re interested in diving deeper into these concepts, I invite you to check out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s packed with practical tips and insights drawn from Buddhism to help you live a more fulfilling and impactful life.

Moving forward isn’t about where you are; it’s about where you’re headed. So keep going. You’re doing better than you think.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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