9 easy-to-overlook signs you’ve lived a more successful life than most, according to psychology

As individuals, we all strive for success, we yearn to feel accomplished in our lives, and we seek the validation that we’ve done well. However, the markers of success are not always grand trophies or significant milestones.

Success can be subtle and sometimes elusive. It can be a series of small wins or the simple but profound feeling of contentment and satisfaction in life.

In this article, we will delve into the realm of psychology to uncover those often overlooked indicators that suggest you’ve lived a more successful life than most people.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that hold the most weight, and identifying these signs can help you appreciate how far you’ve come.

1) You’re content with what you have

Success isn’t always about accumulating more. Sometimes, it’s about being content with what you have.

This doesn’t mean settling for less, but rather, it reflects the ability to appreciate and find value in what you currently have in your life. It’s about focusing on abundance rather than scarcity.

You might notice that you’re not constantly chasing after the next big thing or wishing for more. Instead, you find satisfaction in your current circumstances, whether it’s your job, your relationships, or your lifestyle.

According to psychology, this sense of contentment can be a significant indicator of success. It suggests that you’re not only successful in tangible terms but also emotionally and mentally.

In other words, you’ve achieved a level of inner peace and satisfaction that many people strive for but rarely attain.

2) You’ve overcome adversity

Life is a mixed bag of experiences – there are highs, and there are lows. But it’s not the number of adversities you face that matters; it’s how you handle them that does.

If you’ve encountered obstacles and challenges, but have managed to overcome them or at least learned something valuable from those experiences, consider yourself successful.

Overcoming adversity builds resilience, strengthens our problem-solving skills, and enhances our ability to adapt to changes – all key markers of success.

You might not have realised it, but every time you picked yourself up after a setback or made lemonade out of the lemons life threw at you, you were building your success story. These moments of resilience are often overlooked, but they’re proof that you’re stronger and more successful than you think.

3) You’re not afraid to say “No”

In a world that often equates success with being agreeable and accommodating, the ability to say “No” might seem counter-productive. But the truth is, one of the signs you’ve lived a more successful life than most lies in your ability to set boundaries and prioritize your needs.

Saying “No” requires courage, self-awareness, and a clear understanding of your values and priorities. It means you value your time, energy, and resources, and you’re not willing to spread yourself too thin.

If you can look back and see instances where you’ve confidently said “No” to things that didn’t align with your values or were not beneficial to you in the long run, you’ve demonstrated a successful trait. This might seem small, but it’s an overlooked indication of personal success.

4) You’ve experienced failure

This might sound odd, but one of the truest signs of a successful life is having experienced failure. Failure, though often seen as a negative, is actually a strong indicator that you’ve taken risks and stepped outside of your comfort zone.

Nobody likes to fail. It’s hard, it’s painful, and it can be incredibly demoralizing. But those who have tasted failure and used it as a stepping stone towards success are the ones who truly understand the value of perseverance.

If you’ve failed in the past, whether in your personal or professional life, but have managed to dust yourself off and keep going, you’ve lived a more successful life than most. This raw honesty with yourself showcases resilience and the kind of grit that characterizes truly successful individuals.

5) You practice kindness

Kindness might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about success, but it’s a significant indicator of a life well-lived.

Practicing kindness, whether it’s towards others, yourself, or the world around you, reflects a level of emotional intelligence and empathy that is often overlooked in our achievement-driven society.

If you find yourself frequently lending a helping hand, offering words of encouragement, or simply being there for someone who needs you, you’re successful in ways that matter most.

Remember, true success is not just about what we achieve for ourselves but also about how we contribute to the lives of others. Kindness is a testament to your success as a compassionate human being.

6) You value relationships over possessions

In a world that often measures success by material wealth and possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters. However, if you’re someone who values relationships and connections over material things, you’ve hit a significant success milestone.

You may find more joy in catching up with an old friend over a cup of coffee than in buying the latest gadget. Or, you may prefer spending quality time with your family over working late hours for that extra paycheck.

These choices reflect your understanding that life’s true riches lie in the bonds we form and the love we share. This relatable trait speaks volumes about your success in maintaining a balanced and fulfilling life.

7) You enjoy life’s simple pleasures

Sometimes, success is found in the ability to appreciate and savour the small, everyday joys of life.

If you’re someone who can relish a good book, enjoy a quiet walk in the park, laugh heartily at a joke, or delight in a homemade meal, you’re more successful than you give yourself credit for.

These simple pleasures are often overlooked in our rush to achieve bigger things. But the ability to pause, engage, and find happiness in these moments is a sign of a truly successful life.

So next time you’re sipping your morning coffee and watching the sunrise, remember: this simple joy is a testament to your success.

8) You accept responsibility for your actions

Success isn’t just about achieving goals, it’s also about owning up to your mistakes and learning from them.

If you’re someone who holds themselves accountable when things go wrong, instead of blaming others or making excuses, you’ve mastered a crucial aspect of personal growth and success.

Accepting responsibility can be tough. It requires a strong character and a willingness to face the consequences of your actions. But remember, every time you own your mistakes, you’re growing stronger, wiser, and more successful.

So if you’ve made mistakes in the past and learned valuable lessons from them, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re doing better than most.

9) You are true to yourself

At the end of the day, the most important sign of a successful life is staying true to yourself.

In a world that often pushes us to conform and fit into certain molds, maintaining your authenticity is a significant achievement. If you’ve managed to stay true to your beliefs, values, and individuality, you’ve won a critical victory in life.

Living a life that reflects who you truly are is not always easy. It requires courage, strength, and a deep sense of self-awareness. But remember, every step you take as your authentic self is a testament to your success.

So keep being you, because there’s no greater success than living a life that’s genuinely yours.

Final thoughts

As we come to the end of this exploration of overlooked signs of success, it’s essential to remember that success isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept.

What might seem like success to one person might mean something entirely different to another. As psychologist Albert Bandura once said, “In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.”

Everyone encounters different challenges and opportunities in their life journey, and thus, everyone has their own unique signs of success. The key is to recognize and appreciate these as they present themselves in your life.

You might not have all nine signs we’ve discussed here, or perhaps, you have others that we didn’t cover. That doesn’t make your life any less successful. What matters most is that you continue striving for growth, embracing experiences with an open mind and heart, and staying true to who you are.

Essentially, success is deeply personal and unique to each individual. It’s less about ticking off boxes or meeting societal expectations and more about living a life that feels fulfilling and authentic to you.

So, as you reflect on this article, consider your own definition of success. How does it align with the signs we’ve explored? Which ones resonate with you the most? And most importantly, how will you continue to cultivate your own version of a successful life?

Here’s to celebrating all the ways you are successful — big or small, seen or unseen — because every step forward is a testament to your resilience, courage, and the remarkable journey that is uniquely yours.

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

8 phrases only self-centered people use, according to psychology

People who carry emotional baggage into a new relationship usually display these 8 subtle behaviors