12 signs the next chapter of your life is all about protecting your inner peace and energy

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When I was younger I was all about chasing outer accomplishments:

I wanted that great job, that title, recognition, the fit body and well-crammed bank account, that partner who would fulfill my idea of what a perfect partner was. 

But as I’ve matured I’ve come to see that outer accomplishments and progress can never make up for a lack of inner peace and contentment with yourself and your worth on a deep level. 

Which then naturally brings up the next question:

How do you go about finding or keeping that sense of inner peace and how will you know when you’re on your way?

Let’s take a look! 

1) You’re able to say no and feel fine about it

It can be hard to say no. You may have struggled with it in the past or even been some form of a “people pleaser.”

But those days are behind you now. 

You can turn down an invitation or a request for help and not feel bad about it. 

You have your priorities and your needs and you make no bones about sometimes putting those first. 

“Being able to say no to people means that you’ll have more time to devote your energy to the things that really matter to you,” notes Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.

2) Time alone is refreshing, not miserable

Whereas you formerly sought to have outside stimulation and involvement, you now find time alone refreshing and revitalizing. 

You get lonely sometimes after too much time alone, sure, but you are fundamentally happy with spending time with yourself

In fact, in many cases it’s quite a treat. 

3) You have firm boundaries in your relationships

Your relationships are no longer places where you let yourself be jerked around or manipulated. 

You set your own boundaries and you stick to them. 

When you are in a new relationship you draw out your limits and needs very clearly with no guesswork involved. 

Every relationship has struggles and issues, but you no longer have any interest in pursuing a connection that’s full of useless drama or overstepping you’re clearly-stated boundaries. 

As Eugene Therapy writes:

“When discussing boundaries with your partner, being honest about what you are comfortable with or not comfortable with will ensure that they know what you truly expect from them.”

4) You don’t chase after validation, love or money

You’re not chasing love, money or validation. 

You relish love that you share, sure. You work hard and want prosperity, of course. You enjoy getting a pat on the back and knowing you’re doing a good job. 

But you don’t chase it:

There’s no hole inside you’re trying to fill, no vacuum of meaning or self-worth that feels like it needs to be stuffed with something. 

Just being yourself and doing your best in life is enough at this point. The benefits that come of that are a bonus, not the main objective.

5) You prioritize self-care and your own wellbeing

You’re not afraid to put yourself first, in fact you do it on an ongoing basis. 

You take a mental health day off from work with no shame, and you go to the spa because you want to. 

Your own well-being is no longer an afterthought:

You care about yourself and you’re not afraid to show it. You know that if you don’t truly care for yourself you can’t expect anybody else to do so, either. 

It all starts with you. 

6) Shutting out and limiting downcast doomer voices

The idea of cutting out all negative people from your life is stupid and juvenile. 

Embracing your inner pessimist is actually a power move.

But moving away from those who don’t want to succeed or grow is a splendid idea. In fact it’s necessary for growth. 

Indeed, too much focus on discouraging narratives and stories is a different matter from admitting some pessimism. 

Being down and angry and sad is real, it can be powerful. Believing a long-winded story about how you’re born to lose has no purpose and will destroy you. 

You see that now, and you no longer bother being around people who buy into these self-defeating narratives. 

7) Surrounding yourself with supportive and challenging people

On a related note, you now surround yourself with people who support you but also challenge you. 

You have a friend circle of folks you like, but they’re not all the same:

They’re people who encourage you to be better and sometimes stand up to you. They are colleagues who believe in who you are but also in who you can be. 

They encourage you (and themselves) to always keep growing. 

As Tony Robbins says:

“Those you spend the most time with have a huge influence on your moods, how you view the world and the expectations you have of yourself…

…To reach new heights of success, you must surround yourself with people who not only inspire you, but challenge you.”

8) Practicing mindfulness and reducing distractions

As much as possible, you practice mindfulness and reduce distractions. 

You prefer to keep things low-key at times and get out in nature to enjoy the cool breeze and the warm sun. You like to spend time cuddling with your pet, or mindfully cooking a meal. 

You no longer feel a craving for constant excitement or stimulation. 

The natural rhythms of life are enough for you, and you find yourself increasingly fulfilled and full of joy about the simple miracle of being alive. 

Which brings me to the next point… 

9) Taking regular breaks from technology and social media

Taking digital detoxes has become a regular part of your life at this point. 

You don’t feel a sense of withdrawal when you put down the smartphone for a while, and you don’t get phantom tremors in your pocket where your phone vibration notification used to go off. 

You’re fine spending time away from devices and away from the ‘Gram. 

Your inner peace means more to you than checking what others are up to all the time. 

As psychologist Psychologist Adam Borland, Psy.D. explains

“When you negatively compare yourself to what you see online, you can start feeling like your own life is lacking…

…Try to recognize when you’re most vulnerable or susceptible to using social media. Maybe you spend your entire lunch break on TikTok, or you start doomscrolling before bed.”

10) You do activities that bring you joy, whether alone or in a group

You involve yourself in lots of activities that bring you joy and aren’t scared to treat yourself. 

Whether it’s alone or in a group, you take joy in learning, traveling, exploring and growing. 

You’re not static by any means, but everything you do is from a place of tranquility. You’re not frantic or trying to fill an emotional hole. You’re exploring and adventuring because you want to. 

And it feels just as good to do alone as it does to do with somebody else. 

“So go ahead and sign up for those guitar lessons. Book that trip to Antigua. Do it in the name of happiness,” advises Brittany Lyte.

11) You’re on a spiritual or religious path that really makes sense for you

You may not have found “the path,” and you may have lost interest in the idea that there is “one path.”

But whether you’re part of an established faith or spiritual path or not, you’ve found spiritual teachings or religious doctrine that truly guides your life. 

Even when you fall short of these teachings and guidances, they continue to inspire you. 

You feel reassured and calmed in ways that used to elude you. 

Maturity has brought a certain peace of mind that is genuinely comforting. 

12) You embrace imperfection and change as a natural part of life

You fully accept and even embrace the fact that change is inevitable and that life will never be perfect. 

You no longer cling to an idealized version of what your life “should” be. 

You embrace the fact that your life is. 

Can it be better? Absolutely!

Can you change and improve? Of course!

But is there beauty in the ugliness and misery of the journey? Yes! 

“Through the lens of perfectly imperfect, mistakes, flaws, and the shortcomings of others and the world suddenly become good, even desirable,” notes Rose Zonetti.

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