When most people think about being successful, they imagine earning a lot of money, having a high-profile job, and wearing a suit to work every day.
But that isn’t really what success in life is about.
Truly successful people don’t even realize how well they’re doing – they’re just living life and experiencing it as it comes!
If you think you might be doing exactly that, you’ll recognize these 9 signs in yourself.
1) You’ve lived away from home
Moving out of your parent’s house isn’t always something you can control. But the thing is, if you’ve done it at least once in your life, it’s a pretty big deal.
Taking the leap to move out changes your life completely. Even if you were semi-responsible at home, you enter a whole new level of responsibility.
You’re now responsible for everything. Every item of food needs to be bought by you. Every dinner that’s cooked must be decided on by you. Even every surface that needs cleaning has to be done by you.
When I meet people in their early thirties who’ve never lived away from home, not even for a couple of years at college, I notice the difference – big time!
They don’t truly know how to look after themselves. So if you’ve done it, even for a little while, you’re a whole lot more accomplished than you realize!
2) You cook more than you order in
I think we all know that it isn’t good to order takeout all the time. It should be a treat, something you have on occasion. For most of your life, you should cook for yourself rather than get it delivered to your door.
Cooking for yourself requires a different level of commitment, motivation, and even skill. That might sound dramatic, but it’s true!
When you go grocery shopping, you have to know what you need and what you want for dinner. Every day, you have to decide what to eat and what you need to defrost from the freezer. And actually cooking the meals is a skill in itself!
I had friends who ordered takeout almost every night when they moved out. They actually had “cooking” nights rather than a takeout night.
But the thing is, they didn’t feel good about doing it. They didn’t feel responsible for themselves and they were totally bored of eating the same old dishes every night. They never had much money to spend on dates out either, and their health probably suffered a whole lot, too…
3) You take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself doesn’t just mean living away from home and cooking a decent meal each night. It’s part of your every day and everything you do.
If you cook yourself healthy lunches or even buy them, you’re doing well in life. If you take off your make-up and brush your teeth every night before bed, you’re doing well. Even if you just shower regularly, you’re doing well!
When you do things like book yourself into doctors’ appointments, get a dental check-up now and then, and get your haircut, you’re doing even better.
I know these things might just seem run of the mill, but I promise you, they aren’t!
I know people in their thirties who haven’t been to the dentist since they were kids. If they needed a doctor’s appointment, they wouldn’t book one until things got serious. Even showering regularly is a struggle for some people…
4) You’ve changed jobs at least once in your life
I ran into someone I knew in college once who (more than 10 years on) was still working in the local store she got a part-time job in when she was 18.
There’s nothing wrong with having a job in a store. But staying in the same job for so long keeps you stagnated – and it definitely limits the personal growth you achieve.
All the career advice in the world tells you it’s good to change jobs every couple of years. Why? Research tells us you’ll earn 50% more in your lifetime than if you don’t.
Plus, by changing jobs, you expose yourself to new skills, cultures, and ideas – broadening your experience and even your confidence!
And anyway, in life generally, it isn’t good to stand still. So even if you’ve stayed at the same company but moved around or climbed the ladder slightly, that still counts!
5) Your opinions have changed over the years
How often do you find yourself saying, “I used to think that” or “I used to do that”? if you’re secretly succeeding in life, I’ll bet it’s a lot!
As you mature and grow, your opinions on certain things naturally change. All life experiences, from starting work to having your first serious relationship, shape you.
If you used to think clubbing on the weekends was the best thing ever, but now you prefer a sit-down meal with a few good friends, your opinions have changed.
There’s nothing wrong with either preference. It’s the changing of the mind that matters. When you change your views or start seeing things differently, it’s a sign of personal growth. And that is a sign of success in life!
6) You’ve changed friends in the last few years
What about your friendships? What’s different about those? Things change all the time, including our friendships. At least, they should if you’re growing in life.
So you might not be as close to some friends as you used to be. You might be closer to people you never used to be. You might have made new friends, too.
Of course, you might have lost some along the way as well… Even though it’s sad when a friendship comes to an end, sometimes it’s just what needs to happen. People grow apart and there’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s actually a sign that you’re growing, changing, and living when your friendships shift and change as the years go on.
7) You’ve healed from a broken heart
Getting your heart broken is possibly one of the worst things you can experience in life. It can create a ton of trauma, trust issues, and sheer pain within us.
Dr. Helen Fisher even found that the emotional pain felt after a breakup activates the same neurological response in the brain as physical pain!
If you’ve been there, done that, you’ll probably know why this is true.
Despite the pain, you have to heal from a broken heart if you want to live your fullest life again. But that doesn’t mean everybody heals after a bad breakup…
I’ve known people who had their hearts broken in their twenties and never recovered from it. To this day, they still bring up the pain and carry their trust issues with them!
So if you’ve gotten through it and have genuinely come out better on the other side – or you’re still working through things to get there – this is a positive thing. And it’s a sign that you’re succeeding way more than you think.
8) You can open up to people you trust
What do you do when you’re struggling in life? Do you bottle things up? Squash the bad thoughts and pretend they don’t exist?
Or do you open up to a friend about how you feel?
If it’s the latter, this is truly a good thing. Being vulnerable is never easy, and that’s exactly how it feels to open up to someone: vulnerable.
But because it’s hard, it means that doing it is courageous. It’s a sign of inner confidence, strength, and bravery. It also means you’re trying to do the right thing and not bottle things up, which can’t be any wiser, really.
9) You trust someone in your life
We talked about opening up to someone you trust being a sign of success, but in fact, just having someone you can trust is also a good sign!
Trust issues are actually pretty common in a person. Most of them form during negative interactions in early childhood. Others form from teenage social rejection or traumatic experiences in adulthood, according to psychology.
Either way, a lack of trust in people should be temporary. Like if you’ve just had your heart broken, you might have some trust issues for a couple of months. But once you’ve healed, you should get past these and start trusting people again.
This won’t just happen over time. It’s something you have to actually work on doing. You have to start trusting people again, bit by bit, if you want to heal.
So if you’re actively doing this, or you know there are some people in your life right now that you can trust, this is a definite sign of success – even if you’ve still got a way to go.
We can often beat ourselves up for not being the fittest, most confident, or even the most “glamorous” versions of ourselves. I know, I’ve been there.
But the truth is, there’s so much more to finding success in life than how you look or what job you have!
When you’re truly living life, growing and changing, you’re succeeding.
And it’s important to remember that fact whenever you’re feeling down or like you’re not good enough. Because trust me, if you recognize the signs on this list, you are!
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