9 signs you’re becoming the best version of yourself, according to psychology

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is at the highest point. It is described as the realization of one’s fullest potential. It is “to become everything one is capable of becoming”. 

So when I say, “Envision the best version of you”, what does that look like for you?

Who have you become? What do you have? What do you own? What have you let go of?

What has that “best version” achieved? Who do they love, where do they go from there? What did they leave behind?

If you can’t envision it, maybe this list could help. If not as a reminder, then maybe as a wake-up call. 

Here are 9 signs you’re becoming the best version of yourself, according to psychology.

1) Your life’s purpose is getting clearer and clearer

I was confused when I first came across this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Isn’t happiness the end goal? Aren’t we supposed to be chasing that? 

And I thought, I just proved his point. I was chasing happiness. I wasn’t doing much more than that. 

It was a life of being self-serving. And, perhaps that’s okay for some, but for me, it wasn’t. It wasn’t what truly called to me.

And that’s the thing about life’s purpose, we all have different ones. It’s something only you can decide upon. 

And the best version of you (actually, us) knows what they want in life.

Now, even if you’re not yet entirely sure of what the end goal is, at least there are fewer distractions. 

Your purpose is getting clearer and clearer. 

2) You practice gratitude

Studies have shown that gratitude alters the way we think. It allows us to focus on the good. 

And you know what? The best version of you understands gratitude. The best version of you is grateful. 

The best version of you takes stock of your present and is thankful for everything. The good, the bad, and maybe even the ugly.

Grateful for survival, grateful to be alive to bear witness to whatever good comes after. 

3) You live with intention

The best version of you knows who they are, what they want, and who they stand for. They live by the values they hold. 

The best version of you lives with intention

You’re becoming that best version if you know what these values are. What is important to you? What motivates you? What do you strive for? 

Is there a calling that makes you come alive? Do you live by the things that make your heart sing? 

4) You show up for yourself

The best version of you is one who understands the value of showing up. That best version of you is someone who pushed through, who healed, who grew and changed. 

That best version of you might have been the one who had to cry at 3 in the morning because life was getting too hard to handle—that version of who was the one who sought help. 

That version persevered. They showed up not only in moments of triumph and joy but also in sorrow. They showed up when you needed them most. 

That version of you honored your needs, wants, and limitations. 

That best version of you became the best version of you because they had to be. Because they showed up to be.

Are you showing up for yourself now? 

5) You stopped fearing change

From personal experience, being stuck is never a good feeling. Stagnating? That, too.

It’s like you’re running in the same place, exhausted to the bone but not gaining distance. 

So my point is this: The best version of you is less afraid of change than of being stuck.

The best version of you understands that changes could be scary but that it is a worthy process. It’s how you learn, it’s how you evolve, it’s how you become.

6) You have learned to stay in your lane

The best version of you is someone who does not participate in jealousy.

That version knows that what’s for them is just for them so there is no need to fight. There is no need for envy. 

Additionally, that version knows how to celebrate other people’s successes. That one’s called freudenfreude (opposite of schadenfreude), finding joy in other people’s joy or good fortune.

It is believed to be closely linked to positive empathy and is also believed to foster resilience,  improve life satisfaction, and aid in conflict resolution. 

But even without that tidbit, it makes sense, doesn’t it? When you choose to focus on positive feelings and emotions, there will be less room to focus on the negative ones. 

7) You take good care of yourself

The best version of you is accountable. That best version of you knows what’s necessary to thrive. The best version of you practices self-care

Even just the stress reduction angle of self-care should be enough reason to do it. 

Some examples of self-care:

  • Eating well 
  • Exercising
  • Sleeping enough or having a strict bedtime
  • Managing stress
  • Resting whenever necessary 
  • Taking breaks from work
  • Taking walks in nature 
  • Consuming content that enriches you
  • Setting boundaries

8) You have found a happy balance in life

The best version of you accepts their humanity, flaws and all. They know when to grit through obstacles and they know when to rest. 

They know when to play hard and work hard. They know when to risk and when not to. They know when to go after something and when to hold back. 

The best version of you found that balance. There is certainty in the actions. There is certainty in the decisions made. 

9) You believe in yourself

And finally, the best version of you will believe in yourself

Is that cheesy? Maybe.

But isn’t that so powerful just the same? Perhaps it’s why we often repeat the significance of believing in ourselves, because knowing our capabilities will open doors.

Because that’s the thing, we have to believe. That we are capable. That we are deserving. That we are worthy of the effort it’s going to take to become our very best versions.

Because it’s going to take a lot of effort, and it’s going to take a lot of time, and you have to be ready for that whole ride. 

Before you go

Let me be frank for a minute as this topic can be a heavy burden for some: To become the best version of yourself is a worthy goal, but it should never be at the expense of your peace. 

This cannot be done in a week or a month, I could argue that it’s a lifelong endeavor. So, if you can, don’t rush. 

Friend, life is both long and fleeting, we should not spend those precious moments trying to chase whatever ideals we put upon ourselves. We should learn to pace, to do what we can in what time we can do it. 

Yes, there will be moments of struggle, as with most journeys to self-improvement, but there should also be moments of peace. There should also be moments of contentment. There should be moments of joy.

And I hope that your journey to being the best version of yourself is littered with those.

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