We live in a society that is hyperfocused on (material) success.
As a result, many of us get fixated on the things we have yet to achieve and forget the progress we’ve made so far.
This leads to us feeling like we’re behind in life. Or that we’re incompetent or worthless. Or that we’re not working hard enough (even if we might already be).
So, let’s look at the 10 signs you’re doing better than you think, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
1) You ask for help
If you feel behind in life, you probably feel like your peers have it all figured out (and you don’t).
They seem like they’re so successful, so… independent.
It feels like they never ask you for help with anything while you occasionally ask them.
Here’s the truth, though: no one has it all figured out.
Life is just too complex and unpredictable for even the oldest, most experienced person out there to have everything under control.
Of course, it’s another story if you’re being dependent on others.
But occasionally asking for help is actually a sign of maturity. It signals strength, self-awareness, and the humility to acknowledge that you can’t always do things alone.
Thus, it also means that:
- You’re willing to grow and learn;
- You can put your ego aside;
- You’re willing to foster and nurture your relationships;
- You’re practical;
- You’re open-minded.
By asking for help, you acknowledge that you’re human. That’s wisdom. That’s maturity.
2) You put effort into worthwhile relationships
Sometimes, we get too obsessed with career progression or financial success. I know I did for sure.
I focused on working so much that I forgot about my personal relationships and failed to give them the time and energy they needed and deserved.
And I learned it the hard way by losing a loved one I’ve been neglecting for years. To this day, I regret not spending more time with them.
Remember, money is always nice. But your relationships are what give life true meaning.
Similarly, you’ll also know which relationships are worth keeping and which are just detrimental or toxic to you.
The younger we are, the more value we typically place on the quantity of our relationships rather than the quality.
We want to be popular, essentially. Or we want to “build our network” to be the biggest it can be.
However, stretching yourself out too thin to too many people will also just make you unable to give enough time and energy to those who truly deserve it.
3) You keep going
If you’re still here, still reading—still trying—after failing so, so many times, then trust me, you’re doing so much better than you think. In fact, you might be doing better than most people.
If you haven’t quit yet, even after failing in the past, that just shows how tenacious you are.
And as they say, grit and hard work will always beat talent.
The more you’ve failed, the more you’ve learned as well. So keep fighting the good fight, and I’m certain you’ll reach your goal eventually.
4) You stop sweating the small stuff
Maturity to me is all about perspective. It’s all about being able to see the bigger picture.
And this includes being able to let go of the small stuff.
Of course, we all get upset or disappointed about certain seemingly mundane things. Again, we’re human.
But if you’re able to move past them quickly without harboring any lingering resentment or regret, then you’re doing a great job.
What do I mean exactly?
Ask yourself. Are you…
- …able to control yourself and not raise your voice when someone makes a mistake?
- …able to forgive yourself easily?
- …able to focus on what could be done better in the future rather than sulk about the past?
- …able to see the silver lining in things?
- …able to learn from both your own and other people’s mistakes?
- …more patient with other people?
Yes? Then you’ve come a long way!
5) You still doubt yourself sometimes
This might seem contradictory, but having moments of doubt is once again a sign that you’re not too cocky enough to think you’re perfect.
It’s perfectly normal and maybe even necessary to question your actions sometimes.
When you stop to think and reflect on your actions, you often get a deeper and wider perspective on things.
This is a sign of critical thinking, a crucial skill not just for success and improvement, but life as a whole.
It’s totally okay to have days when you question the things you’ve done or are about to do. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing something wrong.
Or even if you are doing something wrong, then you’ve at least realized it already! Now, you can use your past mistakes to do better moving forward.
6) You’re focused on self-improvement
Here’s the thing: if you think you’re behind in life, then you’re probably not behind at all.
Because for you to think that way, you must be focused on reaching a goal and feel frustrated that you haven’t reached it yet.
And while you may have not reached that goal yet, your frustration is still a testament to how hard you’re working on it.
You strive to improve every day because you want to achieve something badly and as quickly as possible.
And while I will always preach that you should take your time and focus on your own journey, you can take your frustration as a sign that you’re doing pretty damn well.
7) You’ve made progress in other areas of your life
And while you maybe haven’t reached your main goals yet, the journey so far has probably taught you many other skills and lessons.
I still remember when my friend struggled to put up his business. He had to talk to a lot of new people on a daily as he tried to build connections.
And during a party many years later, I see him being incredibly social and friendly with everybody.
This man used to be so shy! He was the type to stay in the corner or to keep talking with people he already knew.
Lo and behold, he met his current fiance that night.
8) You can hold boundaries
Learning how to say no and enforcing your boundaries is far easier said than done. It takes a lot of courage and self-respect.
But it’s also one of the most empowering, freeing, and most necessary things you can ever do for yourself.
Trust me, you’ll never reach your full potential, know yourself, or reach any kind of self-actualization if you keep acting according to the whims of others.
The moment you stop becoming a yes-person is when you regain control of your life.
It’s the moment you can finally use your time and energy for the things that are important to you.
- Declined a Saturday invitation to that “friend” who you know just pretends to like you?
- Told your mom off to stop berating you about your tattoo as a grown adult?
- Told that you love them but won’t tolerate toxic behaviors?
If you’ve done something like this recently, then good job!
Putting your foot down and putting yourself first is a great sign that you’re on your way to where you need and want to be.
9) You’re not jealous anymore
We live in a world where competition is just the nature of things, for better or worse.
You see, you can feel frustrated thinking that you haven’t reached the same heights as others while not feeling jealous of them.
Rather, you celebrate them. You draw inspiration and lessons from them.
If you find yourself celebrating other people’s success instead of being jealous of them—or, worse, trying to bring them down—this is a great sign of growth.
It’s a sign of kindness, security, and humility.
Sure, maybe you’re not reaching the financial or material goals you’ve set for yourself yet. But you’re well on your way to becoming the best person you can be.
10) You’ve enriched other people’s lives
You may feel like you haven’t shaped your life to how you want it to be yet.
But have you considered how you’ve enriched other people’s lives?
This point is so, so overlooked!
We’re all so focused on our journey, and while that’s all well and good—to get that bread!—we can become hyper-fixated on it. Then, we lose sight of the bigger picture.
And I don’t know about you, but to me, helping people is honestly just as rewarding as reaching your own goals.
Don’t beat yourself up for not reaching an idealized version of success as quickly as you might have imagined.
You’re human. You deserve to live and enjoy life. You will inevitably make mistakes, but you will learn from them and get even closer to your goals.
If you’re determined and working hard, success will come eventually and inevitably. Keep at it.
In fact, if the things listed here apply to you, I’d say you’re well on your way. And honestly, in my book, you’re already pretty damn successful.