9 signs you’re growing as a person, according to psychology

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Growth is a constant process, often subtle and hard to see in the moment. But guess what? You’re probably growing more than you think.

Psychology has a lot to say about personal development. And according to the experts, there are certain signs that indicate you’re on the right path.

In this article, we’ll explore nine telltale signs that you’re growing as a person.

So, buckle up – it’s time to dive into some self-reflection and see just how far you’ve come.

1) You’re embracing change

Change is a part of life. But let’s be honest, it can be downright scary.

For a lot of us, our instinct is to resist change, to cling to the familiar. It’s comfortable, predictable.

But growth happens outside of our comfort zone. And the fact that you’re being more open to change these days is a clear sign you’re growing.

“Adaptation is a natural next step in personal growth,” said psychologist Jennifer Guttman.

It means you’re learning to let go of your fears and uncertainties. You’re willing to take risks and try new things.

Better yet, you’re realizing that change isn’t necessarily bad- it’s just different. And different can be good. It can lead to new opportunities, new experiences, new insights.

2) You’re not afraid to say “no”

It used to be hard for me to say “no.”

I was the quintessential people-pleaser, always putting the needs of others before my own. I thought saying “yes” to everything was the key to being liked and accepted.

But over time, I realized that constantly saying “yes” was draining me both emotionally and physically. I often found myself overcommitted and stressed out.

Then, one day I decided to try something different. I started saying “no” to things that didn’t serve me or align with my priorities. And guess what? The world didn’t end. People didn’t stop liking me.

In fact, I found that people respected my boundaries. They appreciated my honesty. And I felt more empowered and less stressed.

Turns out, learning to say “no” was a huge turning point in my personal growth journey. It was an affirmation of my self-worth, a declaration that my needs mattered too.

3) You’re seeking out new experiences

One of the hallmarks of personal growth is a thirst for new experiences. Why?

It’s because you can only expand your horizons and stretch yourself when you’re willing to learn. 

Did you know that exposing yourself to new experiences can literally change your brain? It’s a concept known as neuroplasticity. When we experience new things, our brain creates new neural pathways which can boost our cognitive abilities.

If you’re finding yourself drawn to new activities, places or people, it’s not just exciting – it’s a sign that you’re growing as a person.

You’re pushing boundaries, challenging yourself and in the process, becoming a more adaptable and well-rounded individual.

4) You’re taking responsibility for your actions

Let’s face it. It’s easy to play the blame game when things go wrong. But pointing fingers and laying blame doesn’t lead to growth. Taking responsibility for your actions does.

According to a study published in the Universal Journal of Educational Research, a person’s emotional maturity is reflected in “the willingness and ability to be responsible and accountable for our own circumstances and actions in life, and the ability to differentiate our responsibilities from those of others.”

When you start acknowledging your missteps and mistakes, you’re showing tremendous growth.

It demonstrates that you’re not only aware of your actions and their consequences, but you’re also willing to take steps to rectify your errors.

Accepting responsibility can be a tough pill to swallow. It requires humility and honesty. But it’s essential for personal growth.

5) You’re practicing self-care

Self-care isn’t just about pampering yourself with spa days or indulgent treats. More than that, it’s about taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. 

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to neglect self-care. We often prioritize work, family, and social commitments over our own well-being. But this can lead to burnout and stress.

The moment you start prioritizing self-care, you’re showing significant personal growth. You’re recognizing that your well-being matters and that taking care of yourself is not a luxury, but a necessity.

6) You’re showing empathy towards others

Growth isn’t just about personal achievements or self-improvement. It’s also about how we relate to others. And one of the clearest signs of personal growth is the ability to show empathy, according to research.

So, how can we show empathy?

One way is by giving our full attention when someone is speaking, expressing engagement through nods and eye contact.

In challenging situations, diffuse tension by acknowledging the other person’s emotions, using phrases such as “I understand why you feel that way” or “It makes sense that you’re experiencing these emotions.”

It’s all about giving people a supportive space to express themselves at their own pace.

When you start showing empathy towards others, you’re growing as a person.  

7) You’re learning to let go of past hurts

We all have baggage. Scars from past hurts that we carry around, often without realizing how much they weigh us down. I had my share of them too. Unresolved issues, grudges, regrets – they were all there, lurking in the background.

The turning point came when I realized how much energy it was taking to hold onto these hurts. I was carrying around a weight that was not only unnecessary but also harmful.

Eventually, I made a conscious decision to let go. It wasn’t easy. It took time and a lot of self-reflection. But gradually, I started to feel lighter, freer.

If you’re finding the courage to let go of past hurts, it’s a clear sign that you’re growing as a person.

It shows that you’re choosing your well-being over resentment and pain. And that, my friend, is a significant step towards personal growth.

8) You’re setting personal goals

Setting personal goals is a powerful way to drive personal maturity. After all, how can you grow without a clear direction of who you want to grow into?

Setting goals and working on them gives you a profound sense of achievement, according to research. As you make progress toward your end zone, whether they are personal or professional, each step forward can boost your confidence and motivation.

But that’s not all.

Having goals to strive towrad shows that you’re taking control of your life, which is an incredibly powerful feeling.

It means you’re not just drifting along, letting life happen to you. You’re taking charge, making conscious decisions about what you want and how to get there.

9) You’re entering your “villain era”

One of the most profound signs of personal growth is learning to enter your “villain era” – a concept popularized by TikToker @padzdey

In other words, you’re learning to love yourself in a more intentional, aggressive manner. It means that you’ve stopped putting people’s needs ahead of yours, resisted peer pressure at all costs, and learned to say “no” to requests you don’t want to accommodate.

You couldn’t care less what others think about you, as long as you’re feeling good about your life.

It’s all about recognizing your worth and treating yourself the way you want others to treat you.

But don’t confuse self-love with narcissim, my friend.

The truth is, most narcissists struggle with self-love and overwork to make up for their low self-esteem. Those who practice self-love the right way, on the other hand, tend to have higher levels of self-esteem.  

When you start to love yourself, you set the foundation for all other growth. 

Final thoughts: This is your journey

Personal growth is something deeply individual and unique to each person. It’s not a race or a competition, but a personal journey that unfolds in its own time and pace.

Every step you take towards personal growth, no matter how small, is a victory. 

As you continue on this journey, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come. Celebrate your growth. Honor your journey. And most importantly, be proud of who you are becoming.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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