We live in an era of speed and instant gratification.
We pay for expedited delivery, hit up Google whenever we have a question, and can secure a date faster than it takes us to pick our next binge-watch.
Yet, the things that matter still take a lot of time.
That’s why it can be challenging to grasp how much progress we’re making toward reaching our dreams.
Spoiler alert: there’s a good chance you’re doing better than you think.
Here are 9 signs you’re living up to your potential, even if you don’t realize it.
If you see yourself in any of them, you’re on the right track.
1) You have goals
You’d be surprised by how many people drift through life in survival mode without knowing what they want to accomplish.
They’re satisfied with making it through another day, week, or year.
They don’t set goals and take no steps to better themselves.
But not you.
If you at least have a vague idea of what you want to achieve, you’re already ahead of the curve.
And if you actually have a plan to see your dreams come true?
Give yourself some credit.
2) You pursue those goals
So you’re saying that you not only have goals, but you’re actively pursuing them?
Everything worth having takes time, so you can’t expect to get where you want quickly.
Living up to your potential is all about putting in the work. As long as you’re making some sort of headway, you’re golden.
If you want to feel better about yourself, consider breaking that big goal into smaller ones, then celebrating every milestone.
For instance, let’s say you want to write a book. Examples of smaller goals can include:
- Doing the necessary research
- Creating the outline
- Consistently writing 1000 words/day for an entire month (repeat as needed)
- Finishing the first draft
That way, even if you’re just in the outline phase, you’re moving forward.
3) You have a sense of purpose
If you have a sense of purpose, you’re already living up to your potential, even if you don’t realize it.
Purpose is what drives you, motivates you, and enables you to find meaning in life.
There are people who don’t understand why they’re alive and waste their limited time on Earth, aimless and confused.
Thankfully, you’re not one of them. Count your blessings.
4) You question yourself
People change. The dreams you had when you were 5 might not be the ones you have today.
That’s perfectly normal.
I wanted to be a journalist ever since I learned how to read and write. I worked hard and achieved my dream as I was finishing college.
A couple of years in, however, I started to wonder whether that was really what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
While I loved the writing part, I wasn’t sure the profession itself was a good fit for me.
Turns out, I was right. It still took me another couple of years to accept it.
When you want something for such a long time, letting go of the dream feels soul-crushing.
Still, I eventually changed careers, and now I get to write helpful content. This brings me considerably more joy than reporting on the latest gloomy news.
If you’re currently questioning your choices and figuring out what you want, you’re just on the brink of living up to your potential.
Let yourself take the plunge.
5) You’re bored
Living your best life can feel… well, boring.
Achieving greatness is all about consistency, so you’re probably doing the same thing day after day in order to cultivate your skills.
Cutting out toxic people removes drama – and inner peace isn’t particularly “exciting.”
Even a healthy romantic relationship can feel dull at times. When no one is screaming, cheating, or playing mind games, all you’re left with is the good stuff.
If you’re not used to it, you might find yourself longing for the familiar beats of your previous bad relationships.
Here’s the thing: boring is good. Feeling calm and content? Also good.
Let’s take the book writing goal we discussed at number 2.
Writing 1,000 per day takes determination, especially since not all of those words will be winners.
Similarly, there will be days when sitting down to write for a couple of hours will feel monotonous rather than exhilarating.
But you can reach your ultimate goal only by sticking with the habit.
Life can throw you a curveball at any moment.
Enjoy the momentary peace.
6) You occasionally screw up
Living up to your potential doesn’t equal success in everything you try.
It simply means trying in the first place.
If you recently failed at something, congrats! At least you gave yourself permission to take a risk.
As long as you keep trying new things, expanding your horizons, and learning from your mistakes, you’re moving forward.
Failure is progress.
Take it from someone who failed a bunch before building a sustainable freelance career: every poor decision pushed me one step closer to figuring out how to succeed.
This brings me to my next point.
7) You’re open to opportunities
Apathetic people don’t take advantage of the chances coming their way.
They overthink, cower, or lie that they’re fine with their current, unfulfilling circumstances.
It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone because it’s where you feel most at ease.
However, if you’re open to new challenges? You’re living up to your potential without even realizing it.
8) You invest in your health
You can’t meet your own high expectations if you don’t take care of yourself.
Luckily, you understand that, and your daily routine supports your quest for greatness.
You eat well, get enough sleep, and even exercise every once in a while.
Not only that, but you’re managing your mental health and building a solid support system.
You may not comprehend it yet, but you’re doing everything right.
9) You don’t make excuses for yourself
People who fail to realize their potential blame it on anything else.
Other people. Bad luck. Character flaws.
Instead of making progress, they make excuses.
You don’t do that. Instead, you take responsibility for your life and acknowledge that only you can control your trajectory.
It may take a little more time and patience, but you’re well on your way to becoming the best version of yourself.
Living up to your potential involves painstakingly designing a rewarding life.
You can’t do that overnight.
If at least some of the points above apply to you, give yourself a big pat on the back.