10 traits of people who are always at peace with themselves

If there’s one thing in life that’s beyond any price tag, it’s being at peace with yourself. You can’t get it with a swipe of your credit card, nor will it instantly appear when you’ve finally reached all your life goals. 

The truth is, it’s an inside job, and like any inside job, it’s not easy to do. 

But as someone who has done the work and continues to do so every single day, let me tell you, it’s worth every ounce of effort you put into it.

In this article, let’s take a look at ten traits of people who are always at peace with themselves. 

I hope you’ll recognize them in yourself to assure yourself you’re on the right track. And if not, well then, there’s no time like the present!

1) Self-acceptance

As with all things related to inner work, we begin with the self. This is the first hallmark of people who are at peace with themselves

The reality is, no amount of makeup or bespoke suits can cover up our insecurities. Although they might help divert attention away from our flaws at first, in time, people will see us for who we are. 

And if we’re terrified of that, that means we haven’t accepted ourselves yet, at least not our imperfections. 

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around it – unless we embrace all of ourselves, strengths, weaknesses, quirks and all…we can’t be at peace. There will always be a certain fear of rejection and failure. 

If this is something you’re struggling with, it might be good to think about yourself as a friend. Talk to yourself the way you would a good friend – kindly and compassionately. 

When you do this consistently, you change the script in your head. You’re no longer the “idiot”, the “black sheep”, the “weird one,” and whatever other labels you’ve attached to yourself. 

You’ll be who you really are, someone who messes up every now and then, but who’s a lovable and loving person anyway. 

However, changing this internal dialogue calls for another trait…

2) Mindfulness

If we’re not aware of how we think, those labels and negative thoughts can be left unaddressed. Before we know it, they’re running around like toddlers in a playground, leaving sticky handprints and messy footprints everywhere. 

Take your cue from people who’ve figured out a secret to inner peace: mindfulness

They are fully present in each moment, mindful of their surroundings and their feelings. That way, they can stop negative thoughts in their tracks and focus on the positive instead. 

No obsessing over the past or worrying about the future, either. People at peace with themselves are all about being in the here and now. 

Here are a few ways you can incorporate mindfulness in your life: 

  • Practice mindful eating. Savor your food, appreciate the colors, textures, and tastes instead of gobbling it all down like it’s your last meal. 
  • Do a body scan. Lie down, close your eyes, and mentally scan your body from your toes to the top of your head. Pay attention to how each part feels. 
  • Or just focus on your breath! Notice how it feels as it enters your nose, fills your lungs, and then leaves your body. This one has saved me many times in my overly anxious moments. 

And my personal favorite: Engage all your senses in whatever you’re doing. 

For example, when I’m doing pottery, I soak in the sensation of the putty in my fingers, the whirring of the wheel, the bright orange color of the clay…

When I’m washing the dishes, I focus on the warmth of the water, the smell of the liquid soap, the satisfying sight of the suds washing away…

These might seem like little things, but trust me, they go a long way in instilling an inner peace within us!

3) Emotional intelligence

Having high emotional intelligence (EQ) is another key characteristic of peaceful individuals. They have a deep understanding of their emotions, and they don’t let these feelings control their actions. 

Instead, they handle emotions – both their own and others’ – with grace and understanding. 

That’s why, no matter how chaotic things may seem around them, they’re the picture of tranquility. 

4) Gratitude

Thanks to their mindfulness and emotional intelligence, people who are at peace with themselves can more easily spot the good in a bad situation. 

For me, this is one of the biggest reasons why I’ve become much more serene than I used to be. Before, when things didn’t go my way, I’d wallow in blame and self-pity, sometimes even crossing over to feeling like a victim. 

But when I started being more intentional about looking for the silver lining, I discovered that there’s so much to be thankful for. 

And you know what? The simple pleasures are where it’s at. The smell of coffee in the morning. The way my purple oxalis opens its leaves when sunlight hits it. The way my dog melts into my arms when I scratch his ears.

Now I no longer look to the big-ticket items to make me feel happy and peaceful. Why wait for those when all around me are tiny things that pack a wallop of joy? 

5) Humility

This is something that comes naturally when you learn to be more positive and grateful. 

Somehow, seeing the world through a lens of hope and optimism leaves us with a subconscious understanding that there’s so much out there that’s bigger than us. 

That there’s so much we don’t know. So much we have yet to learn. 

People who are at peace with themselves have this attitude, which is why they have a humble spirit. And that carries over to the way they interact with others. 

They recognize that everyone has their own unique strengths and that we’re all a part of something much larger than ourselves. 

This kind of perspective tends to go hand in hand with inner peace. After all, it’s hard to be truly at peace when you’re constantly comparing yourself to others or trying to prove you’re the “best.”

They’re okay with not being the best, as long as they are themselves. Which leads me to my next point…

6) Authenticity

This ties into self-acceptance in a big way. When you accept who you are, you’re not afraid to be vulnerable. To be authentic and live according to your values. 

That’s why you’ll never see peaceful people trying to conform to others’ expectations. They live their truth, and this integrity breeds a deep-seated sense of peace and satisfaction. 

So, if you’ve found yourself trapped in a cycle of people-pleasing, it’s time to let go of that. Dare to be yourself, and you’ll discover the freedom and peace of mind it brings. 

7) Independence

The wonderful thing about authenticity is that it leads you to this next trait – independence and self-reliance

After all, when you no longer rely on other people’s approval, you can make your own decisions in life. You don’t have to depend on others for your happiness. 

In fact, if you’ve got people in your life who disturb your peace, you can find the courage to cut yourself loose and live life on your own terms. 

I was once in that spot, and once I decided to go the authentic route, I realized how much energy I was wasting, how much headspace I was giving to those who didn’t deserve it. 

So I stopped allowing them to disturb my peace, and I’ve never looked back. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “No one can hurt me without my permission.” 

8) A strong moral compass

Ever been torn between two tough choices? Or felt lost or stuck in life? I think we’ve all felt that way at one point or another. 

But for people who are at peace with themselves, making tough decisions is, well, less tough. You know why? 

Because of their strong moral compass

It’s what gives them a sense of direction and acts as a guide when they have to make difficult decisions. They think about how each choice aligns with their core beliefs and principles. 

If it doesn’t, out it goes. It’s that simple. It’s the reason why they can sleep soundly at night, their conscience undisturbed. 

9) A clear aspiration

What kind of person do you want to be? This is a question that people who are at peace with themselves always have at the back of their minds. 

They have a clear vision, a definite goal of being a better person – kinder, more generous, whatever their definition of being at peace means. 

For instance, if they’ve encountered a rude person, they would feel the urge to lash out just like anyone else. But that vision – who they want to be – would likely stop them from doing that and help them rise above. 

So, if you aren’t doing this yet, start visualizing what you’d like to be. There’s an old quote that encapsulates this so well: “When things change inside you, things change around you.” 

And that’s definitely going to increase your inner peace a thousandfold! 

10) The ability to let go of control

Finally, we get to the trait that really shines in people who are at peace with themselves. There’s no one word I can think of to describe it, but it comes down to a certain acceptance of what they can and can’t control. 

Think about it: when do your most troubled moments occur? Chances are, they happen when you want things to go a certain way and they don’t, right? 

Look, life is unpredictable. And trying to control every aspect of it is just useless. Not to mention exhausting. 

But when we let go of the need for control, we free ourselves of a heavy burden. Instead of fighting against a situation, we do what we can and leave it at that. 

It requires a certain insouciance, a certain zest for life so that whatever happens, we can still find joy in it. 

And perhaps, this is what this all boils down to – to be at peace with ourselves is to embrace the unpredictability of life with grace. 

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