1. You’re working towards something that isn’t paying off right away.
There is a significant difference between struggling to keep up with our day-to-day lives and struggling towards a place that we know we want to get to. The first is a futile battle. The second is a meaningful progression towards the lives that we’re worthy of. Even if our hard work isn’t immediately paying off, investing in our future fills our lives with meaning. We are happiest when we are growing — even if that growth happens slowly.
2. You have recently failed at something.
Let’s not sugar-coat failure — it feels like shit. None of us want to be experiencing setbacks but the only thing worse than failing at something is having nothing to fail at at all. If you’re failing, it means you are trying to achieve something — and at the end of the day, it is our drive for achievement that pushes us the furthest forward, not any one individual triumph or defeat.
3. You have bad days.
Everyone occasionally has days where they feel like they’re amounting to nothing. The key is realizing that these days come and go, and they are not indicative of your overall worth as a person. The more secure you are in yourself, the less your self-esteem fluctuates with circumstance — and the more you are able to write off your bad days as just that.
4. You are stressed out about something.
Stress is a natural reaction to the feeling that our resources are threatened. If we are experiencing this response it means that we have something in our lives — however small — that is worth protecting. Something worth waking up for in the morning and fighting with fervor to maintain. Stress in abundance can be hindering but a moderate amount is healthy — it keeps us tuned in to what matters.
5. You are asking for help.
It takes guts to ask for help because in doing so you’re telling someone “I want to try.” And that is never an easy thing to do. Asking for help means you are taking accountability for the changes you want to make. This is a bold move that forces us forwards — away from a past where we’re frozen, and into a future where we don’t have to carry the whole burden alone.
6. You are saying “no.”
Being able to assert what you don’t want means you have some sort of grasp on what you do. We all have to find the strength eventually to close the doors we don’t want to walk through and move away from the parts of our lives that don’t grow us. It begins with saying “no” when we mean it. It leaves room to say “yes” when it matters.
7. You feel accountable for your own happiness.
You aren’t waiting for a person, a time, or a circumstance to come along and save you. You know that happiness stems from living a meaningful life and you’re in the process of cultivating that life for yourself. You don’t have to be there yet. You just have to recognize that whatever you want for yourself you’re going to have to create — and you are ready to put in that effort.