10 Signs You’re More Successful Than You Think You Are (Even If You Don’t Have Your Dream Career Yet)

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1. You know how to support yourself and explore your passions at the same time. 

So maybe you haven’t found your dream career yet. Maybe you’re debating if you want to go to grad school or take up coding or become a graphic designer or get into another creative field. And even if it’s nowhere close to what you’re doing now, you work hard to maintain a living and pay your bills while you figure out what it is that you truly want to do with your life.

2. You make a conscious effort to continue your education every day, even just in small ways. 

Reading an actual book every once in a while, paying close attention during election season, trying out informational tours around your city, watching eye-opening documentaries. You’re always challenging yourself to keep learning and keep broadening your limits of knowledge.

3. You can make rational choices between multiple things that you want, in order to maintain your budget. 

You’re mature enough to understand that when you’re working with a decent but relatively limiting budget, you can’t just have everything you want at all times. If you’d really like to go visit your friend out in California, you know how to channel your energy into cutting out other temporary luxuries, such as pricey takeout food for lunch, or taking the bus instead of calling an uber.

4. You have some sort of clue of what’s going on in the world around you. 

Regardless of the fact that there is a lot to keep up with, you’re always making sure you’re at least somewhat educated on the major events occurring around you, as well as the things going on nowhere near you.

5. You give it your all at work, even if you know that whatever job you are currently doing is never going to be your true calling. 

Even if you know you won’t be here in a year or a month or, hell, even a week – you show up every day ready to contribute something and to be a source of help (and even pleasantness) to the people around you.

6. You’re kind and respectful to everyone you encounter, regardless of whether they’re your boss, an intern, a coworker, or the barista making your coffee.

You believe, and act, like everyone you meet deserves to be treated with the same amount of respect and dignity, instead of just ‘turning on a switch’ when you’re around someone who could promote you or give you a raise or be of some use to you.

7. You’re never satisfied with mediocrity. 

In your work. In your love life. In your friendships. In your overall happiness and everything you do, you refuse to walk through life like you’re sleep walking.

8. You turn to your parents for advice, instead of just hoping they’ll solve your problems. 

When you’re seriously dreading going to work tomorrow, or are panicked about a huge assignment, or worried about some major stress source in your life, you call your parents not to be coddled and babied, but because you know they’ll give you the pep talk you need to suck it up and keep showing up, no matter how nervous or uncomfortable you are.

9. You’re constantly making an effort to improve yourself in small ways, because you understand they have a lasting effect. 

Conditioning yourself to remember people’s names after the first time they say it. Making eye contact. Reading something other than your Facebook feed. Saying thank you. Being a team player. You understand that as forgettable and ‘everyday’ as these things may seem, they are developing you into the kind of person that people want to be with, have friendships with, work with, and spend time with.

10. You know how to own up to your mistakes or weaknesses. 

You understand that nobody’s perfect. You know that avoiding your areas of weakness or insecurity just means that you’ll never improve yourself. As uncomfortable as it makes you, you’re always looking for helpful feedback or advice on how you can become better in all aspects of your life. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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