1. When you’re so scared of doing something that you feel nauseous, instead of brave.
Because it means that you’re putting yourself out there and learning how to deal with fear, instead of sitting on the sidelines like most people. The ’nauseous’ part just means you’re a human – no one feels 100% brave when they’re doing something scary, not even the most successful or admirable people you constantly compare yourself to.
2. When you walk away from a toxic relationship.
Because being single is hard, but spending your life trapped in a relationship that makes you feel miserable and unloved and unlike yourself is a million times harder (and scarier).
3. When your boss gives you constructive criticism.
Because it means they see you as an important asset to the company and are willing to spend time teaching you how to continue to get better. They obviously think you have potential, otherwise they would have just let you go instead of wasting their time.
4. When you seek help for anxiety, or depression, or anything else that’s affecting your mental health.
Because the fact that you were brave enough to admit you needed help is an incredible thing. Understanding the importance of your mental health and wellness is a crucial aspect of adulthood, and the more you learn to not feel ashamed of these struggles – that many people go through – the better your life will be.
5. When some of your friendships have been replaced with new ones.
Because this is not a bad thing – it doesn’t make you a bad friend, it doesn’t mean you and your ‘old’ friend had a falling out or that you’re not friends anymore. It just means that you’re growing as a person – you’re changing and learning and discovering new sides of yourself and new sides of your life, and your friendships are reflecting that.
6. When you apologize for a mistake you’ve made.
Because it shows that, unlike a lot of people, you have the gift of self-awareness and are strong enough to apologize, to be hard on yourself, and to know when you have to fix something.
7. When you feel insecure or unsteady at work.
Because it means you’re still in a challenging environment, you’ve avoided the pit of mediocrity that a lot of people fall into in their careers, and you’re present enough in your own life to realize that there’s something making you feel uneasy and that you need to address it.
8. When you’re not posting as many photos and sharing as much stuff online as your friends are.
Because, whether you realize it or not, it usually means you’re focused on your real, actual life in the moment. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your life is incredible right now or that you are a better person than your friends – but it’s a good sign that, whether you’re happy or unhappy, you’re more focused on what’s happening right in front of you.
9. When you feel alone in a new city.
Because how many people are brave enough to move to a new city? Human instinct is to adapt, and even though you feel completely out of sorts and upside down right now, you are tougher than you think and more capable than you know – and even if it doesn’t become your lifelong home in the end, you will feel so happy and at peace with the fact that you tried it.
10. When you discover a new hobby that you love, but you suck at it.
Because trying new things that bring you joy and wonder is so much better than going home after work every night and sitting on your couch like a zombie for a few hours until it’s time for bed. And besides, some of the most talented people in the world initially sucked in their respective fields, until they put some effort into it. You can be the same way.
11. When you get out of bed on a day that it feels nearly impossible to do so.
Because, when you think of every success you’ve ever had in the past, and you truly break it down, it really does emerge from a series of tiny, seemingly insignificant choices that ended up completely changing your whole life.