50 Signs You’ve Already Had Way More Success In Your Twenties Than You Realize


1. You’ve experienced failure, and you’ve learned that it doesn’t kill you.

2. You’ve asked for help when you needed it, even if it made you feel small or uncomfortable.

3. You’ve spent time trying to simply focus on how lucky you are to be alive.

4. You’ve gone through heartbreak, and whether you are fully over it now or are still healing, you’ve learned that you are so much stronger than you ever could have guessed.

5. You’ve put a lot of effort into being a really good friend.

6. And you’ve apologized and tried to make amends when you were a bad one.

7. You’ve figured out how to find beauty amidst pain.

8. You’ve heard about a job that was way out of your comfort zone or experience, and you applied anyway.

9. You’ve gotten out of bed on days where getting out of bed felt like the most impossible thing in the world.

10. You’ve done good and noble things, and kept these things to yourself.

11. You’ve stood up for yourself to someone who wasn’t treating you the way you deserved to be treated, whether it was a friend or a romantic partner or a coworker or a boss. You knew that you deserved better, and you demanded it.

12. You’ve begun to understand that putting other people down truly doesn’t make you feel any better about yourself.

13. And you’ve learned that although it can feel really good in the moment, it often leaves you feeling really disappointed in yourself a few minutes later.

14. You’ve learned that showing up can often be half the battle, and you’ve done it many times, regardless of how intimidated you felt.

15. You’ve learned to stop letting tiny, little things frustrate you.

16. And even if you’ve gotten frustrated in the moment – because you’re human – you’ve learned how to feel the anger, let it wash over you, and then to let it go and keep walking.

17. You’ve put energy towards continuing your education, whether that’s school or an art class or a reading a book each month or anything else that’s helped you think outside of your normal parameters.

18. You’ve made an effort to accept that you’re not perfect, even if it’s an ongoing process.

19. You’ve stopped blaming other people for your problems, no matter how much easier it is.

20. You’ve discovered that it’s really hard to not care what other people think.

21. But you’ve also discovered that caring what other people think doesn’t have to stop you from doing things that matter to you – it just makes it a little more intimidating, and you’ve just learned to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

22. You’ve made mistakes, and you’ve learned how to forgive yourself.

23. You’ve had others in your life make mistakes, and you’ve learned how to forgive them.

24. You’ve stopped apologizing for having emotions. You’ve learned to feel them, to work through them, and to be okay with the fact that sometimes you’re going to be unsteady.

25. You’ve healed from the dissolution of certain friendship – friendships that you thought would last a lifetime.

26. And whether it was an ugly friend breakup or a passive one or just a sad one, you’ve figured out how to make peace with it and how to seek out the kinds of friends who will give back to you the kind of love you give to them.

27. You’ve begun to fall in love with people’s souls, in both romantic and platonic ways.

28. You’ve started taking social media with a grain of salt, even though the seemingly-perfect lives of your peers can eat at you once in a while. You’ve learned that this is a human way to feel and that it’s okay sometimes, as long as you don’t dwell on it or let yourself get caught up in unnecessary jealousy.

29. You’ve learned that everything really does feel impossible… until it’s not.

30. You’ve obeyed the right rules and ignored the stupid ones.

31. You’ve continued looking, even if you haven’t found That One Thing you really care about yet.

32. You’ve learned to say ‘no’ when you need to.

33. You’ve also learned how to not be afraid to say ‘yes’ when you want to.

34. You’ve adapted the mindset of always doing things instead of always talking about doing things.  

35. You’ve learned how to say good night to a bad day and how to start a new one fresh.

36. You’ve found joy in creating beautiful things.

37. You’ve fallen in love with your own company.

38. You’ve learned that regrets and ‘what ifs’ are way scarier than failure.

39. Your favorite things have become the ones you don’t need money for: laughter, friendships, pretty views, creativity, long walks.

40. You’ve learned to like what you like, regardless of whether or not it’s cool.

41. You’ve asked for raises that you knew you deserved.

42. You’ve started apologizing for the things you should apologize for.

43. And you’ve stopped apologizing for the things that you shouldn’t feel sorry about.

44. You’ve learned to say thank you as much as possible.

45. You’ve found joy in doing kind things for other people, especially if it doesn’t benefit you in any way whatsoever.

46. You’ve done the harder thing, even when you felt the opposite of brave.

47. You’ve made more of an effort to look people in the eye.

48. You’ve experienced how freeing it can be to do things without asking for other people’s permission or validation.

49. You’ve taken a scary leap for things that really mattered to you.

50. You’ve loved – fearlessly, nervously, intensely, fully, wholeheartedly, uncertainly, wonderfully, imperfectly. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

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.

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