1. ‘Figuring out who you are’ has stopped feeling like an obsessive and stressful end-goal for you.
2. Now, you look at the ‘who am I’ question as more of a process that you work on – and will work on – every single day, for the rest of your life.
3. You can face your own insecurities head-on and acknowledge when they are having a negative impact on your relationships, your choices, and your decision-making.
4. You’ve become more cognizant of your own fear, and you understand how to deal with it.
5. Meaning that you’ve stopped feeling weak or ashamed for experiencing fear, and instead spend all your time figuring out how to keep moving and keep doing things, no matter how scared or intimidated you are.
6. You’ve become comfortable doing things that you want to do, rather than things that everybody else makes you think you should do – even if that just means going home to decompress and watch Netflix instead of going to that big party.
7. You can hear others’ ideas that you absolutely disagree with and still feel capable of having a functional, respectful, and openminded conversation with them.
8. You understand yourself a little more today than you did yesterday, last month, and last year.
9. And rather than feeling stressed out by it, you love the fact that ‘learning more about yourself’ is a really slow, steady, and complex experience.
10. You’ve stopped asking or hoping that others will make decisions for you.
11. Instead, you’ve carved out a little pocket of people you truly love, admire, and trust, and you’ve learned how to seek their advice when making a decision – but without desperately depending on the advice or needing those people’s permission to do something.
12. You don’t care if your passions or hobbies are cool; you just do them because they make you happy.
13. You’ve been a good friend to someone who really needed you, even if they were previously a bad friend to you.
14. But you’ve also learned how to make time for the friendships that are even, balanced, and healthy, and how to move on from the ‘friendships’ that only make you feel awful and anxious.
15. You’re less quick to make instantaneous judgments now.
16. Even if you’re convinced that you’ve just met someone you instantly dislike, you still challenge yourself to keep your mind open and your perspective flexible until you have a better understanding of where they’re coming from.
17. When your friends ask you for your honest advice or opinion, even if it’s painful, you always make sure to tell them the truth, as supportively and encouragingly as you can.
18. You’ve made a serious effort to be more conscious of the amount of time that you spend staring at a screen.
19. You have a healthy relationship with money, in the sense that you are responsible and respectful with it but are not obsessed with it to the point that it’s detrimental or destructive to your life.
20. You feel like the way that you socialize is dramatically changing, in a good way.
21. Meaning that lately, you suddenly crave more real and genuine connections that contain a lot of depth, rather than feeling a ton of pressure to have an extraordinary amount of ‘friends.’
22. You’ve went through more than one failure (probably many) and have learned that even though it feels awful, you still come out on the other side, alive and breathing and ready to keep going.
23. You’ve become the kind of person who shows up – to a job interview, to a date, to work the day after your boss yelled at you – regardless of how scared or uneasy you might feel.
24. You take your mental health very seriously, and are always doing whatever you can to help yourself when you’re having a difficult time, whether that’s simply getting enough sleep, or talking things out with a good friend, or going to therapy when you feel like you need some professional help.
25. You can find joy in your time alone with yourself, doing whatever it is that makes you happy and content.
26. You ask people for what you want, but only when you’ve worked hard and believe you actually deserve it.
27. You still struggle with comparing your life to the lives of others – but you get better at it every day.
28. You’ve become comfortable with being uncomfortable – in new jobs, in social situations, in a new city, in a tough conversation with a friend or a partner.
29. It’s not that you enjoy conflict or adversity or that you try to make these things part of your life – it’s that you stick to your gut and you go after what you believe is right for you, even if it makes you feel out of your comfort zone.
30. You make an effort to learn something every single day – whether that’s in school, in an after-work class, at work itself, in a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to, or wherever else there is knowledge waiting to be absorbed.
31. You’ve stopped being afraid of your own mistakes.
32. Instead, you’ve learned to acknowledge them, take responsibility for them, fix them in whatever way you can, and then move on.
33. You can say ‘no’ (when it’s necessary).
34. And you’re getting better and better at not feeling guilty about it.
35. Making other people feel happy or accepted has become one of your greatest highs.
36. You get so much more joy out of being excited about things than you do out of trying to be ‘casual’ or detached.
37. You are as thankful for the tiny, little things as you are for the big things.
38. You care more about being real than you do about being liked.
39. Your accomplishments are very important to you, but you have grown to be much more concerned with what kind of person you are over what kind of successes you’ve had.
40. Somedays you feel really confident about yourself, some days you feel completely lost – but no matter what, you always get out of bed every single day and keep going.