22 Uncomfortable Signs You’re Challenging Yourself On A Daily Basis

Woman standing in conservatory
Brooke Cagle

1. You pretty much have no idea what you’re doing, every single day. Because on a near-daily basis, you are doing something new or trying something outside of your wheelhouse.   

2. You’re constantly surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you, more talented than you, more developed in their skill than you, etc. You’re not satisfied unless you’re feeling constantly inspired to be better by those around you.

3. You have a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset.

4. You have learned that feeling unsure of yourself means you are doing something to get better or improve yourself, so rather than running away from this kind of feeling, you run towards it.

5. You are out of your comfort zone ten times as often as you are in it.

6. You consistently ask mentors and superiors for feedback, even if (and especially when) you know it will come with intimidating or uncomfortable criticism.

7. You make decisions based on what will be most beneficial for you in the long-term, as opposed to what feels best or easiest right now.

8. You are accustomed to doing things you don’t feel fully prepared for, and you have gotten comfortable with simply trusting that you’ll figure it out along the way.

9. You pay very close attention to when you are actively forcing yourself to engage in much-needed relaxation, and when you are simply procrastinating.

10. You know how to fail, and you fail often.

11. And instead of this failure destroying you, it just fuels you to keep going. It may slow you down for a while, or bum you out, or even break your heart. But failure never stops you from trying again.

12. No matter how hard it hurts or how much pain it causes, you still manage to look at failure as a learning opportunity – as a way for you to further get to know yourself, understand yourself, and understand how this will make you better and stronger next time.

13. You have specific goals for yourself every single day, no matter how small or trivial they may feel in the moment.

14. You find familiarity easy and comforting, but never invigorating.

15. You are not afraid of admitting when you don’t know something. In fact, you are quite comfortable with it, because you know it brings you one step closer to learning something new or becoming just a little bit better.

16. You do your best to be very conscious of and wary of criticizing or gossiping about others – because you know it usually means you’re projecting something you’re insecure about within yourself.

17. You are way more afraid of plateauing than you are of failing.

18. In your mind, ‘good enough’ is no different than ‘not good enough.’ You are never satisfied with ‘good enough.’

19. You try every single day to find happiness in little present moments, because you’ve learned that there’s never going to be a moment when you simply reach your destination and no longer need to grow.

20. You are very much okay with talking about those things you need to improve on. And being okay with it doesn’t mean you like talking about your shortcomings, it just means you know how to address them in a healthy and productive way.

21. You ask yourself the hard questions – does this matter in the long run? am I just trying to take the easy way out? will this be a temporary distraction or will this actually make me better? does this challenge me? does being challenged by this bring me joy?

22. You have found that you’ve grown to love the process just as much as (or even more than) the outcome. 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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