1. You learn that you aren’t, and won’t ever be, defined by someone else’s perspective of you.
This is the hardest thing in the world. But when you stop looking to others to define you and shape your story, you realize that people will always have a perspective on who you are and what you’re doing – some supportive, and unfortunately, some not.
But when you start relying on your perceptions of yourself as opposed to others, you realize that what matters most is what you think. And how someone else feels does not need to be a measure of your self-worth or definition.
2. You let go of relationships you cannot control.
Sometimes we rely on others to be our crutch, to carry us when we are burdened, or to shoulder our weight when we can’t find our footing. But when we rely on others for dependence, we let them control and shape our decisions, our emotions, and ultimately, how we live.
When you start to define yourself, you let go of these sometimes toxic relationships. You learn to rid yourself of opinions others have that you are powerless to change. You pull away from people who are holding you back and you give yourself room for healthier, more supportive relationships.
3. You start to see your positives when you look in the mirror, rather than your flaws.
When you are the one who defines yourself, you learn to slowly love yourself. This means looking in the mirror and seeing what you appreciate, rather than what you wish to change.
4. You don’t think of anyone else when you get ready in the morning – you get ready for you.
Sometimes we dress with a certain person in mind. Maybe we want to impress him/her. Maybe we wish to capture his/her attention. Maybe we’re just dressing in a way that we know a specific person will like—this is shaping our appearance for others, not ourselves.
But when you start to validate your own existence, you begin to dress for yourself. You wear something simply because you love it. You don’t pull your hair back because you don’t feel like it. You shrug on a sweatshirt because you want to be comfortable. You shrug on heels and jeans because you love how your legs look in them—you wear what you want because you’re satisfying yourself, not someone else’s desire.
5. You don’t feel the need to check in with friends/family/significant others before making a decision.
Sure, you value the advice and support from those close to you, but you don’t rely on their guidance to shape your life. You are capable of making your own decisions, and you do, without regret or hesitation.
6. You start to enjoy your solo time.
When you validate yourself and your own existence, you have no problem spending time alone. You enjoy your own company, and don’t feel the need to constantly be surrounded by others to have a good time.
7. You smile – at people, when you’re alone, in the mirror.
You start to feel confident—in who you are, in your choices, in your physical self and being. And your smile comes naturally. You feel self-assured. You feel positive. You like who you see in the mirror, flaws and all.
8. You quit pinning your happiness on others.
Your happiness is not defined by others; you don’t feel positive merely because of someone else’s perspective of you. When you feel validated within yourself, you know that you create and define your own happiness—not anyone else.
9. You don’t feel lonely on your own or defined by your relationship.
You are comfortable both being single, or in a committed relationship. You know that your romantic connections, friendships, etc. do not define you. You know that you are whole, even without a significant other or partner, just as you are still your own person when you’re with someone.
10. You compliment yourself, and actually mean it.
You can find pride in the pieces of you that might not be perfect, but are still uniquely yours. You have found a new sense of self in appreciating who you are and what you’ve been given. You have started to regard yourself in a positive light, as opposed to focusing on all that isn’t flawless.
11. You feel confident in your own skin.
Sure, you will have days where you feel weak and defeated, tired and confused. But ultimately, when you seek validation from yourself as opposed to others, you start to feel more secure in the skin you’re in. You start to know your desires, wants, and needs. And you start to live a life that is more well-rounded, positive, and whole.