Thought Catalog Agency

10 Concrete Signs You’re Successful (Even If You Feel Like A Hot Mess)

While success doesn’t just look any one way, many of us still feel like we aren’t measuring up and living the life we should be living because of society’s very narrow definition of what it means to be successful.

After all, we’re constantly told that success does look one way, and that way is in the form of 4 AM wakeup calls, a six-figure paycheck, abs, a spouse, kids, and a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs. And for those of us whose lives don’t align with these standards of “success,” it’s easy to start feeling like failures. Like we aren’t enough.

But here’s the truth: we’re not failures and we are more than enough. But in case you need more convincing, here are 10 signs you’re successful (even if you still feel like a hot mess).

1. You’re holding down a job (even if you don’t necessarily love it).

Even though it may not be your dream job, you still show up to the office on time anyway. You meet your deliverables. You get your sh*t done and done well. Not only does this shows discipline and character but it also shows a firm grasp on reality. Because the truth of the matter is that we need a job in order to live. This is just a fact of being a person of society in 2023. You understand that sometimes, a job is simply a means to pay the bills and doesn’t define you. And that’s enough if you allow it to be.

Of course, there are absolutely situations when a job can become unhealthy. And if that’s the case…

2. You’re working on changing the aspects of your life that aren’t working.

For example, you’re applying to new roles so you can leave that toxic work environment. Or maybe you’re paying down credit card debt, even if it’s the minimum payment. Or perhaps you’re in therapy so you can strive towards healing. These are all signs of success because it show a commitment to growth and improvement, not to mention taking responsibility for yourself and your life. You’re refusing to be a bystander in your own existence and this is amazing.

3. You’ve been rejected.

Rejection shows you’re going after what you want. Rejection is proof you tried and evidence you cared so much about someone or something that you were willing to put it all on the line and get hurt.

4. You may not love yourself yet, but you definitely like yourself more than you used to.

Progress is progress! Self-love is a lifelong journey for many of us, and if you’re starting to feel even an inch of more compassion for yourself? That’s a victory. Keep going.

5. There are some people who definitely don’t like you.

Good. This means that you’re living more authentically. You’ve stopped hiding behind the mask of who you think you should be and are showing up as you actually are. You are not for everyone, just as not everyone is for you. That’s okay.

6. You have at least one friend you could call for support.

As a human being, you’re literally made to connect with other human beings. You’re meant to foster closeness with other people. And if you even can say you have even one good friend, you’re doing exactly what you are made to do.

7. You’re outgrowing relationships.

Not every single friendship or relationship can last forever. As you grow more and more into yourself, you will find that some relationships are no longer aligned with who you are or where you’re going. Some people are just a stop along the way and it’s best to treat them as such. This doesn’t mean the relationship didn’t matter or that it was a waste of time; it simply means it’s time to move on.

8. There are “bad” habits you want to break.

For example, maybe you want to be more active after work instead of vegging out on the couch watching Netflix until bedtime. Or perhaps you have a tendency to scroll through your phone for the first hour of your day upon waking. Or it could be that you’re struggling with a bad case of road rage on your commute.

Awareness that there are things you need to work on to improve your overall sense of wellbeing is a good thing. There’s no sense in shaming yourself for falling into the bad habits or patterns. Simply being aware that they may not be serving you is the first step to breaking those habits in the first place. Besides, how boring would life be if you were “perfect” from the start? It’s okay to need to improve. This is how you grow.

9. You feel like you’re having more uncomfortable conversations than usual.

But this is only because you’re finally setting boundaries and standing up for yourself in a way you haven’t before. Even though this can cause discomfort, and maybe even a little conflict within your relationships, this doesn’t mean that what you’re communicating is “wrong.” It is merely part of having healthier, more sincere relationships.

10. When you really think about it, you wouldn’t live a life other than the one you’re living.

Deep down, you don’t want to be someone who has to wake up before the sun does. You love your studio apartment that you’ve adorned with peel-and-stick wallpaper. Your dog is the only baby you want. Isn’t that was success is? Living a life that feels like yours?

Exactly. Give yourself more credit. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be and doing just fine.