If you ever want to know whether you’re growing as a person, observe your reactions to the teeny-weeny daily situations. Like your cell phone going flat when you’re expecting a phone call. Or how you speak to someone immediately after you’ve disagreed with another person.
These little clues are mirrors, showing you hues and shades of your personality that you’d not normally see. It’s these little clues that signify how much you’ve changed, that you’re shedding your former self and inventing a version.
For example, you know you’ve changed when you’re not afraid of looking stupid. You also know you’ve changed because…
1. You’re developing claws.
You’re letting yourself meander a bit to see what else is new out there. You’re not afraid to challenge yourself, like traveling solo, moving to a new country, or quitting an addiction. You’re no longer intimidated by people. You see us for who we are: A bunch of insecure humans who are just winging it.
You’re willing to start afresh in your career even though all you can see is a mountain of uncertainty on the horizon. You’re ready for new love because you finally see your freaking awesomeness and worth. Your self-imposed rules are out with the trash, and you’re writing some pretty cool ones.
2. Your priorities have changed.
What you loved doing last year doesn’t interest you anymore. You dress for comfort, not to impress. The books you read and shows you binged on no longer fascinate you. You’ve swapped them with more insightful and engaging stuff that will have a lasting effect on your future.
You’ll take a coffee date with your mates any day over an all-nighter. You’d rather Netflix and chill than do after-parties. Slipping into your nighties and jumping to a bed with clean linen is your favorite thing to do at the day’s end.
3. You no longer see life as black and white.
You understand there’s a lot that happens in the gray area. There are ideals you don’t understand and never will, and you don’t even need to because they don’t affect your life directly in any way. Your perspective has changed.
You know you’ll never fully understand the way people live, the things they do. You know it’s not your place to judge because what others do is based on their backgrounds and experiences.
4. The people who used to make you mad don't make you mad anymore.
You can step aside and watch their drama unfold from a distance. You no longer take the bait of their negative energy.
The days of going neck-deep with their toxicity are a thing of the past. Zero chills. You know what matters to you, so you focus on that instead.
5. You don’t take your cue from the 'gram.
You no longer spend hours fixated on the screens of your devices because you understand there are better ways of utilizing your valuable time. What others post on social media has little effect on how you feel and see yourself. You know there’s always more than meets the eye.
Therefore, you never translate what you see to be the ultimate reality. You know you’re responsible for your own life and destiny. And the answers you seek aren’t out there but deep within you.
6. You understand people only change when they want to.
You don’t spend your energy trying to make people see or do what you think is right. You nudge them towards the right direction, but you don’t set camp waiting for them to change. You understand that everyone should be responsible for their actions.
You don’t step in to save them each time they go off the rails because you know it enables them. You’re quick to realize that people change only if they want to.
7. Your money is no longer just money.
You understand your financial strength lies squarely in your hands. You no longer buy things you don’t need just because they are trendy or you feel like spending. You teach yourself the basics of investing, saving, and budgeting. You no longer see your money as just money.
You see it as seeds that can grow and multiply. You no longer think wealth is for a select few. You work hard to change your beliefs about money and to develop a good relationship with it.
8. You no longer circle the mountain.
Of past mistakes. Of limiting beliefs. Of old dreams. Of harsh judgment. Of self-loathing. Of unrealistic expectations. You no longer circle the mountain of regrets. You’re in love with your flawed side because you know there’s something to be learned there.
It makes you accommodate other people’s imperfections too. You understand that letting go of pain means you’re growing. When you mess up, you dust yourself off and keep it moving. Pronto.
9. You look up but don’t stay down.
You know that thinking about what people think about you gives them power and the right to influence you. So you put them in the proper perspective. You look up to mentors, but you also work on rising as a person knowing that you’ll stay down if you look up to them for too long.
You also know people will accept you only after you accept yourself. They will treat you how you treat yourself. Because you know they’re always watching, you maintain your power and treat yourself with the respect and dignity you know you deserve.
10. You’re grabbing every rope.
You’re asking questions from those who know the ropes. You’re reading, watching, and listening to tons of fantastic content to push you forward in life.
You’re grabbing every rope to pull yourself out of the darkness of ignorance because you finally realize that those who are ahead of you aren’t that much different from you.
They’re just a little bit wiser. You’re doing your best to catch up. But you also know…
11. You’re your only competition.
Because life isn’t a race. You know it’s not so much about the end game as it is the journey. Not so much the outcome but the process because that’s where real growth happens. You’re trudging along at your pace, knowing you can only control yourself. No one else.
So you only compete with yourself, not your mates, colleagues, or the influencers. You’re busy doing you.
12. You’re okay sitting with your pain.
You don’t numb negative emotions because you know they tell you something you need to know. You’re okay with feelings of discontentment because you know that they carry the wind of change. You know that in the cycle of life, beautiful things come from painful places.
So you sit. You listen to the whispers of your heart for as long as you need to, knowing that you’re onto something good.
13. You differentiate the wheat from the chaff.
All along, you’ve known what you want. But you’ve grown in depth, and you now know what you don’t want and are less willing to put up with it.
Knowing what you don’t want has helped you focus all your energy on what you want. You’re loving this.
14. You know what is right should feel easy.
You’re no longer nailing yourself on the cross chasing dreams that only seem to get further away from you the closer you get to them. Of course, you’re grinding and hustling like there’s no tomorrow. Obviously, like a raging bull, you’re fighting for the things you want to own.
But you also know the right things should feel easy, and it’s crazy to do the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. You’re willing to re-evaluate your options, see a different angle. You’re willing to dust your shoulders off and walk away if it comes to it.
Do any of these changes resonate? Congratulations! You’re not the person you used to be. You’re shedding your former self and inventing a new version.
You’re adapting and coming to yourself. You’re on the right track because there’s nothing like stagnation in the cycle of life. If you’re not growing, you’re rotting away.
— Leah Njoki
What's your no. 1 piece of advice for tracking personal growth? Leave your answer in the comments to help other FGB’ers.