1. When losing a friendship doesn’t mean you have gained an enemy.
As you grow up and mature and find your own path, what you’ll begin to realize that some people from your past just don’t fit into your future. Maybe it’s you merely drift apart, walking away with that knowledge and acceptance. Maybe you have a falling out and realize one or both of you just can’t fit into each other’s life like you used. And even if it breaks your heart to lose someone, you don’t go down the route of holding it against them. You’re still their fan and want what is best for them, but you also want what is best for yourself, and they aren’t that person anymore.
2. When you realize you don’t have to be your best self to be happy.
Many people get into this mindset of I’ll be happy when…but the happy when mindset sets you up for getting that thing and it not being enough. When you realize that attaching happiness to something concrete will only put you in the negative habit of continually chasing the next thing and not enjoying the moment, you’ll get so tired of it. Your best self is the person you are right now who learns to be happy with whom they are, where they are enjoying this very moment.
3. When you realize you aren’t in competition with the person next to you.
It’s easy to get caught up in what so many people are doing, especially when social media platforms act like a movie preview to everyone’s best highlight reels. But the only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were last week, last month, one year ago, and if you’ve grown from there, that’s something to be proud of. You are both your greatest competition and have the ability to be your loudest cheerleader, and your only goal should be self-improvement.
4. When you don’t put other people down to build yourself up.
You realize your greatest strength is building others up around you and showing them the potential they don’t see in themselves. It’s seeing something good in someone else and acknowledging it.
5. When you realize not every situation warrants a response.
Emotionally strong people have the ability to identify what kinds of situations and other people deserve their time and energy. It’s coming across someone or something that could drain you or waste your time and have enough self-respect to walk away from it.
6. When a relationship or opportunity ends, you value what was without holding too tightly to what isn’t anymore.
This is sometimes difficult because whenever something ends, there is always a mourning period and sad feelings associated with it. Respect that. But in endings, there is always opportunity. And if something ended, it’s because it wasn’t meant for you, and you probably knew that in your heart. But what will change your life is your ability to take time investing in your future instead of mourning the past.
7. When your relationship compliments you and doesn’t complete you.
It’s realizing, ‘I love my partner. They make my life better, but they aren’t my whole life or all of who I am.’
8. When looking back at your past choices, you’re filled with empathy instead of anger.
You realize you were young and dumb once, and you did the best with what you had. It’s realizing ‘if I could go back and change XYZ, I would,’ and that’s a great thing.
9. When you realize your job is just a job.
Even if you love your job, you know you are just a part of a company’s success or business. It’s knowing what you bring to a team and the confidence that if something were to change, you could still apply yourself and your experience elsewhere.
While a career might take up a lot of your time, you know what is most important is your family.
10. When you no longer feel the need to engage in gossip.
People will gossip no matter what age they are, but it stops at you.
11. When you replace honest conversations with yourself instead of excuses.
Often the excuses we make for things are what we don’t want bad enough or the things we don’t think we deserve. It’s easy to avoid that conversation and get busy and distracted. In those honest conversations, you’ll realize you are the only one holding yourself back, but you don’t have to.
In those honest conversations, you’ll either change to obtain that goal, or you’ll let go of this thing you realize you didn’t want that much.
12. When you give yourself the time and space to process things.
You can’t always be happy. You can’t always feel great every moment of the day. And no one would expect you to. But the key is taking the time you need to process things. Pulling away to understand yourself and be better and come back improved is essential in your career and relationships.
13. When you realize you’re the hero and not a victim.
Sad stories eventually get old, and even we get tired of playing it on repeat in our heads. The truth is even in moments when you’ve been a victim, and something unfortunate might have happened to you, you have a choice of where are you going from there? While people in the past might have controlled certain things, how beautiful is it that they can’t do that anymore?
14. When you are willing to admit that you need help.
Even heroes need help sometimes. Not everyone is meant to handle everything on their own, and that’s why we have friends and family to be there. It’s knowing, while you might be strong and capable of handling a lot, admitting when something is too much is so important, so you don’t hurt yourself in the process of trying to do too much.
15. When you finally feel at peace.
You realize you are exactly who you need to be right now. You are exactly where you need to be. But the prospect of who you’ll become and the places you’re going also gets you excited.