February 2015 is upon us. Most likely the resolutions you made full of determination some 30 ish days ago have faded into insignificance and life has returned to the normality you once despised and loved with equal measure.
I know this happens, because it happened to me. So I took pen to paper as I always do when life wanders off course, and realised that despite the numerous dramas, both work and personal, I’m doing a good job at life. Although the victories may not be novel-worthy, they are victories nonetheless. I’m here to tell you you’re winning at life too. Below are 9 sure-fire things that prove you’re winning at lifeGive yourself a pat on the back.
1. You have interests
I’m starting with this one because I think it’s one of the things that gets forgotten. Having a passion, hobby or release that is external not only to work and home but may even not interest a single other person in your life, but to you it matters. Find a hobby. You’ll thank me.
2. You trust your gut
Whether it tells you the alley you’re about to walk down isn’t safe, or keeps you awake whilst you agonise over a relationship or job, chances are it’s right. If you feel you need some space, some distance from the world, chances are you do. Turn off your phone and go somewhere that makes you happy.
Listening to your instincts is a good thing. Stay true to yourself – it will keep you in check.
3. You’re not the same person you were last year
Pick up any self-help book and the words “personal growth” will crop up more than a handful of times. There’s a reason for that. Growth breeds change, no matter how small a change, however tiny the steps forward you’ve taken, they are steps all the same and should be celebrated, even if only to yourself.
4. You’ve learnt what real friendship feels like
Not just what it feels like to have good friends, but how it feels to be a good friend. Sure, your list of close friends may only fit on one hand, but the one thing age has taught me is that it truly is quality, not quantity, when it comes to mates. I have a close group of girlfriends and they know when I’m down before I have realised myself. We’re there for each other when we’re sick, when family stuff happens or just when we can’t sleep. Really great friendship is the feeling you always have people on your side. It honestly is the best feeling.
5. You pay bills…mostly on time
We all have slip ups on occasion, but on the whole if you don’t have bailiffs knocking your door down, you’re doing good. Sure, you might not know to the penny what you have in your bank account, but you know that you can buy food, keep your home warm and maybe have the occasional coffee out when it gets to the end of the month. That my friend is a life victory for sure.
6. You understand the concept of eating well
That’s not to say you ‘eat clean’ or have yourself on a strict diet, but more you know when you’ve had enough donuts/chocolate buttons/ice cream. You understand how treating yourself works, and although you may not always stick to it, you know the principles of eating well and notice the difference when you do.
7. You question yourself
Not in a Spanish Inquisition kinda way, in an introspective objective and self-aware kind of way. The best people go home at the end of the day and, rather than have a tantrum because life didn’t go to plan, they think: “maybe there’s another way to do all this.”
Doubt is only a negative if you allow it to cloud life, just like failure. Being a grown up means learning to befriend those foes and use them to your advantage.
8. You’ve loved and lost
The lost aspect of relationships, although devastating, proves that you have the capability to have a relationship at all. You opened your heart up and survived the breakage, and whilst learning from the past you still have faith in the future. Learning not to settle for anything less than you want and deserve is tough, but necessary.
9. You could tell your younger self “It worked out ok, kid”
It’s so easy to blame our behaviour as adults on our life as kids. We drag past trauma through into present day life so often without realising that we have moved on and we are more than the sum total of our mistakes. If you can get up 99% of the time, get dressed and leave the house, you’re winning at life.
So there it is, 9 things to remind me that, although freelance business is tough, my love life is bleak and everything seems very much up in the air, I’m doing ok. I’m putting one foot in front of the other, usually in nice shoes, and walking towards a goal. An aspiration. And at my side are friends I can drink coffee with.
It’s so easy to beat yourself up, to only see the darkness in the clouds above, to feel defeated. But know that I’m on your side, I’m cheering from the sidelines, I believe in you.
Have a little faith in yourself, reward your achievements, no matter how small. You’re winning at life, I promise.
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