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12 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

12 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Sometimes in life, we become so focused on what we haven’t achieved that we lose sight of what we have. It’s easy to forget about all the progress we’ve made, and be discouraged by all the things in our lives that are going wrong or ‘missing’.

But maybe it’s time to start taking pride in our progress. Maybe it’s time that we recognize all the accomplishments we’ve made and the true significance of these accomplishments.

That being said, here are 12 signs that you’re doing better than you think you are.

1. You know what you don’t want.

We spend so much of our lives searching for what we truly want. The life partner that will make our lives more meaningful. The career that will make us more fulfilled. We look at those around us and wonder why we haven’t yet achieved all that they have.

But we don’t have to base our lives on other people’s schedules. It’s okay to take your time to figure out what you don’t want. It’s okay to narrow down your choices.

It’s okay to discover what you want through finding out what you don’t. You want to be happy, not just content – and you deserve that.

2. You take responsibility for your life.

We’ve all experienced some form of pain in our lives. Maybe we’ve suffered heartbreak, death of a loved one, financial hardship, or problems with our families and friends.

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We can’t erase those horrible experiences, but we can choose to move forward from them. If you’ve realized that your future is in your hands, then you’re taking responsibility for your life and what happens to you.

You understand that you can’t change the past but you can change what happens from now on.

3. You know the value of genuine relationships.

At one point or another, you’ve probably surrounded yourself with negative, toxic people. People who bring out the worst in you. But now you’ve let those people go.

You understand that it’s not about the quantity of people that you know – but the quality of the relationships. You know that you deserve to spend your time with people who deserve your time.

You refuse to be around people who bring you down and who are unable to share your happiness and you know that you deserve so much better.

4. You know there’s more to life than material possessions.

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to find happiness through objects, but such happiness doesn’t last. You don’t need to buy the latest products to be happy. Likewise, you don’t need the most expensive clothes or house.

If you know that happiness doesn’t lie in material possessions, then you’re placing more importance in the relationships in your life. You know that a homemade birthday card from a friend can be much more meaningful than an expensive gift from the shop.

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5. You don’t let the little things bother you.

We all get upset from time to time, and for different reasons. Regardless of what the problems are, no matter how big or small, our feelings are always valid. However, we need to remind ourselves that life really is short.

If you don’t let the little things bother you, then you’re giving yourself more time to experience all the good that life has to offer. You’re bouncing back sooner and finding the maturity to move on.

You’re making the conscious decision to choose happiness over anger.

6. You don’t let pride get in the way of asking questions.

We all need help sometimes. Naturally, we all want to grow and to expand our knowledge. If you find yourself struggling to ask questions, don’t let embarrassment and shame talk you out of it.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question. If you already find yourself asking questions when you’re unsure, be proud that you do. You understand and value achieving growth through learning.

7. You know that life is about balance.

It’s easy to struggle with the work-life balance, but you know where your priorities lie. You may not always get it right, but you try your best and that’s what matters. You do what you can to spend time with your family and friends.

You do what you can for yourself and for your career, and you do what you can to look after yourself physically, emotionally and mentally.

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8. You’re grateful for what you do have.

There’s a lot in your life that could improve, but you choose to be a ‘glass half full’ person. You know that there are people in your life that you can depend on and who care about you. You know that your house may not be the most extravagant, but you’re grateful that you have a roof over your head.

Some people aren’t blessed with the basic necessities that you have and you can appreciate that fact. You’re grateful that you have the freedom to do what you want with your life and although you may not ‘have it all’, you’re grateful for all that you do have.

9. You’ve picked yourself up after challenges.

We’ve all climbed mountains we thought we’d never surpass. We’ve been confronted with challenges that have tested us on so many levels.

Yet, here we are, still standing. If you’ve fallen down and picked yourself up, recognize the amount of strength that it took. Acknowledge that you’ve overcome so many adversities you once thought you couldn’t and how you’re so much stronger than you knew.

10. You’ve made progress in an area of your life.

You may not be the best at a specific skill but you’re trying your best. You’ve made improvements and that’s what’s important. Don’t spend time comparing yourself to others – you are your own unique person with your own unique skills and talents.

If you’re making consistent progress, then give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re already heading in the right direction and that’s what matters.

11. You add meaning to the people in your life.

Sometimes, when we’re feeling down about life and all the goals we haven’t achieved, we might forget the impact that we’re having on people’s lives. You might not have the career that you want or achieved the goals that you’ve planned yet, but you’re making people smile. You’re making them laugh. You’re making their lives brighter just by being in it.

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Even if you don’t realize it, you’re likely adding much value to the lives of others just by being there. Paying your friend a compliment may not seem like much to you, but it could be making all the difference to them. I

t could be the thing that gives them hope when they need it the most.

12. You’re striving to become a better person.

Life is a learning curve. We don’t need to be perfect. We don’t need to live free from mistakes. If you are determined to improve yourself and to become better, then you are already halfway there.

You may not be happy with your career, your relationships, with who you are, but you still have the chance and the opportunity to have a brighter future. If you are doing all you can to become better, then maybe you’re doing better than you think you are.

Featured photo credit: Attractive Hipster Male Relaxing Near River via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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