7 Signs You’re Growing As A Person, Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like You Are

Sometimes, growth is subtle. Often, we only see it clearly in retrospect. Though we often assume that our growth will be completely evident to us, it’s usually the small shifts, done repeatedly, that make the biggest difference. Here are a few signs that you’re really growing as a person, even if it doesn’t feel like you are.

1. You’ve let go of an old dream.

One of the universal markers of inner growth is always a heightened degree of self-awareness, and that can very often come from realizing that what we are pursuing might not really be what we want.

The truth is that we outgrow our dreams and plans more frequently than we realize, and if we aren’t conscious of what’s happening, it can seem as though we’ve lost out, missed an opportunity, or didn’t actualize our potential.

In reality, we let go of old dreams because they were designed for a person we no longer are.

2. You’re no longer content to live a surface-level existence.

Instead of looking good, you are more interested in feeling good. Instead of appearing as though you have a cool weekend, you want to have a fulfilling and relaxing weekend. Instead of trying to earn approval, you’re more interested in digging up your own self-love.

You might still love social media, but you understand that it is a piece of life, not your entire existenceYou might still love to put yourself together well, but you understand that you have to like what you see in the mirror, because trying to constantly mold yourself to other people’s standards is a game you can’t win.

Your life is starting to take on more depth and substance, and it’s because you realize that you can never truly feel fulfilled just existing on the surface.

3. You want to understand why.

You’re no longer content to just accept things as “the way it is,” you want to really understand.

You want to understand why some people react certain ways, or hold limiting and false beliefs. You want to understand why a relationship ended the way it did, and what role you did or didn’t play in how it unfolded. You want to understand why you’re triggered by certain things, why you respond the way you do, why you think the way you do.

This is the entryway to truly changing your life. You’re finally asking the right questions, and beginning to see just how many people live on auto-pilot.

You do not want to be one of them.

4. You might feel embarrassed about past choices.

While nobody ever has to feel embarrassed about their past, many people do, especially when going through periods of more intense growth.

You might look back on what you said, did and wore even in recent history and cringe. This is because you’re starting to realize that a lot of those decisions were actually coming from a place of insecurity, or a desire to fit in, or unconscious beliefs that were never questioned.

While it might be uncomfortable on the surface, being able to look back at your past self and realize that you are different from them is often a huge sign of real growth.

5. You’ve lost touch with a lot of people, or a big relationship ended.

This is almost always one of the biggest signs that someone is changing — when their social circle no longer fits them anymore.

It’s not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with you or them, simply that you might not have anything in common anymore. You are changing, and so the people you attract and “click” with do, too.

On the other hand, you may have lost a close relationship, which shook you awake and prompted you to begin a journey of self-discovery. While this is important, remember that it’s okay to grieve, and know that people phase in and out of our lives (yes, even the ones we care most about) for a reason.

Trust that process.

6. You’re more concerned about quality than quantity.

Work, friends, experiences — no matter what it is, you’re no longer able to sustain a fast paced life with minimal substance.

Now, you’re more interested in having a few really close friends as opposed to dozens of acquaintances. You’d rather do a few projects really, really well than try to fill your days with work and hope it all turns out okay. You’d rather take one or two trips and have them be the exact experiences you want than constantly be on the move but not really being present.

Rather than having a lot of things, you realize that all you need is a few really good ones.

Anything else just spreads you too thin, and never really gets you what you want anyway.

7. You’re rediscovering your soul.

You’re remembering your love for music, art, or creativity.

You’re listening to songs that make you feel again. You find yourself crying with relief, or sadness. You are empathizing with others. You are redesigning all of the details of your life with more heart and care than you ever have before.

This means that you’re coming home to yourself.

You’re rediscovering the essence of who you are, and you’re opening back up to your soul.

Even if you closed off for a while out of self-protection, this piece of you was always there, waiting for you to reach inward again, and allow it to be.

If You Feel Like It’s Time To Take A Mental Health Day, Read This

At some point in your life, you’ve probably woken up and thought, “I would rather do ANYTHING than get out of bed and go to work today.” There’s nothing wrong with feeling burnt out, anxious, or stressed, but letting these emotions build and fester can lead to problems at work and with your mental health.

Taking time off for your mental health is becoming more of a priority (as it should!), but not without some pushback and feelings of guilt. Keep reading for tips on getting past the guilt and how to spend your mental health day once you take one.

How to tell when you should take one

Are you dreading going to work? Does the idea of sitting at your desk another day make you feel heavy and overwhelmed? Does thinking about the pile of work waiting for you cause your stress and anxiety to go through the roof?

It might be time to take a mental health day.

Burnout or overworking could be contributing to these feelings of overwhelm and stress. In order to continue to be productive and not completely hate your job, it might be a good time to take a step back and take care of yourself for a day or two. Giving yourself permission to have time to recharge can help you get back to 100% and ready for your job.

What to do during one

Focus on activities that bring you joy and comfort. That could mean many different things depending on what you enjoy. For some, it could mean cleaning the house and doing yard work; for others, it could be getting a massage and baking. Think about the things you WISH you had time for during a hectic work week.

Try not to go in totally blind. Not having a plan could add stress to a day that’s meant to relax and recharge. It doesn’t need to be rigid and down to the minute, but a flexible outline with a few activities you enjoy. Having at least an idea of what you’d like to do during your mental health day ensures you partake in something that brings you joy.

What NOT to do during one

Avoid catching up on emails, housework, laundry, etc. Unless the actual act of these tasks is therapeutic for you, try to focus on other activities.

It’s tempting to use your mental health day as time to catch up on everything that collects throughout the week, but this won’t leave you feeling recharged the same way taking this time for yourself would. Again, if these kinds of activities are therapeutic for you and bring you a sense of calm, then by all means, go ahead! It’s important to plan your day to bring you calm, comfort, and relaxation.

How they benefit your overall well being

Taking a day to recharge your mental batteries can help you be more productive at work. Some findings even claim that taking a mental health day and returning at 100% is more beneficial than staying at work while struggling with your mental health. The level of productivity is higher for those who take care of their mental health and return recharged.

Learning when and how to put yourself first helps you connect with yourself on deeper levels. Self-care activities are a great way to get to know yourself, take care of yourself, and recharge your mind and body.

How to get past the guilt of taking one

For some careers, taking a day off requires more work than just staying and powering through it. Others create a mess for coworkers. To try and avoid these complications, plan ahead for when you want to take your mental health day. Get your work done early so your coworkers don’t have to pick up the slack. If you’re in education, have a couple of emergency lesson plans on file to take a little stress off when you do need to take a day for yourself.

If you don’t put yourself first, who will?

While taking a mental health day is not a replacement for a prescription or professional mental health services, taking a day for yourself can help you relax, de-stress, and prepare to return to work at 100%.

At the end of the day, it’s all up to how you feel and what you enjoy doing in order to connect with yourself. Mental health days are an important step in getting to know yourself better and allowing yourself time to recharge and take on the world when you’re ready.

Just A Reminder: You Will Be Okay

Say it out loud: This too shall pass.

Because it always does. The heartache, the pain, the sadness. It will always pass if you give it enough time. Time is something that sometimes we do not allow ourselves. We want to rush things, we want to control the outcome of situations and then dictate how things move forward. Our human nature lacks patience but has an abundance of desire of wanting to be the one to decide which way everything should flow. We don’t want to admit it, yet we all crave control and at times we all refuse to accept that we will never fully have it. Life is too unpredictable. Deciding when and how to move forward is something we do have control of, but we will never have control over time.

We’ve all heard it before, but struggle is temporary, even though sometimes it feels like it lasts a lifetime. We’ve all been faced with moments where we’re told not to dwell in our struggle, not to let it get us down. When we are in those dark moments, we can find it difficult to really see beyond the current suffering. But the struggle truly is temporary… the challenging part is understanding that the depth of “temporary” varies in each case.

When you face darkness in your life, no matter the situation, you have the choice on how you move through and forward from that darkness. You possess the power to choose your happy, choose your method of survival, choose how you overcome. This is not to say that you will not suffer, but to remind you that amidst the current suffrage you always have a choice. Do not allow yourself to become a victim to circumstance. You are so much more than your circumstances. You are so much more than the variables of life.

My wish for you is to understand that a life without struggle does not truly exist, no matter how things may sometimes seem. We show others what we want them to see, we share the moments of our lives that we want to share. We don’t always express our thoughts, our worries, our internal battles. But please always remember that no matter the circumstances you face and how trying times may get, the truth remains that you will be okay. 

Give yourself the gift of allowing your life to be rich with experiences. You will face battles and you will choose how to get through them. You will decide how you can move forward, despite the obstacles in your path. And you will come out on the other side, confident that you made the right choices, even if they took you down alternate paths. Remembering that each path taken is a path that you will learn from. Every twist and turn will teach you about the person you are and the person you are becoming. There is never a lack of opportunity if you are willing to grow. Don’t be like those unwilling to change, don’t be like those who close themselves off to new experiences. Instead, choose growth, which is something that needs to be welcomed and sought after. Personal growth comes through struggle and grief just as much as it comes through triumph and joy. Allow yourself the gift of growth, allow yourself to be present in each moment, good or bad. Allow yourself to be here now, and I promise you that through it all, you will be okay.

Slower Mornings, Sweeter Days

Start your days slowly.⁣

Let it be the sun that wakes you after the moon that held you. 

Allow your eyes to flicker open softly to the light of a new beginning.⁣

Allow your limbs to move with ease as you awaken your body gradually.⁣

Allow your lungs to breathe in the day with no expectations. ⁣

And then pause. ⁣

Pause to feel your head cradled against the pillow that holds all of your dreams.

Pause to feel your body sinking into the mattress that bolsters you as you sleep.

Pause to feel your skin against the sheets that hug you as you rest with the moon.⁣

Pause to ground yourself in your sacred space and know that you are held and that are you safe.⁣

Then ask yourself, how do I feel today?⁣

What do I need today? ⁣

But don’t get up right away to find out.⁣

Sink into the morning by sitting with yourself. Have a conversation with your heart before having one with anyone else.⁣

Have coffee with your soul in bed and listen to what’s going on in your head. ⁣

Pause to find stillness before stepping out into the madness of daily life.⁣

Align your heartbeat with the wind’s breeze against your bedroom window.⁣

Don’t be afraid to close your eyes again and meditate on the dreams you were just floating in. ⁣

Start your day with intention before you fill in the day with colors and contrast. ⁣

Begin the day with a fresh slate where you can decide what you need to stay balanced.⁣

Be mindful of each step and each part of your body that may need more rest or a deeper stretch. ⁣

Remember that are safe, you are secure, and you are here to do wonderful things in this world.⁣

But there’s no need to rush. There’s no reason to hurry through the morning when you remember what it means to be alive. ⁣

Light some incense, play music to your heart’s content, dance to the rhythm of your heart, and let the morning flow. ⁣

Let the worries of the day before go, and move with compassion in your soul. ⁣

Discover gratitude for the little things like the smell of your coffee or the socks on your feet. ⁣

And every time you go to do something, ask yourself: does this serve my deepest me?

Does this feed the light within me? Does this make me feel free? ⁣

Find the freedom to live intentionally, and start your mornings slowly.

You’re Not Supposed To Have Every Answer, So Stop Trying To Race To The Finish Line

You are not supposed to know everything right now.

You are not supposed to have every goal achieved and every decision made as quickly as you can.

You are not meant to race to the finish line of your life.

There is a pace to life that we have to honor. We cannot cut to the end of the story, we cannot demand it all at once, and we should not stress that we have not hit every milestone as early as possible.

There is a pace to life, and when we begin to see that there is a unique timing for everything, we begin to trust it more than we doubt it.

Sometimes, things don’t happen the moment we want them to because we are just not ready yet.

Sometimes, we have to learn how to handle little bits of success, so we are ready when they become massive. Sometimes, we have to learn to be okay by ourselves first, so we don’t ruin a relationship with unhealthy attachment. Sometimes, we have to learn to handle little criticisms here and there, so we’re ready when life takes off and people are really watching.

Sometimes, we just have more growing to do than we realize, and life always honors that — even if it lets you down in the moment. Just because you aren’t going as quickly as you thought does not mean you aren’t on your way.

There is no virtue to peaking too young. There is no real ambition that should culminate immediately after you’ve conceived of it. The real work is a lifelong commitment to excellence and the pursuit of a strong foundation, and a thriving soul.

You do not need to know everything that is in front of you yet.

When you set out on a road trip at night, you don’t expect your headlights to shine all the way through the darkness, miles and miles ahead of you, straight to your destination. All you can see is what is directly ahead of you, and that’s all you need to see. If you keep taking the next right step, you will arrive.

This is true even if you run into a roadblock along the way. You wouldn’t turn your car around because you couldn’t pass. You’d find another road. The same is true of your life journey.

Right now, you don’t feel lost because you actually have no idea where your life is going. You feel lost because you’re in transition. You have planted, or maybe sprouted, but not yet bloomed.

But you do not expect a bud to bloom on command. You bury its seed deeply, water it and give it light — and then you let it do what it was created to do, in its own time.

You are the exact same way.

Keep stepping forward. Take one right step, and then the next one. You do not have to have all the answers, you do not need to be your most perfect self right at this exact moment in time.

Sometimes, the growth process brings us somewhere unexpected, better than we conceived of originally. Sometimes, it delivers us right where we always wanted to be, as the people who are ready to step into the life we’ve been getting ready for.

The path is the process.

Trust it.

This Is Me Trying

I am far from complete. I am an unfinished manuscript, collecting dust on a forgotten shelf. I am merely half a canvas, splattered paint that is yet to be a masterpiece. And that’s okay with me. Why would I want to be complete? That would mean the world was done with me.

I have not been sculpted to perfection yet, my fine details are still to be sketched. I would not want to rush the process of perfection, I do not wish for my metamorphosis to be instantaneous.

I want the world to take its time with me. Mold my soul with patience and attentiveness, Lead me to walk through darkness when I am convinced there is no light. Teach me lessons that will shape me into the final version of who I am to be.

I care very little for immediate perfection. I know that society is obsessed with getting it right from the start and I am sorry if I come across as self-righteous, but you’re wrong.

Life is about living. Living is about trying. Trying and learning; never failing. Failing suggests that nothing came of it. There is always a purpose, always a lesson to be learned. This obsession with perfection will only cause you pain; I speak from experience. I, too, wanted everything, now. I almost demanded it, trying to manifest it at my feet. But that is not how this works. If you believe that is the unquestionable truth, you will not live. Seeing lessons as failures will only fill your life with frustration and misery. Perfection is only attainable when our manuscripts are complete. Perfection is within that finished masterpiece.

To live is to try. Those lessons you see as imperfections, they are the words that fill your manuscripts and the brush strokes that create your masterpiece. Trying is the meaning of life. Because we are human. Humans are not perfect. We are never always right and mistakes are what make us individuals.

Your soul is a constellation of imperfections. Imperfections that resulted from a lifetime of trying.

And maybe perfection is not attainable when we reach our conclusions; not in the way you believe perfection to be. Perfection is when you have learned and absorbed every possible thing that life had to offer you. Perfection is closing your eyes for the final time, accumulating every imperfection you collected over the years. Perfection is having spent a lifetime trying.

This is me being dedicated to trying. Trying to learn from those sweet imperfections I am committed to loving. This is me trying to enjoy the process of my chapters being written. This is me trying to live.

I Know I’m A Mess—But I Think I’m A Beautiful Mess

I am a cocoon of self-destruction. I am a series of mental-illnesses and negative ideology. Yes, I am chaos. My mind is a bottomless pit that created voices that dictate my life. They remind me, that with every choice that I make, of the worst case scenario and all that could possibly go wrong; they scream it so loud my head rings with their shrill cries-they make it impossible for me to ignore them. They warn me of the outside world. 

They instruct me to lose myself inside my head. Because although it may be a never-ending maze of self pity; no one can hurt me here. So I stay, inside my anxiety-webbed comfort zone where socializing with others is negotiable and the chance of rejection is zero.

My heart, battered and bruised, resembles that of a soldier because my heart has seen so many wars. It has been sewed together by countless surgeons, just to have the seams torn apart by numerous explosions and stabs. My heart and mind work well together; very productive but also catastrophic.

My mind tells my heart that I deserve pain, because clearly the misery within my mind loves company and seeks out misery from the heart. It tells my heart to choose girls who are able to hurt me; girls who emotionally abuse me to the point of suicidal and leave my body jagged with scars. It’s because I deserve it… I don’t deserve happiness. 

I shall trudge in depression and self-loathing because it is all that I know. Happiness is an abstract theory to me. It is as tangible as quantum physics. Yes, I am completely messed up. I am a mess- but I am a beautiful mess. After all, art comes in many shapes and forms; it is simply up to you whether or not to admire it. 

This Is Your Reminder That You Are More Than Any Failure

Your past failures will always haunt you. They will make your life a horror story and paralyze you with fear every waking day. They can limit you, make you lose your hope in yourself and in the world. With their tiny yet powerful voices, they will tell you to stop going.

The voices of the ghosts of your past will always be loud and haunting, but how they will affect you solely depends on you. Will you entertain and welcome them into the doors of your thoughts or silence them before they can silence you?

Your failed resolutions, career, relationships, and dreams are all things of the past. Don’t let them weigh you down forever. Take them with you in the future only as lessons. You’ve got forever to go — many years still ahead of you.

Cry as much as you want and let your tears wash down all the labels your past failures marked all over your soul. Free yourself.

Never let anyone belittle you and define you for your past failures, especially yourself. Fake hope until it becomes real to you because one day, at the moment you least expect it, someone will see all of you and still see the potential.

Someone will see you past your failures. They will see you not as a hopeless project but a gem in the making. They will see the great future you’ve been failing to see for yourself — the future that’s been clouded by the mistakes you used to define and dictate you and your life.

It won’t be easy. Pity parties will always be inviting. But after you tire yourself from crying and seeing yourself short, get back up. Never give up on yourself. You owe yourself that.

When opportunities start to knock again at your door, leave whatever you’re doing and welcome them before your fears knock them over. You’re only a few steps away to be back in your game.

However, if you happen to fail again; remember that God is a God of never-ending chances. Don’t be afraid to humble yourself and take another chance He offers you today and will offer you always.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

You are more than your failures.

Give yourself a chance to start again.

Don’t let your past limit you. 

You Don’t Always Have To Be Okay, You Know

Sometimes I am not okay and I used to think it was not okay to be that way. Now I am starting to realize that It’s okay to break down and cry. It’s okay to admit to yourself and to the world that you’re not okay. It’s okay to ask for help and to talk about your problems.

It is so easy to put up a front telling people around you that you are fine when deep within yourself, you know you are not. It is so easy to remain quiet and keep everything to yourself. But that also means you’re hurting yourself way more and that’s not okay.You’re the only person who actually knows what is going on in your own head and you should not be afraid of your own thoughts or about how you feel.

It’s okay to talk about your problems. It doesn’t make you weak. Yes, it makes you vulnerable, but it will also make you stronger.

Sometimes all you would feel is that everything around you is crumbling. It sometimes feels as if you are hit by strong currents or on some days, it feels like you’re being hit by a tsunami. It feels like as if you are drowning. Sometimes it feels like everything around you is happening so fast and you are trying your best not to drown. Sometimes it would feel like your entire vision is clouded by a wrecked storm.

You’re human and it’s important to remember that. It’s important to remember that no matter how strong you are mentally, you’re allowed to have bad days. You’re allowed to cry. But that doesn’t mean you should stay and be stuck in self-pity. Take your time to pick yourself up and glue back the broken pieces. Give yourself time to heal.

It’s okay to voice out to someone. It’s okay to have days when you are not strong. It’s okay to not be okay. 

Healing….

I used to believe healing happens once you have decided to forgive, forget, and move on. Some people say that healing is just a matter of time⁠—that you should surround yourself with people who light your path as you walk in the dark.

They would tell you to see the bright side of everything and expect you to have and be full of hope despite all the drawbacks and heartaches that took place. They would help you to pick up the pieces, but they will also expect you to get your shit together.

Toxic positivity is draining, not healing. Read that again. Because the truth is, healing is not always a rainbow of positivity. It’s not always beautiful and poetic. Healing doesn’t happen overnight⁠ and not always through self-help books and shots of vodka.Oftentimes, healing is ugly and chaotic. It feels heavy that it would seem impossible to carry. It’s like continuously running away from the pain that you can barely catch your breath.It’s exhausting, heart-wrenching, but it can also be life-changing.

I have realized that the first step to heal is to accept that you got wounded. Acknowledge the pain and respect what you feel even if it’s too much. It’s painful and sometimes a slow progress, but it is a continuous process. Healing is not always about forgetting and moving on from an ex-lover, an ex-best friend, or whoever caused you that wound. It could be about a painful situation you were in—the day your loved one passed away, that moment you lost your job, or the night you got rejected by someone dear to you…

It’s simply because pain comes in different forms and it happens in ways we least expect it.The art of healing doesn’t happen in the arms of someone else. It only happens when you allow yourself to. When you are brave enough to restart unknowingly of what the future holds, and when you are ready to give yourself a chance to set new goals.You heal when you start to practice gratitude for everything you have in the present and let go of what lacks in the past.You heal when you realize that you cannot reach level 3 if you haven’t started level 1. It could take weeks, months, or even years and there’s nothing wrong with that. Healing was never a quick fix but rather a life-changing transition.