We can be hard on ourselves. We might set goals, and then beat ourselves up if it takes longer to reach milestones. Rather than give yourself a hard time, change your mindset and focus on what you “have” accomplished. The truth is, you might be doing better than you think. Here's how to tell.
1. You’re Working and Moving up
In college, maybe you had dreams of graduating and getting your dream job. If you weren’t able to find this job, but had to start at the bottom of a company, you might beat yourself. Even if you didn’t find the job you wanted, the fact that you’re working and moving in the direction you want to go is a good starting point. Be happy with where you are — it'll get better.
2. Your Finances Are Improving
You might also set financial goals for yourself. Don't expect your personal finances to improve overnight. It takes time to pay off debt or build a 3 to 6-month cash cushion. As long as you have a plan in the works and you're working toward your goals, you're doing better than a lot of people.
3. You Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Some people know how to complain and make excuses for their behavior. But if you’ve grown past this behavior and you take responsibility for your actions, you are most likely a better person now than you were as a teenager (or even last year). It takes time to make personal progress. As long as you're able to recognize your flaws and work toward becoming a better person, give yourself a pat on the back.
4. You’re in a Better Place than 12 Months Ago
You have to be patient when setting goals for yourself — whether it’s personal, career or financial. One way to measure how you're doing is to compare yourself to where you were a year ago. Most likely, you're not in the same place. Even if you haven’t reached all your goals or milestones, the improvements you’ve made thus far are getting you closer to your goals.
5. You’re Not Materialistic
Being materialistic can cause a lot of financial stress. You might feel pressure to keep up with your friends, which might involve maxing out your credit cards to buy clothes and take vacations you can't afford. Or you might buy more house or car than you can afford and live paycheck to paycheck. If you don't care about any of this, you are doing better than you think. Your friends might have more materially, but you might be in a better place financially.
6. You’re Thankful
Some people complain about everything in their life. If you can look on the bright side and see the glass as half-full, you’re doing better than a lot of people who sit and whine about their lives and do nothing to change the situation.
7. You Don't Let Little Things Bother You
Life can be stressful, frustrating and discouraging at times, and everyone goes through periods when they’re feeling down. Life is too short to be overly stressed and anxious about things we can't control. This doesn't mean you should sit back and let problems grow into bigger ones. At the same time, you’ve learned how to accept things you can't change and you don't sweat the small stuff.
So, how do you measure up? A self-evaluation can reveal a lot about the improvements and progress you've made over the past weeks, months or years. What are other signs that you’re doing better than you think?