10 signs you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are

At times it’s easy to feel like you’re not progressing as much as you think you should be compared to your peers.

You feel like you have to follow a certain life plan with milestones we have to reach at certain ages in order to be successful.

Some of these plans include owning your own home by 25, getting married or snagging your dream job by 28, and having a couple of kids by 30.

And you think that if you could just reach those goals, you’ll finally be happy. You’re always looking for the next thing.

And yet, you find yourself still renting an apartment, still dating around, still working at a temp job with no clear path to what you really want to be doing.

The grass is always greener on the other side, but it helps to pause and take stock of your life so far.

Here are 10 signs you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are.

1) You’re taking care of yourself

Health is wealth.

In your 20s, you probably didn’t put much of a premium on good health—and why should you? You have your youth, you feel strong, you feel good, and you have energy. You’re at the top of your game and you’ve never felt better.

But what some of us realize too late is that all of our health choices come back to bite us in the next decade of our lives.

By the time you hit your 30s (or even late 20s, for some of you), you have chronic back pain, you can’t sleep too well, it’s harder to lose weight, and the worst case scenario is you need to take medications for whatever ails you.

Watching what you eat, taking your vitamins, exercising, and sleeping well are some of the signs you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are.

2) You’re able to pay your bills 

Have you paid rent this month? How about your water and electricity bill? What about groceries? Your phone plan? 

These are the things that we usually take for granted. But take one of these away and I’d bet that going about your day would be just a bit harder.

Being able to pay for these things most likely indicates that you have a job and you have the means to provide for yourself.

The next time that you’re using your phone, busy with work, eating a meal, or lying comfortably in your bed, remember that all these are signs you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are. 

3) You have people you can count on

Having people to talk to at the end of a long day, exchange both sad and funny stories with, tell our secrets to, or celebrate personal victories with, is a treasure in and of itself.

Having friends is also good for your health!

They help prevent loneliness, provide a sense of belonging, increase feelings of happiness, lower stress, and encourage you to avoid or change unhealthy habits, like smoking or lack of exercise.

Those with stronger bonds have a lower risk of various health issues, such as depression or high blood pressure. 

More than that, having friends is associated with longer lifespans for people with meaningful connections compared to those that have fewer. 

Take note, the keyword is “meaningful”: having 100 friends isn’t necessarily better than having 10 if you only have surface-level bonds with that hundred. In this context, it’s quality over quantity.

4) You survived difficult situations in the past

In a perfect world, every child would grow up to be a well-adjusted individual, people wouldn’t hurt another, and nothing bad would ever happen.

But the sad reality is that the world isn’t a perfect place and nobody is perfect either.

Some of you may have had a turbulent childhood, or experienced something life-changing even in adulthood. You carry those experiences throughout life, which can affect the way you see the world and the way you form relationships.

From natural disasters, death, to unsafe living environments and sexual abuse, there exists emotional trauma that can leave you feeling angry, helpless or scared.

Just because it’s not physical doesn’t mean it’s any less harmful.

Overcoming it is no small feat and it takes a lot of time and support from other people.

Look back on your life and recall the most challenging times in your life, then look at yourself right now, in this moment. 

You might be battle-worn and bruised, but you’re still here.

The fact that you survived is one of the signs you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are.

5) You have interests

pic1796 10 signs you’re handling life's challenges well and you're doing better than you think you are

A life that’s merely eat-sleep-work-repeat may not necessarily be a bad thing, but it can, admittedly, get a bit dull.

Having interests outside of work or school adds pops of color to your life.

Whether it’s pottery, art and books, or marathon-running and rock-climbing, interests help you mentally escape for a while, build skills, and socialize with others.

Not only does it take care of your mental health but it helps you boost your confidence, increase your creativity, and improve your overall quality of life.

6) You have goals

Similar to having interests, having goals is a sign that you’re doing better than you think you are.

Goals lay out the path towards the direction you want to take or the purpose you want to assume.

When you set goals or make plans, you’re living more intentionally, showing that you want some kind of change in the way you’re living.

It helps you focus on the really important things instead of switching between tasks that could be done at a later time.

Goals don’t always have to be work-related, either.

They can come in different forms, such as:

  • Better health (losing weight or training for a competition)
  • Education (completing a degree or having better grades at school)
  • Relationships (spending more time with your partner or family)
  • Creativity (learning a musical instrument)
  • Community (participating in charity work)
  • Better finances (saving money or paying off debts)

7) You learn from your mistakes

Another sign you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are is having the ability to learn from your mistakes. 

Albert Einstein said it best: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

The one good thing about mistakes is that you can learn from them. It’s an inescapable part of life. 

But there can be no success without failure.

Recall a time in your life where you’ve hurt someone, perhaps by saying something unkind.

Did you acknowledge it? Did you apologize to the person you wronged?

If you stepped back and realized the effect your words had on that person, and resolved to think before speaking, then you’ve learned from your mistake.

The next time a similar situation arises, you know better.

Just like taking a test in school: you make mistakes on a test, but once you discover where you went wrong, you try to get them right on the next one.

8) You know how to manage your mindset

Your beliefs and the way you think about yourself and the world influences how you feel and act in certain situations—this is called mindset.

It also affects how you feel about yourself if you succeed or fail.

A fixed mindset means that you believe your abilities can’t change. You might also believe that your success depends solely on your talents and intelligence, and not the effort you put in.

Meanwhile, if you have a growth mindset, you believe that you can achieve success by developing your abilities and talents—if you work for it.

Are you someone who thinks, “This is just the way I am and I can’t change it”? or are you someone who thinks, “I’m a constant work in progress”?

Your mindset affects the way you react to challenges: do you resign yourself to defeat after a setback or do you adapt and keep pushing even in the face of adversity?

If you pick the latter, that’s one of the signs you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are.

9) You still believe there’s room for improvement

I’ve talked about learning from your mistakes and managing your mindset, but these cannot exist without the belief that you can be better as a person.

Being open to improvement means you seek out new opportunities and experiences, as well as facing your fears. 

In a work setting, you might attend a seminar to build a new skill or hone an existing one. 

Basically, it’s about believing that there’s a version of you in the future that is the best possible you you can be.

10) You have your own space

Finally, having a house, an apartment, or even just a room to call your own is one of the things you might be taking for granted.

But if you think about it, it’s a sign that you’re not doing bad at all.

That space is all yours to do with what you want. You can use it as an office, a gym, an art or music studio, whatever you want.

It’s a place you can find peace in or go to when the mood hits.

Bottom line

There’s no denying that life is hard. But, change is life’s only constant, which must mean that we who embark on this journey, change too.

Things are never always as they were ten years ago, five years ago, heck, even one day ago. 

Look closely, and you’ll see these signs that you’re handling life’s challenges well and you’re doing better than you think you are.

Louise Logarta

Louise Logarta

Louise Nichole Logarta is a content writer by profession, with experience crafting feature articles, editorials, and news articles. She has been published in noted Philippine broadsheets Philippine Daily Inquirer and The Manila Times. Topics of interest she likes writing about include relationships, current affairs, health, and pop culture. Travel, journal notebooks, fiction books, and iced coffee are some of the things she enjoys.

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