8 subtle signs you’re on the path to success (even if it doesn’t feel like it)

Reaching the top takes hard work. And it’s normal to get stuck along the way, wondering if the effort is worth it. 

Looking back, it might feel like you’ve made no progress. But this is rarely true if you’ve been giving it your all.

If you’re wondering how you can know if you’re on the right track, I’ve got you covered. 

After many projects, lessons learned, and moments of self-doubt, I started recognizing a pattern. 

Ready? Let’s start!

When you’re on your way to success…

1) You take more risks than you’ve ever had before

Can you still remember the knot you had in your stomach when you took that first leap of faith? How scared you felt stepping outside your comfort zone? 

If you’re doing this more often now, it’s a sign you’re on your way to success. 

Think about it: 

Success rarely comes to people who play it safe all the time. 

So if you’ve made it a habit to take calculated risks, you’re more likely to come across exciting opportunities that can lead to success. 

Taking risks also improves confidence. So if you’ve reached a point where…

2) You don’t care what other people think of you

… you’re making real progress! 

When you feel confident, you’re more likely to take action. Confidence can keep you focused on your goals instead of worrying about what others think of them. 

Morgan Presley is an example of this. I was intrigued the moment one of her videos popped up on my FYP. 

She went from being a cookie-cutter Instagram model to comedic and relatable. 

Some people find her content uncomfortable, but I appreciate how she doesn’t care what people think. And it pays off! Morgan is thriving and living her best life. 

If what others think of your goals doesn’t bother you as much as it used to, you’re way more ahead than you think.

Ask anyone, and they’ll say fear of judgment is one of the biggest things holding them back. 

And let’s face it, when you’re successful…

3) People start talking about you 

You can’t avoid this. 

But it’s also a good sign. When your name gets mentioned, you know you have some type of impact. 

Here’s why you should take it as a good thing:

  • People will only recognize you if what you do is worth acknowledging. Whether in a positive or negative light, the result is increased visibility. 
  • People who talk about you could be your allies. 
  • When people talk about you, someone interested in collaborating with you might hear.

Building a good reputation is a sign of success. People are generally more interested in services, products, or influencers they heard of from others. 

4) People ask you to contribute

Believe me. If people want you to contribute, it’s a huge sign that you’re climbing that ladder to success. 

Truth is, people won’t see value in your thoughts, ideas, or actions if you’re a nobody. 

So, whichever way people want you to contribute, it means they trust your knowledge. 

And think you have something meaningful to offer

Being asked to contribute can also lead to more opportunities and growth. You’ll get a chance to network and expand your skills. 

When you’re contributing, you get new insight into what you already know. You might even realize there are better ways to do what you’re doing or pinpoint mistakes.

5) You learn from your mistakes instead of seeing them as failures

respected in the workplace 8 subtle signs you're on the path to success (even if it doesn't feel like it)

Do you fall into a dark hole every time you mess up? Or disregard your progress whenever something doesn’t work out?

Or do you know that mistakes are a critical part of the journey, and use what you learn from them to improve?

If you answered yes to the last question, you’re making your way toward success!

Learning from your mistakes is a massive sign that you’re succeeding.

It also means you’re taking risks, trying new things, and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Mistakes show you’re actively engaged in the growth process. 

When you learn from your mistakes, you’re able to:

  • Reflect on what went wrong.
  • Understand the underlying reasons.
  • Extract valuable lessons from the experience.
  • Make more informed decisions.
  • Refine your approach.

Success isn’t about avoiding mistakes. It’s about turning your mistakes into opportunities to be better. 

6) You have fewer regrets

Regrets fading away is one of the ultimate signs of success. 

Now look, it’s natural to have regrets. All I’m saying is that regret often arises when you miss out. 

And if you’re on your way to success, it means you’re also taking more risks. It’s unlikely that you’ll look back and see a bunch of missed opportunities. 

But that’s not the only reason. Your regrets could also start to fade because…

  • You’re focused on self-improvement and learning from your experiences. So, you make better choices and don’t waste time dwelling on the past. 
  • You have clarity about your goals and know which steps to take toward achieving them. You don’t focus on opportunities that wouldn’t mean much to your progress anyway. 
  • You start experiencing success in other parts of your journey. As more of this happens, your regrets start losing significance. 

And yes, it’s true. Completely eliminating regrets isn’t realistic. Regret is a natural emotion, and some experiences may leave a lasting impact. 

But as you grow, learn, and move toward success, there’ll be fewer things you wish you would’ve done. And more you actually did. 

7) You’ve got a clear path figured out

Having a sense of direction and purpose shows you’re taking the steps needed to achieve your goals. 

It might seem small, but setting a path will keep you even more focused and help you make intentional decisions. 

Whether you have a vision board or monthly milestones, a clear path helps you:

  • Prioritize your effort.
  • Allocate your resources effectively.
  • Stay committed to the task at hand. 

To succeed, you have to minimize your chances of getting sidetracked. And when you’re clear on your goals, you do just that!

This sounds like a massive step in the direction of success, don’t you think?

A clear path will also help to reduce stress levels. And when you’re less stressed…

8) You’re sleeping better 

When you start working toward your goals, you might go through a ton of sleepless nights. 

So, if you notice you have more days waking up refreshed and energized, it’s a sign that you’re on the path to success

Small victories will positively impact your emotional well-being and overall mood. When you experience these, you’ll feel less stress. 

This can directly impact your sleep. 

In short: successful people sleep better. 

If it feels like you’re getting enough rest – or at least more than you used to – you can add your name to that list!

Another thing:

You should be prioritizing sleep. Think of sleep as a way to turbocharge your brainpower. 

A well-rested mind helps you make better choices and tackle challenges with ease. 

Imagine trying to work on a big project or make important decisions when you’re running on fumes – yikes! Sleep deprivation will leave you feeling irritable and foggy. 

Not exactly a recipe for success, right?

Sleeping better will help you stay on the path to success. And when you’re on that path, you’ll sleep better. Easy enough?

Honestly, if it feels like you need to pull an all-nighter, don’t. 

Sleeping better is a sign that you’re doing something right. Even if you have to force yourself into the habit. 

Conclusion

Success means something different for everyone. It’s deeply personal and about defining what truly matters to you. 

You should embrace the process, learn from failures, and enjoy your progress – whether big or small. 

It’s about the journey, not just the destination. And I know that sounds really cliché, but it’s true. Your sense of fulfillment is found along the way, not at the end. 

So, take a moment to look back and consider how far you’ve come. 

Which of these signs apply to your life? How does knowing it’s a sign of success make you feel? 

Write down your small victories, challenges, and possible solutions. 

Think about the signs you can’t relate to yet, and what you can do to add them to your list. 

Then tell yourself to appreciate and enjoy your progress!

Natasha Combrink

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

0:00
0:00