13 behaviors that show you’re starting to change your life for the better

by Brendan Brown | February 13, 2024, 12:51 am

Change—it’s a small word carrying monumental significance, especially for those whose journey towards a better life seems like a far-off dream, nestled within layers of adversity. 

But remember, every monumental change begins with small steps, and recognizing these is the first stride towards victory. 

Here, we’re celebrating thirteen behaviors that signal you’re starting to change your life for the better, no matter how grand or subtle they might seem.

1) You’re becoming more self-aware

The first sign of transformation often begins within—through the act of self-awareness. 

If you’ve started noticing your patterns, triggers, or why you react the way you do, congratulations!

It might be challenging to face these truths, but this level of introspection is a clear indicator you’re on the path of personal growth.

2) You’re taking baby steps towards healthier habits

In the journey towards a better life, even the tiniest steps count. 

Maybe you’re swapping a can of soda for water once a day, walking a few extra minutes, or dedicating five minutes to meditation

These might seem insignificant in isolation, but collectively, they are powerful signs that you’re prioritizing your well-being—one small habit at a time.

3) You’re embracing discomfort

Does the thought of stepping out of your comfort zone scare you less than before? Perhaps you’re starting to view challenges not as threats, but opportunities for growth. 

Embracing discomfort and accepting it as part of the process shows you’re evolving and preparing for a life that’s not just about surviving, but truly living.

4) You’re setting boundaries

Setting boundaries is a challenging yet crucial part of personal growth. It means you’re starting to value your time, energy, and emotional wellbeing. 

Perhaps you’re saying “no” more often, refusing to overextend yourself, or distancing yourself from people and situations that drain you. 

These acts of self-respect are a clear sign that you’re prioritizing your needs and stepping closer towards a better life.

5) You’re practicing gratitude

Has your lens towards life begun to shift? Are you finding yourself noticing and appreciating the good around you more often—even in difficult situations? 

This practice of gratitude, however small, signifies a positive shift in your mindset. It’s a tell-tale sign of personal growth and a step towards creating a happier and healthier life.

6) You’re seeking help when needed

This one’s a biggie. If you’ve begun reaching out to others for help—be it a trusted friend, a mental health professional, or a support group—it’s a significant indicator of progress. 

Seeking help means you’re acknowledging your struggles and are committed to overcoming them. 

It’s a courageous step and a clear marker that you’re actively working towards improving your life.

7) You’re starting to invest in yourself

Investing in yourself can come in many forms—picking up a new book, enrolling in a course, taking time for self-care, or even prioritizing quality sleep. 

If you’ve started allocating resources—be it time, money, or energy—for your personal growth, it’s a sure sign that you’re paving the path towards a better life.

8) You’re cultivating resilience

Life is full of ups and downs. If you’re beginning to bounce back from setbacks more quickly and maintain a hopeful outlook even during tough times, it’s a clear sign of developing resilience

This quality is a cornerstone of personal growth and a testament to your strength, signifying you’re evolving for the better.

9) You’re embracing your imperfections

Nobody’s perfect. If you’ve started to accept your flaws and stopped beating yourself up for every mistake, you’re showing a wonderful sign of growth. 

Self-compassion and accepting your imperfections is a pivotal step in personal development. 

Remember, we are all works in progress and the fact that you’re embracing this truth means you’re certainly on the road to a better life.

10) You’re letting go of what no longer serves you

Are you finding it easier to let go of past regrets, grudges, or even people who bring negativity into your life? 

That’s a powerful sign of personal growth

The act of letting go frees up emotional space for more positive experiences, and this brave choice shows you’re making strides towards a better life.

11) You’re making peace with your past

Making peace with your past doesn’t mean forgetting or ignoring it. 

It means acknowledging your history, understanding how it shaped you, and choosing to focus on the present and future. 

If you’re starting to see your past as a source of learning rather than a chain holding you back, that’s a huge step towards a brighter, better life.

12) You’re daring to dream

If you’ve started to allow yourself to dream—to envision a life that extends beyond survival to true happiness and fulfillment—that’s a monumental sign of personal growth

Dreaming can be intimidating, especially when life has been tough. 

But, by daring to dream, you’re opening the door to possibility, hope, and a life-changing journey towards a better life.

13) You’re learning to balance self-reliance and interdependence

Self-reliance is important, but so is acknowledging our need for others

If you’re learning to balance independence with the understanding that it’s okay to rely on others, you’re mastering a crucial life skill. 

This balance indicates that you’re becoming better equipped to foster healthier, more balanced relationships—another sign of a life changing for the better.

Factors affecting us from changing our lives for the better

While the desire to live a better life is universal, certain hard-hitting factors can often hinder us from pursuing this goal. 

It’s crucial to understand and acknowledge these barriers. Here are some of the most significant ones:

Socioeconomic status

Economic disparities often dictate the opportunities available to us. 

Poverty and financial instability can make it harder to prioritize personal growth when the focus is on basic survival.

Mental health issues

Conditions like depression, anxiety, or PTSD can cast a heavy shadow over one’s life, making the journey towards a better life feel daunting, and at times, impossible.

Lack of access to quality education

Education empowers individuals and opens doors to opportunities. 

But for many, access to good quality education remains a distant dream, limiting their chances of improvement.

Toxic environments

Whether it’s a harmful relationship, an abusive household, or a negative workplace, toxic environments can greatly impact our mental and emotional health, hindering personal growth.

Systemic discrimination

Whether it’s racism, sexism, or any form of systemic discrimination, these social barriers can limit opportunities and make the road to a better life significantly harder.

Cultural or societal norms

In many societies, strict cultural norms and expectations can inhibit personal growth, especially if it goes against traditional beliefs or practices.

Physical health issues

Chronic or severe health issues can take a significant toll on an individual’s life, making personal development a greater challenge.

The one thing you need to fight these hindrances

Amidst all the trials and tribulations life throws at us, there is one empowering element that can light our path—hope. 

But what is hope? It isn’t just naive optimism or rose-colored glasses that ignore reality. 

It’s the steadfast belief that no matter how challenging the present may be, the future holds the potential for change

It’s about recognizing that even the darkest night will pass, and a new dawn awaits.

Sometimes, change is not a choice: A story of hope

I say this from personal experience. Just a year ago, my life was unrecognizable from what it is today. 

I was grappling with so many thing:

A chronic disease, juggling the immense pressures of a toxic family, dealing with the abrupt end of my formal education, and nursing the wounds of multiple failed relationships. 

Each day was a fight, and the odds seemed overwhelmingly stacked against me. Yet, in this tumultuous storm, I found my beacon—hope.

This hope was not a blinding, overwhelming light but more like a dim flicker, stubbornly refusing to be extinguished. 

It whispered of a future that was more than just survival, more than just getting through another day. It spoke of a life I could be proud of, a life where I was in control.

The different faces of hope

Each form of hope came in different shapes and sizes. 

There was the hope that looked like grit, the stubborn refusal to give up, despite the odds. 

The hope that resembled faith, a trust in the universe that things were moving towards a greater good. 

The hope that was momentary happiness, finding joy in the smallest things—a delicious meal, a warm conversation, even a beautiful sunset. 

The hope that showed itself as fantasy, allowing myself to dream about the life I truly wanted, no matter how far-fetched it seemed at the moment.

And so, I clung onto this hope. 

It wasn’t easy. There were days when holding onto hope was as challenging as climbing a mountain. 

Yet, with each step, the whisper of hope grew louder, more insistent. 

Hope propelled me to find alternate ways to learn and grow. It urged me to stand up for myself and set boundaries in my relationships. 

It pushed me to seek help for my physical and emotional well-being.

Nurturing hard-earned change

Fast forward to today, and my life has changed in ways I couldn’t have imagined. 

The struggles have not disappeared. There are still hard days, moments of doubt, and trials to face. But the transformation I’ve experienced is profound.

Hope didn’t make the obstacles vanish, but it did give me the strength to navigate them. 

It encouraged me to keep pushing forward, believing in a better tomorrow, and taking steps to make it a reality.

So, if you find yourself facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, remember to harness the power of hope. 

It may take the form of grit, faith, momentary joy, or even a wild dream. No matter its shape, nurture it. 

Let it be the fuel that propels you towards a life that resonates with your deepest truths and highest aspirations. 

Here’s to the journey of change that awaits us all. May it be beautiful, transformative, and above all, hopeful.

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