8 Green Flags You’re Becoming Your Best Self

You’ve probably read all about green flags to look for in a partner and in relationships, but what about green flags to identify in yourself? Often, we’re our own worst critics and we’re quick to nitpick our own flaws (read: only see the red flags in ourselves). But chances are you’ve grown so much and are closer to all your life goals than you think. There’s way more to growth than visualizing the future you want (that doesn’t hurt, of course): it takes serious action.

If you’ve been working toward the highest version of yourself—whether that’s bettering your relationships, health, career, finances, or all the above—there are some signs you can look toward to know you’re on the right track (just keep in mind these aren’t the only signs; everyone’s journey is going to look different!). Ahead, the green flags you’re becoming the highest, most authentic, and happiest version of yourself. 

Signs You’re Becoming Your Best Self: 8 Green Flags

1. You set boundaries (and follow through on them)

Whether it’s saying “no” to taking on another work project when you’re already spread too thin, creating a safe word in the bedroom, or declining a family dinner to take care of your needs, you establish healthy boundaries to build a solid foundation for healthy relationships with yourself and others. You take the time to reflect on your needs in your friendships, romantic relationship, work, etc. and why each boundary you’ve introduced is important to you. Setting a few in motion at a time, keeping it simple, and being clear is how you operate. While it may be uncomfortable at first and take practice following through on your boundaries, you’re a better friend, partner, and employee when you show up for yourself. Your end goal? To feel safe, valued, and respected, no matter what context a boundary is set in. 

2. You keep promises you make to yourself

We all make sacrifices for other people (remember: boundaries, ladies). But you’ve learned that if you don’t fill your own cup first, your career, relationships, and goals can pay the price. Maybe you promised yourself you would turn off Netflix instead of bingeing the next episode for the sake of quality Zzzs, meditate for at least 15 minutes first thing in the morning instead of stopping for coffee, and (finally) create a budget (because of said coffee addiction). No matter what you tell yourself, you keep your word and see each promise through. The best part? You’ve gained confidence and self-trust.

The secret to ensuring you make good on your promises is that you’re realistic and specific with your goals. In other words, you set yourself up for success instead of overcommitting. For example, if there’s any doubt you can carry out 15 minutes of meditation, start with five minutes instead. Then, put pen to paper, lay out a game plan, and track your progress (don’t forget to celebrate your wins!), and voila!—promises fulfilled.  

3. You let go of self-limiting beliefs

We all have false preconceived thoughts, notions, and narratives we’ve told ourselves that hold us back from becoming our best selves: “I’m not pretty enough,” “I shouldn’t apply for that job because I won’t get it,” “I’ll never find the right partner.” But you’re aware you have your life experiences, fear, and imposter syndrome to thank for those unconscious biases.

So you take a step back and pinpoint your limiting beliefs by journaling about them and the possible reasons behind them (“Does this fear protect me from rejection and failure?”), questioning and challenging them (“Is this belief actually true?”), and reframing them into an inspiring and motivating idea (“I’ll never find the right partner” becomes “I haven’t found the right partner yet, but I’m going to work on putting myself and my needs first”). But you don’t stop there. You spend time exercising self-love with affirmations, like “I’m enough,” “I have a lot to offer the world,” and “I’m worthy of love” (thank you, next, false perceptions). 

4. You show yourself compassion

It might sound cheesy, but we really do need to treat ourselves with the same kindness we show our best friends. Before you started working on yourself, you might have held yourself to super high standards and beat yourself up for facing setbacks. You probably did not show yourself the same compassion as you would a BFF. But now, you show yourself the same grace you show your friends (only kindness, understanding, and encouragement are welcome!). You also practice self-compassion by holding others accountable for their actions, and by asking for help when you need it, like a trusted family member or co-worker. 

Showing yourself compassion didn’t happen with a snap of a finger, but you’ve mastered the skill by practicing self-kindness, adopting a mindfulness-based approach, honoring your authenticity, and taking note of when negative self-talk comes into play. You’ve built resilience, made progress on your goals, and reduced stress, because you know you can forgive yourself.

5. You allow yourself to feel all emotions without judgment

PSA: Even our “best selves” feel negative feelings sometimes. You don’t know you’re becoming your best self when you stop feeling sad, anxious, or stressed; you know you’re becoming your best self when you acknowledge those feelings and know how to process them. You don’t sweep negative feelings under the rug. All emotions are for feeling: happiness, gratitude, and excitement, but also sadness, anger, anxiety, envy, and loneliness. You feel all your feels, because there’s no such thing as a bad emotion.  

Sometimes naming the emotion, accepting it, and recognizing where it’s manifesting in your body is your go-to means of processing. Other times, you take to journaling, hot girl walks, talking to a friend, or therapy sessions to uncover where your feelings are stemming from (maybe your social media habit is triggering your anxiety and sadness?) and what they may be trying to communicate to you (perhaps you could use a social media break?). Bottom line: You’ll cry if you want (or need) to. After all, experiencing all of our selves—the good, the bad, the ugly—is what makes us human and enhances our relationships;  especially the one we have with ourselves.   

6. You’re comfortable with being uncomfortable 

Sure, you could hit snooze, skip every workout, and stay small at work, but stepping out of your comfort zone is a must if growth—personally, professionally, and romantically—is what you’re after. It’s not easy, but you identified the things that bring you discomfort and went after them anyway. You face them head-on, knowing you may not get instant gratification and may risk failing or getting rejected. But here’s the “best-self” part: you did it anyway, because you know it’s what you really want.

Maybe you tried the 3-2-8 method despite never lifting weights, took yourself out on a solo dinner date when you felt self-conscious being alone, made connections at an alumni networking event which you typically avoid, and spoke up when you disagreed with a point your boss made and suggested a different approach. You’re basically a pro at diving into new experiences and pushing your limits by this point. 

7. You don’t over-romanticize the past

During the hardest times when we have a long road of self-discovery ahead of us, it can be easy to romanticize the past. At your lowest, you might have scrolled through old photos and wished you were living in the past, instead of simply being grateful for the memories and focusing on the present. Now that you’ve grown, though, you know that there’s no point in dwelling on what you’ve lost. Sure, you can grieve past versions of yourself or times in your life, but you know that the fact that those times were good doesn’t take away from how beautiful things are now. Instead of wishing you could go back in time (or leap forward), you let yourself focus on the now.

8. You trust your future self

Let’s be real: If you relate to any of the above green flags, you’ve been putting in work towards your own personal growth. While it’s true that we are all our own worst critics, one huge green flag that you’re becoming your best self is that you know that your future self will be able to overcome hurdles and take things in stride. At the beginning of your personal growth journey, you probably got a bit stressed out over how much work you needed to do. Maybe you’ve felt a little anxious from time to time when you were trying to build better habits, ruminated over how far you’ve come and how much you need to grow, or overthought your own morning routine a few too many times. It happens.

However, perhaps the biggest green flag that you’re becoming your best self is that you don’t constantly think about self-improvement. You love and trust your future self so much, you know that she will approach every setback with a growth mindset. You still want to grow every day, and you take action to do so, but you don’t overthink it. You know you’re really becoming your best self when becoming your best self is no longer the only thing on your mind.

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