1. You have no idea what comes next. You cannot predict what the next five years will bring — and that is a good thing. You have to constantly readjust your expectations. If you stick to the same plan you created years ago when you weren’t as wise as you are now, then you would probably end up at the wrong destination. You have to keep changing your plans. You cannot stubbornly cling to what the past you thought was best because the present you knows better.
2. You feel like you have a lot of improvement to make. It’s scary to realize there are a million people better at your craft than you are, but it’s also a good thing. The realization will motivate you. It will encourage you to keep working hard. If you assumed you were the best in your field, you would start to slack, but since you know there are a million other people who are just as good as you, you are never going to get lazy.
3. You have made enemies. If someone feels like you are their main competition, it means you are good at what you do. They think you are a threat to their success because you could steal their thunder. Take it as a compliment instead of an insult.
4. You feel an immense amount of pressure. Getting nervous about showing your work to the world is a good sign. You are nervous because you care. You are nervous because you hope others love the finished product as much as you do. You are nervous because you want this more than you have ever wanted anything in your life.
5. You have journeyed far outside of your comfort zone. You have to take risks in order to succeed. You have to become comfortable with uncomfortable situations. Whenever you feel completely safe and secure in your situation, it’s probably because you aren’t moving backward — or forward. You are only remaining in place. And that is a recipe for regret.
6. You are coming dangerously close to broke. If you are running low on cash, that means you have chosen a career you are passionate about instead of a career that brings you the biggest paycheck. If you are entirely happy with your current occupation — even though you are only getting paid a small amount — then you must really love what you are doing.
7. You have been told you’re never going to make it. People will doubt you whenever you choose the toughest path, but that doesn’t mean they are right. Be proud you had the courage to follow your heart while they decided to play it safe. One of you is going to end up with big accomplishments while the other is only going to end up with regrets.
8. You spend some of your weekends working. It’s not because your boss expects you to work. It’s because you want to work. It’s because you cannot wait to continue the projects you have started. You are finally doing something you actually enjoy doing and it shows.
9. You are terrified of failure. You wouldn’t worry about failure unless you loved what you were doing. The fact that you care about your work this much means you are doing something meaningful. It means you have chosen a career that matters.
10. You have less time for friends. You are working longer hours. You are putting more effort into your projects. You are spending more of your week working than playing and the weird thing is that you’re perfectly fine with it. You don’t want to grow distant from your loved ones, but you realize there are certain things you have to sacrifice in order to achieve your dreams and spending every weekend partying is one of them.
11. You are becoming an unshakable optimist. Believing good things will happen and setting high expectations for yourself is scary because it leaves so much room for disappointment, but it’s a good thing that you are starting to have more faith in yourself. You shouldn’t be your own worst critic. You should be your own biggest supporter. Keep telling yourself you can do this. Keep expecting success. The more you believe in yourself, the better you will do in the end.