1. You become less apologetic. You stop apologizing to everyone for the small missteps you make, and you don’t feel bad not seeking out certain people for advice before making a decision.
2. You feel less bound to people, and therefore less reliant on others. It reminds you that when things go wrong, you don’t need to make a frantic call to anyone. You can keep yourself calm and figure out the next step by yourself.
3. You become better at defending yourself and your choices because you fully understand the rationale behind those choices, and know how to counter the opposing argument because you’ve considered every possibility.
4. You are no longer heartbroken if you don’t get someone’s validation. While getting approval from family or friends might be appealing, you aren’t losing too much sleep about it anymore.
5. The pros and cons that you consider right off the bat are the ones that affect you and only you. (You may also factor in pros and cons for a partner.)
6. If you are considering pros and cons for a partner, it’s a good way to gauge how serious you are, and where your relationship is headed. You come to understand whether you would or wouldn’t make compromises for them, and where your priorities are in relation to theirs.
7. You don’t have the same guilt over what you do or don’t choose to spend money on, because it’s your money. Even if you aren’t making the right decision every single time, it’s your money that you are taking the risk with. Of course, no one likes to make the wrong choice with money, but there is always an additional guilt that comes with failure if you’re still being funded by your family.
8. You learn what opinions you inherited from your parents, or from other people in your life, and which ones are all your own. Furthermore, you learn which of your opinions completely changed because of your upbringing and where you disagree with the people who influenced you the most.
9. You’re actually able to give definitive advice to friends based on your past experience. Mainly because you have enough faith that your experience is strong enough to not lead them completely astray.
10. You finally learn how to say “no,” even if it takes a lot of getting used to. You’re comfortable saying “no” to gatherings you don’t actually want to show up at, to tasks that you’re guilted into even when you don’t have the time, and to favors for friends who are never there for you when you need them.
11. When you seek advice now it’s as a supplement to your assessment of a situation. (As opposed to hoping that someone will provide direction so you don’t have to find one yourself.)
12. You aren’t still letting yourself get talked into hanging out with people who don’t make you feel good or who put you down. You can’t stay friends with everyone from the countless friend groups you’ve accumulated in your life time, and would rather make time for the people who matter more to you, than stretch yourself too thin.
13. Even if you’re not happy in your workplace, you no longer feel like you’re entirely under someone’s thumb. When you start feeling confident in your own decision-making skills, you become accountable enough to approach your work situation practically, understanding what you need to do to get promoted, when you should approach a superior, or whether it’s time to start looking elsewhere and making a change.
14. You’re more apt to understand why the crowd (whether that’s your friends or just the ~the masses~) is tending a certain way. And you actually consider whether that’s the right choice for you, as opposed to blindly following.
15. You no longer cringe when you make a mistake and are called out on it because you know how to behave in challenging situations. You trust yourself to own up to the mistake instead of piling on excuse after excuse.
16. You live somewhere you actually want to live (based on your life, career, finances, partner, etc.). You’re over living in the hip city, or the city you were only drawn to because 90% of your college moved there, or a place you chose solely based on a partner.
17. You talk yourself out of doing things that won’t actually be beneficial to you. When you’re initially attracted to something (or someone) the wrong reasons, you’re able to catch yourself and decide against it. (And then wish you had someone around to congratulate you on your beautifully rational decision.)