Ralph Waldo Emerson American, philosopher and writer, defined self-reliance as
The need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his or her own instincts and ideas.
To be self-reliant means to rely on yourself. Seems simple enough, right?
But how exactly do you become self-reliant?
From the time we were children until we become adults, we rely on our parents to guide us through life, teaching us right from wrong and how to make good choices. Teachers instill skills that we will use in our careers. We have friends and family we grow up with that give us advice and help us make decisions.
So it seems we may not be prepared once we reach adulthood to know how to become self-reliant. We are constantly depending on others for something.
Let’s break down what it truly means to be self-reliant.
Build your confidence
Know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Build on your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Be okay with not receiving compliments or reassurance from others. Work on your insecurities. You are a unique and individual thinker. Make your own decisions and stand behind them.
Also, take responsibility for your actions, don’t place blame. Think of accomplishments that make you proud and do more of those things. Decide who you want to be and how to get there. Practice making your own decisions and see how your confidence will grow.
Know your self-worth
By overcoming your insecurities, you’ll find your positive self-image. Accept who you are by appreciating your own character strengths (i.e. kind, curious, brave). Do not put yourself down or sabotage your efforts. Don’t obsess over what other people think of you. Once you know your values, you know what will and will not be allowed in your life. Make a definite major purpose statement and don’t deviate from your plan. Most of all, be kind to yourself during this process.
Manage your time
Don’t let others dictate when and how you should be doing something. Make sure your schedule is full of activities that revolve around your definite major purpose and get you one step closer to your ultimate goal. When you are in control of how you spend your time, you will rely more on yourself and less on others.
Create your own happiness
Tying yourself to external things or other people may bring you happiness in the moment, but what happens when those moments are gone? Materialistic things are not things of value. Value your own happiness.
Find things in this life that give you joy. Trust you know how to make yourself happy. Practice self-care. Comparison is the thief of joy, so stop comparing yourself to others.
You can create your own happiness by building a life you love.
By putting faith in yourself and being independent, you will become the number one person you can count on. The ability to control your own destiny, to live a life of your design, and feel secure in your own decisions is what we all deserve.
Go forth and be self-reliant.