How to Be Self Reliant
Although being in a committed, bonded relationship can enrich your life, feeling unable
to function without another person could lead to a problem like Relational Dependency.
Relational Dependency is a progressive disorder, meaning that the relationship may start
off healthy but one person becomes gradually more controlling of or dependent upon the
other, which can lead to an unhealthy relationship.
Furthermore, self actualization is needed for personal growth and is thought to be a key
need that motivates our behavior. In general, those who are independent and self reliant
typically survive and function better in society than those who are dependent on others for
happiness and sustainability. Taking control of basic tasks and life skills will not only
help you stay in control of your own life, but will ultimately contribute to making you a happier person.
Developing Independent Habits
Assume Responsibility for Your Life
Part of being self-reliant is undertaking certain responsibilities that enable people to
experience independence. Doing simple things such as paying your bills on time, cleaning up
after yourself if you make a mess, and going to work or school on time can help you feel
more responsible and self-reliant. If you do not have a job, you have the responsibility of
looking for a job, seeking education that will lead to employment, or starting your own business.
Information is power, so having information will give you the power to make your own
decisions and assert your independence. Try to be well-rounded and keep up with information
about what is going on in your place of business or school, your town, your state, your
country, and the world. For example, knowing that a local ordinance determining whether
backyard chickens can be kept in your area is coming up for a vote can give you the
opportunity to lobby and vote for the ability to keep chickens for fresh eggs.
Know Where You Are Going
You should have a sense of direction. Something has to drive you. For example, if you
are attending college, you should at least have an idea of what you want to do after
college and what you are passionate about studying. You should also try to set goals for
yourself. Try setting short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, then be realistic
about what you need to do to meet those goals.
Seek out a career counselor if you are not sure what you'd like to do with your life.
Career self-assessments can be found online. Many websites like this one or this one can
offer helpful guidance. Most schools have career centers or guidance counselors available
to all enrolled students. These resources can help you shape a vision for your future.
Make Your Own Decisions
Allowing people to make your decisions for you is essentially giving up your independence
and self-reliance. Assert yourself and make decisions for yourself based on your goals and
dreams. While it is important to be considerate towards other people, it is not necessary
to give up your ability to make your own decisions.
For example, if you are looking for a place to live with a roommate, be sure you are
making decisions based on what is best for you. If you prefer to rent a house and have a
bit more independence than an apartment building, stick to your preference and do not
allow your roommate to talk you into something that you don't want to do.
It can also be common for some people to allow their spouses or significant others to
make all the decisions in their relationship, from where to go out to eat to where to live
and what kind of car to buy. Changing the dynamic of such a relationship may strain the
relationship, but having a part in the decision making at both daily and long-term levels
can give you greater control of your life.