Do you consider yourself to be an independent person? For years I thought I was until I found myself living alone for the first time when I was 42. That’s when I realized I wasn’t nearly as independent as I thought.
I worked, took care of the bills, went out of town alone, and set up at craft fairs by myself. I thought I could take care of myself. And I can, but at the beginning I struggled greatly. I soon found that I’d been far too dependent on my husband for everything.
When you’re young it’s easier to be influenced into doing or thinking what others say you should be doing and thinking. This is especially true when you’re not confident with who you are. Going straight from your parents’ home to a place you share with a significant other can put you in danger of losing your identity before you have one.
This may not be true of everyone; some kids are independent long before they should have to be. And some kids are strong-willed and focused and already have a sense of who they are. But I’ll wager that most of us are not these things until we’re on our own for a while. Even if you live at home, there are ways to become more independent.
Reasons to be More Independent
I think that all of these reasons can lead to more success in life, whether it’s your family, social, or business life.
- When you’re independent, the need to rely on others diminishes. Not that it’s bad to need people sometimes, but it’s a great thing when you realize that you can do a lot for yourself without having to always count on someone else or put someone else out. And let’s face it-there are going to be times when no one is there for you, unfortunately.
- As you begin to discover yourself, your confidence level will rise. It’s so freeing, especially when you realize you can be or do anything you desire.
- It helps you with making decisions. Decisions becomes easier when you’re confident and have been thinking for yourself. Dependence on someone else’s choices can become a habit-it’s so much easier, but it can cause you to never use or know how to use your own judgment.
How to Become More Independent
Sometimes it’s tough to be more independent, but these suggestions can help.
- Don’t agree with others’ opinions/beliefs unless you actually feel the same way. Think about the subject for yourself and form your own opinion. Getting into the habit of thinking for yourself will go a long way towards being independent.
- Don’t belittle yourself-accept who you are, flaws and all, while at the same time actively work on improving any areas you’re not satisfied with.
- Try not to be too emotionally attached to others. I’m not suggesting you should be cold-hearted. Don’t throw away your relationships in pursuit of independence. We all need people in our lives to love and cherish, but we must also learn to be on our own at times and not hinge our happiness or success on someone else.
- Take charge of your independence. Open your own checking account, start saving money, pursue a career that makes you happy, find activities you like and do them solo occasionally.
- Learn how to do things that aren’t typically your job, like mowing the lawn, cleaning, and changing the oil in the car.
It’s my belief that being an independent person allows you to be live a more free life. It brings confidence that you can make it on your own if need be. It brings the knowledge that you can go anywhere or do anything without others if there’s no one available to spend time with you. Being independent frees you from fear and gives you choices you wouldn’t have realized you had before.
It’s not always easy to be independent. It can be a struggle, but it’s worth the struggle. Just remember that you don’t have to cut yourself off from others to become independent. But be a leader sometimes instead of a follower.
Check out these great inspirational quotes regarding independence. There are some really great ones.