What does it mean to rely on yourself? Simply put, it means learning to be more independent. Relying on others is safe and comfortable, which is what makes it a gut reaction for so many people. But becoming self-reliant means putting your faith and complete trust in yourself—an important quality to master in life, but also one that takes some practice.
So, where do we even begin? How do we learn to accept ourselves, depend on ourselves, and embrace our individuality? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Let go of your need for approval.
As much as we wish we didn’t, most of us care what others think. A lot. And many of the decisions we make are based on how the people around us will judge us when we make them. If you think about it, it’s kind of funny that we’re like this. It doesn’t matter if your mom’s best friend’s sister didn’t like the color of the flowers at your wedding 10 years ago. What matters is that you liked them.
It’s cliché, but the only opinion that‘s worth listening to at the end of the day is your own. What will make you feel good? What’s going to make you the happiest? Letting go of your need for others’ approval is a key piece of instilling trust in yourself. Learn all about how to start following your own intuition!
Own your mistakes.
Now comes the most important part: taking responsibility for your life. Gulp. Sounds big and scary, huh? Don’t be worried. This simply means admitting when you’re wrong rather than passing the blame onto others—something we could all use some practice in every now and then. It’s easy to do when life is good. However, learning to take ownership of your wrongdoings in sticky situations is the mark of a good person (and a self-reliant one, at that).
Unfortunately, there is no magic to this one. It’s up to you to notice when you begin to put the blame on others and correct yourself from there. The good news? We’re all human! We make mistakes, and we have the opportunity to grow from them. It’s how you take responsibility for those mistakes that truly matters.
Confidence is key.
You’ve probably heard this one over and over—and with good reason! When you’re learning to rely on yourself more than others, confidence really is the key. Research even tells us that high self-esteem is the most important factor in predicting overall life satisfaction. So yes, establishing confidence in yourself is really, really important!
We all know those people who have the ability to walk into a room and strike up an engaging conversation with a complete stranger. And, if we’re being honest, we tend to envy those people. While some are just naturally confident, for most people, confidence like that takes work. Even the people who seem like they have it all figured out deal with insecurities that bring their confidence levels down now and then. Check out this article for a few tips on building (and keeping) up your confidence. And don’t worry if it doesn’t happen overnight … it’s not supposed to!
Becoming self-reliant is a process—and it’s not linear. In fact, you should expect a fair amount of trial and error when you set out to become the best, most independent version of yourself. It comes down to two things: knowing yourself and trusting yourself. If you can master those two things, you’ll become self-reliant by default.