Independence looks different for everyone, but the one thing that is for sure is that you can tell when someone is lacking. Whether we feel trapped, bogged down or too dependent on others, feeling like we lack this quality can be frustrating. Independence carries different meanings for everyone, but there are some things all of us can do to help become more independent versions of ourselves. These are the pillars of independence. You ultimately need to come up with the specifics but these five things will help start a foundation
LAS118: How to Be Independent
1- Get to know yourself.
If you don’t know who you are, what you want and what’s important to you it’ll be difficult to gain independence. When you have a strong understanding of yourself, you’re creating the strongest foundation on which to build more independence. This gives you strength to stand by your convictions. If you don’t have it, you allow others to fill in those gaps. They will tell you or assume what’s important to you.
2- Make your own decisions and stick by them.
Once you understand who you are, it’s easier to make decisions for yourself. They can be as small as buying a new coat, or as significant as making a career change. Being independent means that you can confidently make your own choices and stand your ground when someone challenges you. Those who are codependent will seek acceptance and reinforcement, leaving themselves vulnerable to the opinion of others. Trust your instinct and personal moral compass.
3- Understand and manage your finances.
Taking ownership of your own money is an extremely important way to build confidence and independence. Financial freedom is the make or break scenario of overall independence from others. It’s your responsibility to use your money as a tool to build the life that you want for yourself. It’s not about being a workaholic or being obsessed with money. It’s about making your money work for you. In order to do this you have to fully understand your finances. How much are you making? What are you spending? What are your assets or liabilities? You might also want to consider investing your money so that you can grow your money. Whatever the approach, there’s no reason to wait or to rely on others to take control of your finances.
4- Change how you treat yourself.
Let go of the following narratives:
“Extraordinary things don’t happen to me.”
“There are much better people out there than me.”
“I’m not smart or pretty enough.”
We’ve all said things to ourselves that we’d never dream of saying to another person. Why is that? How can you expect to believe in yourself and your abilities if you’re your own worst enemy? It’s true that confidence and independence go hand in hand. You have to change the way that you speak to yourself if it isn’t positive. Imagine how much you could boost your self esteem by using positive affirmations over negative, self-defeating language.
5- Learn how to forgive.
It’s true what they say – forgiveness is for you. It’s easy to assume that by forgiving someone, you’re condoning their behavior. It’s essential to remember that forgiveness is an external practice. You can’t let past occurrences affect your future decisions. If you do there could be a lasting, negative impact on your life. The same forgiveness that you show to others is what you must show to yourself. Being bogged down by these things can keep you trapped from moving forward.
These things don’t happen overnight. It requires time, energy and constant effort. Independence isn’t a destination. It’s a daily process, however, it is not without rewards. This practice commands consistency and patience. You have it in you, you just have to be willing to listen to the voice telling you that you can do it.