Why Self-Reliance Is So Important
Four (4) minute read.
Consider this, once upon a time, when a person turned 18 years old, they were expected to be able to leave their parent’s house and either go to college or get a job. Many of those who chose college was expected to go live in a dorm. Quite a few of those students needed jobs while they were in school.
Their parents were no longer in the same living area, be it a home, apartment, dorm, etc., and these young adults were required to take care of themselves. They had to clean, do laundry, buy, and prepare meals, manage finances, pay bills, and so on. Being self-sufficient wasn’t an option–it was an expectation.
A shifting economy and inflating prices have made it more difficult for students to leave the nest and exist on their own, but in the grand scheme, not much has changed in the expectation of one being self-sufficient.
How can one truly know anything about themselves and their capabilities if they aren’t controlling their environment with the knowledge that no matter what happens, they can handle it?
Co-dependency isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most people have at least one person they feel they can rely on—and we need that connection with others. (Benamati, 2017)
But, having someone in your life to trust, be it a family member, spouse, or friend, doesn’t mean that you can’t care for yourself. No one wants to walk through life alone. We all want attention in some form, but that attention shouldn’t be realized in coddling.
If you were offered a great job that required you to move far away from everyone you knew, would you be able to take that job and be confident in your ability to start a new life where only you are at the center? It’s an important question to ask, even if you don’t think something like that will ever happen for you. That’s self-doubt, and we push that aside. It’s never helpful. (Onibalusi, n.d.)
Or, what if you were offered a billion dollars and all you had to do to get it is to live in the woods or mountains for a year? Could you provide for yourself via hunting and scavenging? Could you find or construct shelter? This scenario is highly unlikely, but it begs the question—how self-sufficient are you?
There are a lot of ways to train yourself to be self-sufficient.
Appreciate Your Independence
You don’t need anyone to cook or clean for you. Your parents or spouse or even roommate might do that for you now, but what if they are unable to? Take pride in caring for yourself.
Crafting an optimal sleep schedule and eating healthy will do wonders for your mental state, and guess what? Doing those things is self-sufficiency in action. Do your own grocery shopping, prepare your own meals, and eat foods that are beneficial to your body.
The importance of getting an adequate amount of sleep is not something that can be overstated. The brain needs rest. It needs to refresh and reset. Not getting enough sleep impacts every facet of your life and personality. (Fletcher, 2019)
Craft A Plan
Understanding your needs and goals is an essential step in becoming self-sufficient. As we covered earlier, there’s nothing wrong with needing help or having people to rely on. That doesn’t need to extend to every aspect of your life.
Be honest with yourself. What do you want out of life? What are some immediate goals that you can work toward? It’s important to set small goals and big goals. Seeing ourselves progress is a key to life. (Cohen, 2017)
Small goals help us to see that progress happen. The feeling of accomplishment is next to none. Achieving those smaller goals also reinforces in our minds that the big goal can be achieved. The little goals add up over time and they push us toward where we want to be.
There will inevitably be complications and pitfalls along the way. The most important thing we can do when faced with obstacles is to make sure that we have done all that we can on our own to get past the issue. Asking for help isn’t out of the question but knowing that you have exhausted your options before doing so is comforting. It tells you that you can continue.
Naturally, when the goal is something of great importance, knowing your limits is even more crucial. Some things require outside assistance, and you must know when to seek help.
Be A Risk-Taker
Challenging yourself shouldn’t be a thought you oppose. It doesn’t need to be something that’s dreaded. When we challenge ourselves, we discover who we are. Challenges can be presented in every facet of life. Overcoming those is an important step to better understanding your capabilities.
Many studies have shown that the most successful people are risk-takers. They don’t back down from a challenge and they pursue taking chances. Someone who builds a business from the ground up doesn’t do so without being self-sufficient. (McRoberts, 2017)
Being Self-Reliant Improves Your Life
Growing your own food, making your own cleaning products, curating your own pet food, fixing your furniture, appliances, and vehicles on your own are all methods of self-sufficiency. They’re not the only ones but accomplishing something on your own is a powerful feeling.
Everyone will be faced with many points in their life when they alone must make a decision or solve an issue. Being prepared for these events is important. Even just being capable of living alone is an important step in your life.
Remember the amazing feeling you get when you accomplish something? It doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant. You feel a rush and a joy within yourself. Now, imagine a handful of those moments on a smaller scale each day, after each activity you complete or action you take. Who wouldn’t want that?
Here’s the secret: anyone can feel this. Being self-sufficient requires one person to accomplish that task—you.
Benamati, K. (2017, March 19). Why We Really Need Relationships in Life. Retrieved from Huff Post: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-we-really-need-relati_b_9467896?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAI9e2VENKtFB0FvyyygOZrv2inl03t-LfPW0eCi-fVgBDQGF9jOTDwESV_uwXO0LVyuu94hwK7YAlnSN2HW5Jfcs5RZMbdm5XY_iUsO8iQI
Cohen, J. (2017, December 13). This Is The Single Most Important Thing To Know If You Want To Truly Succeed In Life. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2017/12/13/this-is-the-most-important-thing-to-know-if-you-want-to-truly-succeed-in-life/?sh=3db0e9a6757d
Fletcher, J. (2019, May 31). Why sleep is essential for health. Retrieved from Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325353#:~:text=or%20other%20means.-,Summary,disease%2C%20and%20increased%20illness%20duration
McRoberts, S. (2017, December 29). Here’s What Science Says You Should Do to Achieve Greater Success. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/305985
Onibalusi, A. (n.d.). 5 Unexpected Dangers of Self-Doubt. Retrieved from Life Hack: https://www.lifehack.org/387039/5-unexpected-dangers-self-doubt