Why Developing Self-Reliance Is Important In Life
Let me just preface this by clarifying that this article on self-reliance is not asking you to be this hyper-independent, if-I-need-help-from-others-I-am-incompetent person. It is not meant to tell you that relying on others is bad. It doesn’t mean that doing things on your own is best.
I would like to just highlight why, on most occasions, being self-reliant can come in handy and why cultivating it can be crucial to your professional and private life.
1. You learn to be proactive.
In the workplace, I’m used to receiving and executing orders. I never really considered proposing new ideas or giving suggestions because I have this presumption that they’re not good enough anyway.
As a result, there is only that much I can prove myself competent in the workplace if I only do the bare minimum. I came to realize the reason behind my choice to stay unheard is because I’m afraid of being disputed. I realized that I’d rather stay quiet than have my opinions challenged.
This ‘armour’ that’s supposed to protect me from the feeling of inadequacy may do more harm than good. Self-reliance here would’ve helped me combat this fear of standing alone on my claims and be less passive. I would’ve actively done more research to support my opinions. I might even go the extra mile to come up with possible disagreements and challenge my own claims so that I can prepare to defend them if the need arises!
This applies to personal milestones, too! I could’ve tried new things on my own instead of always waiting for my friends to be on board with me. By cultivating self-reliance, I can book a class for myself if no one else is interested in learning something new with me. I can look for resources for my project if I don’t have anyone guiding me. It all boils down to how badly I want to do it, and how willing I am to do it alone.
2. You get a confidence boost.
Once you’re proactive enough to find solutions to your fear of doing things alone, it can help greatly with combating self-doubt.
As we move from being afraid of disagreements in the workplace to be able to counter said disagreements, we learn to stand firm in our opinions because we know that it holds weight. We move away from always needing a companion to being able to try new experiences alone. From this, we can see how much more we are capable of without being held back by fear.
This gives us the confidence boost needed to continue believing in our capabilities. We now know that it is okay for others to challenge us. It is not the end of the world if we don’t have anyone else to rely on. Even if we inevitably screw up sometimes, we would have the confidence to admit it, face it, and grow from it. This brings me to my next point:
3. You get to learn more about yourself.
I think this is often said but not often remembered: We all make mistakes – and it’s actually important that we do. One slip-up doesn’t make you a complete failure. If no one else is there to help you rectify it, you should be the one to do it.
Working methods are never set in stone. The sooner we realise that, the better. We do not always know ourselves best. Sometimes, it takes multiple failures and revisions to reach the desired outcome, be it for a work or personal project. Staying beaten and dejected after being proven wrong leads us nowhere.But if we reflect on our mistakes, analyse what went wrong, and amend our methods based on previous experiences, we will eventually know what works best for us. Thus, we’ll be able to bring out our best potential in the workplace!
We cannot wait around for someone else to help us to our feet and pat us on our backs after a downfall. However, we can always choose to better ourselves with every wrong we have righted.
4. You are more ready to help others.
With your own needs fulfilled, you will be better equipped to help your friends or your colleagues to become better versions of themselves. You will be a walking testimony of the importance and benefits of being self-reliant. You will also be able to guide those who are on a journey to become more self-reliant. Think about it: you can now teach them how to fish so that they can have fish for a lifetime! Now, isn’t that one of the most gratifying things life can offer?
Having said that, here are some baby steps to guide you on your path to cultivating self-reliance:
- Firstly, you can apply any of the points above to your life. Then, find out why exactly you want to be self-reliant.
- Once you have a ‘why’, you would be able to handle the subsequent ‘how’s.
- Do you want to be more proactive? Don’t be afraid of doing things alone, and be your own cheerleader.
- Do you want to have that confidence boost? Allow yourself to make mistakes and make peace with them instead of beating yourself up.
- Do you want to learn more about yourself? Actively explore what works for you, and question everything to get to the core of the methods. This way, you’ll know why those methods worked for you. Then, you can utilize them and apply them to every problem, project, or task you face.
Despite the term, this journey doesn’t have to be a solo one. You can proactively seek advice from more experienced experts. You can confidently admit your mistakes in front of your bosses and vow to do better (and actually do it). Plus, you can always experiment with suggestions given by others to see if it works out for you too.
While the ultimate goal is to become self-reliant, it doesn’t mean you must do everything yourself throughout the journey. At the end of the day, we want to become self-reliant so that we can afford to do things on our own when we do not have a choice. Not so that we can push away those who genuinely care for us and want to be there for us! Always remember that you are not a burden for needing help.
Like in the 2nd point, if you’d like to learn how to develop more confidence as a creative, check out this article here!