Self-reliance is a highly regarded trait that is not only worthy of respect but is also capable of enriching life and creating many more opportunities. When you don’t rely on others to do the things you want to do, or to get by on a day-to-day basis, you increase your options and you build confidence and experience.
But if you are not someone who is naturally independent or self-sufficient, what can you do to acquire these traits? Is self-reliance something you are simply born with… or not? Or can it be learned?
How to Build Confidence and Experience
To become self-reliant you need to spend more time getting by on your own. This means learning to enjoy your own company, to ‘make do’ with fewer resources, and to deal with challenges without going to others for help.
The problem is that many of us are used to having a support network around us and thus struggle to ‘let go’ of that help long enough to learn the skills we need to be alone and to cope with adversity as it arises. The only way to acquire the skills necessary for self-reliance is to force yourself to cope alone more often and to remove that temptation to get help, comfort, or support when normally you would. What’s one great way to do this? Traveling!
When you go traveling you basically remove yourself from that support network as well as your creature comforts. Thus, when challenges arise (which they will), you will be forced to cope with them by finding your own way rather than turning to someone for help. This works even better if you head somewhere where you can’t speak the language and where you feel like a ‘fish out of water’ as it means you’ll be coping without even being able to ask strangers for help.
You can also gain self-reliance simply by doing more things yourself. That might mean going to the cinema occasionally on your own, going out for food, or engaging in hobbies. Going to the gym on your own is a simple activity that can make you more used to spending time without company.
Want to go one step further? Live alone!
Ultimately, the trick is to force yourself to cope when normally you would ask for help and to occasionally put yourself out there without a ‘safety net’. This is how you can gain the knowledge and expertise to cope with whatever life throws at you.
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