September 9, 2021

How to Be Independent

By Katelyn Redfoot

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It’s nice to think of ourselves as autonomous individuals who can accomplish anything on our own. Unfortunately, most people lead lives marked by codependency instead. When we lack a sense of independence in our lives, it can cause us to lose sight of who we are.

However, when we have autonomy, it means we are free from external control. It means we are self-aware and confident enough not to let others shape our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, or reality.

Life doesn’t always work out in a way where we can always avoid receiving help from others. And that’s not necessarily the best way to live, either. Instead, there is a balance worth finding. And learning to be independent means first understanding the fine line between being completely reliant on others versus ourselves. Nevertheless, great value and life lessons come from learning how to be independent, and here are a few places you can start.

Stop relying on others

If you want to learn how to be independent, start by taking small steps toward self-reliance. Self-sufficiency does not have to mean you never ask others for help. However, there is such a thing as relying too heavily on other people.

Over-reliance on somebody else can cause you to neglect your own needs and goals and lose confidence. Start by attempting at least the first step or two of a task on your own. For instance, something you have avoided learning or doing because you always assume you won’t succeed. 

Do what’s best for you

There may be people in your life who seem always to assert themselves, vocalizing their opinions or sticking their nose in your business. Maybe you know someone who seems overly friendly – possibly a people-pleaser who always offers to lend a hand or give advice.

No matter the case, it can be challenging not to ask for help when you know it’s there if you want it, let alone saying “no” to others. Whether there is more you want to do on your own or decisions you want to make based on your best interest, you are entitled to do so. Let your passions, beliefs, and interests guide you as much as you can each day.

Create your own opportunities for independence

Get out and get moving! Look for opportunities around you instead of waiting for them to come knocking on your door. Get in touch with whatever organization or person can help you take the next step. Be proactive.

Take independence for yourself rather than waiting for the “right time,” like when someone will finally trust you with more responsibility.

Start being less passive and more proactive in your approach toward progress. That way, when independence comes knocking at your door, you’re ready with an open mind and a positive attitude for whatever lies ahead.

How to be independent by seeking the reward

People are most often held back by fear of failure. They make up all kinds of excuses for why they can’t do something and then say that they don’t know how to do it. However, you can’t expect to get anywhere and grow as a person if you’re always telling yourself you can’t do it. So if you’re still here reading this – ready to learn how to be independent – you must be curious about how rewarding life could be if you surpassed this fear. You can do this by adjusting your mindset around what independence means to you.

When it comes to how to be independent, seek the reward, not the independence itself. Consider how much dependency affects self-growth and how much you can learn once you start taking small steps towards independence.


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About the author

Katelyn Redfoot is an independent content writer based in North Carolina who offers ghostwriting, copywriting, blogging, and social media services. As a health and wellness advocate, she loves learning from and helping clients across the world share creative, relatable, and helpful content. Her goal is soon to take her writing on the road, traveling in a van with her fiance, Jason, and their dogs, Max and Summit.


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