As the New Year is upon us, many people are creating plans of action for how to approach their goals that they wish to accomplish within the next twelve months. One way to accomplish your goals while building confidence and consistency is through self-reliance. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously spoke about the importance of self-reliance and how vital it is for the success of individuals and what they wish to accomplish. Self-reliance is the act of trusting yourself by setting goals and intentions, and depending on you to see them through. 

Many of life’s greatest philosophers have spoken often about the importance of self-reliance or believing in yourself and our choices to get through life’s obstacles. Socrates famously said, “To find yourself, think for yourself”. While these words are simple, they hold a profound message. When we are facing the challenges of life, we can often rely on the words of others to help get us through. Learning from others is a wonderful way to gain knowledge, however, it is essential to practice trust and faith within you. You are the most knowledgeable person regarding the facts of your life. 

Although the concept of self-reliance, believing and depending on yourself to lead you towards success and happiness has been around for centuries, many of us are still unable to practice it. Here are five ways to practice self-reliance, thereby building self-confidence and dependence:

1. Think for yourself

Catherine Moore, Psychologist, MBA, writes of the importance of believing in you, by first thinking for yourself. Many of us often spend hours of our day filled with listening to what others think of our lives or suggestions on what decisions we should make, but what if the key to resolving life’s obstacles or making decisions, is to simply place trust within ourselves? As mentioned previously, learning from others and listening to others help us gain valuable knowledge—however, only doing what others are doing without thinking for yourself can lead to results that you may not be happy with. Instead, try thinking for yourself. 

2. Be who you are

Be who you are in all of your quirks and intricacies. Being what others imagine you to be will not lead to your own happiness. Be your authentic self, by understanding your intricacies. Being who you are means constantly assessing and creating self-awareness.  

3. Be accountable to yourself

YOU hold the greatest knowledge of who you are. Give yourself the time you deserve to understand what makes you who you are, by practicing accountability. Take the time to understand what your boundaries are within relationships, give yourself the time to think about what goals you would like to accomplish.  

4. Set accomplishable goals for yourself to complete each day

One way to nurture self-reliance is to set attainable goals to complete for yourself each day. Do you love having a warm cup of coffee before work? Set a goal and intention to wake up early enough to enjoy an entire cup of coffee before you leave for the day. Goals do not have to be enormous each day—they can be as simple as making a cup of coffee, if that is what makes you feel confident to start your day. Accomplishing this goal can help to create self-reliance that you know how to take care of your needs and set yourself up for success. 

5. Maintain your self-dependence 

It is quite all right to go do an activity you have always wanted to do, without a large group accompanying you. Many people may say no to activities or adventures that they have always wanted to do because others do not find them interesting. Simply believe in your capacity and ability to know what you do and do not like and nourish your interests. Take yourself out for a cup of coffee, or go for a morning hike. Trust that you know YOU. Give yourself the love and respect you deserve by believing in yourself.

These are just some ways to practice self-reliance. As you read this, you may start to think of other ways in which you can utilize self-reliance and belief in yourself within your own life. Ultimately, engage in acts that help to build independence and strength within you. Place trust within yourself and your capabilities. Understand that self-reliance is not something that comes right away—you must work towards it by giving yourself the space and time to do so. 

Let’s recap:

These are just some ways to practice self-reliance. As you read this, you may start to think of other ways in which you can utilize self-reliance and belief in yourself within your own life. Ultimately, engage in acts that help to build independence and strength within you. Place trust within yourself and your capabilities. Understand that self-reliance is not something that comes right away—you must work towards it by giving yourself the space and time to do so. If you need a more structured approach to accomplishing self-reliance—give Mindshine a try.