Advice to Help You Become Self-Reliant
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” — Aristotle
I think it’s difficult to avoid being reliant on people at times
Even though many of us fancy ourselves as independent or feel we can take care of ourselves, we sometimes leave parts of our well-being to others. We ask others, often indirectly, to make us feel better about ourselves. We ask for kindness, consideration and acknowledgement to bring us out of our darkness, but more often than not, things don’t work out this way, right?
We do this with our friends, our family, our relationships, we even do this with random people we meet at a gathering or a grocery store — we hope that they would say or do something that would make us feel good. And there’s nothing so wrong with this because how else would we love and trust others if we never felt good around them? But there’s a sort of line, a very fine line that we need to draw.
Which I why I ask, why seek your well-being in the souls of others?
It’s a question Marcus Aurelius helped me ask myself some years ago. Like why? Like when I would lose my temper, I would scream and shout hoping that others would react in a way that made me feel better. When I would work hard and achieve things for myself, I would hope others would acknowledge me to help me feel good. On bad days, I would hope for comfort and convenience to ease my stress.
But to be honest, no one could make me feel better than I could. Don’t get me wrong, it feels good when people are caring, kind and honest, it feels good when they feel good. But more often than not, they don’t feel so good. They suffer too and find themselves lost in their darkness.
So, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to wait until it’s my turn to be tended to, it doesn’t make sense for any of us to do this, you know?
A good way forward would be to rely our well-being on ourselves
It may not be the only way forward, but I’ve found it to make the most sense. It’s empowering to know that we can stand on our own feet and take care of ourselves, not just on the surface with our jobs and the people we interact with, but on a deeper level too, where our fears and insecurities roam — it’s empowering to know that we can take care of our well-being.
And what comes with that is trust, respect and love — the same way these qualities would grow for someone else if they were always there to lift us up is the same way these qualities would grow in ourselves if we play that role. And it’s less of a gamble when we play that role because we will rely on the things that we can control.
Well, it may be slightly different for each person, but this is what worked for me — just look at it as a change of habit.
When we were kids, we would run to our parents or guardians every time we would fall and get hurt, and they would help us feel better. They would play this role with our temper tantrums and sad feelings(assuming we grew up in a supportive household). So it’s only natural to have a habit of asking someone else to help us feel better.
But as we mature, this is where we need to change. We should build a sort of internal trigger that recognizes every time we feel like turning to someone else and let that be a reminder that we should turn to ourselves instead. We should look inward at what is unsettled (because that’s where the problem really lives) and we should do what we have to do to settle it.
We can go for a walk, be patient with our emotions, take time to understand what’s really going on, and be reasonable instead of unreasonable(because that’s usually what happens to all of us when we’re unsettled) — but regardless of what it is, we should do whatever we have to do to comfort ourselves and make us feel better.
Because you will forever be your responsibility
The first time will be difficult, but you will learn what to say and what not to say to yourself, you will learn what settles you and what unsettles you — you will figure yourself out.
And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask others for advice, you definitely can, but first, figure out what the right questions are for you and then reach out to those you trust — they may not have all the answers, but you will find pieces of the puzzle you’re trying to figure out, and that’s what matters most.
So build the habit of Self-Reliance. It is tough, it does ask a lot of you, but over time, you would no longer fear what lies behind you or before of you because you will know what lies inside you — Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Invest in your existence,