When we speak of a person being independent, what do we mean? Usually, we take it to mean that as a person achieves adulthood, so they become capable of being independent. The process of becoming independent is not the same for everyone, and we all know of youngsters who can live an independent life from a relatively young age. We also know of those who do not attain independence until they are well into adulthood.
The process of becoming independent begins as a young child—their level of independence increases as they pass through the various stages of growing up. Walking, learning to talk, eating without help, and so on all enable the child to act without constant assistance from others. As adulthood approaches, so the young person will have gained a fund of experience and learning that will make for a smooth transition into the adult world.
Naturally, we will grow apart from our parents as we grow older. Breaking those ties enables us to step into the real world and function there as fully-capable people. We need to develop independence in every aspect of our lives so that we can earn a living, develop a career, be emotionally mature, and develop a personal philosophy.
Outlined here are eight reasons why achieving independence is essential.
1. Being independent is a boost to your confidence.
Every life coach and motivational speaker stresses the importance of confidence when you seek success in your life. The more independent you are, the more confident you will become. Having confidence gives you a positive outlook on life. You are going to be willing to do things on your own, without needing support or approval from others.
You can try new ventures, and so gain more experience. This becomes self-fulfilling, for the more experiences you have, the more your confidence will grow. The more your confidence grows, then you gain even more experience. The greater your confidence, so the greater will be your chances of big rewards for your efforts.
2. You will not need to rely on others.
Self-reliance is a significant element in being an independent person. When you can make decisions for yourself without relying on others to approve or sanction your choice, so you are acting independently. People who rely heavily on others for support are often seen as needy and demanding. These are not attractive features in someone’s personality and might lead to losing friends or upsetting colleagues.
A person who is self-reliant and makes decisions with confidence is going to find themselves being relied on. This can make them feel more valuable and even indispensable.
3. Emotional independence makes you happier.
One significant aspect of being mature is handling your emotions without recourse to help from others. Many challenging situations will arise throughout the course of our lives. How we handle these situations is a mark of how mature and independent we are.
Keeping our emotions from dominating our lives is essential if we are to be confident and able to make decisions from a position of inner strength. Knowing that our emotions are under control brings a sense of contentment and calm. Stress is reduced, and we become happier. There are many techniques that can be used to help us control our emotions. Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are among them.
4. Freedom through financial independence.
Nothing compares to receiving that first pay packet and knowing that at last, you can begin to pay your way in the world. Having financial independence is a fantastic feeling. It means that you don’t have to depend on others to pay for you. Knowing you are in control of your income and spending without referring to anyone else reduces stress and improves your feeling of contentedness.
While the pursuit of money should not dominate your life, having an income that meets all your financial requirements means you will be a happy person. Having sufficient money means you can pursue other interests and pursue other goals, knowing your lifestyle is safe.
5. Being independent makes you a better decision-maker.
If you are dependent on other people, your ability to make clear, precise decisions is severely affected. You will always have to consider the effect that your choices will have on those other people.
How often have we heard of dependent adult children being cut out of a will or denied an inheritance because they have made a decision their parent does not agree with? Their dependence made them subservient, and then when they dared to make their own decisions, the effect was dramatic. Being independent means you can make decisions without fear of the consequences.
6. Independence leads to personal improvement.
When you are independent, you can lead a more free social life, pursue the career that you want, and undertake activities that appeal to you. No-one else will be trying to limit your ambition. You can meet new friends, try new things, and follow up on new opportunities. All of this will lead to you growing as a person, becoming more experienced, have a better understanding of the ways of the world, and become more knowledgeable.
Personal growth, both emotional and professional, is worth pursuing. Your independence will allow you to follow your instincts and indulge your curiosity without others holding you back. You will be able to check out new opportunities and try your skills and talents on new projects.
7. Independence leads to broader horizons.
Once you can function as an independent person without constraints placed on you by others, you can broaden your horizons. You will be able to take trips to exotic destinations, meet people with different social and moral beliefs, and gain more extensive knowledge. In turn, this will lead you to think differently about many aspects of your life. It might affect the way you approach decision-making, or, on a simpler level, change your attitude to food.
Independence can give you a broader, more all-embracing view of the world, and prevent you from adopting a narrow mind-set. You will welcome adventure and see more clearly the rewards of taking risks.
8. Independence is a boost to your self-esteem.
Self-esteem is tied in very closely to achieving success. How we see ourselves can affect our whole approach to life. The more independent you are, the more likely it is that you will have positive self-esteem. If you see yourself as a successful person, you will be more likely to achieve greater success. Self-belief is the inseparable partner of self-esteem.
If you see yourself in a positive light, then you will have greater belief in your abilities. In turn, this will give you more confidence, and you will take a positive approach to working towards your goals. When you can act independently in each of these areas of your life, then you will have become a mature adult with a positive attitude towards everything you do. This is why independence is important.