Self-reliance is a term that’s frequently used these days. But even though the term is tossed around, it’s meaningless if you don’t apply the principle to your daily life.
“Who cares?” you may be thinking. The fact is, YOU should!
Your choice — to accept or evade personal responsibility — may be the most important decision you’ll ever make. Here’s why…
You have a choice to make between owning your life and controlling your destiny or outsourcing that responsibility to others. In essence, determining your own future or blindly accepting the future that others want for you and even becoming beholden to them.
Is that what you want?
The Problem with Too Much Help
We are compassionate people and love to help others. But well-intentioned plans can have unintended consequences. The fact is, people are not doing anyone a favor by fighting their battles, solving their problems, and protecting them from those who may say or do things that make them uncomfortable. Instead, such “helpers” are stripping individuals of their self-confidence, weakening their self-esteem, and making it harder for them to confront their next challenge. This only makes them weak, sets them up for failure, and forces them to be dependent on someone else’s good graces.
Personal Responsibility Can’t Be Delegated
When you’re self-reliant, you take charge of your life and wield control over your destiny. That means making choices and decisions that affect your life — and acting accordingly. But some people choose to eschew that responsibility and are then forced to accept the consequences. It should be pointed out that when it comes to self-reliance, most of us lie somewhere along a continuum, rather than at either end of the spectrum.
Choices are easy. The tough part is living with them.
You may be asking yourself, if self-reliance is so important, why do folks shun it? The reasons are many: First, some folks take the easy route; it’s easier to ask people to do stuff for them than to do things themselves. Other people lack self-confidence; they think others know more or can do things better than they can. Others are not adequately prepared; they’ve had so much done for them in the past that now they’re ill-equipped to do things for themselves. What’s more, some folks lack moral character; they’re not willing to make the sacrifice and commitment required to succeed. Last, some people feel powerless and helpless; they believe that people like them don’t stand a chance — so they don’t even try to affect the outcome.
Are You Self-Reliant?
Do you own your life? Here are 15 guidelines to consider:
- Make things happen or wait to be told what to do?
- Invest in your personal growth or wait for others to train you?
- Ask for help as a last resort or view it as your first option?
- Accept responsibility when things go wrong or point fingers and play the blame game?
- Form your own opinions or gauge what others think first?
- Step out of your comfort zone or allow judgmental people to hold you back?
- Learn from the school of hard knocks or live a sheltered life?
- Accept the consequences of your actions or expect others to bail you out?
- Make your own decisions or rely on others to make them for you?
- Trust your own judgment or always seek advice?
- Accept responsibility for misfortune or cry “poor me” and play the helpless victim?
- Remain true to your values or give in to peer pressure?
- Identify solutions to make things better or constantly complain how bad they are?
- Define acceptable standards of behavior for yourself or allow others to set them for you?
- Earn your rewards or feel entitled to them?
If You’re Not Responsible for Your Actions, Who Is?
It’s unfair to blame others for controlling your life when you asked for it. If you’re not responsible for your actions, who is? Self-reliance is key!
People can’t make you do things without your permission.
You can achieve anything or be anyone you want as long as you pursue your goals with passion, work hard, and make the sacrifice and commitment required to succeed. That said, virtue isn’t demanding more of others; it’s expecting more of yourself. The road won’t always be easy. But you can take great pride knowing that YOU did it. Do you lead the way or follow the masses, listen to your conscience or give in to temptation, pursue what you want or accept what you get? It doesn’t matter what other people say. It doesn’t matter what other people do. It’s your life; your choice. YOU are responsible for your life’s journey — don’t just go along for the ride.
How Do You Feel About Self-Reliance?
Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.
Take Ownership by Taking Responsibility
Are You Helping or Hurting?
It’s Your Life to Live. Own it!
Are You Preparing Your Kids for the Real World?
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Jennifer from Vancouver says
Some people are just pathologically opposed to taking responsibility for anything around them. They don’t take responsibility for their work, their relationships, or their life. I. Don’t. Get. It. I’m always happier when my frame of mind is oriented towards what is actually in my control.
Frank Sonnenberg says
I hear you, Jennifer.
When people accept responsibility for all aspects of their life, they succeed based on their own merits.
Every time you achieve success, you can take great pride in knowing that you earned it. Conversely, every time you fail, you earned that as well. The key is that you own your life — the choices, as well as the consequences.
Thanks for taking the time to write.