I will admit that for many years of my past, I felt as if I was crazy. I wanted to be someone that I wasn’t just to be accepted and liked by others. I would blame or lash out at those closest to me for my unhappiness. I would act out of impulse instead of out of logic to fulfill my emotional needs and desires. Above all else, I allowed others to control my life and how I felt not only about life as a whole but about myself as a person.
This caused all kinds of problems in my life that I wasn’t able to see because I was so caught up in how others thought of me. Essentially, every relationship in my life was suffering. I was incredibly unhappy with the person that I was becoming, and as a result, I became depressed. I felt helpless because those whose attention and acceptance I craved the most truthfully didn’t care about me. It just didn’t seem like I was ever going to win in life or amount to anything.
It’s been only in recent years that I have been able to find a sense of happiness and pride for myself as an individual. Truth be told, a lot of this happiness and pride comes from the fact that I have found my voice and am becoming more self-reliant and independent on a daily basis. I’m finally starting to accept the person that I was meant to be, and as a result, I have never been happier before in my entire life.
While I am not an expert on the topic, there are some things that I want to share with you about becoming more self-reliant and independent. It can be incredibly scary to go up against the world when all you crave is the attention and acceptance of those around you. But if you don’t do it for yourself, just know that nobody is going to do it for you.
What Type of Person Are You?
Similar to how I was (okay, let’s be real… we all still care somewhat), you might be somebody who seeks the acceptance and approval of others. You might have a difficult time saying no to others because you don’t want to disappoint them. Maybe you are the type of person who is willing to place the wants and desires of others before your own wants and desires just to be liked more because you think it’s the kind thing to do.
I get it. As I said, this was me for many, many years. Buy when are you going to start what’s doing best for you?
What I realized through years of seeking constant attention and approval, was that no matter how much I strived to be the person that everybody else wanted me to be, I never felt fulfilled and never felt as if I was living up to my true potential.
Well, that’s because I wasn’t. I was looking at others to define my happiness instead of defining it for myself. And I lived this way for years simply because I was so naive and just wanted to be liked.
We have all heard the saying “Live your best life.” But ask yourself something: What does it mean to actually live your best life? What does living your best life look like to you?
Before you answer that, notice how the saying says to live your best life and not live the best life of others around you? That’s because the life that you are living is yours, and only yours to live. Everybody else has their own life to live, so why let them live yours for you as well?
Striving to be accepted doesn’t make you a bad person by any means. In fact, I believe that all of us strive to be somebody that we’re not at some point in our lives. But you also can’t be scared to speak your mind, to do the things that you want to do, and to be the person that you want to be. Nobody wants to look like a failure or to be disliked by those around them. But no matter how badly we don’t want these things, they are inevitable.
If you aren’t willing to accept the fact that you are going to fail, then you aren’t willing to achieve the life that you desire. There are always going to be obstacles that stand in your way. There are always going to be people disagree with you and who aren’t going to like you. As painful as it might be to think about these things, they are just part of being human.
I say this because despite knowing right from wrong, I still allowed these thoughts of failure and being judged by others to shape how I lived my life. The sad part is, it took me years to finally acknowledge it – years of wasted time. I gained absolutely nothing from striving to be accepted by others, and to be quite frank, I only ended up resenting myself more and more as an individual with every passing day.
How Do We Get This Way?
When we are born, we are all cared for by others. Reflect back on your childhood and to how you were raised. Reflect back on how much you relied on others. We were fed, nurtured, cared for, loved, provided for, and shown how to survive in the world around us. Over time, we grew accustomed to leaning on others for guidance and relying on others to help us distinguish what was right from what was wrong.
Then we became adults, and since we relied so heavily on those around us for much of our youth, we never learned any sense of emotional self-reliance. Because of this, we lost our voice, our self-reliance, and the feeling of being independent. We resort to looking to others to lead the way so that in case something happens, we have somebody else to blame other than ourselves.
I really should stop saying we and start saying me because I can only speak for myself. But this perfectly describes the type of person that I was. As a result, I lost my voice. I never spoke up for myself, never walked around with confidence, and I never believed that I would be anything more than average. So I quit trying. This was the one thing I shouldn’t have done.
Becoming More Self Reliant and Independent
If there is one thing that I would recommend you do if you are focusing on becoming more self-reliant and independent – and it’s something that I wish I would have done a lot earlier on in my life – it’s to simply speak your damn mind.
I don’t say that out of aggression, but rather, I say it out of relief. There is no better, more freeing, and more powerful feeling than being able to speak your truth no matter how different that truth may look in comparison to others’.
Having the freedom and ability to speak your mind shows many amazing characteristics, but none are more important than the trust it shows that you have in yourself.
Speaking your mind and trusting yourself will contribute to greater amounts of strength, courage, independence, and self-worth. It shows that no matter what comes next, you believe in yourself enough to keep moving forward.
I have noticed something since starting to speak my mind more frequently. Not only am I far more confident, but the more I trust myself and just focus on being me, the more opportunities I begin to seek. And the more opportunities I begin to seek, the happier I become.
All of it goes hand-in-hand. Happiness comes from how you view your life. Confidence comes from how you feel about your strengths. Fulfillment comes from doing more of what you love. All of these feelings come from within – they come from YOU! Why not speak your mind, speak your truth, and strive to become somebody who you are proud to be? Why not speak your mind and create your life.
Don’t put your happiness and your life in the hands of anybody other than yourself. You are you, and that is your greatest power. Rely on yourself to find your own true happiness, speak your mind, and live your best life each and every day, because the truth is, you never know when it might be your last.