In being self-reliant, you rely on your own resources and ability to make considered decisions or form sensible judgments. You identify your abilities and examine them for the purposes of interpretation of what you are capable of doing. You learn to depend on your own abilities. They are within you and are available for use at any time. You expect the best of yourself because with your abilities you know you can perform the best.
It’s so easy to accept others’ decisions and judgments or express opinions similar to the opinions of other people than to make or create your own. But this is not the exact behaviour of a self-reliant person. A person is regarded as self-reliant if his actions and thoughts originate from within him and free from outside influences and not dictated by someone.
Self-confidence is a must to be self-reliant. If you have a low opinion of yourself, you are unsure of your ability to make decisions and judgements. Self-doubt leads to less and less dependence on your own self. You begin to rely more and more on the decisions and judgments of others, thus making you lose your independence. Success and self-reliance are achieved solely by those who rely their own capability.
With a low level of self-reliance, it’s inevitable that you seek out other people for their help, recommendations and advice for your decision making. It worries you to make decisions without input from other people. When you receive inputs from different sources which run counter to each other for a particular decision to be made, you become confused as to which one is more appropriate. Possibly, you become hesitant about the decision, and then procrastinate in making the decision.
Self-reliance should be cultivated from an early age. Doing everything for your children including solving their problems is only helping towards creating a dependent mentality. This retards their development. Instead, allow them to reach a stage of mental or emotional development characteristic of a normal adult. Encouraging them to stand on their own two feet is essential for the children’s personal growth.
Teaching others to be self-reliant can be likened to teaching them how to fish instead of giving or feeding them fish. Being able to fish is their ability to stand on their own while supplying them with fish regularly results in their remaining entirely dependent. This affects their self-respect and self-esteem. They lose personal pride, and are found lacking in power, influence or ability. There is no progress without self-reliance. It is usually their individual effort that makes success possible. Success cannot be bestowed on anyone.
Be like a leader, shoulder complete responsibility for doing all that is necessary to achieve a desired goal. If you fail to attain total success or the results fall short of expectations, do not make excuses, rationalize or blame anyone. Accept full responsibility for the satisfactory or unsatisfactory outcome. Being entirely self-reliant, you experience the joy and the sense of control.
There are people who leave everything to fate or submit slavishly to the will of God. Their belief that events are well beyond their control makes them feel utterly helpless. When they are in trouble, they pray or appeal directly to a superior force for help. No miraculous help is going to come. If help does come, it’s a mere coincidence, and not an answer to their prayers. Instead of letting circumstances determine their destiny, they will be better off realizing that they should only rely on their own efforts to achieve their goals. They can be self-reliant by being masters of themselves, and know that their future lies in their own hands.
Rejecting self-reliance on the grounds that one is too old, too weak, too small in size or stature, too stupid, etc is to live one’s life without dignity. Self-reliance develops character and facilitates perfecting oneself. It makes for a life filled with pride and joy.