Here’s the thing…
If self-reliance means a strong belief in your own ability to achieve success and happiness, then dependency is an absence of such belief.
Until you learn to stand on your own two-feet and take full responsibility for yourself, your results, and your future… you’ll never fully know just how strong and capable you really are.
My favorite quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson provides us with the perfect entre into this message.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us!”
If we all accepted Emerson’s observation and became acutely aware of the awesome power that lies within, the world would be radically and immediately altered in a positive way.
Now before I go much further, I want to be clear on one point, self-reliance is not to be looked at as anti-society nor anti-community.
Instead, we must view and advocate for self-reliance as a starting point, as a means for being responsible, not as an exclusionary goal.
Self-reliance is a virtue in need of serious cultivation as it’s all about freedom from the control or influence of outside parties.
It’s a simple concept that encourages each one of us to take responsibility for our own needs—physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and economic.
To put it more directly, it’s an understanding that nobody owes you anything!
Yet, even though self-reliance is such a critical life skill, why on earth is society filled with so many wimpy, excuse making, responsibility dodging, entitlement driven people looking for a handout?
The answer like many others can be found in both government and in the home.
Many programs throughout the world have been set up by well-meaning individuals and institutions to aid those who are in need.
However, many of these programs are designed with the shortsighted objective of “helping people,” as opposed to “helping people help themselves.”
As a result, the beneficiaries of these handouts or helping hands more than often become dependent upon them, and rather than inspiring self-reliance, they often accomplish just the opposite.
To bottom line this point…unnecessary dependence upon others is a false sense of security that only serves to make you weak and highly vulnerable. It’s the ultimate act of self-betrayal, as your talents NEVER see the light of day.
By shielding yourself from independence, from challenges, failure, unpleasant tasks and adversity, you are actually doing more harm than good.
So how do you do it? How do you become more self-reliant, how do enjoy more freedom and control in your life?
(right about now would be a good time to bail if you prefer someone else to do your pushups).
You Must Become Your Own Hero
To become truly self-reliant, you MUST embrace the power of unconditional responsibility.
Why? Because it’s foolish for any of us to ask for or to accept from others for that which we have the power to obtain themselves.
It pains me to think how easily people capitulate their dreams to badges, titles, and manipulative institutions.
Honorable work is the most foundational source of happiness, self-worth and prosperity. Only the weak, insecure and confidence deprived strive for security and dependency on others. Therefore, you must work on your ability to drive results.
Your greatest asset and primary sense of security freedom extends from your ability to produce results. Your ability to convert ideas into innovations, problems into solutions, and goals into results quickly is without a doubt an acquired trait, a learned skill that you can, will and must exploit to your advantage.
You are far better off struggling to get what you want than letting someone give it to you. You never want to hear the words, “you wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t for me.”
To truly be self-reliant, you must become your own hero.
Gary Ryan Blair