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What is Self-Reliance and How to Develop It?

https://positivepsychology.com/self-reliance/

positivepsychology.com

What is Self-Reliance and How to Develop It?
Self-reliance is all that it sounds like plus considerably more. If not introduced to the world by Ralph Waldo Emerson, it was definitely brought to much popular public awareness by his 1841 essay Self-Reliance. In positive psychology, self-reliance has strong theoretical significance thanks to its implications for happiness.

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Self-Reliance

It's "a reliance on internal resources to provide life with coherence (meaning) and fulfillment” (Baumeister, 1987: 171)."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson and Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance is the topic (and title) of an 1841 essay from US philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

He argues strongly that self-reliance, self-trust, and individualism, amongst other things, are ways that we can avoid the conformity imposed upon us.

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Examples of Self-Reliance

  • Thinking independently: The ability to think autonomously goes hand in hand with trusting your own instinct.
  • Embracing your individuality.
  • Striving towards your own goals, bravely.

It’s important to remember that self-reliance is not about cutting yourself off from everybody.

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Benefits of Self-Reliance

  • Depending on others for help means there will be times when it’s not available.
  • You can solve problems and make decisions for yourself.
  • You feel happy by yourself, in yourself, and about yourself—without needing to rely on others.
  • You develop self-acceptance.
  • It encourages you to practice self-compassion and self-knowledge.
  • It gives you perspective and direction.

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Develop Self-Reliance

  • Accept yourself and be your own best friend.
  • Develop the ability to feel confident in yourself.
  • Practice making your own decisions.
  • Recognize and manage dependence.
  • Accept yourself for who you are.
  • Don't rely on 'things' to feel happy.
  • Decide who you want to be, and how you want to get there.

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  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The 'back shop'

The 'back shop' doesn't mean a room behind your workplace to take refuge. It is not a type of selfish, introverted withdrawal from family life, but the need to protect yourself from the pain that would come if you lost that family. It is a place to mend a broken heart, not by avoiding future pain, but by coming into a different relationship with it.

To be with yourself

The promise of getting away from it all is a fool's errand since, wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

To be with yourself is a chance for a great companionship. Your soul has the means to attack and to defend, the means to receive and to give. The quality of your inner conversation will determine the quality of life.

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John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

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