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What is Self-Reliance and How to Develop It?

Self-Reliance

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

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What is Self-Reliance and How to Develop It?

What is Self-Reliance and How to Develop It?

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

positivepsychology.com

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Key Ideas

Self-Reliance

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

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.

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.

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.

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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The Gradient Descent, which is a machine learning technique used in a neural network, provides us with this insight:

  • If we take absorb too much feedback for our actions towards our goal, we will move extremely slow and can fall back or settle for some mediocre solution.
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    • Slowly Decreasing Step Size: Take less feedback in the beginning but increasing it as you move closer towards your goal.
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      Having some basic practical skills to complement your “soft” skills will certainly come in handy in survival scenarios, particularly when it comes to rebuilding from catastrophe. And you can develop them by simply trying things out.

      Practice self-reliance in advance

      Not only will having DIY skills help you rebuild your community, they also greatly increase your self-reliance.
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