As we progress through life, we typically become more independent. We tend to move away from our parents, deal with our finances on our own, and sometimes even have to cut ties that we once treasured as we move into the “real world.”
However, it is all too common that although we have grown up and become adults, we still have not figured out the true meaning of independence. For most of us, we tend to be emotionally codependent on relationships and bonds as we progress through life.
What exactly does being truly independent mean?
What Does It Mean to Become Independent
If we look at the dictionary, the word independence connotes not being influenced or controlled by others in terms of conduct, thinking, and other matters. It means not being a subject of another’s authority or jurisdiction.
Applying this definition in a real-life context means one’s capability of taking care of one’s self without completely relying on others, or if assistance is needed, only to a minimum.
Nonetheless, we humans are social creatures — essentially we cannot exist without each other. But being independent to some degree is a necessity. For instance, you cannot always rely on your parents or siblings for financial assistance. Also, you cannot hinge your happiness on one person.
Being independent paves way for our self-actualization. This said these are some of the reasons why being independent is important.
Reasons Why Being Independent Is Important
1. It Boosts Your Confidence
Whether you agree with this or not, independent individuals tend to be more confident in tackling issues that come into their lives. Since independent people generally do not wait upon others for support or permission, they are more adept at taking actions by themselves.
Embracing independence means willingness to try out new things because you want to, and not because you are expected to do it. Since you are essentially the master of your own ship, you have more experience than someone who is codependent or wholly dependent upon another.
2. Learn Self-Reliance
People who are reliant on others have a hard time making decisions on their own. They tend to hinge on other’s approval so much.
People who are dependent on others are like that either because they are afraid of making choices on their own, or they do not have enough confidence unless someone is standing by their side. It is cute, but it shows how needy you are.
By being a little bit more independent, people will appreciate you more. In fact, human experience has taught us that others are more willing to help you if you also help yourself.
3. Reduce Stress and Boost Happiness
Emotional independence means making most of our personal decisions and undergoing life’s challenges without necessarily dragging others along the way.
Most of us do not recognize it, but the majority of us are codependent on others — be it with our parents, partners, or friends. Because of this relationship, we often lose track of who we truly are since we allow others to shape our beliefs and decisions.
Once we become independent emotionally, we become less disappointed as we no longer have to bend backward to just appease others. It is good to point out however that social support is still important. But, it should never get in the way of our emotional independence.
4. Financial Freedom & Sense of Accomplishment
Honestly, one of the best feelings in the world is the satisfaction you feel for being able to pay your own bills. Financial independence means eliminating if not reducing your dependence on your parents, partners, siblings, or even friends for financial support.
Being in control of your finances means you are only accountable for yourself and not to others. With this, you have much leeway on what to do with your money. You can invest it, purchase whatever you want, and fulfill other life goals you have in mind.
5. Better Decision Making
Making decisions on your own may be tough at first. But once you get a hang of deciding things on your own from simple things like what to have for dinner or whether or not to buy bedroom furniture to major decisions such as changing your career path or purchasing a new house, you are no longer fazed by any challenging choices along the way.
As you practice your decision-making skills, you can make clearer and more appropriate decisions along the way. No longer are you withheld by other’s opinions or reactions.
It is important to note though that striving towards independence is not a race. Never compare yourself to that of others. Each of us has our own pacing in life.