What is Self-Reliance and How Do You Cultivate it?

Self-reliance is an incredible skill to have. Author Benjamin Spall describes self-reliance as “trusting in your abilities to get through the challenges of life on the back of your own resourcefulness. It refers to your ability to provide for yourself (and oftentimes, defend against your enemies) without the need for outside help.” When I think of self-reliance, financial independence is the first thing that comes to mind, but that is not the only thing self-reliance entails. There are several traits you can cultivate to improve self-reliance in your life: Reliability, perseverance, dependability, hardworking, and self-discipline.

Self-reliance

First, reliability. What does it mean to be reliable? The Oxford Dictionary defines reliability as, “the quality of being trustworthy or of performing consistently well.” Being trustworthy is a skill that doesn’t take much skill. This article explains in depth what it means to be trustworthy, but put simply, trustworthy people are respectful, honest, grateful, positive, and selfless. As you try your best to work on these traits you will see that you become a much more reliable person in both the workplace and your personal life.

 

Perseverance is another trait that is essential to being self-reliant. One of the first things you can do to increase your perseverance skills is don’t be afraid to fail. Perseverance comes from getting knocked down and getting back up again. You won’t become more resilient if you never do things that you may fail at. Second is having a growth mindset. Realizing that you will not master any craft right away reminds you that skills take time to cultivate. Third, keeping your goals in mind. Writing your goals down or having them posted in a place you regularly visit will remind you of your goals and help you to avoid quitting. These small changes can work wonders in making you more resilient.

 

The next trait that will help you improve your self-reliance is dependability. Being dependable is often one of the top things employers look for in their prospects, so are you dependable? Ask yourself these questions. Do I always do what I say I will do? Am I punctual and responsive? Am I organized and accountable? If not, these are some ways you can improve to become a more dependable person in all aspects of your life.

 

Being hardworking can also translate to a higher level of self-reliance. Here are 3 tips to become a harder worker. First, break large jobs into smaller tasks. Sometimes looking at an entire job can be daunting and cause you to procrastinate. But breaking those large jobs into smaller tasks will allow you to increment your work to give you a more manageable work plan. Second, rewarding yourself and taking small breaks can take the monotony out of completing longer tasks. And third, surround yourself with motivated people. Having people around you that are highly motivated will help you to stay on task and become a harder worker. Doing these things will surely help to improve your work ethic.

 

Lastly, improving your self discipline is essential to being a self-reliant person. This article lists 7 simple habits that will improve your self discipline, but I will outline a couple. The first one listed in the article is to countdown, then take action. Counting down from a predetermined number and then acting when you get to zero is a nice way to get you into the mental space needed to get motivated. To learn more tips, refer to that article, but each of those ideas will increase your self discipline enough to impact your ability to be self-reliant.

self-reliance, cultivate

 

Authored by Dayton Dempsey

BYU