7 signs you’re a strong and independent man who thinks for himself

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Why’s it so hard for men to think for themselves these days?

It’s quite simple. We have so many forces to come up against in developing our own opinions and ideas.

Here are just a few:

  • Societal expectations and stereotypes. We feel pressured to conform to traditional gender stereotypes. Or it goes the other way where we’re pressured to embrace our feminine side even when we don’t want to.
  • Social media and technology. We’re faced with a constant barrage of images about what the prototypical man looks like.
  • Peer pressure. We’re social animals and can’t help but want to fit in with the opinions and beliefs of the group.

But just because we face so many challenges in thinking for ourselves doesn’t mean we should give up on the pursuit.

When you think independently and make your own decisions, you live with much more autonomy. You shape your own future and experience much more happiness in the long run.

So, what are the signs that you’re a strong and independent man who thinks for himself?

Here’s the first one:

1) You have confidence in your own abilities

Strong and independent men have tapped into an innate confidence in their abilities.

They have a strong sense of what they bring to the table.

The thing is that we all have a different set of capabilities. None of us are going to be good at everything.

Confident men know this. They don’t try to be good at everything but rather own the fact that they do have some abilities in life.

Some of these abilities will be innate. Others have been cultivated over a long period of time.

It’s a wonderful feeling to just take some time out and reflect on your abilities. What are the skills you have that you’ve earned? Which ones have come naturally to you over the course of your life?

Just take some time to be aware of these. Because when you have a sense of this…

2) You make well-reasoned decisions

There’s a myth about decision-making.

The myth is that strong and confident men are iron-fisted in their decisions. They apparently make a decision and don’t question themselves.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you’re a strong and independent man, you know that you’ll get some of your decisions wrong.

But what separates you from the more weak-willed men out there is that you’re confident enough to live with the consequences of your decisions.

If things go downhill, you stick the course. You accept that you’re the one who made the decision. And you follow through with it.

When you make following through with your decisions a habit, over time you start to make better-reasoned decisions. Because you know deep down you need to live with the consequences of what you decide.

Which brings us nicely to the next sign…

3) You take responsibility for your actions

Strong and independent men always take responsibility for their actions.

They own their mistakes. Admit their failures.

They don’t complain and play the victim.

Even when circumstances are against them.

A while back I created a video about two kinds of people in the world.

The first type is those who are always complaining about what’s happened to them. The second type is those who never complain and always take responsibility.

When you consistently take responsibility for everything, you start to cultivate the quality of thinking for yourself.

You understand that you’re the person creating your reality.

You stop giving up your power to external circumstances and bring all the power back within you.

When you take responsibility for your actions, something else happens…

4) You are independent and self-reliant

I feel like it’s difficult for men these days to take control of our lives.

There are so many expectations placed upon us. It starts from an early age when we’re taught what it means to be a man. And then as adults we’re up against society’s conception of what a perfect man is these days.

The problem I find is that there are competing notions of what it means to be a man.

On the one hand, we’re told to be decisive, strong-willed and forthright. On the other hand, we’re encouraged to embrace the more feminine traits of sensuality and gentleness.

These are all great qualities to have. But the reality is that men can’t be pigeonholed into just being the one kind of person.

Some men will more naturally want to embrace their nurturing side. Others will want to embrace being a more traditional kind of man.

Each man needs to figure out for himself what’s right for him.

When you can figure out the most appropriate traits for you to cultivate, you start to become more independent and self-reliant.

You don’t worry so much about what kind of person others think you should be.

You want to be feminine and sweet? Great. Embrace these qualities and own it.

Prefer to be an alpha man who expresses his opinions in a direct way? Also great. Just do it. Don’t question yourself.

The key point is to embrace your independence and self-reliance. Give up caring what people think and own your traits.

5) You’re open-minded and willing to consider other perspectives

This is where the life of a strong and independent man gets interesting.

It’s important to own who you are. Be yourself. Don’t give a damn what others think of you.

But you a strong and independent man who thinks for himself doesn’t do this from a place of delusion.

He isn’t close-minded to other perspectives.

Men who think for themselves have arrived at their perspectives after carefully considering the perspectives of others.

They are open-minded enough to know that they don’t always know everything.

When you’re open-minded, you open yourself up to so many new ideas and new ways of thinking.

This enriches life in a wonderful way.

These new ideas contribute to all of these different possibilities for the future. And strong and independent men are able to use their independence and self-reliance to embrace these possibilities.

6) You have a strong sense of integrity and honesty

Men who think for themselves have a strong sense of integrity and honesty.

Here’s the interesting thing about these qualities…

It’s not just about being honest with others.

It’s also about being honest with yourself.

The strongest men I know are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses. They know their limitations.

This honesty makes it easier to trust in their integrity. If they say something, you’re more able to believe them.

When a man can be honest with himself, he develops a greater awareness of his opinions, beliefs and values. This contributes to a sense of self-knowledge.

He’s then better equipped to make informed decisions in life that are aligned with his values and goals.

Being honest with yourself then translates into integrity over time. People can trust you. Relationships become more solid. You’re a dependable person.

A man with integrity is known for being reliable and trustworthy.

It’s a wonderful quality to have.

7) Respect for himself and others

This is what it’s really all about.

A strong and independent man who thinks for himself has a deep level of respect for himself and for others.

He respects his own needs and can set boundaries. He’s aware of his limitations, avoiding the path of living in self-delusion and manipulating others.

He takes responsibility for everything that happens in his life, even when circumstance are against him.

He develops a healthy sense of self-respect in the process.

Importantly, strong men also respect others. They respect that everyone else is on a similar life journey. We’re all here to experience as much fulfillment as we possibly can.

Having for respect for others also translates to standing up for what’s right. It’s about having a vision for what a fair and just society looks like and ensuring your actions are aligned with this vision.

It’s about living a life where trust, honesty and integrity are the foundations of how you show up in the world.

The key point is that respect for yourself and for others is a crucial aspect of being a man who thinks for himself.

If you want to cultivate more of these qualities, then check out my free masterclass on finding your purpose in life. It’s a deep dive into taking responsibilty and living life with purpose and meaning.

Justin Brown

As co-founder of Ideapod, a digital publishing platform reaching millions, and creator of The Vessel, a new platform for self-knowledge, I bring a unique perspective to the world of culture, politics and psychology. With a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and M.A. (First Class Honours) from the Australian National University, I've dedicated my career to understanding and sharing new ideas and perspectives for a new generation.

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