People from the older generation ALWAYS think younger generations are useless and can’t take care of themselves, let alone others.
This has been true in Ancient Greece, during the Roman Empire, in the early 1900-hundreds, and it’s true now in the 21st century.
But if you want to prove to yourself and others that you aren’t completely useless, here are the things that prove you’re more self-reliant than you might think.
1) Managing finances
The most important things in life are the ones we don’t learn about in school. You learn about ancient history, the World Wars, the Great Potato Famine, and everything else in between.
Still, managing money and investing are two incredibly important things that most curriculums barely touch with a ten-foot pole.
Yet, somehow we’re expected to simply know this stuff and not spend all our money on the now-infamous avocado toast, $5 coffees, fast fashion, etc.
So if you understand your income and expenses and have relatively good overall financial health (which is almost impossible in today’s world), you’re more independent than you think.
You, I presume, create and stick to a budget, avoid unnecessary debt, and save money for emergencies or future goals.
You’re also responsible with your spending and don’t rely on others to bail you out of financial troubles.
For bonus points, self-reliance in finance goes beyond budgeting; it involves understanding and managing investments, stocks, and other financial instruments to secure your financial future.
We can’t talk about self-reliance and independence without talking about cooking and takeaways.
In my opinion, if most of your meals come from eating out or deliveries, you are far from self-reliance.
Empowered people are able and willing to prepare their own meals, whether it’s a simple breakfast, a nutritious lunch, or a delicious dinner.
To be self-reliant, you need to know how to follow recipes, improvise with ingredients on hand, and make healthy choices when it comes to food.
3) Basic car maintenance
Cars used to be much, much simpler before. Nowadays, you lift the hood, and you’ve met with what’s basically another hood. You can only have a glance at the engine and its parts.
So when I’m talking about basic car maintenance, I’m not talking about changing oil or replacing air filters.
I’m talking about simple things like topping up the screenwash, changing a flat tire, and similar.
Even in electric cars that don’t have a combustible engine, these things need to be done, especially in an emergency.
So if you’re not up to speed with basic car maintenance, whip out that manual or go watch a few videos on YouTube, at least.
4) Taking care of your health
Although I’ve always taken relatively good care of my health, a couple of years of neglect were more than enough to land me in trouble.
The sedentary lifestyle, stress, and long hours have all led to me having high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Luckily, after I learned about this, I got things under control, and now everything’s as it should be.
But enough about me. How you’re doin’? Are you taking responsibility for your well-being? Do you make healthy lifestyle choices, prioritize regular exercise, and go for medical checkups when needed without delay?
If the answers are yes, then you’re more self-reliant than you think.
5) Time management
Most grown-ups have good time management. They don’t stay out late and relatively easily get up in the morning. They also keep their commitments and aren’t late for meetings and other stuff.
So if you prioritize tasks effectively and use your time efficiently, you’re basically an adult.
You balance work, personal life, and hobbies without feeling overwhelmed or neglecting important responsibilities.
Welcome to the club!
6) Decision making
Self-reliant people trust their intuition and judgment. While they ask for advice and input from others, they still make choices confidently and take responsibility for the outcomes.
For example, you plan and organize your travels without needing someone else to make all the arrangements for you.
Or, when conflicts happen, you address them directly and constructively. You don’t avoid confrontation or rely on someone else to mediate. Instead, you engage in open communication to find solutions.
7) Emotional resilience
Self-reliant people can also cope with stress, disappointments, and challenging emotions without solely relying on others for comfort.
If you practice self-care and self-compassion to go through difficult times, you are, in fact, independent.
Being self-sufficient is amazing. You never have to wait for others, you’re your own boss (outside of work), and you don’t have to report to anyone (again, outside of work:)).
Still, I also like seeing this next skill in others. It really takes you to the next level.
8) DIY skills
Self-reliant people also have DIY skills to varying degrees. They handle basic repairs and maintenance tasks around the home or other areas of life.
When something breaks, they don’t panic. Instead, they try to fix it themselves before asking for professional help or going to their dad.
Going beyond basic DIY skills, self-reliant people can even repair or upcycle things others toss. They find creative ways to repurpose and extend the life of items.
So if you’re somewhat handy with tools and undertake relatively complex repairs and projects, you’re more independent than you think.
9) Sewing and mending
The same goes for sewing and mending.
Although fast fashion is trendy and prevalent, repairing clothes and sewing basic garments can reduce the need to buy new clothes and improve self-reliance in clothing yourself.
10) Basic first aid and medical skills
Being able to administer basic first aid and handle minor medical issues is crucial in emergencies, making you more self-reliant when professional medical help isn’t immediately available.
With sky-high healthcare costs in the US, saving multiple hundred dollars on a ride in an ambulance for a trivial matter is something many families without medical insurance aren’t taking for granted.
So if you haven’t learned yet how to perform basic first aid, now is the time as good as any.
11) Gardening and food production
With ever-rising food costs, growing your food, whether in a backyard garden or indoor hydroponic setup, increases your self-reliance and saves you money.
Tomatoes are one of the most popular homegrown vegetables. You can grow them in pots, containers, or garden beds and have delicious, juicy fruits throughout the growing season.
Many herbs, such as basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, and thyme, are well-suited for growing at home. They can thrive in pots on window sills or in a small herb garden.
Cucumbers, peppers, beans, zucchini, strawberries, and many more fruits and veggies are also productive and occupy minimal space.
How to become more self-reliant
To become more self-reliant, you, first and foremost, need to be willing to learn and grow.
You must actively look for opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge through formal education, online resources, or hands-on experiences.
Here are the 5 action steps to become more independent and self-reliant:
1) Identify areas for improvement
Take some time for self-reflection and identify areas of your life where you currently rely heavily on others.
It could be financial decisions, household tasks, emotional support, or other aspects.
Recognizing these areas will give you a clear starting point for your self-reliance journey.
2) Set realistic goals
Determine what self-reliance means to you and set specific, achievable goals. Start with smaller tasks you can easily manage and gradually work your way up to more significant challenges.
Setting realistic goals will keep you motivated and focused on your progress.
3) Learn new skills
Embrace opportunities for learning and self-improvement. Identify skills that would make you less reliant on others and more independent in your identified areas.
Whether it’s learning to cook, budgeting, essential car maintenance, or emotional coping strategies, acquiring new skills will empower you to handle these situations independently.
4) Take initiative
Now it’s go time! Proactively pursue solutions to challenges and take the initiative in your life.
When faced with problems or decisions, avoid the temptation to seek help from others immediately.
Instead, think critically, research, and explore options on your own. This will build your problem-solving abilities and boost your confidence in making choices.
5) Practice self-trust
Trust your judgment and decisions. It’s okay to ask for advice and guidance, but don’t let fear of failure or the need for validation from others hold you back.
As you become more self-reliant, you’ll learn from both successes and setbacks, which will additionally strengthen your self-trust.