8 empowering traits of self-reliant people

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Modern life has made things easier in so many ways, from technology to medicine. 

That’s not to mention the growing trend of relying on other people online to supply your social life and support network. 

But there are still many situations where knowing what to do and depending on yourself can be extremely important and vital. 

Here are the top empowering traits of self-reliant people. 

1) They take charge

The first of the empowering traits of self-reliant people is that they take charge and aren’t afraid to lead. 

Many of us live in increasingly passive societies where people prefer to stay in their own safe little siloes: 

Hook up the air pods, buy your latte and check out to la la land. 

If there’s a problem like the electricity going out in your building, wait for somebody else to fix it!

If there’s a traffic jam while you’re driving, tweet about it in anger!

But self-reliant people don’t play these games. 

They actually do something. 

For example: they go check out the building’s fuse box, or call the maintenance guy to see what’s happening with the power grid. 

They check updates on traffic and turn on the local news station to find out what’s going on instead of just venting about it or getting retweets. 

Each situation varies, but the common denominator is that the self-reliant person uses the tools and methods within his or her grasp to do something. 

If nothing can be done, such as being on a flight where there’s intense turbulence, the self-reliant person does their best to calm themselves down and keep others calm, since that is what’s in their control in that situation. 

2) They hate excuses

The next of the empowering traits of self-reliant people is that they hate excuses. 

The victim mentality gives them a headache and they rarely if ever indulge in it. 

The reason is simple: 

The victim mentality causes a disempowering feedback loop and cycle that ends up getting worse and worse. 

When you see yourself as a victim and embrace that role, you start seeking sympathy instead of solutions. 

The more sympathy you get the more it reinforces your idea as a victim and the less action-oriented and effective you become. 

And so on. 

That’s why self-reliant folks don’t go near it. 

If they can’t do something they admit it, but they don’t look for excuses or a pity party because it’s useless and disempowering. 

Sometimes an explanation is necessary for why a self-reliant person can’t do a job or finish something they started. 

But they always make sure to keep that line clear between an explanation and an excuse.

Because once you sink into excuses and looking for who’s to blame, you end up making yourself weaker and come across as just another person complaining instead of actually doing something. 

3) They buck up under pressure

This brings up the next of the empowering traits of self-reliant people: they buck up under pressure. 

Their determination and work ethic increases when the situation gets tough and demands rise. 

Self-reliant people don’t look for somebody else to come save them or wait for the calvary to come riding over the hill. 

If there’s overtime needed at work, they do it and earn that extra money. 

If a family member is sick, they care for them and spend their time and energy to nurse their loved one or find medical help if necessary. 

When things get intense, the self-reliant individual doesn’t give up, he or she just doubles down. 

4) They find unique solutions 

The next of the empowering traits of self-reliant people is that they find unique solutions. 

We can see this in various cultures and historical situations such as communist Cuba, for example, where residents came up with many unique creations and power tools due to the lack of available materials. 

Where I used to live in the Republic of Georgia near Russia was similar. 

Limited resources meant that self-reliant people found ways to get things done for almost no money but great ingenuity. 

For example, making a basic motorbike using a lawnmower engine, bike chain and recycled parts from old tractors and bikes. 

When you don’t have much, you figure out how to use what you do have! Self-reliant people don’t give up. 

This brings up the next point.

5) They rally people in tough times 

Another of the empowering traits of self-reliant people is that they rally others together in tough times. 

A hard month at work and the self-reliant guy or girl is getting coworkers to keep their heads up and not give up. 

The self-reliant person is telling jokes, bringing folks together, helping out where necessary and caring about the lives of others. 

The self-reliant person never leans back and waits for somebody else to improve a situation or get them through a tough time. 

They know that if you do that only one of two things are going to happen:

  • Some person or entity eventually does come along and help you out, weakening your resolve and self-determination in the future;
  • Nobody ends up helping you out and the situation gets worse and more critical due to your passivity. 

The solution? 

Respond to tough times by taking charge and giving other people a morale boost to know they not only will get through it, they’ll also end up stronger than before. 

This morale boosting of others also has another knock-on effect that’s very positive as well.

6) They create other self-reliant people 

One of the best and most empowering traits of self-reliant people is that they create other self-reliant people. 

Think of this on the most fundamental level:

Two parents who are very self-reliant and independent raise their children with the same values, teaching them to rely on themselves and be strong and sure about their actions in life. 

Other examples? 

Friends, partners, coworkers and even random acquaintances who help us see how self-reliance is within our grasp. 

A self-reliant person can act like a torch that helps ignite other torches in a dark cave. 

Many of us are waiting for somebody to come save us, make our life better, give us a job or help us be “happy.”

The self-reliant person’s determination and can-do attitude helps light the torches of other passive people by showing them that they have a fire within as well if they’ll just reach for it and change their mindset. 

Stop waiting. Start doing. 

7) They see through scammers and manipulative leaders

Another of the empowering traits of self-reliant people is that they are very perceptive when they come across people who leech off others. 

They can spot sleazy gurus, crypto scammers and manipulative leaders from a mile away. 

Start talking some kind of manipulative rhetoric to a self-reliant person and you’ll get nowhere. They’ll just say no thanks and walk away, while taking others with them.

They have no time for fraudsters, pushy salespeople and every type of individual who wants to pull the wool over their eyes or sleepwalk people into paths and choices that will strip away their will and individuality. 

This brings up the last crucial point about the positive traits of self-reliant people. 

8) They see through emotionally codependent partners 

The last of the empowering traits of self-reliant people is that they don’t get hoodwinked into codependent relationships

If they have a partner who keeps trying to “save” them or keeps playing the “victim” to them, then they know they’re in trouble and it’s time to get out. 

Of course, we can often start out in relationships thinking our partner is a mature and responsible person only to find out otherwise as the relationship progresses. 

The difference is that self-reliant people pick up the warning signs much sooner than more dependent people. 

The self-reliant person will see immediately that a partner is trying to hinge their wellbeing on them…

They will notice right away if they’re being praised or blamed for things that are not their fault or doing in their partner’s life.

They will spot these codependent and non-self-reliant traits right away and find them quite unattractive. 

Voluntarily commitment and interdependence is one thing and it can be the basis of very meaningful love, but codependence and unhealthily leaning on a partner for wellbeing and meaning in our lives never turns out well. 

Self-reliant people spot that kind of codependence early in relationships (and friendships) and thoroughly reject it. 

They know that it’s not love or true friendship, just somebody who needs to find their own inner strength and fire before they have something to truly give in the world. 

Back to square one

Self-reliance is in all of us if we dig deep enough. 

Going back to square one and realizing that you are ultimately the only one you can rely on is actually a very empowering journey. 

When you become self-reliant, you become a more giving person who is able to interact and share with others from a position of strength. 

You also find that your capacity to love and understand others increases significantly, and you can see how much of our success and misery in life goes back to the issue of taking full responsibility for ourselves. 

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