Independence. It’s what most of us dream of when we’re young, but when we hit adulthood, it becomes a bit more daunting. Independence isn’t just living on your own. Independence at its most basic level is being able to make decisions on your own.
Personal independence is also about being the master of your own destiny, developing the strength to stand up for what you believe in, and having the capability to manage your own life effectively toward your goals. True independence involves a strong sense of self, self-confidence, and a belief in one’s own abilities.
Learn more about yourself to become independent
The first step to becoming more independent is knowing what you want–and acting on it. If you’re consumed with the idea of what other people think or want, you’ll never gain true autonomy.
It’s not a bad quality to consider the opinions of others. However, when you value the thoughts and feelings of other people over your own, you undermine your own authority.
If you really want to be more independent, it’s essential to get to know yourself: your personality, likes and dislikes, needs, and goals. You can use journaling, meditation, time in nature, or whatever fits your personality to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
Make decisions alone
So often we crowd source decisions that we could easily make on our own. Sure, it’s helpful to get someone else’s opinion every now and then, but sometimes it just inhibits you from being confident in your own judgments.
This goes for big decisions as well as seemingly insignificant ones. For instance, are you trying to decide between ordering a Cobb salad or a veggie burger? There’s no need to consult your dinner partner to see what they’re having. Believe it or not, you can just pick one. Are you unsure if the email you just drafted makes you sound casual or crazed?
Fight the temptation to show it to your friend or whoever happens to be around for feedback. Just read through it yourself and send it. While it seems minor, giving yourself the freedom to make your own choices can have a big impact.
Develop life skills
To become an independent adult, you’ll need to develop essential life skills. These skills include managing your finances, cooking, cleaning, and basic home maintenance. Take time to learn these skills, either by seeking guidance from family members or friends, taking classes, or getting coaching.
Set goals and make plans
Setting goals and making plans is critical for becoming an independent adult. Decide what you want to achieve in the short and long term, and create a plan to achieve those goals. Write down your goals, and break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach can help you stay focused and motivated.
Learn to manage your time
Time management is essential for becoming an independent adult. Learning to manage your time effectively can help you balance work, school, social life, and other responsibilities. Start by creating a schedule that includes time for work, study, exercise, and leisure activities.