Everything and everyone are interconnected. But there is still space for independence in an interdependent world.
While many people hate the idea of living a life of independence, it comes very naturally to others. And these highly independent people think and act differently.
If you would like to be more independent—both emotionally and practically—you need to learn and live by these 17 truths:
1. Confidence and self-sufficiency are forged through independence.
The truth is, not a lot of people will enjoy it when they start being self-sufficient. They will take a few baby steps and face inevitable setbacks, at which point they’ll wish they had someone to lean on.
However, when they don’t seek help and persist in being self-sufficient, their confidence starts to grow, and so does their self-esteem. Feeling good in your own skin is not something that suddenly happens to you out of nowhere. It’s something you learn, and when you do, it’s a huge confidence boost.
Making all your decisions on your own requires a lot of confidence. So, clearly, highly independent people must be pretty confident. But they weren’t born that way; they learned to become more confident by forcing themselves to do things by themselves, for themselves.
2. Enjoying your own company means you don’t get lonely.
Being independent is not the same as being introverted; however, you do spend a lot of time alone and you actually enjoy it. Valuing your own company also gives you an opportunity to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, problems, and ideas.
Independent people are self-aware and self-responsible. They are responsible for taking care of their own needs, whether those needs are emotional or practical. This means they rarely feel lonely.
Highly independent people often prefer spending time alone rather than participating in group activities. They value their alone time as it helps them gain new perspectives. Most importantly, they love themselves enough to enjoy their own company.
3. You don’t need another person to feel complete.
One of the biggest issues for many single people is feeling incomplete without a partner. But this is not something independent people struggle with.
These people don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to feel complete. Their lives don’t lack fulfillment just because they’re not in a relationship. Their self-worth and happiness are not dependent upon whether they’re all loved up.
Naturally, everyone hopes for a fulfilling romantic relationship, and so do independent people. However, they don’t feel like they have to continuously search for a partner to feel good about themselves or be validated. Their happiness depends on them, not on whether they’ll find that partner.
If the right person comes along, that’s great! But an independent person will be happy even if the right person doesn’t come along immediately. Despite desiring a romantic relationship, they’re perfectly fine with being single for the time being.
4. You don’t need other people to have a fulfilling life.
These people don’t need others to feel fulfilled, and this goes beyond potential romantic interests.
Although they appreciate their family and friends, they don’t really need them to be fulfilled. This is because they value their alone time so much, and they can entertain themselves without relying on others.
So, a highly independent person is likely to have a good career, participate in interesting hobbies, and practice self-care and self-love. They make the most of their alone time by pampering themselves with self-care rituals, self-reflecting, or engaging in a hobby they like.
Even if these things don’t include other people, that’s okay with an independent person. They genuinely enjoy their alone time and don’t need to be surrounded by others to feel happy.
5. Internal validation trumps external validation.
Highly independent people don’t let external sources of validation define their self-worth. They don’t need to be told that they’re doing a great job, that they’re intelligent, attractive, or funny. They know their own value and don’t seek approval from others in order to feel confident in their own skin.
Naturally, everyone appreciates support and compliments, and so do independent people. However, the source of their self-worth is within them; it’s not dependent on the opinions of others.
For instance, they’ll be confident that they’re making the correct decision even though no one has told them that it’s the right thing to do.
6. Being vulnerable means being authentic.
Despite what others might think, independent people are okay with being vulnerable. They understand that it’s a big part of forming meaningful relationships as well as a part of being their authentic selves. Instead of seeing it as a sign of weakness, they see vulnerability as a necessary part of growth and an important step in making connections with other people.
They open up to other people without the fear of judgment or rejection. In this way, they show their vulnerable side and build deeper connections.
Independent people are usually strong women/men who don’t let fear stop them from showing their true colors to others.
7. Thinking for yourself keeps you true to yourself.
An independent person makes decisions without being influenced by what other people think. Sure, they will be open to advice every now and then, but generally speaking, they think for themselves.
Being independent often involves going against social norms, so independent people can’t be bothered by what the rest of the population thinks about them or their actions.
They’re not going to be influenced by the opinions of others unless they consciously choose to be. Most of the time, they couldn’t care less about what the rest of the world thinks, and they’re confident in their own ideas.
8. Clear boundaries are vital to maintain your independence.
If you always set clear boundaries and stick to them, you’re more likely than most to be highly independent. You definitely aren’t a pushover, and you don’t get used by other people. This is because you communicate your boundaries clearly.
Independent people are very transparent about what they will and will not tolerate. Their standards, expectations, red flags, and wants and needs are very evident to them, so they make them clear to others too.
There’s no beating around the bush when you’re dealing with an independent person, because they’ll always speak up for themselves and make their point clear.
9. Saying “No” doesn’t always require further explanation.
Some people think that saying “No” is rude, but in reality, you’re just valuing yourself by putting your own needs first. That should be okay with the rest of the world, and it’s a positive personality trait of highly independent people.
Learning to say, “No” doesn’t make you selfish; it makes it harder for others to use you or waste your time.
Those who are highly independent feel comfortable saying “No” to others. They don’t feel the need to seek approval or people-please, and they don’t scramble to make excuses for their “No.” They understand that “No” is enough by itself to decline something that doesn’t interest them.
10. Inner values make the best guides.
Highly independent people trust their own judgment and know what’s best for them. They also know that they are intelligent enough to make their own decisions without being influenced by what other people think.
If you’re highly independent, you let your own core values guide you, and you do what you believe is right for you. No one else can tell you what to do, and you know that. You aren’t afraid of making your own choices without asking others for their opinions.
11. Relying too much on others for support can become a crutch.
You probably don’t burden other people with your own emotional needs, and this indicates that you’re independent. Being independent is all about dealing with your own needs, well-being, feelings, and happiness without relying much on others for support or help.
While you might appreciate getting support from others, you realize that it can become a crutch that makes you reliant on others. You do not need emotional support from others because you know how to take care of yourself best. You choose to follow your own heart instead of relying on what others think.
12. It’s your life to live however you choose.
If you are highly independent, you feel no need to conform to social norms or expectations. This is because you don’t have to live up to anyone’s standards but your own, and you know this. You don’t look for a predetermined path that you can follow, and you have no desire to fit into any mold.
While this is another positive trait, you might struggle because of it since it can make a person feel isolated. You’re not going to get the same approval as others by following your own path, but you are surely going to reach your destination anyway. So keep moving forward to what you really want, not what others want you to want.
13. Fear is only an emotion; it is not a barrier.
Fear is a normal, natural part of life. However, you can’t let it control you or hold you back. The point is to acknowledge your fear and confront it instead of letting it dictate what you can and cannot do.
Independent people don’t let fear stop them from chasing their dreams and reaching their goals. They face their fear and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Fear can even be a good guide at times because it often occurs when you step beyond your comfort zone. Fear can keep you safe as you explore and get more comfortable in your new surroundings (whether physical or metaphorical).
14. Lasting motivation can only come from within.
Highly independent people get things done even without the supervision and guidance of others. As long as you have discipline and determination (and independent people usually do), you will reach your goals.
Independent people are self-motivated because they know that, in the end, their progress and any eventual success depend solely on them. They take ownership of their actions and act with determination to reach their goals.
While they appreciate the support of others, they don’t need anyone to cheer them on in order to succeed. Their motivation comes from within, and they let their own heart and mind guide them.
15. Success isn’t served to you on a silver platter.
Are you waiting for someone else to make your dreams come true? Or are you consciously working on them by yourself?
Independent people don’t expect others to hand them things on a silver platter. They control their own lives without waiting for anyone to come to their rescue.
If you don’t need to be saved, and you’re making a conscious effort to improve your life on your own, you’re probably an independent person. You know that, while others can help you in some ways, no one other than you can truly make your life better. You know what’s best for you and, at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live that life.
16. Risks are often necessary to reap rewards.
Being independent means you’re more confident and have higher levels of self-esteem than many other people. The result is that you are braver when you need to take risks. Even if you are a bit afraid of taking risks (like everyone else), you are still be brave enough to take that chance.
Independent people generally have good problem-solving skills and flexibility, which makes it easier for them to handle things if anything goes wrong after they take risks.
17. Leading is actually very liberating.
If you’re a highly independent person, you’re willing to take the lead and be in charge. You will notice that a lot of people who are in leadership positions are actually highly independent individuals.
They don’t care about what others think and will speak up for themselves, their group, another individual, or a cause. They will hear others out, but they will stick to what they believe is right, and this makes them great leaders.
And being a leader gives you more control over outcomes, which is just what highly independent people enjoy.
You may also like:
- 18 Things Independent Thinkers Do (But Don’t Talk About)
- 20 Things Only Assertive Women Do Consistently
- 14 things confident people do (but never talk about)
- 12 Things Disciplined People Do That Bring Them Success
- 13 things to start doing for yourself (because no one can do them for you)