How to Be Independent

· January 11, 2017

There are many people who think “being independent” means having enough money not to depend on anyone. Others suggest that independence is acquired when one is able to make choices without asking permission from others.

Both definitions are correct, but they can also be combined to something that is better adapted to what it truly means to “be independent.”

Making a lot of money (or at least enough to survive) is sometimes related to necessity and not so much will. In addition, autonomy should go beyond the balance in our bank accounts and wallets. If you can pay your bills, congratulations! But that’s not all you need to be fully independent.

In fact, autonomy is more related to the ability to control your life: knowing where to go, not waiting on others to tell you what to do, etc. Independence also has to do with a person’s ability to work things out, to follow their aspirations and goals, to have the ability to complete their own tasks without asking for help, with how they visualize the future, etc.

If you’re reaching a certain stage in your life where you don’t know whether you’re independent or would like to separate yourself a bit from those around you, it’s a good time to pay attention to the fundamental aspects that define an autonomous person.

How can I be more independent?

To become in adult with sufficient autonomy to do as you like and not rely on anything or anyone, it would be good if you started:


  • Taking better care of yourself physically and mentally, as well as emotionally. If you don’t respect yourself, it will be impossible for you to enjoy life to the fullest. Meaning, if your mind and body aren’t in good shape, you’re more susceptible to getting sick, being in a bad mood, and especially, relying on those around you.
  • Being disciplined. This is truly important because order and being strict with ourselves can help us to effectively take care of situations. You shouldn’t let yourself get carried away by your emotions. Be sure to instead have sheer will power that will allow you get out of any situation.
  • Believing in yourself. This is a fundamental step to becoming independent. If you believe in your abilities, skills and virtues, it will be easier for you to continue down the path of realizing your hopes and dreams.
  • Getting “a taste” for life. People who rely on others to be happy don’t know the benefits of living. The decisions they make always have something to do with others, rather than themselves. While being independent doesn’t imply being selfish, it might be good to start paying more attention to your own feelings and to finding “the salt of life” in every situation.
  • Seeing the glass as half-full. One of the characteristics that all independent people must have is optimism. Obviously that involves being aware that life is good even when things aren’t going well, but it’s also about being able to find the joy in the small, daily details.

In short, the sum of millions of grains of sand is what eventually builds a beach. The same things happens to us when it comes to our life events and our belongings.

Be more grateful for what you have, and don’t waste time and energy you don’t have complaining about it.

woman fire heart independent

Being independent means that, even though others can give you their opinions and help you with certain activities, you’re the captain of a ship called “your life.” No one will give you words of encouragement if you don’t. Find a method of self-motivation that’s effective for you. 

Remember that to achieve the independence you so desire, it’s imperative that you believe in yourself, improve as a human being, grow and figure out what you’re missing. No one’s going to do anything for you.

Lastly, I urge you to reflect on the words of  Michel de Montaigne:

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”