Abandon all weakness, ye who enter here.

Independence and Self-Reliance

Taking control of a situation can often be an empowering but scary thing. Taking control of yourself, however, can sometimes be even more of a frightening experience. Being full independent and responsible for your actions and thoughts takes a constant amount of mental fortitude. Often times people find themselves in situations that they'd rather forget. This could lead to avoiding a person or scenario, living in fear of that encounter. Worse, this could lead to self-destructive behavior; people will seek narcotics or dangerous activities to provide themselves with a thrill that can help them to temporarily forget their day to day experience. In extreme cases, people who are in overwhelmingly difficult situations, seeing no way out, end their own lives. No one should ever feel this powerless. You must develop yourself to have the proper control of your own life in any situation. This does not mean that it will be simple, or that mistakes won't be made. Far from it, in fact.

Having a fear of failure can paralyze your ability to do a lot of things; being fully independent is toward the top of the list. (Read about overcoming fear here.) Yet, the many people around the world who have reached the level of success they have took their passion upon themselves and moved ever forward with it, regardless of the potential failures.

An independent person should seek to succeed and make the right decisions, understanding that this does not equate to a fear of failure. Making the right decision and allowing yourself to progress is the most desirable outcome; making a wrong decision and learning thoroughly from it, however, can make you more confident in your decision making ability to make the right decision the next time. You must move on with your journey, carrying positive thoughts of your future as you live and learn. YOU ARE POWERFUL, never forget this.

Furthermore, speaking to older people who may have had similar experiences to you can allow you to learn from some of their mistakes. This does not mean that you rely on an elder to take responsibility for your own life; you must take their advice and cater it to your own scenarios. If the results of a failure are more devastating than you feel you could handle, that is all the more reason to seek the aid of an elder, a close advisor, or a group of the two. Thus, you can discover that being alone and being independent carry vastly different connotations.

Following a group of people whom you admire or who offer you constant affirmations for your fashion, humor, actions, etc. will not carry you to the path of independence you seek. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “One who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been.” This may entail getting and feeling a bit lost. Yet, having the right people in your life along with the passion for your goals will lead you on the path you were destined to take. Breaking free from a crowd can be a liberating, yet stressful experience. Some members of that crowd will understand where you come from, yet offer you no support. Others may offer you an unhealthy dose of derision for the path you have decided to take. The people with whom you should continue on your journey are the ones who, whether empathetic toward your goals or not, show you the support that you deserve.

Here, we seem to be entering a paradox. Even while seeking to enter a state of independence, you may need the support of one or more people to get you to where you need. Nevertheless, once you have reached the right place, you must look to inform yourself and have your own experiences, which your supporters cannot do for you. If your wish is support the crowd that has helped to uplift you, you cannot do so while you are actively developing yourself. You have to attain the independence and self-reliance you seek before attempting to use underdeveloped skills to help them. Being independent and self-reliant will eventually enter a cycle where you become the elder, whether in age or wisdom; in this, you must guide another hopeful individual to become the leader and master of themselves as you became.