Contributing Author : Priyanka Maru

Humans are vulnerable to a lot of things, significantly to other humans and themselves. The vulnerability to materialistic things can be recovered comparatively easily and faster. Vulnerability to humans could be dangerous. The expression could be in many forms such as being anti-social or being bully. It could also rise and turn in various forms of abuse. However, when an individual does not feel vulnerable to themselves or other humans, they attain a state of self-sufficiency.

Self-sufficiency as described by Dr. Steve Taylor is “a deep-rooted sense of inner completeness and stability”. A self-sufficient person can be described as someone who knows their worth, loves their self and doesn’t rely on outside world for confirmation of themselves. These are the people who would let their work speak for themselves. A self-sufficient individual would not be let down by others criticism and insults, however be open to self-development.It means being contended by doing what they are.There is no measure of self-sufficiency. It is an individual aspect which is measured in one’s own happiness.

Some signs of individuals who are self-sufficient:

  • They are contended and happy.
  • They know their worth and do not let what people say affect it.
  • They don’t let people’s comments affect their self-esteem.
  • They are open to self-development.
  • They do not play blame games un-necessarily.
  • They have the ability to make smart and fast decisions. The decisions do not depend on the affirmations of people around.
  • They respect themselves and others.

As it is rightly said, when an individual love themselves unconditionally, that is the time they have the potential to love the world unconditionally. Here are some baby steps to achieving self-sufficiency.

  • Learn a new skill or master an old one: When you master a skill, you start enjoying it. This helps you to perform better and hence increase your confidence in doing so.
  • Start self-affirmation techniques: When you start talking positively to yourself, your ears hear the positive things and brain contemplates them positively. This helps you to think positively about yourself.
  • Set achievable goals and work towards achieving them: When these goals are met, you start to realise that you are worthy of achieving things which increases your confidence.
  • Try meditating: When you relax yourself without external help, you are able to understand yourself better and feel calm, compost and contended.
  • Identify a hobby and start practising it: When you have a hobby, you start engaging in it in your free time. This helps you to spend more time with yourself, relax yourself on your own. This is a great technique to attain self-sufficiency.
  • Try to make smaller decisions followed by major ones without second opinions: Sometimes, decision making is a major issue for some people. From deciding on easy things such as what to eat and what to wear, to deciding major decisions such as investment, when these decisions come from yourself instead of someone else, you start feeling more reliant on yourself.
  • Gratitude journaling: When you start acknowledging the good things in life, the things you are grateful for, you automatically start to think less about the missing things in life. The gratitude for the things existing in life makes you realise about your self-worth which impacts your self-confidence positively.

These are just some examples. There are many such things which can be done as baby steps to self-sufficiency. This does not mean that not taking help from people. Self-sufficiency is about feeling contended and satisfied emotionally. At certain times, individuals do need help from others. At such times, it is very important to seek for help. This does not make an individual weak but strengthens them emotionally and improves their mental health. Seeking help at times of need indicates that the individual is prioritizing themselves, which is an indicator of self-sufficiency.

About Priyanka :  Priyanka has recently finished her MSc Applied Psychology from Coventry University, UK. She is aspiring to be a Child and Clinical Psychologist. Along with working with children, she is also a mental health advocate and is volunteering at various NGO’s and organisations for the same. She loves dancing, reading books and baking for leisure. She is a foodie and loves Coffee too!

 “Mental illness is flaw in Chemistry, not Character. It is not important to feel happy or positive all the time. You are a human. What is important is to seek help, pick yourself up and start fresh”. 


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