Being independent and practicing personal autonomy has its advantages, like having no one to answer to but yourself. It encourages you to become self-aware while taking in the big picture. So, you’re not just focused purely on your needs, but you recognize that you’re part of a thriving community, with certain responsibilities, privileges, and freedoms.
What is Personal Autonomy?
There are several ways to describe personal autonomy, from being free to follow your heart to having a sense of determination and self-endorsement. Yet, the simplest explanation is that personal autonomy is your ability to act on your interests and core values. Having that drive to keep you on track makes it easier to live on your own terms and live according to your desires and personal beliefs rather than being goaded to conform to someone else’s beliefs.
Yet, at the same time, personal autonomy requires a high degree of responsibility. You have to make informed decisions and learn how to back them up and take ownership of things when anything goes wrong. It also means that you’re able to manage yourself and take initiative when needed. It’s all about getting things done consistently without needing anyone to remind you.
How Can Personal Autonomy Strengthen your Ability to Be Independent? Let’s look at some ways it can help boost your independence.
Having personal autonomy means trying new things. They don’t have to be big things; they can even be trying that new coffee spot you’ve been eyeing for a couple of weeks. Then, step by step, you’ll be able to go on to larger tasks. For example, you can try getting ahead start on a work presentation earlier in the week to avoid having to deal with that dreaded deadline looming overhead.
You could also show initiative at work by taking on additional tasks or doing a bit of research on your own regarding a certain project. Initiative doesn’t have to be at work only. Why not take up a DIY project you’ve been wanting to try out? How about volunteering several hours a week at a local shelter or soup kitchen?
To actually become independent, you need to learn how to organize and manage your time and money. Luckily, dozens of life-saving apps can help you do just that. Start by writing down all the things you do during a typical workday. Then, expand it to a whole week and eventually to an entire month. Don’t forget to schedule how long each task or activity takes.
Also, remember to include any chores, errands, appointments, or sports events going on during that time. An independent person is capable of efficiently mapping out their schedule. They’ll also be able to remove or postpone certain tasks if things get too hectic.
Responsibility is knowing what you have to do, getting it done on time, and taking credit for your hard work. But that is the cheerful side of responsibility. You’ll know you’ve made it when you feel that you’re on top of your game and everyone is singing your praises.
Yet, it’s not always so bright and cheery, especially when you have to muster up the courage to hold yourself accountable instead of coming up with excuses or blaming others when things don’t go as planned. Let’s be honest here, sometimes that can be easier said than done. Admit that you were wrong about so-and-so or that you failed to meet certain deadlines, and you’ll instantly feel better. Then, you’ll be able to move on from that and work towards fixing what needs to be fixed.