Often when you hear the term ‘self sufficiency’, you think of the pioneers that homesteaded the land of the plains. This demonstration can also be termed ‘self sustaining’. These were a group of people that raised almost the entirety of their own food; and, built their farms with the sweat of their physical labor. In the conversations of today, self sufficiency is related to self reliance, independence, autonomy, even self empowerment. You will hear comments such as, “My colleague seems to has some inner resource that helps him cope with our company’s issues.”, or “I wish I could be like my mother. She always trusted her own judgment.” Stories about self sufficiency can be as varied as the life experiences we read about or see on the History channel.

A long time icon of self sufficiency and self assurance is Clint Eastwood. A veteran actor, Clint has stated, “A guy sits in the audience. He’s 25 and scared stiff about what he’s going to do with his life. He wants to be that self sufficient character he sees up there on the screen in my pictures. A confident character who has all the answers, is doubly cool, exists on his own without society or the help of society’s police forces.”

Self sufficiency can still be developed as an adult. Try any of these activities to boost your sense of self sufficiency or self empowerment:
• When you really want to branch out in a direction, try not to always get others’ opinions. There will be a thousand arguments for your decision and a thousand against. Trust your intuition, putting your insecurities onto the back burner of your mind. If you want to take up fencing at 55, imagine all the positives that will come from your acquired physical abilities, speed, agility, poise, much less assertiveness from the attack posture.
• Give yourself permission to make choices different than your usual way of being. Remember that you don’t always have to have the permission of your community, family, or friends to decide to play summer softball, learn a musical instrument, attend a Zumba dance class, or participate in a college course on movie classics. Setting your own goals and working to achieve them will teach self-reliance and the act of self judgment you may need.

Developing Your Self Sufficiency