None of us are alone. Each of us is part of a vast network of relationships. We all need one another to feel loved and connected and supported.

But that being said, each one of us is still our own person. And what better way to embrace our uniqueness than by celebrating our independence?

Independence is a vital part of maturity and a healthy aspect of development as we evolve from adolescents to fully-fledged adults. Some people tend to frame independence in regards to pragmatic matters, such paying your own bills or managing a household. These issues are important, but being truly independent is as much about autonomy and self-determination as it is about practical responsibility.

Learning to be more independent is about learning to create positive change. It’s about embodying our role as unique individuals who have the ability to make things happen. Learning to be independent is not about being tough or refusing to accept help, it’s about remembering that we are in control of our lives.

If you are wishing to gain more personal independence, here are five steps to help you be more autonomous both in everyday life and in the grand scheme of things.

Don’t Wait For Permission

Have a dream? Want to make something happen? Then make it happen! While you are obliged to be considerate and mindful, you are not obliged to get anyone’s approval or validation when it comes to pursuing personal fulfillment. Worrying about what others think holds you back and keeps you from taking the first step.

Be Assertive

Being assertive doesn’t mean being a bully. It just means being forthright about what you want and what is best for you and standing by those beliefs. You can learn to be more assertive by setting boundaries and speaking up when something isn’t okay.

Take Care Of Yourself

Meeting your own needs, and knowing what your needs are, is necessary to self-sufficiency. This includes everything from the physical to the emotional: from fixing yourself healthy proper meals to nurturing your soul when you feel sad. Learning to take care of yourself is empowering when you realize that you have the ability to make yourself happy and healthy.

Think for Yourself

Seeking out a second opinion is common, we all do it! It can be a natural instinct for us to go to friends or family for advice when we encounter a problem. But first and foremost, always sit with yourself and get a feel for what is best for you. Let your instincts and your own experience help you determine what is true and right.

Make Decisions & Take Initiative

It is easy to let circumstances determine what we do or how we spend our lives. It is tempting to leave our days to fate. It also a guaranteed way to let our lives slide out from underneath us. Don’t rely on others to step in and make something happen for you. Refuse to be passive. Be the one who gets the ball rolling. Make a decision, set a goal, and stick to it.

The rewards of independence are infinite! When are you independent, you feel more confident and more capable. You live your life according to your desires, not those of others.

Mind Fuel Daily was founded to help readers find inspiration and purpose in every day. We believe that each person is capable of finding his or her best life here, in the present moment, and our mission is to provide the spark that moves you to positive action and thought.