On independence

What’s really needed for independence? I think there are a couple of things that need to be in place, depending on the area of relation. Physical independence isn’t the same as mental independence.

I started re-reading “7 Habits of highly Effective People” today. It popped up in my Audible-feed and I felt it was time for a revisit. In the first chapter, the introduction to the 7 habits, the author speaks about independence, and the paradigm of interdependence. It struck me that I’ve been quite dependant on others lately, or at least I’ve felt dependant.

For the majority of the past 10–12 years, I’d say I’ve been quite entrepreneurial without being an entrepreneur. I’ve made stuff up from nothing, I’ve started initiatives and projects, I’ve had countless jobs and sat in even more boards for non-profits.

I’ve never really been dependent on anyone else in these things. At least not for my own energy, confidence and drive. I’ve had people who’ve been great at things I’m shit at, in those cases we’ve been largely interdependent. But my self-worth and drive hasn’t ever been dependent on anyone else.

Until a couple of years ago, when I started working with an extremely charismatic leader. We worked closely together, and I started relying on him for my confidence as well as my sense of worth. I became mentally dependent.

Slowly, I’ve been building confidence and drive again since then, until I realised just the other day that i’ve been doing the same thing again. I’ve been letting external factors, people other than myself, guide my confidence. If the circumstances have been poor, I’ve been grumpy. If one of the people involuntarily holding my sense of self worth have been angry or irritated with me, I’ve felt worthless. And so on.

Building towards independence, and eventually towards interdependence feels like a step in the right direction. Becoming myself, my driving, entrepreneurial and creative self again. Starting by completing tasks just for myself. Things that are for me, by me and only depend on my own energy.

What do you need in order to be independent? Or even interdependent?

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