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Self-Reliance: Believe in Yourself Essay

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Updated: Nov 26th, 2021

Self-reliance is a phenomenon where we can have personal decisions without external inference (Williams 26). It is the freedom to sustain ourselves and make personal actions without being forced to do so. In our lives, we do not usually have a free choice to rely on ourselves: We have laws to control us. Society gives traditions upon which our lives should be controlled. Our minds are usually subjected to the rules of society and thus we never follow our own instincts (Bloom Para.3). However, we need to realize the significance of self-reliance in order to realize our personal abilities.

Believing in my own thoughts is what I came to note as very important to determine my intelligence. Speaking out my covert opinion may one day be accepted by the people as a virtue. I have realized I don’t have to buy the ideas of previous humans; I can give my own idea. Ralph Emerson gives an example of Plato, Moses, and Milton whose ideas have been accepted the world over. Yet they were just humans like me. He writes, “We ascribe to Moses, Plato and Milton is that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men, but what they thought” (Para.1). By avoiding depending on thoughts made by others, I attempt to make my own initiatives and reflect on my good decision.

Self-reliance has helped me to avoid imitation which has been killing my power to try. I have gained my confidence and I have learned that God created me for a reason. I have known that my expressions are equally important as it is God’s intention that I try new things without fear. Self-reliance is important because it helps me to relieve myself. I decide to think for myself, in innovation, and thrive with peace of mind. Emerson noted, “ man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best, but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace.“(Para.2). although we have to accept our natural being, it is important that we confide our abilities within our minds. Despite this chaotic world, I shall advance to vast lengths because I have self-reliance.

When we are young, we are usually configured to principles we would otherwise oppose. Our elders usually think we are powerless. They fail to understand that we could still grow up to support ourselves so they feed us with societal norms. In turn, we never realize the need to pursue our thoughts. With self-reliance, I can rise above the desperate life that most people live. I can manage to avoid consumerism, which our society is so deeply plunged, and instead embrace nature. Emerson writes again that we need self-reliance, “so as to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life…” (Para. 22).

Self reliance gives me a healthy attitude towards nature. As little boys would often do; I try out new things without considering the impact of my actions. Yet I remain independent in whatever I say. In a recent article in Living magazine, Anita Dembele (27) wrote that children, not knowing what others feel about it, usually have no fear to make their abilities put on trial. They often would play with sticks; build miniature houses with wires and even climb tall trees. In this case, they are not intimidated by the dangers of falling or being pricked- as their parents have warned them. With time, they learn that such attempts are not after all dangerous. They gain the confidence that I have found in the recent past.

To have self-reliance, we desist from conforming to delimiting conventions. Such are the prisons which everyone is barred from making free choices. Ralph Emerson (Para.7) adds, “Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.” Self reliance can free us to understand that we are our own nature whose control is our own conscience. To determine what is wrong from what is right; we only need to invoke our personal principles. We can wade through worldly antagonism by refusing to be misused by constricting customs of our society. “A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if everything were titular and ephemeral but him.” (Emerson Para. 8) In deed, self reliance has given me free mind and I live without regretting my decisions.

We can identify ways of living a unique life. Further still, Emerson (Para.11) continues, “It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what your duty is better than you know it.” Although it may be difficult, considering those who may always want to dictate what you should do; it is better to identify our own independent thoughts even when we live among a large population. This is how self-reliance helps can help us to create a niche of our own. We usually fear to adopt independence because our society judges us through past acts: We want to live by the way the society has always been. However, wise people must always try to seek successes through new ways. Self reliance can help us to adopt this innovation. Jeannette Williams (72) acknowledges that it can be worthwhile to defy societal values as long as we aim to achieve something. In this case, we realize to stand on our own and avoid following those who make institutions for us to follow. With self reliance, we don’t have to succumb to webs like marriage, schooling, or religion; if we don’t feel like we belong there. After all, Emerson (Para. 32) writes of societal constrictions: “All men plume themselves on the improvement of society, and no man improves.”

Generally, there is no one who can teach us better than what our Creator can do. We need self reliance to progress. Rather than being confined in retrogressive cocoons of principles made by past humans, we need to improve our societies. Self reliance will make us to appreciate what we have and appreciate our abilities to succeed.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. “Out of Panic, Self-Reliance.” The New York Times. 2008. Web.

Dembele, Anita. “What is in self-Reliance?” Living. 2009: 26-28.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Self-Reliance.” 2006. Web.

Williamson, Jeanette. Society and Individualism. Cologne: Zap Books.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Self-Reliance: Believe in Yourself." November 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/self-reliance-believe-in-yourself/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Self-Reliance: Believe in Yourself'. 26 November.

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