“Apparently, they are predicting an upcoming food shortage and the price of eggs may go up to twelve dollars a dozen,” my husband said over dinner the other night.
“Really??? That’s a dollar an egg!” my daughter exclaimed. “Good thing we have chickens and don’t buy eggs,” she added with a smile.
“It certainly highlights the importance of learning how to raise, grow and access what you need, doesn’t it?” I said, looking at my husband and daughter.
“Recently, I experienced, first hand, the feelings that often arise when what we have come to rely on changes”
Rushing to get my daughter to urgent care, I hit a detour. This added additional time to my drive, so I had my daughter call ahead to let them know we were on our way but running late. She was told we would have to reschedule and the earliest they could see her was the next day at 4:30 pm.
My first thought was, “WHAT???? This is URGENT CARE?!”
My daughter’s symptoms had been getting progressively worse over the last 24 hours, and this prompted me to change my schedule to take her to the doctor. Now, we would have to wait another 24 hours?
Granted, I was stressed and already juggling way too many things with my husband away for work, but this really threw me for a loop. I needed to find another solution.
Upon arriving home, I called the Urgent Care facility and told them of my situation and asked if they could help me. I was given the address and number for a brand new location that had recently opened and was much closer to my home. The woman apologized that they had recently changed the way they operated and were now a private care practice with a few urgent care spots each day. She did say the new location was open to walk-ins until 7pm. Ah, true urgent care!
Change is hard. Especially when it is thrust on us under the least comfortable and convenient conditions. There is a lot changing right now that is highlighting just how reliant we have become on other people and systems to provide what we need to live and function in our day-to-day lives. When these people and systems are no longer there for us, it tests and uncovers our dependencies.
In the end, I was able to get my daughter treated, and it all worked out. But the experience really made me think about just how much we all have built lives around a reliance on so much outside of ourselves that we cannot control.
This leaves us, understandably, feeling vulnerable and insecure, when we realize that we aren’t sure what we would do if what we’re reliant on instantly disappears.
So many of us have been raised to trust systems to protect, save, and even feed us. When they start to show signs of weakness, brokenness, or suddenly are no longer there in the ways we have come to expect, we experience a lot of mental, emotional, and physical discomfort.
I believe much of the emotional upheaval that we have been witnessing and experiencing over the last few years, and undoubtedly will continue to witness in the coming years, is due to things changing and falling through that we have previously depended on for our stability, security, and well-being.
Although we can see that a lot is broken and needs fixing within these very systems, and we might want to see the necessary changes made, when these structures that we have learned to count on begin to expose their inadequacies and fail us, we have to be prepared to weather the time it takes for the old to die to make room for the new.
My own experiences with this have been humbling and have thrust me into a mental and emotional place of taking stock of my own responsibility and accountability in providing, for myself, what I need.
I would like to point out something that, for most of my life, has not been an easy thing for me. What I needed in that urgent care experience when I was told, “we cannot help you today” was a solution. By asking for help, I was able to connect to it by allowing myself to be supported.
There is a difference between this and fighting back, falling apart, or throwing up our hands and saying, “fine, I’ll do this myself!” True self-reliance also includes knowing when and how to receive the support we need to find the solutions that will best serve us.
How often do we truly ask for help from an open and neutral space? Often, it’s more a reaction of shut down and blame that either has us playing the disempowered roles of victim or perpetrator. We blame and complain or attack and demand when what we truly want is to find a way to get our needs met.
The other thing that arises when we meet change with a desire for solution is we realize we are far more capable of handling and going through challenge than we might think.
Things really do have a way of working out.
The choice is ours around what we want to experience. We can aim our mind in the direction of the “oh how awfuls” and begin to see all the problems with what is happening, or we can trust we can and will find a better way to get what we need.
A great way to actually build our self-confidence is to increase our level of self-reliance. A big part of this is to develop a better relationship with ourselves. This includes working on our internal self-trust and belief in our own capacity to do what we want and need to do.
Here are 5 things to consider in building better self-reliance:
1. Know and Trust Yourself
You’ve got this; you really do! Think of all the things you have done and overcome in your life. Just because the headlines might read The Sky Is Falling doesn’t mean it is. Life has always been full of challenges. By knowing and understanding who you are, through your experiences, strengths, and needs, you can best determine what you can do to meet any difficulties head on. Trust you can do it and know you will find solutions that best serve you.
2. Think for Yourself and Make Your Own Decisions
Even if everyone around you holds a particular perspective and thoughts about a given situation, knowing what you think about it matters the most for you. It doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t consider the viewpoints of others, but at the end of the day, you get to choose how you think and, consequently, what you decide to do, at all times.
3. Understand You Are 100% Responsible for All Things in Your Life
Yep, this can be a hard one. But you cannot feel and be self-reliant when you are playing victim and looking for who or what is perpetrating you and who or what needs to make things better for you. Being the creator of your life means taking full responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, actions, and outcomes.
4. If You See It, Address It
If something concerns you, stop worrying and find a solution. When we are facing uncertainty, worrying only creates more. Sometimes the solution you need is to shift your mindset or the narrative you have chosen around a given scenario. If there is something in your life you need more information about, help with or need to learn or find an answer for, don’t wait until things blow up or become dire. Determine what strengths, strategies, and solutions you have available to you and create some movement and action around them.
5. Practice Self Care
Alignment and balance are key. Give yourself what you need to remain grounded, curious, open, and creative. This includes making decisions that align with who you are and what’s important to you. Are you choosing habits, people, environments, or pastimes that challenge your ability to be calm and centered? Are you engaging in thoughts and beliefs that support or stress you out? Stay aware and vigilant to ensure you have what you need in all ways to navigate the daily waters of change.
Taking the initiative to develop awareness and taking action around each of these considerations can lead you to much deeper feelings and expressions of self-reliance. And let’s face it, in the times we’re in, this is worth the cost of admission.