If we take an idea like freedom and dissect it down to its bare foundations, we will notice that it is no more than the ability for you to set up your own terms and conditions; to make schedule of your own time, to plan things up according to what scenario you find pleasing.
Ultimately, it all boils down to you not depending on others, for whatever that is, and having the ability to decide things for yourself.
Dependence on others may come in many forms – someone who manages your work hours, someone who decides when and where you are going to do this or that, or maybe even you needing someone else’s ability or skill as for you to do your thing…
Depending on others obviously sucks
Well, outside of the obvious realization that we want to lead life entirely, or at least partially, according to our blueprint and this suggests otherwise, there are other layers that we rarely notice.
First of all, deep down, depending on others is representing a sort of conformity or bowing in front of circumstances, on some occasion even authorities. And we are all inherently repelled by the idea of conformism.
Secondly, as you already noticed by now, to depend on others means to surrender your time management to a third party to have control over it. Over time this gets frustrating at a number of levels.
What frustrates the most though, despite conformism and losing the power to manage your time, is probably the state of mind you are being pushed into, which over time translates into you becoming less of a leader and more of a victim.
How far can it go?
Well taking the above into consideration, I would say pretty damn far. When you think about it, as harmless as it may seem, over time our quality of life gets decided by someone or something that is not us.
Hence we are trapped in this circle of making excuses that hinders our success even more, constantly frustrated by the realization that things are not up to us.
But you know what? – They are. And more than you would have thought.
How to stop depending on others?
- First thing first, let’s discuss some peculiar social issues. For one, the phenomenon of not being able to say NO.
You see, even when there isn’t a third party with assumed power over our lives, we tilt towards creating it. Our time management was being made perfect, but no, we had to accept that thing our friend just proposed, for example.
We want to look good in front of others, satisfy society norms, or so we may think, and this all makes us soft towards conformity and accepting it.
Learn to say NO for god’s sake.
If we give our freedom away all by ourselves, then chances are that we may never stand up in all the other areas of life where we have entirely lost control.
So first thing first – do not give away power and control even when such a thing is never being asked of you in the first place.
- Have weekends or some other day of the week (maybe even an afternoon) when you dedicate time for yourself, using it any way you please, and don’t make exceptions. You see, we are accustomed to giving away a lot of comfort and it seems like there isn’t an end to this cycle. Well, stop the cycle now.
- Do not be put on hold. This is probably the worst form of depending on others. Waiting for a call in order to schedule your day, waiting for an e-mail as to get down to work, waiting for a sign from someone as for you to go through your day. Giving away such power to others is super frustrating and makes you lose all kinds of respect in front of your own eyes. And that is saying it in the most diplomatic of ways.
For this purpose, let people know that you value your time, and that if they want to schedule a meeting or catch up with you it has to be in sync with your own terms or at least some sort of a compromise. Do not accept unconditional and absolute demands.
Try to minimize this even if we are talking about things like your work, colleagues, boss. Everyone will respect you more.
- Do not depend on others as to be able to do your work or whatever that is that you want to do. If you are a startup for example, and you have people in your circle that you absolutely depend on it is possible that they will be setting up the terms.
If you do depend on someone, at least try that to be someone close to you with whom you can function equally, and have mutual respect towards. Other than that it will always be a loss-of-freedom type of situation.
As for your work, same goes for your spare hours and whatever leisure that you prefer.
I for one, love recreational mountain biking on weekends. The thing was, some year or two ago, that I always relied on others to call and go biking with. Initially this was a great idea, since you get to share this wonderful experience with many people, but as time went by it started to bug me. How come? Well, as you might guess, people started calling minutes before I would gear up and be ready for a ride just to say that something came up. Couple of times and all the fun was ruined.
Point being, my weekend and whatever chance of fun I was hoping to see would be washed down the drain. I had to reschedule, call others, change plans, end up frustrated and partially angry at myself.
From that point on, I always go alone, and when someone asks to join I let them know both place and location and if it turns out good we have a lot of fun biking. If not, at least I’m not being stood up and things are still great.
You see, sometimes you would have to compromise over some details and maybe even relationships and connections with people, as to not be constantly stood up losing respect over yourself.
Can you depend on yourself?
Financial freedom usually dictates a lot of what reality looks like. But the thing is that being financially free, and being free are two totally different things. The one suggest control over what you can allow yourself and what you can have, while the other means control over your life and who you are as a person.
They are not mutually exclusive, but people often mix them up with one another.
If you can have a business or invest into stocks and commodities that’s a great thing, but freedom over your lifestyle and life in general is possible even without these things. Control your time, control who you let inside your life, control the ability to do your work without interruption, control how you feel about certain things…
This means depending less on others, and more on yourself.
Image credit: By Jesus Solana