20+ Signs of a Truly Independent Person

Ever asked yourself what it really means to be independent? Is it about carrying your own weight, making tough decisions, or perhaps a certain fearlessness in the face of adversity? 

Independence is a complex concept—it’s more than just self-reliance or solitude. It’s about having the courage to follow your own path yet never losing the humanity to care for others. 

In this article, we’re set to unravel the defining signs of a truly independent person. Who knows, you might just discover a new perspective about independence, and maybe, about yourself too!

Table of Contents

Understanding Independence

Before we unravel the signs, we must first understand the cornerstones of independence—the concepts of self-reliance and independence. They’re like two sides of the same coin, distinct yet inherently connected.

Independence, in its simplest form, means being able to stand alone. It’s about making decisions autonomously, blazing your own trail, and not being excessively controlled by external influences. Independence is the freedom to live life on your terms.

Self-reliance is a fundamental pillar that supports the structure of independence. It refers to our ability to rely on our own capabilities, skills, and judgment to confront and surmount the hurdles life throws at us. It’s about embracing a mindset of “I’ve got this.

But how do they relate? Independence is the broader objective, while self-reliance is a critical skill we employ to attain it. 

A self-reliant individual has the resilience and resourcefulness needed to lead an independent life. They are open to seeking help when required, but their initial impulse is to tap into their personal capabilities.

What does this look like in practice? Imagine planning a cross-country road trip. Here’s how an independent person might approach it:

  • Initiate the plan: They’d dive into planning the route, researching landmarks, and figuring out accommodations, instead of waiting for someone else to take the lead.
  • Solve problems: When encountering issues, like a booked-up hotel or a closed road, they’d come up with alternative solutions rather than expecting others to sort it out.
  • Utilize resources: They’d use online tools, maps, travel guides, or their network to gather necessary information for the trip.

Someone less independent might rely heavily on a travel agency or friends to manage all the details.

In a nutshell: Independence isn't about severing all connections; it's about acknowledging and leveraging your ability to thrive within those connections. And self-reliance? That's the skill that equips you to stand firm, even when the winds of life are gusty.

Now that we’ve grasped the core concepts of independence and self-reliance and understood their significant interplay, we’re well-equipped to venture further. It’s time to peel back the layers of what it means to be truly independent.

Signs of Emotional Independence

1. They Understand Their Own Emotions

A truly independent individual has a deep understanding of their own emotions. This doesn’t just mean they can label what they’re feeling; it’s also about knowing the origins and triggers of those emotions. 

An emotionally independent person digs deep into their emotions, trying to figure out where they come from, whether it’s a past experience, an ongoing situation, or an anticipation of the future. They don’t shy away from their emotions, even the difficult ones.

Imagine feelings as a language; the emotionally independent person speaks this language well. They can “read” their feelings correctly and use this understanding to guide what they do. 

Tip: Practicing mindfulness meditation can help increase emotional awareness and emotional understanding. It encourages a non-judgmental observation of one's thoughts and emotions.

2. They Navigate Through Different Emotions Effectively

Being emotionally independent isn’t about avoiding negative feelings. Rather, it’s about navigating through different positive and negative emotions in a balanced and effective way. It’s being able to experience emotions without letting them overrun your life.

One way emotionally independent people do this is by practicing healthy coping mechanisms such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, physical activity, and journaling

When facing sadness, they allow themselves to feel it, but they also take active steps to prevent the emotion from overwhelming them. They understand that feeling sad is a part of life, but they don’t allow it to consume their lives.

3. They Utilize Emotional Knowledge In Decision-Making

Emotionally independent individuals use their emotional knowledge in their decision-making process. They understand that while logic is crucial, emotions also play a key role in making decisions.

For instance, they might choose to decline a high-paying job offer because they understand it’s not aligned with their values or won’t bring them happiness. They can make this decision because they know their emotions and value their emotional health.

Here’s how emotional knowledge can be utilized in decision-making:

  • Weighing pros and cons: Not just focusing on the logical aspects but also considering how each decision might make them feel.
  • Trusting intuition: Understanding that gut feelings have a place in decision-making and learning to trust that intuition.
  • Considering others: Recognizing the emotional impact their decisions might have on others.

Signs Of Financial Independence

4. They Manage Their Finances Effectively

When it comes to financial independence, effective money management is a crucial indicator. An independent individual doesn’t just earn money but knows how to manage it effectively. 

They have a clear and well-organized budget that they follow, making sure they live within their means. They keep track of their income and expenses, understanding where their money is going and how it’s being spent. 

These individuals often use tools and applications to help them manage their money, keeping an eye on their finances to avoid unnecessary debts and to ensure they’re always in control of their financial situation.

For example, Laura, a software engineer, exemplifies financial independence through effective management of her finances:

  • Laura uses a budgeting app to track her income and expenses. It helps her understand exactly where her money is going.
  • She pays her bills first, then sets aside a certain percentage for savings and investments before budgeting for discretionary expenses.
  • If she overspends one month, she adjusts her spending the next month to stay on track.
  • If she receives extra income, like a bonus or a raise, she uses it to increase her savings, invest more, or pay off debts faster.

“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”

Warren Buffet

5. They Save And Invest Money Wisely

People who have achieved financial independence know that earning money, regardless of the source, is only one part of the equation. The second significant aspect is what they do with that money, which for them, revolves around prudent saving and smart investing.

Saving money is a habit they cultivate consciously. These individuals understand that having a financial cushion is crucial for achieving long-term goals and handling unexpected emergencies. 

However, they understand that saving alone won’t accelerate wealth accumulation, so they venture into investing. They’re open to taking calculated risks and focus on building diverse portfolios with a well-balanced mix of assets like stocks, bonds, and real estate. Diversification reduces risk while offering growth opportunities.

They know investing requires ongoing learning, understanding market trends, and adjusting strategies based on changing financial situations and goals. This commitment to learning and adapting drives their journey towards sustained wealth generation and financial freedom.

6. They Make Informed Financial Decisions Independently 

Another sign of a financially independent person is their ability to make informed financial decisions independently. They don’t merely accept money advice from others but choose to navigate their own financial journey. 

Realizing that financial empowerment stems from understanding, they take active steps to educate themselves on necessary money matters. They take time to:

  • Read books
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Attend seminars
  • Consult with financial advisors

These learning pathways provide them with a firm grasp of wide-ranging financial topics. It enables them to analyze financial trends, understand market conditions, and make sound financial decisions that align with their personal and financial goals.

Here's a situation that can help illustrate this: John is a professional motivated by an ambition to retire by 55. This isn't just a dream; it's a tangible objective. To turn it into a reality, John breaks down this big goal, figuring out how much he needs to save and invest each month. These smaller steps motivate him and guide his path. 

He also demonstrates adaptability. For instance, on receiving a pay raise, instead of increasing his expenditures, he chose to augment his retirement savings. His journey to financial independence is strategic and adaptable—a testament to his self-reliant financial planning and resolution.

7. They Understand The Value Of Financial Security

People who truly stand on their own feet know the importance of financial security. They understand that money isn’t just for buying things—it’s their safety net

It means freedom, choices, and stability. Money can help them deal with the unexpected things life throws, like a car breaking down or a sudden job loss. Here’s how they achieve it:

  • Emergency fund: They always have money set aside for life’s unexpected hurdles. This emergency fund acts as a safety net, providing peace of mind knowing they’re covered when things go wrong.
  • Diversified investments: Independent individuals spread their money across different types of investments, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate. This way, if one investment doesn’t pan out, they have others to rely on.
  • Insurance coverage: These people ensure they have adequate insurance for significant, unforeseen expenses, like medical costs or home damages. Like a good catcher’s mitt, insurance stops life’s curveballs from causing too much havoc.

Beyond their own lives, financially independent individuals strive for this security to ensure a comfortable and worry-free life for their loved ones. It’s not just about living a good life but about creating a solid foundation for those they care about. That’s the real value of financial security.

Consider this situational example: Jane, a financially independent individual, maintains an emergency fund and comprehensive health insurance coverage. After an accident requiring costly surgery, her insurance covers most medical expenses while her emergency fund takes care of the rest.  

She also utilizes her emergency fund to cover living expenses during her two-month recovery. Thus, Jane manages her financial crisis without needing external help, demonstrating her financial independence and preparedness.

Signs Of Intellectual Independence

8. They Think Critically And Independently

Being truly independent in your thoughts means you can think carefully and make decisions on your own. This involves a process known as critical thinking. 

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information objectively, consider different viewpoints, and make informed decisions. It’s like being a judge in a courtroom, listening to all the evidence and arguments before making a fair judgment.

People who are good at thinking critically don’t just accept what they hear or read without question. They don’t take things at face value. Instead, they dive deep. 

  • They ask questions, they poke around, and they come up with their own ideas about things.
  • They’re brave enough to question common beliefs and aren’t afraid to stand by their own ideas, even if they’re the only one who thinks that way. 

Imagine being in a room where everyone shouts different things — loud and confusing. But these individuals can tune out the noise. They’re like detectives, picking out the important clues from a noisy crime scene and piecing them together to form their own conclusions.

They’re not scared to swim against the current if it means they can get closer to the truth.

Tip: Always ask questions. One of the best ways to improve your critical thinking skills is to cultivate a sense of curiosity and ask questions. Ask "why," "how," and "what if" regularly. Diving deeper into these questions can help you understand the situation better and make more informed, rational decisions.

9. They Are Open To New Ideas And Perspectives

Albert Einstein once stated: 

“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” 

This is true for intellectually independent people. Every time they embrace a new concept, their understanding grows, just as a balloon expands when filled with air. And this expansion of knowledge and perspective is irreversible.

Consider a team meeting scenario where a radical idea is proposed. While some might dismiss it, an intellectually independent person weighs its merits and risks, defending it if they see the potential. They are not scared to deviate from the usual, especially if the less-traveled path promises better results.

They also display their open-mindedness during group discussions. They encourage everyone to share their thoughts, ensuring a healthy exchange of ideas. 

Moreover, they willingly reconsider their stance if they come across a compelling argument that challenges their view. They regard every conversation as a chance to expand their understanding and learn something new.

Being open to new ideas and perspectives doesn’t mean they are indecisive; rather, it shows they understand that learning is a lifelong process, and every person and thought brings something valuable.

10. They Seek Knowledge And Learning

Individuals with intellectual independence have an unending thirst for knowledge. They’re always looking for opportunities to learn, not because they want to win accolades or boost their career, but because they genuinely love learning. Their curiosity drives them, and it’s this curiosity that often leads them down paths of exploration and discovery.

Their love for learning can show in different ways:

  • Learning a new language: Not for work or travel, but because they’re fascinated by the culture or literature.
  • Reading extensively about a subject: Whether it’s astronomy or history, they read not for an exam or presentation but simply because they find the subject captivating.
  • Trying out new hobbies: From painting to coding, they engage in these activities for the joy of learning something new, not to impress anyone.

Curiosity, an inherent desire to learn and understand, fuels their quest for knowledge. It prompts us to ask questions, seek answers, and persist despite challenges. It turns learning into a lifelong journey and fosters growth and innovation.

So, intellectually independent individuals are lifelong learners. Their curiosity pushes them to continually expand their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

Tip: To nurture this trait, engage in "deliberate learning" — dedicate time each day to learn something new that's not directly related to your work or study.

Signs Of Physical Independence

11. They Take Care Of Their Health And Well-being

An independent person knows the importance of caring for their physical health and well-being. They understand that their body is like a vehicle that carries them through life, and it’s their responsibility to maintain it.

This doesn’t mean they must be a professional athlete or health guru. Instead, they make health-conscious decisions in their everyday life.

Here are some ways how:

  • Healthy eating: They make an effort to consume balanced meals that are rich in essential nutrients. They understand the importance of a well-rounded diet and do their best to avoid excessive junk or processed foods.
  • Regular exercise: Physical activity is part of their routine. Whether running, practicing yoga, or hitting the gym, they understand the importance of keeping their body active and strong.
  • Adequate rest: They value their sleep as much as their waking hours. They try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule and ensure they get enough rest to rejuvenate their mind and body.
  • Stress management: They have strategies to handle stress and avoid burnout. This could involve meditation, hobbies, spending time in nature, or any activity that helps them relax and unwind.
  • Mental well-being: They pay attention to their mental health as well. They might journal their thoughts, seek support when needed, and engage in activities that bring them joy and satisfaction.

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”

– Katie Reed

12. They Can Do Everyday Tasks On Their Own

Being physically independent also means being able to perform everyday tasks independently. This might seem obvious, but it’s an essential part of independence. It’s about managing life’s daily necessities without constantly relying on others.

Let’s consider a day in the life of such a person to illustrate this:

  • They can prepare a healthy breakfast, mindful of their nutritional needs. 
  • They manage their laundry, understanding how to care for different fabrics. 
  • They keep track of their finances, budget, pay bills, and even invest wisely. 
  • From maintaining a clean living space to meeting work deadlines and scheduling appointments, they have their responsibilities under control. 

These seemingly ordinary tasks reflect a strong sense of self-sufficiency.

However, this doesn’t mean they never need help or always do everything alone. They understand that everyone needs assistance from time to time, and they’re not too proud to ask for it when necessary. Instead, they don’t depend on others for their basic needs and daily functioning.

Tip: Start with small tasks and gradually take up more complex ones. Don't be afraid to learn and try new things. Remember, every skill you acquire adds to your independence.

13. They Can Protect Themselves And Find Their Way In Different Environments

Physical independence extends beyond personal care and day-to-day tasks; it also encompasses the ability to safeguard oneself and navigate varying environments effectively. This kind of independence implies that one can confidently handle situations that might arise unexpectedly.

Consider someone walking home late at night. Independent individuals are aware of their surroundings and employ safety measures to ensure they get home without harm. They may have learned basic self-defense techniques or carry safety devices, not out of fear but out of personal responsibility for their safety.

Did you know? Karate is arguably one of the most popular forms of martial arts globally. Originating from the Ryukyu Kingdom, now known as Okinawa, Japan, Karate translates to "empty hand," referencing its focus on striking techniques using the hands and feet, devoid of weapons. 

Similarly, navigating new environments, such as a foreign city or a different country, doesn’t overwhelm them. They utilize resources like maps, GPS, or public transit to get around. Even when things go awry, they stay calm, viewing the situation as a chance for exploration rather than a cause for panic.

Signs Of Social Independence

14. They Build And Maintain Healthy Relationships

Being socially independent means having the ability to foster and maintain healthy relationships. An independent individual is good at connecting with people while remaining self-reliant. 

They nurture friendships, partnerships, and familial bonds that are marked by mutual respect, understanding, and freedom. Such people do not shy away from meeting new people and expanding their social circle but also cherish their time alone.

Quick tip: Setting aside regular time for your loved ones, be it a weekly phone call or a monthly get-together, can help maintain and strengthen your relationships.

Creating a healthy relationship requires several key factors such as:

  • Communication: This includes knowing how to express their feelings, thoughts, and needs openly and honestly, yet respectfully. They engage in active listening, showing genuine interest in what others say. This two-way street of communication fosters a deeper understanding and connection among individuals.
  • Trust and reliability: Independent individuals understand the importance of trust. They align their words with their actions, creating a sense of security. They also extend this trust to others.
  • Respect: Independent people respect others’ perspectives, choices, and individuality. They acknowledge and appreciate differences, understanding that each person has a unique worldview.
  • Resilience: Every relationship faces ups and downs, but independent individuals are equipped to handle these. They view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. They confront and solve problems, promoting healthier and stronger relationships.

Balancing personal independence and social bonds might be a delicate act, but it reaps significant rewards. 

As Carl Jung once said:

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

So too, is the power of healthy relationships to inspire personal and mutual growth.

15. They Set And Respect Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are like invisible lines that protect our physical, emotional, and mental space. Independent individuals are skilled at setting these boundaries and, more importantly, respecting them. 

They have a clear sense of what is acceptable to them and not, and they are not afraid to communicate these limits to others. This trait allows them to navigate through different social scenarios without feeling oppressed, used, or taken advantage of. They can say “no” when needed and not compromise their personal space and peace. 

Here are some examples of how you can communicate your boundaries effectively and assertively:

Needing personal time or space“I value our time together, but I also need some time alone to recharge. Can we plan to meet another time?”
Uncomfortable with a discussion topic“I’m not comfortable discussing this topic. Can we talk about something else?”
Late-night phone calls from a friend“I understand you might need to talk, but I need to get a good night’s sleep. Can we talk during daytime hours instead?”
Overwhelmed with tasks and someone asks for help“I’m currently focused on some critical tasks. Can we look at how I might be able to assist you later?”
Friend borrows your belongings without asking“I’m happy to share, but I would appreciate it if you would ask before taking my things.”

Remember, the main point is to express your boundaries assertively and respectfully without being confrontational.

In addition, respect for boundaries also extends to other people’s limits. An independent person respects the rights and personal space of others, acknowledging their autonomy and individuality.

16. They Do Not Rely On Constant Approval Or Validation From Others

One of the most prominent signs of a socially independent individual is their detachment from constant external approval or validation. They are self-assured and comfortable with their decisions, views, and actions. 

An independent person is guided by a strong sense of self. They recognize their strengths and weaknesses, enabling self-improvement without overly relying on external validation. Their motivation stems from within, driving them to strive for personal growth and satisfaction.

In the words of Zig Ziglar

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember—the only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you.” 

This underscores the independent person’s attitude. They don’t let the judgment or criticism of others sidetrack them from their goals. They understand that everyone may have an opinion, but it’s their own thoughts, feelings, and actions that ultimately shape their life.

Imagine Maria, a high school student who loves math. Her friends warned her that taking the advanced math class would be too hard and not worth the effort.

But Maria didn’t let their words sway her. She believed in herself and was eager to learn, so she chose the advanced class anyway. Maria flourished despite her friends’ doubts, proving she didn’t need anyone else’s approval to follow her passion and succeed.

Signs Of Psychological Independence

17. They Understand Themselves And Accept Who They Are

Independent people stand out because they understand themselves well. This isn’t about overthinking or being self-centered but more about knowing who they are at the core. 

They’re aware of their strengths and weaknesses, their feelings, what matters to them, and what drives them. They know when to push hard and ease up, maintaining a healthy balance between being kind to themselves and disciplining themselves.

They also accept who they are, imperfections and all. Instead of avoiding or exaggerating their flaws, they embrace them as part of their identity. They see their mistakes not as failures but as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

Take Emma, a school teacher. Emma is well aware of her knack for explaining complex concepts in simple ways. However, she also recognizes her struggle with technology, but rather than avoiding it, she's enrolled in a computer class to improve. Despite society's often undervalued view of teachers, she takes pride in her profession, knowing the impact she has on her students.

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”

– Roy T. Bennett

18. They Show Confidence And Value Themselves

Confidence is a key trait of an independent person. It’s not about showing off or wanting to be the center of attention. It’s more about a strong belief in their own skills and values. Their confidence comes from being true to themselves, and it’s visible in all they do.

Along with confidence, these people also have high self-esteem. Self-esteem is how much you value yourself. It’s about respecting and valuing yourself. 

Independent individuals know they deserve love, respect, and success like everyone else. They don’t put themselves down and know their worth isn’t determined by what others think, society’s standards, or material possessions.

Here are some tips to develop confidence and high self-esteem:

  1. Positive self-talk: Encourage yourself with kind words. Replace negativity with positivity.
  2. Learn a new skill: Mastering a new skill can greatly boost confidence.
  3. Surround yourself with positivity: Spend time with people who uplift and inspire you.
  4. Be kind to yourself: Don’t compare yourself to others or be hard on yourself for mistakes.
  5. Celebrate your achievements: Recognize and celebrate your wins, no matter how small they are.

Signs Of Spiritual Independence

19. They Independently Navigate Their Spiritual Or Religious Journey

People who are spiritually independent plot their own spiritual or religious journey. Instead of merely following religious rules, they discover, learn, and grow independently. They gain wisdom from personal experiences and the things they read, taking the time to ponder these lessons.

As the famous saying by Rumi goes,

“The lamps are different, but the Light is the same.” 

This perfectly encapsulates the journey of spiritually independent individuals. They may be exposed to various teachings and philosophies, but they know that it’s the personal understanding and realization of these teachings that genuinely matters.

An example could be someone raised in a traditional religious setting but decided to explore spirituality beyond those teachings. They might meditate, read about different religious philosophies, or engage in contemplative practices. 

They might still participate in their traditional religious practices, but they add layers of personal understanding to them. This person listens to their intuition when deciding about their faith, not letting others’ views sway their beliefs. Their spiritual journey is a product of their own exploration, making it deeply personal and meaningful.

Fact: Spirituality does not necessarily equate to religiosity. According to a Pew Research Center report from 2017, 27% of American adults describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious," and this group is growing in number. This shows that many people independently explore spirituality outside of traditional religious structures.

20. They Find Personal Meaning And Purpose

People who are spiritually independent have a good understanding of what makes their life worthwhile and purposeful. This sense of purpose might come from their religious beliefs, the things they love to do, their jobs, or their relationships with others. 

Recognizing that each person has a unique life purpose, they don’t mimic others but create their own unique narrative

Reflection on past experiences is a regular part of their life. They learn from what they’ve done and use these insights to ensure their actions align with their values and beliefs. 

Self-determined goals, not societal expectations, guide their decisions. As a result of living authentically, a sense of inner satisfaction and happiness emerges, deeply rooting their sense of purpose and joy.

Here are some simple tips to help you find meaning and purpose in life:

  1. Explore your interests: Dive into things you love to do or are passionate about. Whether it’s painting, volunteering, gardening, or writing, these activities can often lead to a deeper understanding of yourself and your purpose.
  2. Identify your values: What’s really important to you? Kindness, hard work, creativity, or something else? Your values can be a compass that guides you to your purpose.
  3. Set personal goals: What do you want to achieve in your life? Setting your own goals, instead of following someone else’s, can help you uncover your unique purpose.
  4. Build strong relationships: Connecting deeply with others can often provide insight into what makes life meaningful.
  5. Don’t rush it: Finding your purpose can take time. It’s a personal journey, so don’t pressure yourself to figure it out all at once. It’s okay to take small steps in the direction that feels right for you.

21. They Maintain A Balance Between Their Spiritual Beliefs And Societal Norms

Spiritually independent individuals know that while their faith is important, they also need to respect and coexist with people who may hold different beliefs. They understand that their spiritual journey is personal and doesn’t require imposing their beliefs on others.

These individuals respect societal norms and cultural diversity, yet they don’t compromise their spiritual principles. They manage to walk this tightrope through understanding, tolerance, and open-mindedness. 

They also understand that being spiritual doesn’t mean renouncing the world; instead, it is about integrating spirituality into everyday life, making conscious decisions that align with their values, and making the world a better place through their actions.

For example: Consider someone who practices vegetarianism for spiritual reasons. Even while attending social gatherings where meat is served, they stick to their beliefs without imposing their dietary preferences on others. They respect the choices of others, even when different from their own, maintaining a balance between personal spirituality and social norms.

Signs Of Independent Personal Growth

22. They Seek Opportunities For Learning And Development

An individual who embodies independent personal growth always looks for new avenues to learn and develop. Such people understand that knowledge is not static but dynamic and ever-evolving

They appreciate that in the grand journey of life; every day is a new opportunity to learn something new. This could be as simple as picking up a new hobby or as complex as deciding to go back to school for further education.

These individuals may often be found reading a book, attending workshops, listening to podcasts, or engaging in thoughtful conversations. They are curious by nature, constantly questioning and seeking answers. 

Their mind is like a sponge, eager to absorb new information and ideas. Their thirst for knowledge is not driven by external factors such as competition or societal pressures but by an internal desire to grow and expand their horizons.

As the wise Mahatma Gandhi once said:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 

This insightful quote encourages us to seize each day and live it to its fullest while constantly seeking knowledge and wisdom. It underscores the importance of lifelong learning and the endless opportunities for growth it provides.

23. They Identify Their Weaknesses And Work To Improve Them

Recognizing your shortcomings is not easy. It requires a great deal of honesty, introspection, and humility. It is about understanding that nobody is perfect and that we all have areas that need improvement.

People showing signs of independent growth aren’t afraid of their flaws. Instead, they see them as opportunities for improvement. They may create personal development plans, set realistic goals, and track their progress. 

Whether it’s overcoming procrastination, improving communication skills, or becoming more patient, these individuals continuously strive to become better versions of themselves.

For example: If they're aware that they struggle with public speaking, instead of avoiding situations that require it, they might take steps to improve, like joining a local Toastmasters club or taking a public speaking course. 

24. They Celebrate Their Personal Growth And Achievements

People who display signs of independent growth know the value of celebrating their personal achievements. They understand that every step towards their goal, no matter how small, is worth acknowledging and celebrating. 

They don’t wait for others to recognize their progress; they take pride in their accomplishments. These celebrations don’t necessarily mean throwing a party or making grand gestures. It could be as simple as: 

  • Taking a moment to reflect on the progress made
  • Giving oneself a pat on the back
  • Treating oneself to a favorite meal or activity

Celebrating personal growth and achievements is a positive reinforcement, encouraging further development. 

  • It reminds individuals of their capabilities and boosts their confidence. 
  • It fuels their motivation to continue growing, learning, and improving. 
  • It’s about recognizing the power within and fostering a positive relationship with oneself.

“The journey is never-ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.”

– Antonio Brown

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone become an independent person?

Absolutely! Independence is not an inherent trait that you’re born with. It’s a skill and mindset that can be developed over time. 

Becoming independent often involves self-reflection, self-awareness, resilience, and the willingness to take responsibility for your life. It requires practice and sometimes stepping outside of your comfort zone. 

Remember that independence doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything on your own but rather having the ability to do so if required while also knowing when to seek help or collaborate with others. Everyone’s journey to independence is unique, and each step towards it is a personal victory.

How does one maintain their independence in a relationship or marriage?

Maintaining independence within a relationship or marriage can be achieved in several ways:

Open communication: Engage in regular, open, and honest conversations with your partner. Express your thoughts, feelings, and needs clearly, and be open to hearing theirs.

Set and respect boundaries: It’s important to establish personal boundaries and ensure they are respected. These could relate to personal space, time, social interactions, etc.

Maintain personal interests: Continue engaging in activities or hobbies you enjoy independently. This helps to nurture your individuality and provides a sense of self-fulfillment.

Spend time alone: Spending some time alone is not just healthy but necessary. It helps you reconnect with yourself and promotes self-reflection and self-growth.

Self-reliance: While it’s okay to lean on your partner in times of need, strive to maintain your self-reliance in different areas, such as decision-making and financial independence.

Encourage each other’s independence: Both partners should encourage each other’s independence and understand that individuality and togetherness can coexist in a healthy relationship.

Is independence related to age or maturity?

While age and maturity can certainly influence independence, they are not the sole determining factors. Some young individuals may demonstrate a high level of independence, while some older individuals may not.
Similarly, maturity can aid independence, but it isn’t the only contributing factor. Independence is more about a mindset, self-confidence, and the ability to handle responsibilities and make decisions effectively, which can be seen in individuals across various age groups.

Moreover, cultural factors, upbringing, and life experiences also significantly shape one’s independence. It’s a journey of personal growth that encompasses learning to manage one’s life physically, emotionally, and financially, and this journey can take place at any age.

Does being independent mean you’re an introvert?

No, being independent doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an introvert. Independence is a trait that can be found in both introverts and extroverts. It encompasses emotional, mental, and financial aspects and is not exclusively linked to how you interact socially.

While it is true that introverts might be more comfortable with and adept at spending time alone, which is one aspect of independence, extroverts can also exhibit strong independence in their decision-making, problem-solving, and self-reliance. 

So, independence is not tied to one’s orientation toward social interaction but rather their ability to navigate life autonomously.

Can parents foster independence in their children?

Parents can foster independence in their children by implementing the following strategies:

Encourage decision-making: Allow your children to make choices appropriate for their age. This could start with small decisions like choosing what to wear or picking a book to read, gradually moving to bigger decisions as they grow.

Assign age-appropriate tasks: Assign tasks such as cleaning up toys, helping set the dinner table, or doing their laundry. This helps them learn responsibility and the importance of contributing to household chores.

Allow for natural consequences: Letting children experience the consequences of their actions teaches them accountability and helps them understand the impact of their decisions.

Problem-solving opportunities: Rather than rushing to solve every problem for them, guide your children to come up with their own solutions. This builds critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Provide a safe environment to fail: It’s okay for children to make mistakes. It is a part of learning and growing. Ensure they know that failure isn’t something to be afraid of but a stepping stone to improvement.

Encourage independence in learning: Support your children’s educational journey by encouraging them to take charge of their learning. This could involve setting their study schedule, completing assignments on time, and seeking help when needed.

Teach financial responsibility: As they get older, teach them about money management. You can start with simple things like saving pocket money or creating a budget for their needs and wants.

By fostering independence, parents help children grow into confident, responsible, and self-reliant adults. It’s important to remember that every child is unique, and independence should be encouraged according to their individual pace and abilities.

Can being too independent be a bad thing?

Like anything in life, there can be too much of a good thing. While independence is generally seen as a positive trait, when taken to an extreme, it can lead to a reluctance to accept assistance or collaborate with others, even when it’s beneficial or necessary. 

This could result in social isolation and might even limit personal growth, as we often learn and develop through our interactions and collaborations with others.

Moreover, an excessive focus on independence can sometimes turn into stubbornness or an inability to admit when we’re wrong, which can strain relationships and hinder personal development.


Working towards being independent in different areas of life is a key goal. It boosts feelings of being able to stand on your own, having control, and helps you grow as a person, eventually leading to a sense of satisfaction.

But remember, real independence doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s completely fine—actually important—to ask for help when needed. 

Being independent doesn’t mean you’re alone, but more like finding a balance between taking care of yourself and relying on others in a healthy way.

Sure, the journey to independence can be challenging, but these rough patches should be seen as chances to grow, building up your ability to bounce back and adjust. Let’s keep moving on this path, enjoying every step we take toward becoming more independent.

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Robby Salveron

Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.