Independence is valuable because it lets you clear your mind and refresh yourself as an individual. You can only shine as your true self when you know how to embrace your individuality.

If you want to be independent, explore when you are alone.

Are you introverted or extroverted? Different people crave a different type of independence.

If you’re introverted, you’ll seek some time alone to recharge — but this is really a time for you to explore your own individuality. Find out what you like to do best when no one else is watching.

When I’m the stranger at a large event, my energy will slowly seep out, my smile hanging lower as the day progresses. It’s always a relief when I can get home and geek out on my blog.

If you’re extraverted, the people around you will keep you energized, but don’t lose sight of your individuality.

Studies have shown that high performers are people who tend to reflect on their learning — in cases of standardized testing, people who take a few moments to reflect on their learning, can perform an average of 22.8% higher.

At the end of your day, take just 5 minutes to catch up, and reflect. How was your day? What did you learn? What made you smile?

This will fuel your individuality and paint your life in (hopefully) more positive light. Just try it for 7 days and see what happens.

If you want to be independent, let your conscience be your guide.

You probably remember when a friend blindly followed someone else’s decisions– that’s never the smartest thing to do.

The next time you begin to question your decisions, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Does this feel right?” Or, as good ol’ Steve Jobs would say, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Don’t forget to make this day better than the last.

If you want to be independent, give yourself some love.

Today, most social media platforms let you peek into others’ perfectly curated lives– new trends are rising, but Facebook still makes many people feel bad about their own lives.

Get off social media and do something that you love, that takes your mind off the buzzing connectivity.

Do you like playing piano? Sewing clothes? Gardening? Whatever you do, try to move into the state of flow.

When I lift the lid to my piano, the world around me falls away. I am free to explore.

However, if I pour negativity into the music and dwell on good ol’ anger, I’ll just get stuck– studies show that expressing anger will only make a person angrier. The last time I tried to bang out the anger, someone begged me to stop playing.

Dwelling on negative emotions is never smart– instead, accept the negativity and move on.

Do something you love, that helps you stay open to positivity and approach the world with kindness.

If you want to be independent, love others too.

If you have a valuable skill, the world deserves to know about it.

Share your skill with someone– you might be surprised at what you learn. Don’t be afraid to help someone out. Be generous and show confidence. Teach your favourite tips to a person who will benefit from it.

If you play piano, perhaps make some music for someone you know, or even teach someone to play the instrument. If you write, perhaps mail a thoughtful letter to a friend.

Generous people are often happiest because they focus on giving genuinely rather than return on investment. Which means you might not see a return right away, but it’ll come when the time is right, sometimes when you least expect it. Get confident in sharing your skills to develop your individuality.

Plus, there are many ways to show how you care about someone– this is one of them.

If you want to be independent, learn a new skill and beat your fears.

Make this a personal mission that you believe in. Set a solid goal.

When you accomplish it, you will be insanely satisfied, because this is a project you started on your own. Choose to learn anything, as small or big as you like– playing piano, photography, designing, cooking (oops, culinary arts), or even jogging.

Right now, I am learning to drive a car. When I tell someone about it, this is what they say: “Oh, Grace, it’s easy. And you’re a quick learner.”

The terrifying part of driving had nothing to do with learning, or so I thought.

“Do you play a sport? Your reflexes are real good,” the instructor said. “But quit slowing the car.”

Last week, I practiced parking in an empty lot for 8 hours. And I rear-ended two objects by accident. Besides scratching the car, I really learned that accidents aren’t always disastrous– hey, I’m still alive– and the disastrous ones don’t happen very often. So, if I’m not reckless, and if I watch out for reckless people on the road, then I have no reason to be scared. And I’m not, at least not anymore.

We learn fears by accident– but we can learn to overcome them, because we are human.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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