Next letter up for the A-Z challenge of Positive Personality Traits is I - and I is for Independent. Being independent is a great achievement - it shows that you have your act together and that you can function as an autonomous adult human being. The world has far too many needy people in it - choosing not to be one is definitely a positive trait.
There is a fine balance when it comes to independence when you are in a relationship or a family situation. The last thing you need is for everyone to be off doing their own thing and ignoring the needs of others in the family unit. Independence does not equate to selfishness or self-centredness. It's about being able to be part of a group without being completely taken over and swamped by the other members.
So many midlife women are waking up to the fact that they subsumed themselves with their family's needs to the point where they lost the knowledge of who they are in their own right. They wake up one day and find they are no longer the mother or the taxi driver or the chief cook and bottle washer and don't know who they are. Others get consumed by their careers and if they step away from that then who will they be?
It's so important to have an identity that doesn't rely on other people and their perceptions of us. We need to know who we are and be able to stand alone if we need to. There will be times when leaning on someone else is necessary, and there may even be elements of that throughout our lives, but we need to have within us a core of autonomy that can hold strong if we have to stand alone.
Being confident in yourself gives you a degree of independence that withstands the fluctuation of relationships around you. Knowing you can manage alone if you need to is an empowering mindset. Not being defined by your role (mother, career person, wife, husband, child) allows you to be available to others while still holding on to the central elements of who you are in your own right. We are all individuals and entitled to be seen in that light - not only as a reflection of others.
See you next time for the continuation of Positive Personality Traits - J is for Joy.
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