1. They set boundaries
It is not a coincidence that I am putting this as number one. Think of these 10 traits as steps to becoming independent. The very first thing I want you to do is sit down and write out your priorities and decide on your boundaries. I wrote a post 4 Reasons Why Boundaries Are Important and How to Implement Them. It goes into more detail about exactly how to frame your boundaries. Setting boundaries is what separates dependent people from independent people. For example, one of the boundaries I have set is that when I need alone time it is okay for me to tell people no or to go away. If people have a problem with this I know that if they're not going to respect this boundary they are probably not going to respect me in many other areas of my life and therefore I do not need them in my life. It will block out soul-sucking, energy vampires from your life. Your energy can be your own with boundaries, PLUS you'll be happier and more badass telling people they need to respect your boundaries, you'll no longer be walked all over.
2. They have a positive attitude
ANOTHER post I've written on this subject is 4 Reasons Why You Need To Check Your Attitude. The thing that independent people have that dependent people don't is a sense of confidence. They may not know for a fact that their making all the right decisions, but they know that they're going to get to where they need to go by making them. Fake it until you make it if you have to, and at first you probably will. Start having faith in yourself, in the people around you, and in the future. Stop worrying so much and focus on being positive and following your intuition. You have a purpose on this Earth and the only way you're going to fulfill it is by following your intuition and putting your faith in it.
3. They have strong relationships
And why do they have strong relationships? Because they set boundaries, but moving on, it's important that this is talked about. Independent people are not lonely people. Let me repeat. INDEPENDENT PEOPLE ARE NOT LONELY PEOPLE. Having a support system behind them is what allows them to thrive and make good decisions and build their confidence. If you're in a relationship, romantic or otherwise, and they are not helping you in this way, as an independent person it's time to cut the chord. Independent people may not have a ton of relationships, but the ones they do have are positive and worth the energy they're putting into them.
4. They do not covet
One of the most important traits that independent people hold is not competing with others, but rather, with themselves. Something I always say is the only person I want to be "better than" is yesterday's version of myself. They don't spend hours on social media because they know it's all false and it's only the best illusions of other people's lives. They don't want to have a ton of stuff to prove to other people that they're "better". In fact, emotionally independent people are usually minimalists who practice detachment. This is much easier for some than others, but it's a practice, something to work towards.
5. They are their own sun
I came up with this phrase this past weekend when having this discussion with one of my best friends and I thought it was a great way to put what I've been trying to say. I phrased it like "I have a lot of people in my life who bring me warmth, but I am my own sun". So if a person leaves my life, there is still warmth that I create without the need for their heat. I can enjoy them, and love them, and want them in my life, but if they leave it, I am not forced into the tundra. I think this is something to definitely keep in mind if you're trying to be independent. Make sure you're in charge of your own joy and other people can amplify it.
6. They practice self awareness
And notice I said "practice". They do not have themselves COMPLETELY figured out, nobody does, and nobody can because we are constantly growing. However, it is super important to keep in mind that knowing yourself is absolutely critical to being independent. If you know who you are then it makes it almost impossible for someone else to come into your life and tell you who are. I know for a fact that I am healer, I am always trying to help and heal every single person I meet, so if someone were to tell me that I am currently destructive I wouldn't believe them. And that's important because the way I see myself is what I make decisions off of, and how I see my self worth and self confidence. Knowing who I am means it's my job to tell others who I am, and not the other way around. To increase your self awareness you can always be taking personality tests, getting psychic readings, palm readings, past lives readings, etc. You should always take a moment to formulate your own opinions about books, music, movies, etc, before you allow others to offer theirs. And you can start paying attention right now to your intuition and your emotions. When do you feel happy? When do you feel sad? What makes you cry or laugh? These are good first steps.
7. They don't make excuses
If you're late, you're late. Nothing else made you late, you did not do everything you could to be on time and it's your fault. That doesn't mean you being late is a bad thing, however, everything happens for a reason. If you're late and your boss fires you then you weren't meant to work there. The point is, independent people take responsibility for their actions.
8. They don't blame others for their problems
This goes along with my last point, but it needs to be said. If you are going through shit then you need to realize that there is a lesson the universe is trying to teach you. If you are going through the same shit over and over again, you're not learning your lesson and the universe is going to keep giving you the lesson until you learn from it. When independent people are constantly getting fired they take a step back and look at the bigger picture, they learn the lessons they are supposed to, and they adapt their behavior.
9. They know happiness is not a destination
I was listening to an interview with Jewel, who is a fascinating human being btw, and she said something that just really hit me. She said "people act like their going to stumble upon happiness like it's Europe or something". It's so true. Happiness isn't the end goal, folks, and in fact viewing it that way is exhausting and disheartening because you're never going to reach it. Happiness is a byproduct of fulfilling your life's purpose. You fulfill your life's purpose by doing what makes you happy. You know what makes you happy through self awareness. These are all connected. Independent people aren't distracted by trying to be happy, they know happiness will be there so long as joy is in their life, and they chase joy.
10. They adapt
Trump gets elected? Adapt. Your spouse files for divorce? Adapt. Your dog dies? Adapt. Your job moves you across the country? Adapt. Stop thinking that where you are right now is where you always need to be. You need to move on and adapt to your situations because learning to adapt is where we grow as humans and as cognitive beings. I'm not saying suppress your emotions, in fact I'm suggesting the opposite. You need to feel those emotions so they can guide you into learning the lessons from the experience that you need to, but you need to continue to look forward and view your future with hope. Be a problem solver and not a whiner.