Independence and Self-Reliance
SUCCESS sooner or later involves leadership. It means taking a place where you must do the primary thinking. You may be guided by the policy of the firm, by tradition and habit, but there will come times when you must think and decide. Many lose their nerve at this point. They have not cultivated self-reliance.
The psycho-analyst knows that many people are sufferers from a curious neurosis, the necessity of leaning on someone else. There is a period in child life when it is natural to depend upon the mother and father and be guided by their word and wisdom. But at the age of puberty the natural transition is made from their authority to one’s own. Sometimes the father is too dominant and exercises his own will at the expense of the developing will of the child. He keeps the boy in subjection until he relies entirely upon the father.
Sometimes the mother says, “My boy has only one sweetheart—his mother. He would rather be with me than anyone else.” Or, “My girl never thinks of going out without me.” This attitude leads to the eventual loss of mental independence on the part of the new generation, for even after parents die or the child marries, the sense of dependence is transferred to the husband, wife, or someone else.
To overcome this condition is no easy task. The ambitious man or woman who lacks self-reliance should begin at once to develop it. Every necessary step should be taken, but above all there should be mental treatment and practice. Give yourself constructive suggestions every day. Affirm your mental independence and your faith in your own powers and judgment. Affirm that you are capable of leadership, that you believe in yourself and in your own judgment. Go out then and try to do and act in accordance with your affirmation.
Nothing is more important than to act definitely on every resolution or affirmation. The subconscious mind will then retain the impression and begin to build up the actual state. You say, “I am self-reliant, I have the spirit of leadership, I am decisive and ready to assume responsibility,” then act as though this is true whether it is true for the moment or not. Presently you will find it easier and easier to believe in your independence and consequently to act with forceful self-reliance.