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Mental health: How self-sufficient are you?

Being self-sufficient forms the foundation of good mental health.


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Emotional self-sufficiency is being independent and secure enough to pursue your goals and to take charge of your life without needing the approval of others. When you are self-sufficient, you are content with your life, you are stable and complete.


Self-esteem is key to becoming more self-sufficient. It will help you to dive deep inside until you are confident with who you are. When you have a poor self-image it is easy for you to become emotionally reliant on others for happiness. The sad thing about this co-dependency is that people aren’t always guaranteed to stay in our lives forever. Here are some ways to improve your self esteem:

  • Challenge yourself by taking on a difficult task or starting something that you feel passionately about.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. List all your qualities instead.
  • Learn to accept compliments and avoid negative self-criticism.
  • Be kind to yourself; take time to appreciate who you are; embrace your mistakes and leave the perfectionism behind.


Your life is in your hands. When you rely on other people’s opinions too much you lose your power and give them a hold over your life. Take back your power; take charge of your life by making those difficult choices. Learn to trust your gut, even if you don’t feel like you have strong instincts, they will likely develop when you practise taking action. This is what being self-sufficient is about.


Building independence is not an easy task, especially if you have been in a long term relationship or co-dependent relationships in general.

  • Take time for yourself.
  • Put your phone away and be mindful for at least 15 minutes every day.
  • Find a new hobby. When you find something that you enjoy on your own you will learn to be more comfortable with your independence.
  • Practise self-care, get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy food.


Assertiveness is confidence without aggression. When you value yourself and your ideas people will learn to do the same.

  • Protect yourself and your boundaries. There will always be people who will try to convince you that their way is better. Voice your needs to them confidently, teach them how to respect you.
  • Stay calm in the face of adversity. Not everyone will be happy to receive your assertiveness; avoid getting angry with them.
  • Open yourself up to criticism. Not all criticism is bad. You can use good criticism to develop yourself. When you feel that the criticism is an attack, address this calmly without negative emotions.

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