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In the words of Bill Withers, “we all need somebody to lean on”. But sometimes in life, we can find ourselves leaning on others too much. Maybe it’s out of habit, a lack of trust in ourselves or we’re just lacking the skills we need to stand on our own two feet.
We can’t be all things to all people, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but if you feel like sometimes you’re relying on your loved ones too much or that you’d like to be a bit more independent, here are five ways to find your feet without drastically changing your life.
Learn to lean on yourself!
Which stands for “just fucking Google it.” In the nicest way possible! Next time you have a burning question, don’t ring up the person you go to for answers, do some independent research and find them for yourselves. Not only will the knowledge sink in a lot more but it’s one small way to rely on yourself for something you need.
Take control of your finances
I’ll admit it, I’m someone who cringes at the sight of their bank balance. I don’t like dealing with money, but leaving my husband to manage my household finances leaves me in a pretty weak position. Facing up to responsibilities like money and bills can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing, especially if you’re not a numbers brain, but since I’ve taken some control and started a spreadsheet of our incomings and outgoings my self esteem has soared.
Don’t wait around to be rescued!
Do things on your own
That sounds pretty vague, so let me elaborate. Don’t wait for all of your friends to be free before you allow yourself to see a movie you’re dying to watch at the cinema. Go on your own. Fancy taking yourself out for a lovely meal for one? Why not? Want to go for a nice walk? Don’t wait for someone else to join you. We lean on other people socially so that we don’t feel (or look) alone. Be brave and do some of the things you love by yourself, it’s a completely different experience.
Learn some DIY
No, I don’t mean making paper pom poms or making glittery mirror frames *hangs head*. Instead of waiting on someone more qualified than you to hang that picture or put up that shelf, head to a B&Q DIY class and learn how to get handy with a power tool. Another small but empowering step is just to familiarise yourself with things like your household fuse box and learn how to read your own electricity and gas meters.
Push your boundaries
If there are things you avoid doing, challenge yourself and try them out, even if it’s only the one time. For me it’s cleaning up any… erm… unpleasant messes that the cats make. Instead of hoping someone else will come and rescue me from it, lately I’ve started cleaning it up myself, no matter how unpleasant I find it. Hate washing up? Not usually your job? Scrub away until that sink is clear. I’m not saying trade in your regular household jobs for the ones you hate & others don’t mind, but try doing them yourself, even if it’s just once.
For many of you bonafide grown ups, I’m probably preaching to the choir, but for others like me, if you’ve been leaning too heavily on friends and family, now is the time to break free and become a strong and independent person!