“Look to the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson Self Reliance, who said,’ Never can any man serve two masters: he and himself. He is at the service of neither, and he serves only himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote these words in 1832. Yet, if we examine the character traits of self-reliance, it is apparent that he truly was self-dependent.

Self-reliance on others is dependent upon our weaknesses and our strengths. For instance, I have weaknesses. I am the product of my past actions and my lack of self-confidence. When I ask for help, I have very little success. However, what I lack in strengths, I make up for in abundance by utilizing my weaknesses and my strengths.

Self-reliance begins with self-appraisal. You must appraise yourself and ask yourself what your strengths are. What are you willing to give up in order to gain your own personal strength? Then you must ask yourself if you have what it takes to become that person.

In addition to self-esteem, confidence is important when it comes to self-reliance. Self-confidence is the foundation of all self-reliance strategies. It is the driving force behind all my activities. If I lack confidence, I cannot rely on myself; I will procrastinate and slide down instead of progressing. Without confidence, all my actions will be illogical, disorganized, and haphazard.

So, too, do I have a set of weaknesses. At times I may lack confidence or my emotional awareness may be so poor that I get into silly arguments or pick arguments that are not worth the time or attention. Sometimes I may lack self-knowledge regarding a particular aspect of life. I don’t know how to achieve my goals. If I have a good understanding of my weaknesses, I have an advantage over others who do not understand their own strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, let me say that both my strengths and my weaknesses make me unique. Some people believe, “Anyone can make mistakes and be a good leader” This is false. I am unique in my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical makeup. Because of this, I have the ability to be a leader and a good leader is based on learning one’s strengths and weaknesses and then working with these strengths and weaknesses to overcome challenges.

This personal insight into myself gives me the motivation to achieve incredible things in life. It empowers me to make difficult decisions and then follow through by taking action. It inspires me to create, to dream, and to live my dreams. Its insights into my past experiences give me the strength to make hard decisions when necessary and then to follow through to achieve my goals. All of this then gives me the insight to help others achieve their goals as well.

I encourage you to develop your personal insight into yourself and your life. You owe it to yourself and to those around you to do what you can to improve yourself so that you can better help and serve others. This personal insight is truly powerful!