Can You Take Self-Reliance too Far

For the most part, self-reliance is a trait that we generally consider to be positive and many of us strive to be more self-reliant so that we can get more out of our lives without needing other people and so that we can develop ourselves without needing others and so that we can be more independent and happier on our own.

But as with all things, it is possible for you to havetoo much of a good thing’ when it comes to self-reliance. If you become too self-reliant then this can actually end up being detrimental to you. The key is to being self-reliant when you need to be but also knowing when to ask for help.

When You Need to Ask for Help

Those who value self-reliance above all else can often make the mistake of refusing help or failing to ask for it when we really need it. Thus we can end up taking risks or being less happy because we stubbornly refuse to defer to others.

A good example of this is in business. Many entrepreneurs will be highly self-reliant and this is what moves them to work for themselves, to begin with. They are ‘self-starters’ and are entirely self-motivated which is to be applauded.

As the business grows though, many self-employed people struggle to hire new staff or to outsource aspects of their work. This is because they would rather do everything themselves and maintain full control. The result though is that app designers or hairdressers also start handling their online marketing, their writing, their graphic design, and their sales calls… and this, in turn, means they have far less time to spend doing the thing they’re really good at. This can cause their product and their service to suffer so that they may even end up losing customers or clients. What’s more, they of course won’t do as good a job at marketing unless they have the same amount of experience as a specialist. Which they likely don’t.

Another example of being overly self-reliant is something you often see in the recently disabled or the ‘new elderly’. As people lose mobility they can often refuse to let others help them get around and do things, partly out of pride and partly out of not wanting to be a burden. Unfortunately, though, their unwillingness to give up that self-reliance actually makes them more of a burden and puts them at
greater risk of injury.

In cases like this self-reliance can actually be a negative. While this is a skill we all should learn, we also all need to know when to ask for help.