Self Reliant

Rely On Yourself, Because Self Reliance Makes A Better ‘You’

Rely on yourself. It WILL result in a better ‘you’. This applies to your personal life, your work life /career, and in the context of this blog… self-reliance /preparedness.

I chose the iconic visual graphic of ‘Wilson, the volleyball’ for this post – from the excellent movie, ‘Cast Away’(amzn). Tom Hank’s character certainly had to ‘rely on yourself’ to survive!

In today’s modern world, I would suggest that a majority of people lack a spirit of self reliance. There may be a number of reasons for that.

  • Physically unable
  • Lacking in ‘know how’, skills
  • Fear
  • Lacking in motivation, lazy
  • Succumbing to .gov ‘cradle-to-grave’ care & dependence ‘mind think’
  • Chip on the shoulder, “I’m owed”
  • Living a lifestyle of being coddled
  • Never having been forced to rely on yourself
  • Upbringing lacking in ‘rely on yourself’ training

I can tell you from my many personal experiences, relying on yourself (to the extent possible) will make you a better YOU.

What do I mean by that?

Self Reliance

There is a strong sense of satisfaction, especially when a project or goal is accomplished by your own efforts. Even if you needed the help of others, there’s a certain feeling of achievement and fulfillment that goes along with it.

Each accomplishment whereby you’ve relied on yourself to the extent that you can, it results in a better you. A stronger you. A smarter you with a growing knowledge-base of experiences. You become more valuable to others, and yourself.

When you “do it yourself”, there are lots of things that you learn in the process. These learned ‘things’, ‘tricks of the trade’, trial-and-error, skills, THEY ALL ADD UP to make a better you.

After awhile, you become more “well rounded”. That is, as you rely on yourself, you build up a varied knowledge base, skill sets, adaptability, confidence, self reliance, independence.

Some people like a challenge. Many others don’t. Actually, most will instinctively shy away from new challenges. However, you will discover the more challenges that you take on in life, the less ‘scary’ they become. You will build confidence over time.

Self Reliance & Preparedness ‘Go Together’

While not exclusive to the prepper, I would confidently say that most preppers, or preparedness minded people, have more of a self reliant attitude than the majority cross section of the population.

Preppers are more aware of the many risks that are associated with dependence on others and /or other systems.

Therefore, a prepper will take it upon them-self to do what may be necessary for mitigation of those risks.

Maybe it’s acquiring specific resources. Or building something. Perhaps learning “how to” do this or that… It all starts with the characteristic of self reliance. Relying on yourself.

Can Money Buy Self Reliance?

Throughout my life I have known and interacted with many different people. Lots of varying attitudes. And a wide variety of income diversity. Some are ridiculously wealthy. Others in-between. And still others who most would consider on the “poor” side of the wealth scale.

But I can tell you this: I have met (and know) more so called “poor” people who are amazingly self reliant (much perhaps out of necessity) who I would rather have ‘my six’ compared with the “rich” people I’ve known. But I digress.

Back to the question, can money buy self reliance? Of course money helps! Money can buy lots of resources, and resources can be very important. However, money CANNOT buy real true self reliance, because that trait comes from inside YOU. It’s internal.

One cannot rely on money alone.  Well, more clearly stated, yes one can in today’s modern world. However if that were stripped away, what would be real “money”? It comes down to ‘you’. You’re the money.

In my estimation, striving to be more self reliant makes for a better “you”. The characteristic is inherent throughout much of our history. Today’s modern world however makes it way too easy to rely on anyone but yourself.

If you really want to be better prepared for whatever may come your way, embrace the challenges of self reliance. Rely on yourself to the extent possible. It will make for a better you.

[ Read: Self Reliance & Self Sufficiency – What’s The Difference? ]

[ Read: 8 Lessons Learned From The Great Depression ]


  1. Good thoughts Ken,
    For many of us, as we age, we adapt a mindset. I’ve already learned enough and I have nothing to prove to anyone. We’re all susceptible to this thought process. Before long, the fear of failure settles in. I’m not going to try ‘THAT’ because what-if I fail. Failure is a potential outcome of any endeavor.

    Push through it, because that risk of failure is what provides the satisfaction of a “thing” well done. If ya think ya can, you’re correct. If ya think ya can’t, you’re also correct.

  2. IMHO – For those with physical limitations, knowing how to do something is 50% of the resources needed to solve a problem or meet a need. The next 25% is the ability to effectively and patiently teach others what youknow. And the remaining 25% is the physical part. Of course there are many things that won’t be done well by the tutored newbie. But hopefully they can be done well enough.

    1. Have been away for awhile, hope nobody minds me posting again!
      MamaLark, your post compels me to share an incident a couple years ago that just made my heart swell with pride and awe for my husband! He is a life long cable splicer/lineman who started going blind from macular degeneration about 20 years ago. He is now 82, very capable and definitely self reliant to the extent possible, being legally blind at this point. A couple of years ago, our reclusive next door neighbor called and said their well pump was not working. The well supplies water to three houses. Could Bob poke around and try to source the problem. Not one to back down from a challenge, we went over together with a few diagnostic tools. Bob indeed poked around, determined first that the service meter to the pump was installed upside down, then with only manual help from me with testing equipment, he determined that the buried cable had shorted somewhere. He instructed the neighbor to tape up all the bad spots in an old coil of suitable cable that he had laying about, and to let him know when the job was finished. When Bob got the call, he went over and instructed the neighbor how to connect the repaired wire and run it above ground for a temporary fix until an electrician could come and replace the buried wire. This was during the depth of Covid and no electrician could be had for about three weeks. But because of my husband’s knowledge, patient teaching and indomitable spirit, three households had water until permanent repairs could be made.

  3. I know we can never be completely self-reliant. DW and I both have health issues and we do not have enough land to grow the food to feed ourselves. But we do have a garden and grow as much as we can and store all we can. We have a garage in the back yard that I work in almost every weekend to make a little extra money. I am learning a little about blacksmithing. I want to learn to do many things as I can. I don’t understand people that always use the excuse that they don’t know how to do things. With google and youtube you can learn almost anything.

  4. Challenges become much easier if “yourself” has developed a few trusted friendships with people having varying skills. From a more rural perspective, I have found that many are cautious and one must prove one’s ability, sincerity, and helpfulness before they are even willing to engage in discussions. These relationships can take years or almost immediate if an act of kindness is offered as needed with no expected reciprocation. .

    1. hermit us,
      i truly believe in Karma, an act of kindness will always come back to you, the same with an act of hatred, wrath, pride or greed.
      let’s do what we can to help others, especially the elderly now.
      a good deed is always repaid somehow one day. an evil deed will be repaid also, tenfold.

  5. Old man and I have relied on ourselves our whole life. When I got divorced my ex made me a budget and schedule on what I had to do. That went into the garbage as I headed out to Alaska with my 4 year old daughter! Old man has become really old and figures out ways to move extremely heavy things without anyone’s help. He will need help when we are ready to move our wood cook stove inside in another week- 4 more old guys. He has already removed a brick wall, plasterboard, a fireplace and put up cement board and will tile it next. We have both learned by reading and listening to others who have done something first. Then we go ahead and tackle it with a vengence.

  6. As I age I rely more on using tools available to move, shove, carry heavy items. Gone are the days of brute force and strong legs, arms and back. The mind still says I can do that…..the body says oh really, not only stubborn but foolish too. With age comes wisdom but only if you pay attention and accept your limitations. Gotta get her done attitude can be a positive but also a negative, just do the best you can when you can.

    1. Greatgrandmom,
      All the more reason to utilize the old brain. You can be an asset in many ways; sewing, canning, food prep, ham radio, security watch. None of those things require super-human strength or physical stamina. Consider all the options. It’s far too easy to sit back, maybe read “about it.” Why not actually “do it.”

      Can you imagine the surprised looks when ya tell ’em “I’m a ham.” Talk about an asset, it’s a skill set even the youngsters will envy. Who knows, maybe the youngsters will get off their butts. Nah.

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