Finding the power from within requires more than a few experiences; it is the undeniable truth of understanding who you are and the awareness of choice available to make your own decision. Many people have not learned how to trust and rely on their internal resources. From birth to school age to adulthood, we are taught to be interdependent and reliant on others more than ourselves. This practice stagnates self-acceptance and self-appreciation.

Why do we need to shift toward more self-reliance and independence? It is simple, if we do not focus on our individual development, then we never reach the level of happiness we are all destined to achieve. Fortunately, I grew up in a large family of women who embodied their strength and overcame challenges. Not necessarily by working at their weaknesses; instead, they chose to harness their power by focusing on their capabilities and accepting the qualities that required further growth. Focusing on your major strengths instead of your minor weaknesses will build confidence. I saw this firsthand and understood this concept early in life. To have self-confidence does not mean you will always know the exact outcome of a choice, but it is the ability to confront fear in the decision and accept the result. Confident people inspire confidence in others. Here are five questions to ask yourself to become an independent thinker and confident decision-maker: 

1. What do I fear in not consulting others? 

2. What has happened in the past because of deciding alone? 

3. Do I wrestle with fact or intuition? 

4. Who is influencing my thoughts more than me? 

5. What power do I know for sure that I have in the matter?

I challenge our community to be different in how we influence rather than being influenced. As we continue to move toward a more progressive society, traditional child-rearing techniques passed down from generations do not lend themselves to the development of independent thinkers. It does the opposite, silencing our children and preventing them from making confident decisions. Instead, we should refocus on creating opportunities to allow kids to build confidence, problem-solve, and recognize their inner power. Let us consider practical ways to empower the following age groups: 

  • Toddler: allow your little one to play with their toy of choice 
  • Preschool: allow your child to dress independently 
  • School-age: allow your child to choose a household chore 
  • Young Teen: allow your pre-teen to select meal options 2-3 days per week
  • Teenager: allow your teenager to problem solve their social conflicts and relationships