The Importance of Self-Reliance – Lessons from the Pandemic

It’s been over two years since the publication of my article “ 6 Steps That Will Bring Meaning and Purpose During The Pandemic”.

In this article I proposed that we all have the power to transform the Pandemic into an opportunity for meaning and purpose through the commitment to:

* Self-Discovery and Reflection
* Spiritual Focus and Attention
* Competency and Resiliency
* Productivity
* Positive Connectedness
* Transcendence

There are a multitude of factors that contribute to emotional wellbeing during these most trying times.

However, based on my clinical observations I have come to recognize that there is one critical element contributing to our ability to adapt and overcome these novel challenges.


Although not specifically detailed in my original article, upon reflection, self-reliance is the essential element in connecting all of the 6 actionable steps in transforming this crisis into an opportunity for growth.

Self-reliance is the ability to solve problems and make decisions by ourselves. By relying on our inner resources, we accept the responsibility to navigate adversity by making sound judgements and bravely owning our decisions.

A common response to our present challenges has been to seek protection, solace and guidance from our trusted institutions. From a developmental perspective, it is reasonable to assume that these institutions have the aim to lead us out of these murky waters.

However, we need to be cautious that our trust does not culminate in the abdication of our personal responsibility to persevere.

It appears that those who are most emotionally afflicted in this crisis have outsourced the most scared responsibility to assume control over their decisions and wellbeing.

The abdication of our personal responsibility to enact self- reliant measures thwarts perseverance and renders us more vulnerable.

The embracement of the responsibility to rely on ourselves in crisis, independent of measures taken by our government, schools and employers ensures our success to use this crisis as an opportunity to grow, advance and live a purposeful life in the face of adversity.