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Happy Fourth of July! Today is America’s Independence Day, and in between the parades, barbeques, and fireworks, I want to remind you to take the time to celebrate your mental independence too.
What is Mental Independence, You Ask?
Every person on this planet is a unique individual. There are no copies; no clones. Even twins are unique in their personalities, experiences, and futures.
You are unique. There is no one else like you.
And because of that, no one else can take credit for what’s going on in your brain.
That can feel scary if the thoughts are dark, negative, or unwanted. But it’s also the key to amazing freedom.
Mental independence is the reality that we all live in, whether or not we realize it. You are free to think I’m full of it for saying that, and I’m free to smile and nod. Every decision you make is yours. Every thought you think, every feeling you have, every action you take—they’re all entirely yours.
Thinking For Yourself
Too many people rely on the opinions and viewpoints of others, without doing their own research. Too many people don’t trust themselves with independent thought, and that’s a damn shame.
God designed you to think for yourself. He designed you to come up with your own arguments, opinions, and thoughts on things.
It’s okay to look to others for what they think, but never take it at face value. Thinking for yourself means you take the extra step to do your own research, look objectively at things, and sometimes leave your feelings out of it.
I’ve encouraged you consistently on this blog that you should test every piece of advice for yourself and only adopt it into your life if it works for you.
Take what works and leave the rest.
As a human being, you have the wherewithal to think for yourself—and you should celebrate that fact.
How It Affects Other Areas of Life
Thinking for yourself means you are in control of your feelings, and feelings drive your actions. Brooke Castillo, Master Coach Instructor at The Life Coach School, calls this The Model.
Mental independence leads to behavioral independence, which means you’re 100% in control of the actions you take.
Sometimes those actions may feel heavily influenced or forced by others, but every moment contains a decision—even if both decisions are equally painful.
Brooke talks about this on her podcast. We don’t have to do anything. We choose to do everything we do.
I don’t have to go to work—I choose to because
likegoing to work,
- I’d be unfulfilled if I didn’t, and
- it pays my bills.
You may skip right past one and two; paying the bills is a valid reason to go to work. But you don’t have to. You choose to because you don’t want to choose the alternative of living on the streets or the other unpleasant things that go with not paying the bills.
It’s the same with every other circumstance in life. We choose how we experience and deal with things. It’s always our choice, regardless of how trapped we may feel in the moment.
Celebrate Your Mental Independence!
Take the time today among the fireworks, beer, and brats to realize and understand that no one can take away your freedom of thought or mind.
God did not create humans as a hive mind—so we shouldn’t think like we do!
Exercise that freedom to become the best version of you.