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I’m really proud of my client Amy. She has come a long way in the last six months.

Amy was prompted to search for a life coach after her partner expressed his concern that she had become too dependent on him. It made him feel uncomfortable that she didn’t seem to have a life of her own.

Initially, she took this personally and thought that maybe he actually didn’t want to be with her anymore. However, I encouraged her to talk to him and, after a heart-to-heart, she discovered that all he wanted was for her to become more self-reliant and confident, so that their relationship could flourish.

Still, she wasn’t sure where to begin. “I understand what my partner wants,” she told me. “It makes sense to build something for myself and then bring it back into our relationship, but I don’t know how. We’ve been together for six years; I’ve lost touch with my friends and don’t feel very confident anymore.” This is a problem that many of us face at points in our lives. Luckily, we can use the same techniques that Amy did to reclaim our self-reliance.

First, we need to work on self-assurance using the techniques below:

Assess Self-Reliance Levels

Write down your answers to the following questions:

1. Do you need to seek other people’s opinions in order to make decisions?

2. Do you frequently need positive feedback from people?

3. Do you feel you need people around you a lot?

4. Do you find it hard to trust your own judgement?

5. Do you find it hard to go out to social or work events on your own?

If you answered “yes” to more than two of these questions, then you may want to work on increasing your self-reliance levels. The below nine lifestyle shifts can help:

1. Spend Time Alone

Put aside at least two to three evenings or daytimes a week when you will be alone, doing an activity (reading, working out, pursuing your own personal projects, etc.). Enjoy spending time with yourself!

2. Take A Risk

Do something alone that you’d normally not consider. For example, go for lunch, a drink or to the cinema. Not only does this take you out of your comfort zone, but it also encourages you to enjoy your own company.

3. Support Yourself

Be your own best friend. Don’t beat yourself up and call yourself names. Be encouraging and congratulate yourself when you achieve things.

4. Keep Something Back

When you meet people, don’t feel as if you need to blurt out your whole life story straight away. Hold some things back, so you’re not overly exposed and don’t come across as desperate to build rapport. It’s important not to come across as needy, as this is can be a real turnoff.

5. Listen More

The more you listen to others, rather than do all the talking, the more you learn. Feel secure in being able to listen and not compete in the conversation. There is no need to exaggerate and be artificially enthusiastic to get approval from others.

6. Don’t Overdo The Compliments

If you find yourself giving compliments on a constant basis, stop. This can dilute your true sentiments. Don’t be a people pleaser.

7. Be Elusive

Don’t make yourself too available. Don’t chase people or make too many calls. The more you want someone, the more they pull away.

8. Be Strong

Be confident in your decisions and opinions. Don’t always feel as if you need to ask others what to do or to affirm your ideas. Look to yourself.

9. Accept Yourself

Concentrate on your strengths and unique qualities rather than on the negativities you feel about yourself. Don’t put yourself down in front of others, as it makes them feel uncomfortable and makes you seem weak.

As for Amy, she is thriving. She’s more confident and sure of herself and her relationship is much healthier, as a result. That’s something that’s good for all of us.

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