Examples of being self-reliant include a person's ability to grow his own food, cook his own meals, learn how to manage money, master emergency health basics, assume his own decisions and have a sense of direction. As a rule of thumb, being self-reliant refers to the capacity of an individual to rely on his or her capabilities.
Self-reliance is a way of life and refers to a characteristic of people who rely solely on their own capabilities, resources and judgment. The importance of self-reliance for individuals has been emphasized by philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, who published his essay "Self-Reliance" in 1841. The essay covers the importance of self-reliance, the relationship between self-reliance and the individual as well as the relationship between self-reliance and society. Emerson promotes self-reliance as a virtue and an ideal, as opposed to conformity and different modes of independence.
Self-reliance manifests in a large number of ways for an individual, ranging from being financially independent to staying true to one's beliefs. One of the best ways to maintain self-reliance is to stick to personal principles and goals in order to maintain independence. Relying on others may be necessary at times, but in order to be self-reliant, it is important to learn how to be as self-sufficient as possible.