Do You Feel Independent?

Next week is Independence Day, July 4, in the U.S. Undoubtedly, there will be lots of historical reflection and other reminders about the importance of this day in U.S. history.

I’d like you to consider a variation on this theme, which is how independent you feel about yourself. Do you feel in charge of yourself, for example, your professional direction, your ability to speak up as a leader, or how you influence others?

Some may resist this question by responding that if they work for others, they can’t be independent. That’s a false perspective. If you feel that you’re not independent in your current situation, it’s a good time to take a little personal inventory to identify what changes you can make in your life.

It’s terrible to feel immobilized or trapped, and if you don’t have a good independent streak, you may feel that way. Think about what you can do differently. Here are some questions to get you started.

+ Take on a project at work that will support organizational goals and give you freedom to manage it creatively.
+ Mentor a colleague.
+ Express your opinion. Don’t say yes to be agreeable; say what’s on your mind.
+ Speak up! If you see someone being bullied, for example, don’t ignore it.
+ Offer suggestions on how to do things more effectively or efficiently.
+ If you feel trapped in your position; don’t just sit there, do something to stop the inertia.

Use this holiday as a trigger to think about your level of independence. Create some action items that will help you move towards controlling your future instead of surrendering to someone else’s plan.

Have a great holiday!

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