15 things truly independent people never do

Being independent — people have fought wars over it! So it’s pretty safe to say that independence is one of the most sought-after qualities of life. 

Independence gives you the freedom to make your own decisions and take care of yourself. Independent people are confident and self-sufficient and don’t rely on others for validation or happiness. 

Do you want to embrace your inner independence? I’m going to walk you through 15 things that truly independent people never do. So by understanding what to avoid, you can take the steps to become more independent yourself. Now, let’s get into it! 

1) Rely on others for approval

Here’s an obvious one: independent people don’t seek validation from others. They are confident in their abilities and decisions, and they don’t need approval from others to feel good about themselves. 

Relying on others for approval can lead to a constant need for validation, which can hold you back from making decisions that are true to yourself. It’s a toxic cycle frankly. 

The independent person makes independent decisions. They focus on their own values and beliefs, and they make decisions that align with them, regardless of what others think.

They walk to the beat of their own drum and don’t follow the crowd…

2) Follow the crowd

Independent people don’t feel the need to follow everybody else. 

They are comfortable going against the grain and making their own decisions, even if it means going against popular opinion. 

Following the crowd often causes conformity and a lack of individuality. Independent people understand that being true to yourself requires courage and authenticity, and they are willing to take the road less traveled to get there. 

Individuality is a common trait among independent people. And they definitely don’t tend to stay in their comfort zones… 

3) Stay in comfort zones

Here’s the thing: truly independent people know that growth and progress come from stepping outside of their comfort zones

They are not afraid to take risks and try new things, even if it means facing uncertainty. 

Staying in your comfort zone will invariably trigger complacency and a lack of personal growth. Independent people embrace challenges and are willing to take risks to achieve their goals.

Think about it–can you really accomplish great and innovative things by playing it safe? 

4) Avoid responsibility

From my experience, independent people take responsibility for their actions and decisions. They don’t blame others for their mistakes or expect others to clean up their messes. They don’t make lame excuses. 

Don’t be surprised if avoiding responsibility leads to a lack of accountability and ultimately, a victim mentality. 

Independent people understand that taking responsibility for their lives gives them power and control over their circumstances.

5) Fear failure

Fear will hold you back. It can lead to a lack of risk-taking and a fear of trying new things.  But sometimes, you just have to take the leap, like independent people do. 

Independent people do not fear failure. They see it as an opportunity to learn and grow, and they don’t let setbacks hold them back. 

They embrace failure as a valuable experience and consider it an inevitable part of the learning process.

6) Hold grudges

Holding a grudge might result in bitterness and resentment, which can hold you back from moving forward in life. Independent people practice forgiveness and focus on positive emotions, such as gratitude and compassion.

Independent people don’t hold grudges. They understand that holding onto resentful feelings only hurts them in the long run. It just ain’t healthy. 

So, let those negative feelings go already – you’ll feel incredibly lighter!

7) Give up easily

Another thing genuinely independent people don’t do is give up easily. They are persistent and determined, even when faced with obstacles and setbacks. 

Giving up easily means a lack of resilience and a fear of failure. And as we’ve already established, independent people are not afraid of failure. They know that success requires perseverance and a willingness to try again and again.

8) Procrastinate

Ah, procrastination. It’s a nasty habit that really gets in the way of productivity. Procrastinators often have a feeling of being constantly overwhelmed to the point of inaction. 

But independent people don’t suffer from that. They prioritize their goals and take action to achieve them, even when it’s not so easy. They are disciplined and focused, and they don’t let petty distractions get in the way of their goals. 

So, they get things done in a big way. And when they don’t get what they want, they keep going. They don’t wallow in self-pity, as the next section shows…

9) Engage in self-pity

No pity parties for the independent person! Real independent people don’t often engage in self-pity. 

They take responsibility for their lives and focus on finding solutions to their problems, rather 

than dwelling on their difficulties. 

It’s a simple formula. Constant self-pity equals a victim mentality and a lack of personal growth. Independent people focus on the positive aspects of their lives and take action to improve their circumstances.

10) Blame others for their problems

As we’ve mentioned, independent people don’t blame others for their problems. 

They take ownership of their lives and work towards finding solutions to their challenges. 

Blaming others for your problems essentially means a lack of accountability and a feeling of helplessness. It’s your life, now own it! 

That’s why independent people take responsibility for their lives and focus on finding ways to improve their circumstances.

11) Limit themselves

Let’s be real – sometimes we limit ourselves with a lack of ambition and a feeling of being stuck in the mud. 

But not genuinely independent people. They don’t limit themselves because they believe that anything is possible if they work hard and stay focused. 

In the same breath, they know that perfection isn’t always possible. Speaking of which…

12) Seek perfection

Here’s the thing: independent people don’t seek perfection. They understand that perfection is unattainable and focus instead on progress and improvement. 

Seeking perfection can result in a fear of failure, disappointment, and a lack of satisfaction. Independent people focus on progress and celebrate small victories along the way rather than having overly lofty goals and ambitions.

They own their existence and the inherent power they have. This sort of leads me to my next point…

13) Give up their power

When you’ve embraced your independence, you don’t give up your power to others. 

Giving up your power can have pretty dire consequences like a feeling of helplessness and a lack of autonomy.

In contrast, independent people take control of their lives and make their own decisions, rather than let others make decisions for them. They practice assertiveness!

14) Depend on others for happiness

I’m not exactly religious but I recall the movie “The Shawshank Redemption,” where the crooked warden would often cite the Biblical excerpt “salvation lies within.” This sort of became one of the themes of the movie, and as despicable as that character was, those words resonated with me. 

In other words, true happiness has to come from the inside and nowhere else. Depending on others for happiness will only emerge as a lack of independence and a feeling of emptiness.

Independent people know this, so they don’t depend on others for their happiness. They understand that happiness comes from within and focus on building a fulfilling life for themselves. 

Independent people cultivate their own hobbies and interests and focus on creating a life that brings them joy and fulfillment.

And they never stop learning either. Speaking of which…

15) Stop learning

Wise and independent people never stop learning. They realize that the quest for knowledge never ends. Thus, they are lifelong learners who are constantly seeking new knowledge and experiences. 

See, a growth mindset boosts personal growth and staves off a feeling of stagnation and emptiness. Independent people embrace new challenges and are always looking for ways to expand their horizons.


Becoming completely independent requires effort and dedication, but trust me, it is a worthwhile journey. 

By avoiding the 15 things that truly independent people never do, you can start taking steps towards living life on your own terms. Isn’t that magical? 

Remember that progress is more important than perfection, and always celebrate small victories along the way. With time and practice, you too can become a truly independent person–one who is confident, resilient, and in control of their life. 


Picture of Daniel Mabanta

Daniel Mabanta

Daniel Mabanta is a freelance writer and editor, entrepreneur and an avid traveler, adventurer and eater. He lives a nomadic life, constantly on the move. He is currently in Manila, Philippines and deciding where his next destination will be.

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