Self determination helps people improve their lives and get ready to face the outside world with all its complexities. It encourages people to live their lives according to the concept of free will. It is a philosophy, a political term that was used to drive nations to their freedom and also a theory. Lack of self determination results in slavery, submission and apathy. The self determination theory (SDT) is a universal theory of human motivation. It helps people uncover their natural tendencies to behave in an effective and healthy way. Self determination is a lifestyle and through a few steps you can grow the required skills to be the author of your own life.
What is Self Determination?
Self determination comprises a set of skills and problem-solving strategies that people practice to live a better life.
However, there are certain steps towards achieving a self determined lifestyle:
- Fully understand yourself.
- Try different problem solving strategies.
- Practice critical thinking.
- Build mutually supportive relationships.
- Advocate for yourself.
- Enjoy life to the fullest.
Fully Understand Yourself
Who am I? What is my place in the world? We ask too many questions to get a better knowing of ourselves. Understanding yourself matters for anticipating any of the problems that you might face later on in life. Self determination helps you become an analytical person, strong enough to face whatever the world throws at you.
To know yourself better, start by keeping a journal. Do character writing exercises. Evaluate yourself more often. Try to be open to all kinds of new experiences to figure out which path you should walk in. Be honest with yourself and don’t panic when you get lost on the road to self-discovery. The outcome is worth it in the end.
Think small. The road to self determination is paved with small plans organized to reach the epitome results. You are the result and change doesn’t come easily if you pack all your troubles at once and start reviewing them. Setting a plan to reach whatever goal you have in mind is one way to make you more powerful and less reliant on “luck”. Self determination helps you become more in control of your life but without reckless behavior that will only lead you towards failure. When you reach the Do step, make sure you are fully prepared for it.
Try Different Problem Solving Strategies
Problem solving is a great way for building up your confidence. The process of strategic problem solving could be broken into a series of sub-steps:
- Identify the problem.
- Plot potential solutions. Write down as many solutions as you can.
- Evaluate each alternative.
- Pick the most suitable solution.
- Practice the chosen one.
- Write down the results.
- Evaluate the whole experiment.
Problem-solving strategies could be applied to different kinds of problems no matter how small or how big. The road to self determination is paved with problems. If you don’t know the proper way to solve them, you won’t be able to move on to the next level.
Practice Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. Socrates, the great Greek philosopher is said to be the founder of critical thinking method. It is the guide to self determination techniques because it supplies the individual with all available tools to reason his/her actions. Critical thinking is based on universal intellectual values like clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic and fairness.
Build Mutually-Supportive Relationships
Dependent or co-dependent relationships only create further problems and trust issues. A self determined individual should always maintain independence indulge in interdependent relationships to give and receive advice and encouragement from other members of the community. Broaden and deepen your personal networks without losing your integrity. This will expand your opportunities for employment, recreation, self determination, wellness and overall quality of life.
Advocate for Yourself
Speaking up for yourself is the core of self determination. You should let your voice be heard about your complaints, desires, needs or rights. Practice effective communication skills and defend your right to live your life responsibly without interference from anybody.
Self determination allows you to take advantage of all the rights that your country provides for you and your family. By advocating for yourself through seeking legal protection for family issues, employment choices, medical care, social security and disability insurance, you are planning your future without forgetting to live in the present.
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Self determination is the key to living a happy life. Most people fear that living a well-planned life means a dull, static one with no place for fun. It is totally the opposite. When you take control of your own life, you will have a more positive outlook. When every aspect of your tiny universe falls into place, you will find more time to have fun and even discover latent hobbies and talents.