Initiating Personal Autonomy
Approaches to Initiating Personal Autonomy
Although it might seem like personal autonomy is a relatively simple concept, it is actually a quite profound reasoning essential to personal development. Personal autonomy is the inherent right you have to select your life path.
Autonomy means that you are free to set your own goals and improve your personal potential. In other words, you have control over your own destiny. This is not to say that you have no superiors or rules to follow. Rather, personal autonomy is the freedom to accomplish tasks to further your personal development. By taking the time to better understand the specific areas in which you have control, you will be better equiped to achieve the results that you desire.
Why Initiate Your Personal Autonomy?
Humans have a strong desire to achieve personal autonomy. While fate is an comforting idea when dealing with the death of a loved one or loss of a job, fate can also be a dangerous concept, and a barrier to personal development training. Initiating personal autonomy happens, for most people, when they stop following the advice of others and seek answers to tough questions on their own. You might have experienced this when you reached adolescence. But many people do not truly become self-determining for long after adolescence.
Worse, personal autonomy is not a permanent change. Small shifts in mental focus or changes in lifestyle can quickly reverse personal autonomy. Consider an example:
One day, while riding your bike to work, you are struck by a car. The accident forces you to spend significant time in the hospital, followed by physical therapy. However free and self controlling you might have felt before the accident, you are now reliant on others to accomplish even simple daily tasks. Only by reinitiating personal autonomy can you gain the strength to push towards self-control. You want to regain the control you once had, and set a series of goals to help you along the road.
Personal autonomy can be much more subtle, however. Perhaps you act a certain way because you feel like it's acceptable or expected. For example, you may set goals to achieve success in a career you secretly hate. No matter what success you achieve, the nagging feeling of a lack of personal autonomy will still be there. Initiating personal autonomy is not necessarily driving success. It's realizing the freedom to choose and retaining that power.
How to Initiate Your Personal Autonomy
The noted American psychologist Carl Rogers is widely regarded as being one of the key founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. According to Rogers, a therapist must allow a client to provide their own answers to their problems, rather than relying solely on the advice of a professional. Rogers also rejected the idea of Original Sin and fate, believing that each person was born with a self-actualizing tendency, or a desire for self-fulfillment. As we matured, we developed a "false self," an image projected to others as a self-defense or survival mechanism.
According to Rogers, the first step in personal development is to let go of any ideas of fate or dependancy. Any professional help must be given with respect to personal autonomy. Counseling or personal development that forces participants to make decisions contrary to their life goals is almost always ineffective.
Carol K. Anthony, in her book Love, an Inner Connection, explains how you can make personal autonomy self-directing. According to Anthony, we develop self-doubt once we realize our fears. Fear of failure, for example, can prevent us from taking a first step towards meeting a goal. Three essential needs that all people face when confronted with a fear are:
- The need for constant approval.
- The need for external influence or power.
- The need for control of ourselves and others.
Our outer selves take over when our inner selves are overcome with doubt. While we may find ways to confront and deal with our fears, the divisive impact of self-doubt is still there.
They key to initiating personal autonomy is not just to overcome irrational fears, but to embrace and use them not just to overcome self-doubt, but to assist in goal-setting and personal development planning. Rogerian counseling is an option for some people, while others can initiate personal autonomy through a social activity or intensive personal development training program.
Everyone is free to choose their own path in life, their own destiny that is completely unique to them and no one else in history. Although you may sometimes feel like you're powerless in choosing your route through life, this is only a result of the mental barriers you've imposed on yourself, almost certainly without even realizing it. Once you learn to demolish these barriers, it will be much easier to establish personal autonomy.
If you sometimes feel as though you have no choice but to follow a predetermined path in life, the inspirational programs offered by LifePath Unlimited may be able to help. The programs are developed and administered by some of the world's leading professionals in the areas of self-improvement and motivation. Make an investment in yourself and contact us for a 100% free consultation today.