What Is Self-Reliance?

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Self reliance is pretty important in my life, and many people wonder why. I decided to break down what self reliance is, and why it is important.

What is self reliance? Self reliance is gaining skills and supplies so that you can take care of yourself and your family.

What is self reliance?

According to Merriam-Webster, self reliance is reliance on one’s own efforts and abilities; or able to take care of oneself or itself without outside help. According to the Power Thesaurus, some common synonyms are: self-sufficiency, independence, self-sustained, security, autonomous, sovereignty, and grit. Hmmm, grit…I like it! Makes me feel a little John Wayne-ish!


Why is self reliance important?

You will gain great self-esteem and a sense of pride
You will be prepared for the “what-ifs”
You will be able to help your family in the event of an emergency
-Natural or man-made disasters
-Economic downturn
-Societal collapse
-Even a tight financial month can be an emergency
You will gain a sense of peace and well-being, knowing you can make it!
You can stop worrying about so many things
You can save money by doing things yourself
You are in control over what you eat, making healthy living easier


Things you can do to increase your self reliance:

Self reliance through gardening
Gardening for self reliance
  • Growing/raising your own food/herbs
  • Hunting for your food
  • Foraging for wild food
  • Making your own medicine
  • Cooking from scratch
  • Preserving the bounty
  • Wasting less
  • Reusing more
  • Making chemical-free cleaners
  • Getting your own firewood
  • Learning to budget so you have money set aside
  • Reducing your expenses
  • Making your own income
  • Being resourceful
  • Using free or cheap materials
  • Finding alternate uses for things
  • Learning to barter


How living on a homestead helps you to be more self reliant:

You learn how to save money by reusing things
You learn how to grow your own food and herbs
You learn to raise animals for meat and dairy
You can make an income from your homestead if you plan correctly
You will learn how to do basic building
You will need to be resourceful and creative sometimes to get what you need/want
You will realize you can do this!!

Also check out this post on more ideas for being self reliant.

Self reliance is a lifestyle, and some people look down on this lifestyle, calling it “prepping” and casting a negative light on it. I personally think that it is everyone’s responsibility to learn how to take care of themselves. How many people, in the event of an emergency, rely on others (especially their government) for their security and basic needs? What is the strain on our government’s resources to have to take care of all of our people when things get bad? And what is the cost to each individual to have to get everything from someone else? I believe the cost is great. If you don’t work on your own self reliance, you are dependent. You are not free. You are not in control.

This is not going to become a prepper debate, but I want you to think of something for a minute. If the government can’t provide, and no one is there with their hand-out, what are the unprepared masses going to do? There will be all sorts of lawlessness. Looting, robbing, stealing, and murdering. The world will be chaos. Imagine now, if you will, that you are above all of that. Imagine if you have your needs already taken care of. That you know how to grow your own food, make your own medicine, and have a nice little place of your own that you can do all that and more on. Imagine what kind of freedom and pride that will give you. That’s what I want for you, my friend!

Self reliance is a journey, not a destination. I don’t think there is a point where anyone can say that they are truly, 100% self reliant. And that’s okay! Do what you can with what you have, commit to always learning, use your new skills, and enjoy the journey!


Update 10/4/18: This post was featured on today’s Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

Oak Hill Homestead

This post may be shared on Family Homesteading and Off The Grid Blog Hop, Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Farm Fresh Tuesday, and Old Paths to New Homesteading & Self-Reliant Living.

What is self reliance? Why is it important? Here we discuss the importance of self reliance in our lives. #selfreliance #homesteading #growyourown
What is self reliance?


4 thoughts on “What Is Self-Reliance?”

  1. Hi there! This is Chelsea from The Green Acre Homestead, I’m a co-host of the Simple Homestead Blog Hop and I’m featuring you this week for the #176 hop! I love this post and you make so many great points. I always use the term “self-sustainability” but I love “self-reliance” SO much more! Be sure to come over to the hop tomorrow and pick up your “I’m featured” button through my page! Thanks for being a part of our little hop and I look forward to seeing more from you. Congrats!

    1. Hi Chelsea! I’m honored to be featured in the Simple Homestead Blog Hop! Love what you’re doing! I’ll get all geared up to go tomorrow.
      Thanks again!

  2. Hi Shawna…so glad you are joining the Self Reliance Challenge in January! We all need to learn the skills necessary to take care of ourselves and our families!

    Saw you are featured on the Simple Homestead Hop…congrats!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *