How to be Independent in Life

how to be independent in life

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Wondering how to be independent in life? I have some advice.

If you’re like most Americans, you celebrate Independence day by going to your town’s parade, having a barbecue, and watching fireworks. You’ve got to love the U.S.A, where everyone feels the need to eat bad potato salad to honor of our country’s independence from Britain in 1776. But Independence Day has me thinking about the need for us to be independent in life and what that means.


Isn’t INDEPENDENCE what getting divorceis all about? –the desire or the need to break free from your spouse and try living life as an independent person?


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If you agree, then I have to wonder, why do divorced people have such a hard time with independence, more specifically being alone?


I get it that getting divorced and being “alone” again is scary.It’s normal. But feeling anxious about being a single parent and/or being single again is different than feeling anxious about being independent.

How to be independent in life…

What independence means to me is the ability to be truly happy in your life whether you are:


  • single
  • dating someone (or several people) casually
  • in a relationship
  • married
  • remarried


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Being independent in life means being your own person. What I mean by that is, being a mom (or a dad) is great. In fact it’s beyond a joyful role, probably the best in life. But how to be independent in life comes down to  having a life that fulfills you that is autonomous of that role.

It means having a fulfilling career, or if you don’t work, having a passion or hobby that fills a lot of your time because you choose that. It means having a social life with family and friends you choose to see.


Being independent means that you are completely capable of taking care of yourself, even if you have a person or people who want to take care of you. In other words, you don’t need anyone. By the way, I don’t mean “physically” taking care of you. If you are older or you need help physical, you can still be independent.


Now, I’m not saying that people should live their lives not needing or depending on others. I think it is healthy to have support and to lean on family, friends or a significant other, at times. In fact, it takes guts to ask for help or to let someone take care of you. But being independent means that for the most part, you thrive on self-sufficiency. You got this.


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Independence fosters self-esteem, pride, poise and confidence. I mean, how great does it feel when you can look in the mirror and think, “Wow, I’m really proud that I’m doing this all by myself?”


I believe that one of the greatest joys in life is having a moment when you realize you achieved something you never thought you were capable of.


Furthermore, having that self-esteem and confidence gained through being independent is extremely attractive to others. Men and women love a partner who they feel is totally fine without them. Yes, everyone wants to feel needed and connected, but being self-sufficient takes so much pressure off of relationships. Plus, it’s sexy. You can still be independent and be madly in love, feel feminine, and be a couple with someone.

In closing, how to be independent in life comes down to  courage and strength.  It means being a leader in your household, to making big decisions, and going it alone on many things. It’s not easy, but man does it feel good when you get there.



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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

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