Freedom can mean something different for all of us, but there’s no denying that we all want to be free. While we all have degrees of freedom in our lives, if asked, most people will say complete freedom is unattainable. If you have financial freedom, you might not have emotional freedom (e.g. depression or anxiety). If you have freedom in your career, you might not have physical freedom (e.g. diseases and poor health).
How free are you really? Have a look at the generally accepted traits of a ‘free’ person below, and see how many of them truly apply to you.
1. You dread nothing
It’s hard to feel free when you wake up every morning and a wave of dread washes over you – dread about having to go to work or dread about certain troubled relationships. Free people rarely experience this feeling. They either eliminate what doesn’t suit them, or they change their perspective about it.
2. You make your own decisions
If you feel restricted from making the decisions you want, it’s especially difficult to feel free. A free person will ignore negative judgment from others because they know what’s best for themselves. They also avoid handing too much power over to people with overbearing and forceful personalities. Free people don’t give in to peer pressure and meaningless obligations that don’t benefit them.
3. You are full of energy
A lack of energy is a barrier to your physical freedom. So those who are truly free will expend their energy in ways they enjoy. They are not constantly running out of energy, but instead are always recharging. This will be different for different people, but the end result will always be the same.
4. You believe in your abilities
If you believe you are capable of achieving your goals, you free yourself up to actually move toward those things. If you are skeptical of your abilities, you feel unable to try, or like you don’t have the right to try Free people are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and play life to their own advantage. They don’t waste time berating themselves over mistakes and can view them as a learning experience.
5. You are financially comfortable
This isn’t based on the amount of money you earn. Rather, it is dictated by your feelings toward money. Free people may live on very low salaries or very high salaries. Regardless of their actual income, they afford what they need and feel stable instead of constantly stressed. A free person will not feel the need to overspend in order to reach fulfillment.
6. You can ask for help from others
It may seem counter-intuitive, but true freedom usually involves help from others. Truly free people will ask for advice in order to better themselves or ask for direct assistance without feeling embarrassed. They recognize that refusing help from others is a personally-imposed restriction to their freedom. Essentially, free people are not governed by pride.
7. You have free time
Obviously, true freedom involves some free time! Even if your schedule is packed, it can be packed with things you decided and wanted to do. This can also be considered free time because you are living as you intend to live. A free person will divvy up their time into work and play without overindulging in either.
8. You know yourself
Because freedom involves doing what you want and living how you wish, knowing yourself is a precursor to freedom. Free people know enough about their likes, dislikes, values, standards, and goals to actually attain freedom. Living by another’s standards is a kind of spiritual laziness, and is a barrier to freedom that some may not recognize.
9. You are independent
Just as freedom involves asking for help when you need it, independence is another significant component. Free people don’t feel needy or unstable when they’re alone. They also don’t depend on others for their basic needs, like food. Basically, free people are not hindered by a sense of helplessness that prevents people from caring for themselves.
10. You don’t let others hold you back
Freedom involves healthy boundaries between you and others, but also an absence of boundaries. Truly free people don’t derive their self-worth from external people or events. They judge themselves according to their own standards and stay on track with their goals regardless of the behavior of others. Truly free people will say that they are simply living in the moment, and savoring the twists and turns that come with life on their own terms.
Of these 10 traits, how many do you feel apply to you? Share your discoveries in the comments and let us know how you feel you could improve to feel truly free.