Meaning: Self-reliance is the habit of relying on one’s own powers and abilities in the midst of difficulties and dangers.
A self-reliant person does not depend for help, but uses his own judgment and powers in facing difficulty or carrying out an undertaking.
Dependence on other creates distrust on one’s own powers and leads to idleness and inactivity. It has also a weak influence on character and willpower.
Self-reliance is a great virtue. It is the secret of success in life. A self-reliant person has full confidence in his own powers. In the struggle of life, he is not discouraged by failures, nor disheartened by reverses. A person without self-confidence is unable to help himself.
Self-reliance builds self-confidence: He cannot expect to achieve distinction, nor can he make satisfactory progress in any undertaking in life. On the other hand, a self-reliant person is almost sure to succeed in the struggle of life. He is confident of his own strength and as he relies on his resources. His efforts are crowned with success.
It strengthens our character: Self-reliant has a great formative influence on character. It braces up our dropping spirits in the midst of despair and despondency. It serves as a beacon-light to us when we are in the midst of dangers and difficulties. A person without self-reliance has no stamina; he is an easy prey to constant changes of opinion. He has no fixed purpose and firm resolve.
Self-reliance is essential for both individual and national progress. Without it, neither an individual, nor a nation, can prosper in this world. If we carefully study the history of the rise and fall of great empires, we shall find that it is upon this supreme virtue that their prosperity was built and that its want brought about their downfall.
History records numerous instances of the need and value of self-reliance. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that success in life is mainly due to self-reliance and self-help. Napoleon became a world conqueror, because he had great confidence in his own powers and resources.
Conclusion: Self-reliance is an inestimable quality in the daily struggle of life. It contributes very largely to success in life and to the fulfillment of our ambitions. We should, therefore, cultivate this great virtue from early life; without it no great undertaking is possible in life.