Recently, I've been thinking about what "independence" and "freedom" mean to each of us as individuals. It seems to me that a country can be independent, yet its citizens might not live in a state of freedom.
I'm not a political science expert, so I checked to ensure I understood the meanings of the two words. (And I thought you might appreciate knowing, too.)
Independence is: "A condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over the territory" from Wikipedia.
Freedom is: "The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants" according to the Oxford Dictionaries.
You don't have to look too hard to find the names of people throughout history who have fought and died for freedom.
Yet, I meet burned-out, professional women every day who voluntarily hand over their freedom so they can move up career ladders.
If you give up your own power, how can others respect you?
I believe every person should be known for who they truly are. So never voluntarily downgrade yourself to a faceless, smart, nice, hard worker. You are so much more than that.
You can be successful by being true to yourself without selling out your soul.
The key is to have clarity. And that is something you have to work on.
An independent country has sovereignty and a clear vision of the rules and standards its citizenry lives by. It has a constitution and laws to establish limits, set boundaries and offer guidelines for both its government and citizens.
As an independent person, you need to also establish boundaries, standards, and guidelines for your life. You need sovereign control of yourself and your choices.
If you feel overwhelmed because work and life are stepping on you like a doormat, it's because you haven't established clear limits in your life.
The truth is, you have to teach others how you want to be treated.
You do that by setting your own boundaries, standards and guidelines so that others honor and respect you.
Nozomi Morgan, MBA, is a certified Executive Coach and the Founder and President of Michiki Morgan Worldwide LLC. Addition to coaching, she speaks and trains on leadership, career, professional development and cross-cultural business communication.