The Shift: Moving From Dependence to Interdependence

We use the word ‘journey’ a lot around here because it applies to so many things. Life itself, from childhood through adulthood and on to, if we’re lucky, old age, is nothing if not a journey. So is the decision to transform an aspect of your life, like your career, your relationship with others, or even your relationship with yourself. 

The journey I want to talk about today is a profound and transformational one in which we navigate through the various stages of dependence and independence and ultimately arrive at interdependence. It’s an evolution that unfolds throughout our lives and one we can explore more deeply through transformational coaching. 

It’s important because it shapes our understanding of ourselves and the world. 

Dependency (Foundation) 

From our first breath, we are entirely dependent on others for survival and development. Babies rely on their caregivers to meet every essential need, and we have little choice in who provides for us – or what they provide. 

Beyond food, shelter, and clothing, the people who raise us lend us their worldview. We learn from and absorb their beliefs, behaviors, and values during our formative years. And these shape the earliest forms that our identities take. 

But as anyone who has been through middle school can attest, it doesn’t take long before an inherent desire for autonomy awakens within us. As we start seeking freedom and the ability to make our own choices, the first momentous shift begins: from dependence to independence. Self-discovery awaits! 

Independence (Self-Discovery) 

The pursuit of independence typically takes center stage during the adolescent phase. During this period of rich self-exploration, we begin to question everything. That includes societal norms, belief systems, values, and, most importantly, our place in the world. As we start distinguishing ourselves from our upbringing and our family’s expectations, we look elsewhere for clues to who we are and what we truly want. 

I think it’s safe to say that we can all attest to the trial and error inherent in this journey. We make mistakes, and we learn from them. We may find that the culture we were born into aligns with our authentic selves; we may discover the opposite is true. 

When adjustment or outright rejection is required, a difficult road may follow. Shedding the layers of conditioning can be challenging, but this is what self-realization may demand of us. 

Shift (Self-Actualize) 

The recognition that we have much to learn – or unlearn – about ourselves can occur at any age. Transformational coaching can be especially valuable to ease this internal shift. 

A transformational coach is an ally and a facilitator. By creating a safe space for exploration, asking the right questions, and guiding you through goal setting, the right coach will empower you to recognize and eliminate the patterns holding you back. 

To truly thrive and self-actualize, we must shift from dependence to independence. We must undertake this transition with intention and self-awareness. By developing a solid sense of self, we can learn to embrace what makes us unique while acknowledging the impact of our roots and experiences. 

Interdependence (Connecting) 

When we get far enough down the road of independence, we may experience a profound revelation. Individual growth is fulfilling, but equally fulfilling are the connections we cultivate with others. This new awareness of the value of interdependence lends rich depth, variety, and harmony to our existence. 

No one is an island alone on this earth. For those ready to expand from independence to interdependence, transformational coaching can be pivotal. With a coach, you can explore collaborative approaches, the interconnectedness of personal and collective goals, and the dynamics of relationships, communication, and collaboration. 

With interdependence comes the recognition of the power of synergy and the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is the glorious zone in which we learn to leverage our strengths while appreciating the unique contributions of others. Evolution, in this case, is the journey to our rightful place within our community and devotion to a shared purpose. 

Our entire lives are a journey through a continuum of growth. When we recognize that the shifts we undergo are not just personal milestones, we can see the bigger picture. We play a part in the beautiful, interconnected world and take as much strength from it as we give.

Lisa L. Baker - Certified Personal, Career, Success and Life Coach

Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life. Lisa shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up and Live the Life of Their Dreams.

Ready to G.R.O.W.?