You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want a certain amount of freedom in their life. Most people, for example, want the freedom to make choices, freedom to pursue their dreams, and freedom to work toward something meaningful while also enjoying a healthy work-life balance.
However, while everyone wants freedom, some people have more freedom than others, and how much freedom you have in your life partly comes down to the decisions you make on a daily basis. While everyone has inherent freedom, improving your time management, finances, and habits can significantly enhance your sense of personal freedom.
What is True Freedom?
What does freedom really mean? You’re always free to quit your job or move away or leave a bad relationship, but does that actually make you free? Not quite.
True freedom is the power to act without limitation, and you may have limitations in many areas of your life. You might contend with financial limits that make it impossible for you to leave your job, make a career change, or try something new. You might contend with health limits due to poor nutrition and fitness choices, so you aren’t actually free to run that marathon or live in pain-free comfort daily.
The more you can decrease these limitations—in every area of your life—the freer you’ll be.
Creating Freedom in Your Life
If you want to establish a greater sense of personal freedom in your life, look at making changes to these three areas.
- Freedom of Time
Everyone wants more free time, right? When you have more free time, you have more possibilities and potential for freedom in other areas of your life. You can spend that free time doing what you want to do, whether that means taking a class to develop your skills, spending more time with friends and family, or taking more workout classes. However, getting more free time is easier said than done.
Start freeing up time by prioritizing and investing in yourself. To invest in yourself, you must begin to set boundaries with others. Setting boundaries may be difficult for some people, but if you truly want to prioritize yourself and gain free time, you must learn not to people-please by overextending yourself. Set strict boundaries and stick to them. This commitment to yourself will make you stand out among other people.
Once you’ve claimed your time as your own and enforced those healthy boundaries, be sure to learn proper time management skills so that you’re not squandering the time you’ve claimed.
- Freedom of Self
If you’re struggling to prioritize yourself, you may discover that you’re confronting negativity in your life and your mindset. By retraining your mind to think more positively, you can begin to free yourself from all the emotional and mental baggage you might be carrying around with you.
As Daniel Seigel points out in a recent Berkeley article, “You can use your mind to shift the patterns in your relationships with others and in your brain. You are not a captive prisoner, even though your mental filters will tend to move you into old patterns. Getting lost in familiar places is a natural vulnerability we all have; using your mind and your capacity to be aware is how you can find your way.”
Make sure that you don’t have a fixed mindset and that you are practicing a growth mindset instead. When you have a growth mindset and empowering beliefs, you will open the door to more freedom and opportunities for yourself.
- Freedom of Wealth
Behind freedom of time, freedom of wealth is one of the key areas where people struggle the most, but because your finances impact every other aspect of your life, it’s one of the most important areas of freedom. If you don’t have freedom of wealth, you won’t have free time (it’ll all be wrapped up in acquiring more wealth), and you likely won’t have freedom in your day-to-day decisions. When everything in your life is dictated by your bank account, you limit your choices (and freedom) very quickly.
Determine that you’re going to establish freedom of wealth in your life today. Focus on your financial health just as much as you focus on your physical or mental health.
You can begin giving yourself more financial freedom by eliminating indicators of poor financial health, such as too much debt or poor credit. Get your credit into shape (after all, poor credit greatly limits your quality of life, since it prevents you from getting approved for mortgages and other big loans). Make your debt more manageable. Avoid becoming cash-poor, which limits your day-to-day purchasing power and your ability to manage your debt without stress.
Not sure where to start? As Investopedia says, getting started is as easy as making a budget, paying off your debts, saving more, and investing.
Open up your mind to the endless financial possibilities out there when you do establish more financial freedom. With financial freedom, you can invest in assets that can increase your buying power so that you can not only purchase cars and houses but purchase businesses and make other investments as well. Financial freedom by way of assets and investments also helps you achieve greater freedom of time, as you increase possibilities for your retirement and passive income streams.
The Bottom Line
While everyone has inherent freedom, improving your time management, finances, and habits can significantly enhance your sense of personal freedom. While freedom is every person’s right, many people don’t take advantage of it. For one reason or another, it’s all too common for individuals to forgo their freedom for convenience or out of neglect. Today, decide to reclaim your freedom—in your personal life, time, and finances—and start reaping the benefits.
Need a little help? An Arootah life coach can help you identify areas of your life where you’re currently lacking freedom and then help you plan the next steps you need to take to achieve your goals. They’ll also hold you accountable, so you continue working toward those freedom goals even when times get tough.