THE UMBRELLA PROJECT: AUTONOMY
We continue to explore the Umbrella themes each month and students are starting to build their own personal umbrellas – being able to use various strategies to help them deal with struggles they may face in their lives. Throughout the month of March, we will be exploring the theme of Autonomy . Take a minute to read the article that can be found below. It has some great overview of this theme.
WHAT IS AUTOMONY?
Autonomy is a skill and takes practice! Autonomy is:
- • Our ability to make decisions and have a say in the direction of our lives
- • Thinking for ourselves and confidently making choices when faced with uncertain situations
- • The feeling that our life and its activities are self-chosen and self-controlled
- • Our independence
- • Our ability to gather relevant information and make decisions
WHY DOES AUTONOMY MATTER? HOW DOES IT HELP US?
Having a choice in what we do helps us to feel more engaged with our school or work and this increases happiness and wellbeing. When we have autonomy we feel empowered to make decisions that can improve our lives instead of feeling that our lives are outside of our control. Autonomy increases our motivation to do something and that makes our tasks feel less like work and more enjoyable. Making good choices and building autonomy takes time and practice. We will make lots of mistakes along the way, but mistakes are a good thing! We learn a lot from our mistakes, including how to make decisions that will help us find more joy and passion in our school, work and activities.
RESEARCH BASED OUTCOMES OF AUTONOMY
- Autonomy makes us more passionate about our interests
(e.g. music, sports)
- Feeling we have autonomy in our lives increases our
wellbeing more than having more money
- Autonomy can help us make more money
- When employees have autonomy,
businesses grow faster
- Having autonomy increases happiness
with our jobs and school
- Autonomy increases our intrinsic motivation
(doing things for the sake of doing it)
- Autonomy makes us feel less stress
- Autonomy can increase our energy
HOW TO MAKE YOUR STORY ONE OF AUTONOMY
Stories about autonomy involve taking control of our lives and making active choices to do something we love or feel strongly about. These stories can also involve thinking and feeling differently in situations we sometimes find ourselves in that don’t feel like a choice. Setting personal goals and developing strategies to accomplish our goals also shows personal autonomy.
- • Choice
- • Thinking about difficult situations differently
- • Recognizing where you do and don’t have control
- • Goal setting to accomplish tasks
- • Taking action
- • Doing what you love even if some others don’t approve
- • Following your dreams