Are you comfortable with being alone? Take a moment. Think about it. Feel about it.
Do you know your answer?
The fear of being alone is a very scary and intimidating space for many people. The fear of being alone keeps us in relationships that do not serve us and, generally, keeps us small. Any sort of fear holds us back from our true potential. This is a given.
What I’ve noticed is that, often, the people who admit to being uncomfortable and frightened with “alone time” are also the same people who have never actually been alone. They fear it, although have never actually allowed them self to bask in the glory of one on one time. On the contrary, they have assumed that it will be awful to be alone and have avoided it at all costs.
Question: How do you know that you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it?
I get it. I’ve been there and felt the fear of being alone. I don’t know about you, but I hear a faint echo of “the fear of being alone” just by living everyday in our world. “She’s 40 and single,” Lord help her. “Your doing that by yourself?” .......Wow, you’re brave. Traveling alone?.......I would be terrified to do that. “Your’re here alone without a date?” Well, I know a single guy that you should meet.
The struggle is REAL people. Needless to say I’ve gotten the vibe from my experiences that others are more concerned about my solo status than me. What kind of message does that send? Not a very cheery one. That’s for sure.
These comments and negative vibes toward being alone can send grim inner messages. When comments are said that paint the picture that “alone” equals “scary” it can really throw you off course. Especially when your battling your own demons around who you are, what you’re doing and whose not showing up on their white shiny horse to rescue you from the" terror of solitude."
The irony is that until you are comfortable with yourself and can come to enjoy your alone time you will be run by fear. When fear is navigating you, you won't be making choices based on your highest good. It’s impossible to do so when your inner navigation system is disrupted by fear. Do not freak out. I think a lot of us have to learn how to enjoy and gain a healthy relationship with alone time. You are not doomed if your relationship with being “alone” is non existent or strained. If you have the desire and want to get to another level within yourself; you’re on the right track.
If your struggling with this topic, here are some thoughts on how to become more comfortable with solo time:
Discover Your Hobbies
What do you like to do? Chances are if you like to do something with someone, you might also like doing it alone. It’s worth a shot. For example, if you’re taking art classes in a group, have you ever tried to explore your creativity alone? It’s possible that a whole different aspect of your artistic being can reveal itself when you approach something from a different perspective or context. Bottom line: nail something down that you already know you like doing and try it without your wingman or tribal members present. You might be surprised by the results.
Explore your Fears Around Being Alone
What scares you about being on your own? Often, when you look at fear from a clear and factual angle, it will loose power. The reality is that many fears are based around and stay alive based on our false and, often creative, stories that we have ingrained in our minds. Bluntly stated, they are dangerous lies that we tell ourself that keep us from living our best life. If you look more closely, chances are you will discover the invalid parts of any given fear. Once you identify that, it will be more difficult to take your fear seriously because it's, more than often, not real. For example, do you really think that everyone is looking at you, pegging you as a loser, when you’re at lunch by yourself? Just for the record; chances are, they’re not. If anything, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to get to a new level of self confidence with doing things alone. Separate what your fear is telling you from what’s a solid fact and you will see the truth of the matter.
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
In order to get beyond any fear or situation you’re not familiar with, you’re going to have to feel some sort of discomfort. Accepting this and being willing to put yourself out there to a point where you are challenging yourself within your own comfort zone is key. Start at your own level of what’s “tolerably uncomfortable” and slowly push yourself toward conquering your fear. Your starting point is only for you to gage. Be aware not to get caught up in someone else’s idea of where you should start or be.
Gaining the confidence and getting to a point within where you enjoy being alone is a really great existence. When you reach that space, you no longer make decisions out of fear of being alone, which can keep you from many soul sucking and draining relationships and situations. It also can open up a whole new world of self discovery and personal introspection. It’s a win/win. I mean that with my everything.
Learn to love your “me” time.
* The above image was taken by Ashley Williams, a San Diego based photographer.