When was the last time you took yourself on a date?
Not just you and a friend, or you and your partner, or you and your family. Just you, yourself, and you.
I’m not talking about staying home with a good book, or watching a movie by yourself on your couch. I’m talking about venturing into the world alone to do something fun and outside of your ordinary routine—something that supplies fresh new sensory inputs to the creative well that resides in your right brain, with nobody else’s opinion coloring your own.
Or just simply walking through a stream in bare feet, enjoying a good meal at a new restaurant—really taking in the aroma, textures, and tastes—or trying out the new swing set in the park down the road are all an excellent dates. Because creativity serves every aspect of our lives and problem-solving capabilities at home, in relationships, and at work.
People who like to spend time alone are considered sad and lonely. But, that is not true. Nope, you’re not a loser if you go out alone…
You just love spending time alone(sometimes), and you are happy about it.
Don’t listen to that inner voice that tries to talk you out. “People will looking at you”. “You must look lonely and sad, pathetic really”. What if you bump into someone you know? They might tell the neighbors or office mates that they found you wandering around alone. What will that do to your reputation? Look your ego in the eye and respond firmly: “BE QUIET. YOU ARE NOT IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT.”
Okay, so you’ve decided to take yourself out on a date.
On the rare chance that you do actually bump into someone you know, they might ask you to join them because they feel sorry for you. Decline politely, in a nicer tone than you might have to use with your ego. Egos don’t back down very easily.
Here are a few tips I have learnt so far in my journey to become more comfortable in my own world.
1. There is no better way to get to know yourself.
No sugar coating here, getting up and moving to a foreign place is one of the scariest things you can do. Social media and technology aside, all you are going to have, at least at the start, is you. It’s going to take time to meet people and you are going to have to learn to be content with your own company. That time spent alone is, oddly enough, going to be one of your most uplifting experiences yet. After all, as they say, you can’t be a good friend unless you’re a good friend to yourself first.
2. You realize you are a perfectly fine just the way you are.
This one is a lesson that shouldn’t have to be taught. Unfortunately, it’s something that we easily forget. Whether it came from growing up in a small town with little diversity or from family pressure to be a certain kind of person, there is constant pressure to squeeze into pre-defined molds. To everyone who feels that way — a big city is your saving grace. Observe your surroundings and take in all the people you come across. All so different and all so accepted. Notice how many different kinds of people there are and how happy and content they all are. Once you see that, it will be so much easier to really jump into who you are.
3. You grow to be a more accepting person.
The billions of people on this planet are all made up of a billion tiny stories, sometimes intertwining, but all so different. You’ll start to realize that the person you are looking at as different and strange may be looking at you through the exact same lens. After coming into contact with these people, you’ll realize that different doesn’t always equate bad. You’ll find that the people you may have once looked at in confusion may be some of the nicest people you have ever had the pleasure to meet. Being alone will force you to expand your horizons and meet people you would never have found underneath your safety blanket.
4. You’ll become more independent.
It’s great to have people who you can depend on but when it comes down to it, you are the one most responsible for your happiness. Even sometimes it’s still good to know that I had someone that I could be independent if I needed to. Spending time alone can help you feel more comfortable in the fact that even though you have or want other people, you don’t need anyone else but you.
5. It will boost your self-esteem.
As you start becoming comfortable with spending time alone, your self-esteem will probably grow. You’ll start to enjoy your own company, discover yourself, and figure out what you like. This is a great self-esteem boost because eventually, you’ll discover that you are enough. If all you had to depend on was yourself, you’d be okay because you like who you are.
6. You gain an appreciation of your time alone.
Eventually, you’ll meet your new besties and fall into a thriving social scene once again — and before you know it, you’ll be cherishing your time alone more than you ever did before. You’ll see that being alone and being lonely are two completely different things. And that being alone is healthy and sometimes just what the doctor ordered.
7. Do all the things you love doing, and enjoy doing on your own.
Be inspired, invigorated and rejuvenated by doing things on your own. It could be sitting under a tree and reading for the afternoon, making a beautiful dinner, or taking yourself out to the movies! Go out and explore, experience and discover this for yourself!
Do you find that you enjoy spending time on your own these days? What have you learnt about being alone, in your own little world? How can you make a pledge to yourself to become more comfortable in your own space. Comment below and share your thoughts!
Cheers, and love