One of the skills it took a while to acquire was feeling comfortable on my own. Whether at home, on the road or just day to day, being alone never felt truly easy. I felt disconnected not only from those around me but also from myself. It made me question, what can we learn from being alone and how can we make it less scary especially as we grow older?
You know the feeling. You’re alone with your thoughts, no distractions or conversation. Unless you count the ones in your head!
The art of being alone is a skill. But it’s attainable with practice. The reality is you are never truly alone, except in your thoughts. The secret to feeling OK about being alone is to change your thoughts. What if we just stop for a minute and realize it’s not only possible to change our thoughts, and doing so changes our perspective on what it means to be alone.
Let’s start with what we often think it means to be alone.
- We’re alone because we have no one to be with.
We’re alone because we’re not worthy of companionship.
- We’re alone and we’ll always be alone.
Now that we’ve scared ourselves, what’s the reality?
We’re alone because we’ve chosen to be alone.
- Being alone doesn’t mean we can’t get or keep a companion.
- Being alone says absolutely nothing about who we are.
- Being alone is a choice and sometimes the best choice.
- Being alone gives us headspace.
- Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. (Lonely is also based on thoughts too)
All you have to do is change your perception of what it means to be alone. Stop and realize all of the positive aspects of being on your own. Stop focusing on what you think it means. If you can take away the social stigma you put on yourself, you may actually enjoy your own company!
“I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.”
― Katharine Hepburn
Being alone and being comfortable with it is a valuable skill.
Being on your own means you’ve made a choice. You can always choose to be around others, but doing things on your own means you value your own company.
If you’re in a relationship, this skill puts you on stronger footing. Wouldn’t you rather stay in a relationship because you choose to rather than you’re afraid to be alone?
Can you learn to be content with our own company? It’s a skill and comes with practice, but it’s well worth it. Each time you panic a little at the thought of being alone, just talk back to yourself. Tell yourself all’s well and you’re fine. Nothing to be afraid of.
It’s what we tell ourselves about being alone that causes fear and anxiety. Remind yourself you’ve made a choice and you can change it at any time. Change the conversation in your head and relax into being your best self. We’ve all been alone at one time or another throughout our lives. One of the advantages of growing older is we’ve learnt to enjoy our own company. What do you like to do when you’re on your own?