“Even in moments you are still trying to figure out who you are, you are enough “Yvette Ratshikhopha
Many times we find ourselves in situations where we are alone. But being by yourself doesn’t have to mean you are lonely. In fact you can be alone and enjoy it. I love my alone time so this isn’t a subject I’m new to.
Different people dislike being alone for different reasons. Some just don’t like it because they don’t know what to do so they begin to feel lonely and start looking for company.
If you are one of those, have you stopped for a minute to think about the reasons others enjoy being around you?
You probably don’t realise how truly amazing you are and there you are looking for other people to make you feel good about yourself.
If you are struggling to enjoy your own company, there are a few things you can do to change that. After all, the relationship you have with yourself is the one that will last your entire life.
5 ways to enjoy your own company
1. Get to know yourself
For you to actually be happy alone, you need to be able to enjoy your own company. It’s not all the time that you enjoy being around someone you barely know.
You don’t necessarily need to ask others what they think or know about you. It is what you know about yourself that really matters. This is a good time to take a journal or a notebook, ask yourself a few questions and write down the answers.
Here are 21 questions to get you started:
- What makes me happy?
- What do I love?
- What am I good at?
- What are my strengths?
- What is my greatest strength?
- What are my victories, small and big?
- What do I like about myself?
- What about me am I so proud of?
- What am I ashamed of?
- What makes me sad?
- What are my weakness?
- What mistakes have I made so far?
- What have I learnt from those mistakes?
- What areas do I need to improve?
- How do I respond to stress?
- How do I react when things get difficult?
- Am I the kind of person I want to be?
- What isn’t working for me right now?
- How do I fix the things that aren’t working?
- What would I do if I had everything I ever wanted?
- What makes me unique?
At the end of these, besides getting to know what makes you upset and stressed, you’ll realise how wonderful you really are. You can get really cute journals and beautiful stickers from Cotton on. I’m obsessed with them.
2. Love and accept yourself
The truth is that we don’t get resentful or burnt out when we give from what we already have.
When you understand and love yourself, accept your strengths and weakness as part of who you are, it becomes very easy to love others.
You don’t judge others because you realise that we are all humans who are deeply flawed but thriving to live our best lives.
While you are working to be the best version of yourself, always remember that who you are is enough.
Be proud of yourself, practice some positive affirmations, feed yourself with positive thoughts. Remember that your longest relationship is the one you have with yourself so be kind to yourself.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
Many of us have grown up hearing statements like “People your age have …. ” or “Your mates are ….” or “At your age I already had ….”
Those who say these things to you may mean well and they may even be trying to motivate you. However, when you have succeeded in repeating these statements to yourself more than a few times, you begin to believe it and unconsciously look down on your own accomplishments and damage your self esteem.
It is great to want more for yourself but don’t make the mistake of thinking you are less of a person or a failure because you don’t have what others have.
With that said, dream big, aim high and aspire for great things.
When you don’t tick off all the boxes, be proud of the ones you’ve ticked off, congratulate yourself, evaluate your process and press on.
This journey is yours and yours alone. Don’t be so hard on yourself because tearing yourself down will only lead to more set backs.
4. Work on your limiting beliefs
In the beginning of the year, I saw a video of Mel Robbins talking about limiting beliefs. At the end of the video, there was an exercise. Write down your limiting beliefs and replace them with positive and true statements.
I picked up my journal and started writing. Even though I knew that I had some limiting beliefs, I didn’t realise that many of the statements I made and believed about myself were not only limiting and paralyzing but they were also untrue.
I had fed my imposter syndrome without help and was drowning in self-doubt.
Now I look back at that page to remind myself, who I am, how hard I’ve worked, how awesome I am, how much I have to give and what I am capable of.
Now do the same thing, write down your limiting beliefs and replace them with unlimiting and true statements.
For instance, “there are obstacles holding me back” can be replaced with “these minor obstacles help me grow”.
“I will never be able to understand this” can be replaced with “I don’t understand this just yet, I’ll give myself more time” .
It may take a bit of time if you are as bad as I was and even less time if you have very few limiting beliefs but one thing is certain, when you start believing those “unlimiting statements”, your thoughts about yourself will evolve.
Going forward, choose your beliefs wisely.
5. Make plans for the future and pursue it
Being alone gives you time for yourself. Time for self-care, lone dates, movies, rest etc. While all of these are important, it is also a good time to explore.
It is very easy to feel good about yourself and value yourself if you have a direction for yourself.
If the path you are on right now, isn’t fulfilling enough, make a plan to spice it up or change it. It doesn’t have to be drastic or huge, just make plans you can work on right away.
When you start pursuing your plans, don’t put them off. It may seem difficult in the beginning with people around you wanting a piece of you or work taking a lot of your time but learn to make your plans a priority.
Note to you and me:
Remember that this is for you, so you need to pursue it aggressively for your own sake. While you are ticking off tasks that benefit others, you need to tick off tasks that benefit you.
Are there other things you do to enjoy your alone time, Please share so that we all can learn too.
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