Independence: Is It Really that Scary?
“Independence”. For some people, that’s a really scary word. When I say ‘independent’, what do you think of? Personally, two different things come to mind – both, however, with the same underlying meaning – to be alone. For me, independence can mean staying in on a Friday night to watch some movies OR taking a trip around the world by yourself. Both alone, but definitely different levels of confidence. I’d have to say that if I’m categorizing myself as independent, I’m going with the first one.
Ever since I was younger, I’ve been an introvert. Very quiet and shy, pretty much to myself, and always always ALWAYS staying inside my comfort zone. As I grew up and learned different things about myself and the world, I realized that there’s nothing wrong with how I am. Some people are loud and outgoing and some are timid and private. As long as you’re happy with who you are as a person, that’s all that matters.
To be honest, I love being surrounded by people, but there are still times when I’d prefer to be alone. Having that time to be by yourself and get in check with where you are is extremely healthy. If you want to find out how you can be alone and happy about it, keep reading!
1. Understand what it means to be ‘alone’
Before you can accept anything, you have to understand it. ‘Alone-ness’, if you will, is a feeling or experience. It can be looked at both in a positive and negative way. Alone-ness in the positive sense can mean solitude, peace and remoteness. Alone-ness in the negative sense can mean isolated, unreachable and secluded. They are the exact same word but have two completely different meanings depending on how you look at it. The first step to being alone and happy about it is to embrace it!! Embrace the fact that you are strong enough to hold your own. It doesn’t mean that you’re unlikeable or that you don’t want to interact with people. All it means is that at this point in time, you are content with being by yourself.
2. Build a relationship with yourself
I’m a strong believer in if you can’t love yourself first, how are you going to share yourself with others? The strongest relationship we must have is with the person in the mirror. We need to get to know ourselves on a deeper level. How many times has someone asked you a personal question and you turn to others for the answer? I know I’m guilty of this but we should work to change it because we should be the experts of ourselves – not anyone else. Take the time to ask yourself meaningful questions such as, “what do I value most in life” or “what are my biggest goals” and then from there you can start providing yourself with the proper mental and emotional support.
3. Find your passion
It can be difficult to know what are passions and what are just hobbies. A great thing about being by yourself is that you have the time and freedom to figure it out! Start by writing a list of the things that are close to your heart. See what jumps out at you and start experimenting!! Your passions could be anything you want them to be – there is absolutely no limit and definitely no right or wrong answers. This can be so good for you because you can find what YOU really love. When you’re in a relationship or surrounded by a close group of friends, your interests can conform to what they like. Not that that’s a bad thing at all – it’s great to share interests with your loved ones, however, it may be holding you back from finding what is truly meant for you.
4. Make plans with yourself
Similar to a date night, but instead, a reservation for one. It’s easy to make plans with your friends or your partner because other people are counting on you. But when it comes to making plans with yourself, it’s extremely easy to put things off because nobody’s relying on you. It’s so important to take time and make plans for yourself so you can reintroduce that feeling of excitement back into your life. It’s as simple as incorporating small things into your daily routine, like reading daily devotionals as soon as you wake up or going to the same bakery every Sunday night. You deserve to feel special so make those plans with yourself.
5. Focus on making yourself proud
By leading an independent lifestyle, you’re not expected to meet anyone’s expectations. You’re living for yourself, so the only standards you need to live up to are your own. This creates an amazing opportunity for you to get in touch with yourself and learn what you truly expect of yourself. If you strive to live everyday with this mentality, you have a better chance of being happy and content with who you are. So go out there and make yourself proud!
I hope you’ve learned a few ways to make it a little easier to live an independent lifestyle. I know it may be scary and it’s not for everyone, but if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re alone, take these tips and hopefully it will make it a tiny bit easier to cope. And remember, it’s okay to be alone. Whether you’re alone for a day, a year or a lifetime, it is okay.