I suspect if I asked people to name their biggest fear, they would mention common things like planes, heights or even shark attacks. Rarely would anyone say they are afraid of being alone. Yet, this is one of the most fundamental fears that all of us have. In a way it’s healthy because it motivates us to form friendships, start families, have children and care for our loved ones. But if we fear being alone too much, it could also limit us from living our lives to the fullest.
For example, we could seek acceptance from our friends and families so much that we never dare to do things outside the norm even if they made us happy. We could become complacent and stick around with friends who are not really good for us or enter bad relationships and choose to stay in them because they are more comfortable than being alone. We could feel a sense of void anytime we are alone because we never took the time to understand ourselves and reflect on our own thoughts and miss out on some of life’s simplest pleasures because we feel the need to experience them with someone.
I think overcoming this fear of being alone is essential to achieving inner happiness. Of course, I am not suggesting that we all become loners and lose social connection with each other. What’s extremely liberating though is if we can get to a place of truly believing that no matter what happens in life, we will be enough for ourselves. Only then can we engage with others in the most meaningful way and be intentional about whom we invite into our lives. We are no longer relying on others for our happiness and can therefore make better decisions.
One way to move in this direction is simply to start doing more things alone. Take yourself to your favorite movie or restaurant. Have an awesome date with yourself. Go to a bar, a museum or even a nightclub alone. It may feel awkward at first but you will soon learn to overcome it. You may even enjoy the activity more by personalizing it in a way you could not have in the company of others. Living and travelling alone are also great ways to self-reflect and get to know you. If you are single and feel the need to constantly date or be in a relationship, give yourself a break and just spend time alone. You could also choose an occasion when it’s expected of you to be social like New Years or Valentines Day and just spend it alone.
Try one or few of these tips and you will not only start to appreciate yourself more, your confidence will grow and who knows what kind of interesting experiences and connections your solo adventures will lead to!