The Art of Being Alone

We have been conditioned into believing doing things alone is, at best, boring and at worst, simply dreadful. But I’m here to let you know that doing things alone can actually be quite liberating.

I won the opportunity to attend a short acoustic session, a short Q&A, and a meet and greet with members of one of my favorite bands, Switchfoot, on Saturday I was able to bring one guest with me but could not find anyone to go. My initial internal dialogue, other than the “oh my gosh I’m going to meet members of Switchfoot, is this really happening” thoughts, was “I wish there was someone coming with me because I feel slightly terrified and out of my comfort zone going by myself.”

But once I embraced the situation and changed my mindset to focusing on the excitement and the gift of the amazing opportunity before me, it didn’t matter that I was going alone. I realized that I’m used to doing things alone and it isn’t this horrible thing to be feared or looked down upon. I realized that going alone, for me, was an opportunity to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and something I needed to do.

After I attended the session I realized that I really did want to attend their concert later that night, singleness be damned! That concert was honestly life changing and to think I was not going to go because I had no one to go with. It was liberating.

Doing things alone can be freeing and not scary. Once I embraced that going alone was not a negative, I was able to thoroughly enjoy myself and be in the moment.

The art of doing things by yourself is, like many things, a mental game. The first step is changing how you feel or think about the situation. Instead of thinking “woe is me” start thinking “this is living.” The bottom line is, even though we are social creatures, we don’t have to do everything with people we know.

We shouldn’t let our fear of going alone stop us from living. Of course, there are certain circumstances where going by yourself may not be safe, but I’m talking about going to a concert alone or taking yourself on a date. Spending time with yourself doing something you love does not require another person. Yeah, sure, some experiences are more fun when you are sharing the moment with someone you enjoy being around, but many things are as memorable when you are alone.

(Although, when I stop to think about it, I was surrounded by people so are you ever really alone when in public?)

My experiences weren’t diminished because I was alone. If I was too focused on going by myself (like I have been before) then I wouldn’t have gone and been able to have a life changing experience.

Next time you have to go it alone, embrace it. Don’t decide not to go because there is no one going with you. Focus on the fact that it’s something you are looking forward to and embrace the chance to experience something by yourself for a change.

Who knows, it could be life changing for you too.

“Life is short, I wanna live it well.”

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