Being Okay with Being Alone

So, I just started reading this book that is simply made up of hundreds of steps to help you face adulthood. Some of them are meh or I already knew, some of them are really good, and some of them really have me like…

One in particular got me thinking about myself…

“Step 10: Be okay with being alone”

Now, this can be taken in so many ways. You can think of it as being single, your living situation, how you decide to run your errands, going to various outings, or attending social gatherings. Whichever way you decide to look at it, I’m sure the advice will still stand because, hey, we could all stand to be a little more independent and comfortable with ourselves.

As someone who struggles with some level of anxiety on an almost daily basis, I’ve gotta say, doing things solo is not my forte. Why? Maybe it’s because I worry what people will think of me when they see me dining alone at Olive Garden, or maybe it’s because I like the sense of security I get from having someone around just in case I have a panic attack in the middle of the event I’m going to, or maybe it’s a combination of the two plus a bunch of other random personal and societal factors that I can’t come up with off the top of my head right now (actually, yes, that’s actually why).

As confident and comfortable as I am with myself and have gotten with my anxiety so far, I still feel super uncomfortable doing some things alone! This is something I’ve acknowledged before my anxiety came into full effect - the whole anxiety thing just made it worse. But, despite that, I want to start getting a lot better at being comfortable alone.

In fact, I’ve already started doing things solo that are outside of my comfort zone. Here’s a list of some of my minor wins in my fights to being okay being alone.

  1. Attending a party solo, where I only knew 1 of 30 guests.

  2. Going on an all-day shopping trip - I actually learned that I LOVE shopping alone. It’s much more efficient that way.

  3. Taking my car in for repair/tune-up/oil change - As a woman this is something that makes me feel even more empowered that I am able to do this alone!

  4. Taking myself out for lunch at a casual food joint.

  5. Went to the movies by myself! The movie sucked, but I still did it!

These are just a few of the things I’ve done to help myself push the envelope of being comfortable being alone. 

I know some of you were reading through my list and thought, “she thinks going out shopping by herself is an accomplishment?? Wow…” but YES! It really is! Especially when you get anxious in dressing rooms and wish you had a friend there to confirm that you actually do look fantastic in that jumpsuit!

Buuuuuuut, I also know that some of you read through my list and could totally relate to my small wins because those would be wins for you as well!

So, in honor of this whole idea of being okay with being alone, I’m challenging myself and YOU TOO to do more things alone. The challenge goes like this:

Step 1:

Create a list of fun things that you want or like to do. This list can consist of things you already do with people or that you’ve always wanted to do, but never had anyone to do it with.

Step 2:

Title that list “Things To Do ALONE Before 2020”

Step 3:

Between today and December 31, 2019, try to cross off as many of those things solo as you can!

Step 4:

At the end of the year, take pride in what you were able to do by yourself, reflect on how doing those things solo made you feel and if you felt empowered, and finally, move the things you didn’t quite get to in 2019 to your list for the first half of 2020!

Easy, right? Perhaps it’s easier said than done, but no matter how you feel about it, just start! I’ll be keeping up with you throughout these last few months of 2019 so feel free to share your accomplishments with me! I’d love to see all that you’re up to!

P.S. For a little extra motivation, here’s my list & a helpful sheet for you to use to create your own list.

Sahara's list
Blank List