Embracing Your Solitude

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It’s an age old scenario – you’re sitting alone in a restaurant, enjoying a quiet meal for one.  Perhaps you’re reading a book, or checking something on your mobile.  Perhaps this meal is a treat for yourself, and you’re having a lovely time.

But then you notice a glance from someone at a neighbouring table.  Without knowing your situation, they’re looking at you with pity. As if eating a meal solo means you must be lonely, anti-social, or socially unwanted.  That there is something inherently wrong with being alone in a public setting.

And they’re wrong, because it’s actually empowering to do things like having a dinner out alone, and that uninformed person is allowing their own insecurities colour their opinions.  They can’t even fathom actually spending time alone.

In fact, they’re probably afraid of being alone and are missing out on the best company they could ever find – themselves.

Spending time along doesn’t mean you’re being anti-social or ‘disappearing’ from action.  It just means you’re focusing on yourself.

And those who do enjoy their free time, they understand how a bit of solitude can be beneficial to them.

Recharging your batteries

It can be mentally exhausting to constantly having to be ‘on’ in social settings.  Keeping up engaging conversations, making people laugh, showing empathy when someone’s feeling emotional, generally trying to make those around you happy, and so forth…

It’s absolutely draining to say the least.

But by taking some time away from the social scene, you’re allowing yourself time to recharge.  To turn your brain off.  To focus your energies on your own happiness.

Reflecting isn’t just in the mirror

When you’re constantly on the go, you really don’t get much time to reflect on your life or think on where you want your life to go.  Instead, you’re constantly surrounded by others that take up your time and energy, leaving very little (if anything) for yourself.

By taking some time out for yourself, it allows you time to improve your own self-confidence, work through issues in the past, and start planning for your future.

It’s a golden opportunity that really shouldn’t be missed because it’s your life, and you’re the only one that can propel it forward in the future.

Getting in touch with yourself

Along with being mentally draining, being in constant social settings can also be draining emotionally.  Because if you’re constantly catering to other people’s emotions or being their ‘cheerleader’, that leaves no opportunities to keep in touch with your own emotions.

Time alone can allow you time to gain a better perspective about your own happiness, while learning about what upsets or saddens you.  No emotion is a bad emotion because the more you know how negative emotions can affect you, the better prepared you’ll be in the future to handle them.

And a true strength of character comes from being able to overcome the hard times in your life.

Doing things for yourself

Who hasn’t been out with a friend or a group of people and had to give into someone else’s desire while setting aside your own desires or needs?  Whether you realise it or not, we all compromise to an extent when looking for a common solution.

But when you’re enjoying your alone time, it’s all about what you want to do because you have the freedom to decide for yourself.  It’s not necessarily about being selfish, but if you’re continually giving in to someone else’s needs, yours will never be fulfilled.  It’s all about the freedom to do what you want to do.

This also means focusing on your own happiness, although it doesn’t mean you’ll completely ignore other people’s needs as well.  You should know what makes you happy, because ultimately you shouldn’t be relying on someone else to ‘make’ you happy.

Be more productive

We all have things we need to get done in our personal lives – laundry, groceries, house cleaning, and so forth.  And while there are some things that would be fun to do with another person, sometimes you just can’t be truly productive when you’re constantly in someone else’s company.

Their presence will become distracting and your ‘to-do’ list will just keep growing and growing.

When you’re alone and getting things done, you’ll find you’re more focused and able to get some work done.  And the only one that’ll be able to distract you is you.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder..

How are you going to miss someone’s company if they’re constantly by your side?  And do you really want to spend so much time together that you run the risk of getting on each other’s nerves or possibly even getting sick of each other?

A routine is one thing, but being together 24/7 means you literally get no space for yourself or to take care of your own needs as per the above.  But when you’re spending some time apart – even if it’s just an hour a week – that time together becomes more important and you’ll appreciate it more.

Independence Day

The independence that comes from doing certain activities alone – like going on holiday by yourself – can be absolutely electrifying.  And not only will it help reduce any anxiety about being alone, but it’ll also boost your confidence.

And feeling independent can be truly empowering.

Stop apologising

Spending time alone means you don’t have to apologise to anyone for what you’ve done or about to do.  You can allow yourself the freedom to stop second-guessing your actions or worrying if you’re upsetting someone else by doing what you want when you want it.

Trust your own instincts

All too often we’ll stop ourselves from making a decision or taking a particular action because we haven’t run it by a friend or loved one first.  We’ll look to them for validation that we’re taking the right course of action, or perhaps for some advise on what to do next.

And sometimes that is the right thing to do.

But honestly there are plenty of times where we’re completely capable of making a decision without someone else’s input, or need someone else to validate our choices.  And when you’re spending more time alone, you’ll trust yourself more, and be more confident in making decisions without someone else’s two-cents.

This post was inspired by — When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen.

Free Your Mind – En Vogue

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envogue311x233_thumbAhh the 90’s.  I definitely have some fond – and not so fond – memories of that decade.

Can you believe this song by En Vogue, probably one of their biggest hits, was released way back in 1992?  Doesn’t seem like it was that long ago does it?

Back in ’92, I was finishing high school and starting college.. and still learning who I was as a person.

Hell I think I still am. LOL

But I recall hearing this song and thinking it was absolutely amazing.  I felt it had a fantastic message to empower women while helping break down the barriers of prejudice and ignorance.

Think this song is still relevant today in many ways..

Enjoy 🙂

Repost: Choices

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Note: This is something I originally posted here, and was written a couple years ago as a self-motivational tool.  Thought I’d share it once more. 🙂

 

Choices. Life is all about them. They are all around us. You choose what to wear everyday, or whether to hit the snooze button in the morning, or even if you are going to be nice to the person behind the counter making your daily latte. You choose; nobody else.

It’s too easy these days to place blame on other people for the choices we make in life. Admit it; we all do it even when we try not to, or even when we don’t realize we’re doing it. An example would be blaming a friend for not watching out for you at a club and you end getting wasted, making an ass of yourself. Is that truly the friend’s fault? Did that friend make you drink, or get up on the speaker and drop your pants? No, the only person you can blame for your mistakes is you.

Here’s another example: You’re trying for a promotion at work, but the position is given to someone else that everyone knows isn’t qualified for the job but killed in the interview. Moreover, you’re informed that you need to show more confidence and leadership skills in order to get a promotion in the future. Who’s to blame for you not getting the job? Is it the boss’s fault for not seeing those qualities in you when you haven’t shown it to them? Is it the other applicant’s fault that they’re better in an interview setting? No, it’s all you. Who else? Be honest, you can have the best employee file in the world, the best attendance record, the best work evaluations, but if you can’t show to other people that you can do the job then why should it be given to you?

Choices are everywhere, and there’s no way to get away from them. Even if you try to get someone else to decide what movie to go see or which restaurant to go to, that in itself is a choice. You’ve just chosen to not make a choice, to try to put the choice on someone else’s shoulders.

Too often, as a society, we tend to sit around and whine about being alone, or being broke, or what have you. It’s become a part of everyday life for us. We’ve become a society of pessimists, always focusing on the bad stuff that happens to us. We don’t empower ourselves enough to take charge of our lives and change what we don’t like. At some point, we have to stop playing the blame game and choose to live life to the fullest.

If you’re lonely, you have to do something other than sit at home and complain about it, or sit at some bar playing a video lottery machine all by yourself. That’s just avoiding life. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to meet new people. Smile at a stranger. Stand at the bar instead of against the wall away from everyone else. Dance in the middle of the floor instead of at the edge. Be willing to meet a variety of people, whether you think they’re your type or not, because you never know when one of them may turn out to be the next love of your life, or may introduce you to someone who may be that person. And you have to understand that a meaningful relationship, although very satisfying, will not complete you. Only you can do that.

If you can’t afford to pay your bills because you go out partying every weekend, then don’t go out partying, or at least only take a small amount of money with you so you can’t over do it. Perhaps it’s your spending habits, so make a budget and stick to it. Cut out those things that really don’t matter, like the extra bag of chips or eating out a couple times a week, and use that money for something you truly need like ensuring you have enough airtime on your cell phone for emergencies. Empower yourself to say no to doing what you can’t afford. Ultimately, if you say yes and then you’re broke, what’s going to happen? You’re going to sit at home calling yourself names, putting yourself down for spending what you didn’t have. And that’s not productive.

It’s all about making the right choices in life, and it is true, sometimes we don’t make the right ones, but it’s also about making the best of the situation you’re in. Choose to be upbeat about life, choose to have fun, and choose to show yourself you can do something about it. Take charge of your own life, and lead yourself to where you want to go. Stop waiting for something or someone to come into your life to make it feel complete, and make it happen yourself.

Make a choice. Empower yourself to make that choice. Be bold. Be confident. Lead yourself to what you want in life. Because, in the end, the only person that will benefit from it is you.

Copyright 2007 by Martin P. Wilson