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How to be alone


14 February, Valentine's Day, is a difficult day for many single people. In a culture where we place a lot of emphasis on family and romantic relationships, not having a date on the day that celebrates romantic love can trigger feelings of loneliness. But it really shouldn't.

Our primal brains are wired to be afraid of being alone, but our frontal lobes enables us to turn this around to an empowering time instead. 


Being alone gives us time and freedom to develop the relationship with the most important person in our world: ourselves. 


As a lover of personal development I appreciate solitude immensely. When I am in a relationship I also seek it out consciously. Note, that I classify as 'highly extrovert'. I love people. I just also need alone time to read, think and reflect. Most of us do. We just haven't learned how to appreciate our alone time. 


Train your solitude-muscle

Sara Maitland has written a great book in The School of Life series called 'How to be alone' and it contains some great exercises for the solitude-muscle. Here are the ones that I have tested I tried out myself and can highly recommend: 


  1. Face the fear  
  2. Do something enjoyable
  3. Go into the nature
  4. Learn something 
  5. Travel solo


Start small and build up your tolerance for being alone gradually. Turn your mobile off. Go out and have lunch on your own. Have dinner. Go see a movie on your own. Go to the theatre. Go on a walk, a hike, a day-trip. Take a course. Go to a seminar. Travel on your own. Move to a different country on your own. 


The list of things you can do on your own is endless. The only thing holding you back is you. If you need some input and some solitude-muscle training, drop me a note and I will be happy to help you. Sometimes you need someone to be alone with :-)


If you want to join a group of people who are focused on personal growth like you are, join our Live & Lead Courageously Group on LinkedIn


I hope you found this note on how to be alone helpful. Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below. 

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