I used to hate being alone. It was when I was alone that I would find myself thinking of the things that were not working in my life. I’d feel scared that no-one loved me, that no-one would EVER love me and that no-one cared.
I used to do anything not to be alone. Anything to distract myself from less than great thoughts and emotions, from feeling uncomfortable or from tough conversations. I found so many ways to distract myself from life but all the while I was still focusing on that feeling of aloneness. I’d scroll through facebook, do online dating, message people I knew, watch TV, do anything to hide from the feelings lurking beneath.
What I didn’t realise, is that what we focus on, we attract into our life. Your unconscious mind is like a laser beam focused on getting you what you want. Have you ever noticed that when something is brought into your conscious awareness, you suddenly start noticing it everywhere? Like when I wanted a red mini cooper sports car, I didn’t just start seeing one or two here and there, but it was as if suddenly they were everywhere!
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Your mind does this all the time with the thoughts that you have. The interesting thing is that your mind doesn’t process negatives. For example, if I was to say ‘Don’t think of a pink elephant’ one of the first thoughts you probably had was of a pink elephant. In order for your mind to think of an elephant that is not pink, it first thinks of the pink elephant so that it can change it to ‘not pink’ or to some other animal or even a totally different picture. Sometimes it happens so fast that your conscious mind doesn’t even notice the pink elephant that flashes up first. So in the past when I used to think all the time about how I didn’t want to be alone or that I didn’t want to feel lonely, all I would notice was how alone I felt. Even if I was in a room full of people, with friends or family, my minds eye kept seeing pictures of how lonely I was.
Becoming your own best friend
When I learned how important it was to be aware of my thoughts, instead of trying to change them all at once (that would be a lot), I started with one. One by one, I focussed on what I wanted, and I started with myself. Rather than thinking that there was something wrong with the things outside of myself, I started looking in on myself and what I really wanted. I discovered that the more I could be comfortable with myself and start to be OK in my own company, the easier it was for me to feel connected to the people around me, and the more people seemed to enjoy being in my company too.
We know that having friends is important, simply because friendships make us feel good. However, it is also important that you be your own best friend! One of the things I did that helped me to do this was, I wrote down the attributes I wanted from a best friend, or that I admired in my best friends. Then I asked myself the question “What do I do for, and with, my best friends, that I don’t currently do for myself, or by myself? Writing all of this down really made me realise how I was treating myself and the things I was thinking about myself. Having it all there in front of me helped me to focus on taking care of myself like I did with the people in my life that I cared about. I even started finding ways to have fun on my own, getting dressed up and taking myself out on dinner dates and to movies. How many different ways could you have some fun doing this?
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Focus on what you love about yourself
I used to find it so easy to focus on the negative things in life. In fact, I was so used to putting my focus on more negatives than positives, it’s no surprise that I was feeling less than great emotions about being alone. When I started thinking about a best friend, I realised that they often bring out the best in me and will often be the first to tell me what they love or admire about me the most, whilst knowing the things about me that are less than positive. Like a personal cheerleader, they help me celebrate wins, and are there for the harder times, even giving me a kick up the backside if I don’t do what I said I was going to do. A best friend is caring, kind and forgiving. I learned that I could be my own best friend by starting to concentrate more on the positives about myself.
Instead of wishing things to be perfect or beating myself up, I’d turn my focus towards learning, supporting my growth and caring. What do you love about yourself? Make a list. Even if it starts small, remember that what you focus on increases, so by starting with one or two things maybe you’ll start noticing even more and keep adding to your list.
Take yourself on a date
The first time I took myself on a date, I was a little unsure. I walked into the restaurant, they asked if anyone would be joining me, I said “No, it’s just me”. They cleared away the second setting of knives and forks on the table and I placed my order. I made an extra effort not to distract myself, by putting my phone away. I didn’t even take a book. I just sat in my own company enjoying a meal. It was a little uncomfortable at first and my thoughts went to wondering what other people were thinking, or that I was bored. I started wondering what I should be doing and if I was doing it right. After a little while I relaxed and sat on my own, calmly enjoying each moment. I had a great meal and a wonderful experience. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I did it again. Eating alone was a different experience. It was so freeing, to not feel like I had to sit with someone else to enjoy a meal out of the house.
What people are saying about Emotion Academy:
"After many years of training, courses, and counselling in various forms I thought I had certain aspects of my life sorted. Yet completing Emotion Academy showed me that I had been running away from my emotions and not facing them. After Emotion Academy, now I have the tools to engage with myself and win the internal battles once and for all - Neil Welsh, Victoria
There’s no need to wait for someone to take you out, especially if you have one of those moods when you feel like you’d like to go out and have dinner in a special restaurant. Why wait for someone to invite you? I go on dates with other people and also on my own. It can be a great and different experience. Sure, it’s fun to have people around but by taking yourself out on a date, you are proving that you want to do things just for you that make you feel good. As an added benefit, the more fun activities I did on my own and the less I felt alone, the more my confidence started building too.
Give yourself compliments
How wonderful is it to hear that we look great, we’re smart, funny, thoughtful, beautiful or handsome? Best friends are often a great example of someone who will be quick to give a compliment. So instead of waiting for compliments, be your biggest cheerleader! I noticed that growing up, I was always looking for what was wrong with me, why I wasn’t like other people, why I didn’t look as pretty or wasn’t as smart or funny. It took a little time but I started to listen to people’s compliments and to believe them. In the beginning I used them as a way to start giving them to myself first. One of the ways that I increased the amount of compliments I gave myself was by writing down one thing that I love about myself every day. The more I did this, the better I felt about myself overtime.
Melisa Grigg - Head Coach & Trainer
Melisa was stuck in sadness for 15 years, hated her job, was overweight and her relationship had just ended. Melisa inspires people with her story and now teaches how she sorted her life out. She worked out how to be happy and how to lose over 30kg of body weight. In simple steps she teaches how you can stop procrastinating, find confidence, stop being so sad and finally start to find true meaning and purpose in your life.
Becoming my own best friend added to my choices in life. Instead of always filling my time with people, work or distractions, I developed the skill of also enjoying being on my own. Learning and growing is an ongoing process and we are always changing. For me, I noticed that the better I felt about myself, the more confident I became and the more loving I was of myself, the less alone and lonely I felt.
Enjoying time on my own, and also time with other people has added so much to my life. Because I now know myself more deeply, the connections I have with others has increased massively. People like being around me more and I enjoy being around them. When I started loving being alone, I got to love being around people more and enjoying so many more fun experiences. I feel so much more confident and happier to just be me without overthinking whether I’m doing it right.
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