A QUICK PREAMBLE:
Enjoying your own sweet company, just being with yourself, regularly and maybe even for long periods of time (willingly or not), is something that a lot of people can’t or won’t actually handle very well…it just isn’t everybody’s ‘cuppa-tea’, so to speak!
I’m absolutely and most definitely NOT extolling any type of virtue in being on your own, permanently, for always. That’s just wrong. Total and permanent isolation isn’t good for you at all – tho’ i dare say a lot of what i say here will be a definite help if that is indeed the way you choose to live…
…but there’s really nothing wrong with spending time on your lonesome either. In fact, there are actually some really very good reasons for spending decent lengths of time being with yourself:
- No arguments or time limits
- Only your own needs and wants
- Nobody trying to make you anybody else but who and what you really are etc.
- Zero distracting interruptions while you work…or play…or meditate…etc.
CUTTING TO THE CHASE:
Being with yourself can simply be perfect, and if you have a self-confident, self-disciplined and determined character, then it’s easy to do just that, most especially when circumstances dictate that you must.
Now please, don’t get me wrong here, there’s absolutely nothing at all wrong with wanting company. You should have it, regularly.
That’s normal and very human…us humans, after all, are naturally sociable creatures and we need others for interaction of some kind or another.
Just one or two people to talk to, or enjoy a game of chess with, or to discuss the political and world domination agendas of the Martians, or anything now and again, will ensure you stay in the real world, comfortable with yourself…and of course, sane!
As far as i’m concerned, the bigger your social circle grows, the more friends you make, as you travel your road through life, the better it is for you and those whom you befriend, but…
Can you handle being with yourself?
Be honest with yourself, are you one of those “needy” people who constantly craves the attention and company of others to be able to get through your life…every day?
If you are, then you’re behaving entirely negatively and it’s more than just a little sad. But it’s by no means an insurmountable problem and you’re certainly not alone. There are thousands upon thousands who suffer the same kinda problem.
Just think about this: if YOU can’t stand your own company or handle being with yourself, how d’ya think others (very probably) feel when you’re with them?
You’ve simply gotta start liking YOUR OWN company. You really must start making some time with yourself and the things you like to do and the things you should be doing that will make you a better person and better company for anybody…but especially for yourself!
There’s never, ever, any need to feel alone, unhappy or unwanted…at any time!
Being with yourself is all about good habits
Trust me when i tell you, it is all about ‘habit’. Positive daily attitudes and behaviours that tone and strengthen your mind as well as your body, which builds your self-confidence. All learned via generous doses of SELF-DISCIPLINE…even enforced discipline!
“We are what we repeatedly do,.
Excellence then is not an act,
but a habit!”
Learned from my own personal experience, plus the personal experiences of those closest to me, as well as from the experience of many others who have followed the same or at least very similar roads through their lives, the following list of habits, attitudes and behaviours (in no particular order) is an important guide for growing your self-confidence.
To ensure this article isn’t overly long i’m giving the briefest details of only the 10 most important, but the full list of 18 is very much expanded and hugely detailed in my book: “Being With Yourself“.
#1 – Begin At Your End
What i mean is this: start with your ultimate goal, your end-goal, in mind. Then simply work backwards and write down the steps or the individual lesser goals (sub-goals if you like), that you need to achieve to be able to realise your main goal. Your ultimate vision!
#2 – Display Your Dreams, Loudly!
You can organise it anyhow you want and call it whatever you like. A “vision wall”, a “dream wall” or “dream board”. The label isn’t important, the concept is…and it’s a powerful one!
#3 – Beware of ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’
It’s a serious affliction and it effects just about everyone at some point in their lives, to varying degrees. I know, because once upon a time i suffered with it, to the worst extreme.
The cost of purchasing different courses, programs or ‘stuff’ that all seems so perfect for what you THINK you need, is addictive and can be astronomically expensive…let alone the ‘information overload’ that goes with it…just don’t go there!
#4 – Maintain Your Brakes
If you don’t practice self-control, if you don’t keep your foot firmly on the brakes of a possible downhill slide, then you’ll very quickly end up looking and feeling exactly how you’re behaving…a drunk, a slob, a pig, a junkie, a ‘ho etc!
There go your life’s dreams!
#5 – Mens Sana in Corpore Sano
A great latin phrase normally translated as:
“a sound mind in a sound body”
Physical exercise is an absolute must. Man or woman, young or old or in between. You gotta do it. It doesn’t have to be eight-hours-per-day ‘pumping-iron-til-you-drop’ or ‘run-til-you-can’t-even-walk’ type of exercise. It just needs to be regular, good quality, effective, and wherever possible, enjoyable…for your mental state as well as your physical condition.
#6 – Eat To Live (Mostly)
No amount of exercise will benefit your health, and subsequently your self-confidence if you abuse your body with bad or unwarranted dietary habits.
Quality proteins and quality nutrients are what your body and your mind need, not all the poisonous and heavily processed junk that is so common nowadays…surely just plain common-sense really, right?
#7 – Be A Sheepdog
OK, i’m definitely taking a somewhat large, but totally respectful, liberty with Lt. Col Dave Grossman’s brilliant analogy for the honourable art of being a sheepdog with this one, but it’s definitely apt for the message i want to convey here…check it out sometime.
Be neither a sheep who follows the herd or a wolf who is only out to take advantage of the weaknesses of the sheep…
…for the sake of building and retaining your own great self-confidence and the ability to be with yourself, be a sheepdog, the protector of your own vision and doer of deeds that the “opinionated” just never want to do…or simply cannot do!
#8 – Don’t Be A Jack
You may have heard the saying: “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy!”?!?
‘Play time’, indulging in your favourite pastimes, is not only important for developing the minds and personalities of children. It’s a positive mindset component that every human being, young, middle-aged or old, needs and has to have, for the sake of sanity as well as for the sake of developing the tolerance for being with yourself…and others!
#9 – Kill The Sloven
All round and all-encompassing hygiene of your mind, body and home is critical for your overall health and character strength.
If you can’t or won’t control or take good care of the hygiene facet of your life, you will only cost yourself your self-confidence and your ability to be comfortably with yourself…and anybody else!
#10 – Bin Your Baggage
Think of it like this: Back ‘then’ it was a problem. If you learned from it, then you would surely ensure that you never took the same steps that you previously took to get to that problem. It cannot and should not be a problem today!
A FINAL ANECDOTE:
So, if you haven’t already grasped the message so far, the main points i’m actually trying to get across to you here are PATIENCE and SELF-DISCIPLINE. !
To get anything and anywhere in life, you MUST have patience and you must have the self-discipline to be patient as you push on through all adversity and all life’s challenges to get to where you want to be and “Be All You Should Be”.
* * *
I thought this would be a fitting finish for this article…the final stanza from “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul
* * *
Carpe Diem, Be All You Should Be
Peter EC Kirwan