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Most People Fear Being Alone. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t if You Want to Live a Fulfilling Life.

Have you ever feared being alone?

I know I have. It started when I was little.

I was afraid of being alone at recess because it made me feel like no one liked me and I had no friends.

Then I felt like a loser when I went to the movies alone in my teens.

And later, I felt like something was wrong with me when I went to a family event without a date in my mid-20s.

So what changed?

I found myself alone in a new country, city, and job with no close family or friends around me. Simply put, I was forced into a situation where I had to be alone.

Ultimately, it’s how I began to love and appreciate my alone time and one of the ways I discovered the importance of solitude for building a fulfilling life.

A big shout out to Jay Shetty and his book 8 Rules of Love for all of his wisdom and what he’s taught me. Without him, this article would not have been possible.

Now, let’s dive in.

1. Self-Reliance

Being alone gives you a chance to rely on yourself.

This is when you learn to navigate challenges and self-regulate your emotions.

This is important because you can’t (always) turn to other people to help make you feel better when life gets tough.


Because one, then you’re like a baby who is incapable of supporting yourself.

And two, your entire being is dependent on others. This can be draining for the people in your life. And it can damage or ruin your relationships.

For example, I relied on my ex for everything. I wanted and needed him to make me feel better when I was sad, stressed, and anxious. It took a toll on him. And ultimately, our relationship ended.

The bottom line is you need to be responsible for yourself. You need to have personal accountability for your words, actions, and emotions.

And it starts with learning to be alone. Because when you’re alone, you learn to give yourself what you need before expecting it from others.

Note: I’m not saying, bottle all your thoughts and feelings and never rely on people. Please seek help or a mental health professional if needed. What I am saying is it’s important we learn to rely on ourselves if or when we can.


Try to self-soothe next time you’re feeling sad instead of reaching for the phone right away to call a friend. How? One way can be to journal your thoughts.

Ask yourself, “What happened? Why do I feel this way? Am I falling into my negative thinking patterns? What is in my control? What can I do right now to make myself feel better?”

Another way is to go on a walk.

And next time, try to assemble a new piece of Ikea furniture by yourself instead of asking for help. Read the manual. Experiment. Struggle a little.

Sure, it might be hard. But you’ll learn a new skill in the process. And you’ll feel more confident about yourself afterward.

These are two simple ways you can start to learn to depend on yourself.

2. Confidence Building

Being alone gives you a chance to build your confidence.


It starts with getting into the habit of assessing yourself and putting in effort to change your life.

So first, take a look at your personality, emotional health, physical health, relationships, and money.

Identify which area you’re most insecure about and would like to improve.

For example, the area I’d like to improve in is money. So I spend my alone time taking action to improve this area by focusing on client work, cold emails, and my writing.

The bottom line is, if there are things you don’t like about yourself that are affecting your confidence, you have two choices.

You can either change your mindset or change what you don’t like. If you want to change what you don’t like, then use your alone time to work on it to build your confidence.


Assess yourself based on your personality, emotional health, physical health, relationships, and money.

Which area are you most unsatisfied with?

Once you’ve identified it, come up with a plan to improve it during your alone time.

For example, you can start with drinking more water if you’re unhappy with your physical health. Then, focus on eating healthier foods once drinking more water has become a habit. Over time, you can start to walk more and lift weights.

The key is to start small and build momentum off of that.

3. Peak Productivity

Being alone gives you a chance to learn and do your best work.

In Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes, “Our current research with talented teenagers show that many fail to develop their skills not because they have cognitive deficits but because they cannot stand being alone.”

Simply put, we’re less likely to develop creative skills like writing, coding, and playing an instrument because these activities require focused, deliberate practice that’s often done when we’re alone.

This is why many introverts are writers, artists, and musicians. We have more opportunities to work on and improve our creative skills since we spend a lot of time alone.


Think about a creative skill you want to learn. Dedicate some time for it.

If, at first, being alone feels challenging, start with five minutes. Then, increase it to 10 minutes when five feels comfortable. And, slowly build it up to one hour.

You’ll be (pleasantly) surprised even one hour of deliberate, focused work a day over a long period of time can greatly improve your skill.

4. Self-Understanding

Being alone gives you a chance to reflect and understand yourself without the influence of others.

For example, researchers found people who went to an art museum alone had a stronger emotional response to the art compared to those who went with others.

In a nutshell, being alone helps you pay more attention to your surroundings. To how you feel about the decisions you’re making. And to learn more about your priorities and values.

The better you understand your personality, values, goals, and the life you want to create, the more you can improve on what you love about yourself and change what you don’t like.


You can learn about yourself in many ways. Here are two of my favourites.

1. Journaling

Writing is my therapy. It’s where I unleash all my thoughts and feelings in a safe and nonjudgmental space.

If you’re starting, I recommend beginning with journaling prompts. Get into the habit of asking yourself questions like, “What am I grateful for? What went well today? What didn’t go well? How can I improve tomorrow? How did I feel today?”

2. Solo Travel

I solo-traveled to a few countries in Europe in my early 20s. I discovered many things about myself through that experience.

For instance, I realized I don't like creating travel itineraries. Instead, I prefer to walk and go with the flow.

When you travel alone, you find out if you’re a heavy packer or a light packer. If you’re a rigid planner or more of a go-with-the-flow type. If you’re decisive or indecisive.

So if you ever have a chance to travel by yourself, do it. It doesn’t have to be to another country. It can be to a new coffee shop or a new city. What’s important is that it’s to a place you’ve never been before.

Final Thoughts

Here’s why you shouldn’t fear being alone.

  1. Being alone gives you a chance to rely on yourself.

  2. Being alone gives you a chance to build your confidence.

  3. Being alone gives you a chance to learn and do your best work.

  4. Being alone gives you a chance to reflect and understand yourself without the influence of others.


If you enjoyed reading this story, sign up for my newsletter, The Happiness Diary, to receive insights on how to live a happier life.


Photo byDan Gribbin onUnsplash

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