Can you sit in a coffee shop sans a companion or smartphone, and love every second of it? Many will agree that doing things by yourself feels wrong and anti-social—and for that reason, there’s an almost universal stigma attached to it. We’ve been taught to believe that it’s awkward to travel, dine, or simply be without the presence of another human being.
But for those who embrace themselves and actively participate in whatever activity or opportunity of their choosing, despite having someone they know by their side, magic happens. There’s a real feeling of freedom when you can sit quietly in your own company and just enjoy the moment for what it is.
And while forming meaningful relationships with friends, family members and partners is important, spending time with and loving yourself leads to 10 very beautiful things.
10. You’ll Become More Worldly & Culturally Sensitive
Having a group of great friends is wonderful, sure. But staying within the same clique for years and years means that you’re not really giving yourself the freedom to talk to and learn about people outside of who you are and what you’re about.
Breaking away from homogeneity, and giving yourself the opportunity to learn from those older than you (yes, they were wild once too, you know!) and erasing preconceived notions about those younger than you, means that you’re more in-tune with the world than five besties that meet every night for a daily bout of gossip.
9. You’ll Reflect (More)
Reflection and engaging in introspection is extremely beneficial as it gives you the time to really look at yourself and the things you have (or have not) achieved. And when you’ve absolutely fallen in love with yourself, you won’t be ashamed to admit that you do have flaws (we all do).
Instead, you’ll actively take the time to work on those flaws whilst trying to improve upon your list of positive characteristics. You’ll think about whether you’re truly happy, and you’ll start to feel inspired to make the necessary changes to live a better and fuller life. Base jumping in Norway? Do it!
8. You’ll Find Your Passion
While we generally like to hang out with people who share our interests, this often stunts our ability to try something new. You like what you like, your friends like it too—why try something new? So instead of going to that oddly intriguing yoga retreat, you meet your friends for Book Club because yoga isn’t necessarily their cup of tea.
But when you truly become comfortable in your own skin, you’ll say, ‘Screw it!‘ and you’ll go to the yoga retreat…alone. What happens next? No, you don’t die from shame and embarrassment! You’ll find out if you love it or hate it, and you’ll probably meet some new and interesting people along the way.
7. You’ll Travel Freely
Unfortunately, we have to work in order to survive. That means that you and your loved ones will have set working hours with set vacation days and set schedules, yada yada yada. That, in turn, makes it tremendously hard to plan that weekend in Vermont or your yearly trip somewhere in Europe. You find yourself waiting on your friends to book flights, hotels, and to make travel itineraries—only to find out that Kerry suddenly can’t make it and Dan’s wound up with chicken pox. Holiday plans ruined? Heck no!
When you’re happy with your own company, you’ll plan trips spontaneously and frequently. You’ll see what you want, go where you want, and never have to wait on anyone ever again.
6. You’ll Become More Independent
When you rely on yourself to get things done, you’re automatically bumped up to first class of being an independent human being—so, congratulations!
Many people are too afraid to try something new so they rely on their friends to do it with them. But when you get up and go to where ever it is or whatever it is that you want to experience, you’re allowed to admit to yourself that you really are acing this whole ‘adult’ thing.
5. You’ll Thrive Outside Your Comfort Zone
What are your plans this weekend? The usual Friday night drinks at your favourite bar? Saturday house cleaning? Sunday at the cinema to see the latest rom com? All three of those activities sound like tons of fun, but there really are only so many ways that a man can fall in love with a woman, and—your house won’t cave in if you shift things around a day or two, I promise.
When you’re in love with yourself and in love with life, your Friday, Saturday—heck, even your Tuesday, becomes an unpredictable whirlwind of cool things. “Life’s short“, “YOLO!” and, “Live, Laugh, Love“, you guys! Go out there and take up space in the world.
4. You’ll Do Things You Never Dreamed Of
Having refrained from personal experience this entire time, it’s time to impart my pearls of wisdom onto you (I’m really just as lost as you are). I never thought I would ever live in Asia, date an American soldier, see 10+ countries in Europe, or become a professional writer (my dream job).
But I got up and made those things happen for myself, by myself. If I had have waited for someone to come with me, I would never have achieved many of those things! It all starts with you.
3. You’ll Live Life On Your Own Terms
We all have special quirks, likes and dislikes. Some are extremely organised and like to stick to a schedule, while others absolutely hate uniformity. But again, when you’re your own best friend, you literally live life on your own terms.
Do you fancy eating a slice of chocolate cake for dessert at your favourite café? Or do you want to sleep in on Saturday whilst listening to cheesy 90’s pop music? Um, yes—of course you do! So do it!
2. You’ll Find Out Who Your True Friends Are
A lot of people are pretty superficial and only really enjoy getting their own way. So when you’re actively chasing the sun, or having a down day, they’ll get pissy because you’re not in the mood to go to an 80’s themed party with them. And right there—you learn who your true friends are.
Because when people take the time to invest in you and your dream/vision, you’ll do the very same for them. Which means you’ll have to endure the occasional awkward friend-of-a-friend hen party, and you’ll make the effort to visit your bestie at any time of day or night when he/she’s experiencing heartbreak, because that is what real friends do. If they aren’t prepared to be there for the messy stuff, they can’t be there for the fun stuff. End of.
1. You’ll Say ‘Yes’!
Know the expression, “Everywhere you go, there you will be“? It’s literally true—and if you don’t like yourself very much, life isn’t going to be very fun at all.
Adversely, loving yourself means that you’re happy trying new things and treating yourself in such a way that is mentally and physically stimulating. So the next time a sweaty human at the gym admits that they live a block away from you and that you two should go on evening walks together, say ‘YES!’ The world wanted you to meet that person—meet them!
So, I will leave you with this—life is messy, hard, and unpredictable. You’ll definitely experience deep and uncomfortable sadness once or more in your lifetime, and you’ll also experience that feeling of your heart pounding through your chest the moment you’re about to step outside of your comfort zone. But embrace those vulnerabilities because they really are just as beautiful as your strengths.