The Importance of Alone Time in Finding Yourself
We may often hear about the importance of finding yourself, but what’s not talked about often enough is why and how.
The number of possible paths anyone could take in this life are infinite, but the amount of time we have is not. By knowing who you are, it makes it much easier to discover which directions might be best to explore, and which might be better to avoid — as it can be a very individual thing.
One of the most underrated elements of discovering who you are involves spending some quality time alone. If you’ve never spent enough time alone, you don’t really know which of your tendencies are coming from your true inner self, and which are merely habits you built as a reaction to your external environment.
We all have an innate desire for love and acceptance from others; and so typically, the things we think about, talk about and do will be restricted to what those around us might find acceptable. As you can imagine, this is a very limited way to live.
One area of life that is dramatically impacted by your level of self-knowledge is romantic relationships. If you don’t know yourself, you will have a very hard time understanding what type of partner would be a good fit for you. It may lead to lots of drama and conflict without fully understanding why.
To paraphrase an old saying by John F. Kennedy, the best time to fix your roof is before it starts raining. It’s so much easier to have conversations about controversial relationship topics well in advance to be able to create a plan to handle them with a clear head and calm demeanor.
Many times, individuals choose to avoid thinking about the hard questions in a relationship because they’re afraid of hearing something they won’t like, and just delay it as long as possible hoping that any underlying problems will just go away on their own. But it rarely works that way.
The more clarity you have, the easier it will be to recognize when someone you meet has certain character traits that are not a good fit for you.
Some couples go weeks, months, or even years without recognizing major misalignments that pop up seemingly out of nowhere when life circumstances bring them to the forefront. The thing is, these incompatibilities did not come out of nowhere — they were there all along.
Think about how many potential ways of being you’ve just accepted as the default without taking any time to ask yourself why, or if there is a better way for you. Perhaps some of these things may even be considered taboo to your family, friends, coworkers, and potential mates, so you haven’t even given yourself permission to begin thinking about these things.
Questions around gender roles, personal boundaries, career, finances, religion, materialism, hobbies, travel, children — if you stop and think deeply enough, you may realize that you actually don’t agree with what those around you have chosen in one or more of these areas, and yet have been blindly following them out of social convention for as long as you can remember.
By consciously penciling alone time into your schedule and treating it as a high priority, this gives you the ability to decipher what resonates with you and what doesn’t without judgment.
Through this process, you may realize that some of your ways of being are actually out of alignment with what would ultimately make you most fulfilled in life — and it frees you up to make changes.