"Do things by yourself": A young Black woman who is out walking by herself during the day, even though she's nervous.

Photo Credit: Pexels, Uriel Mont

Build the Confidence to Do Things By Yourself

Afraid to go to a movie theater by yourself? Or to eat lunch in the cafeteria by yourself? Or really to do much of anything in public by yourself? You’re not alone.

There are many reasons people fear doing things alone. Some people have abandonment issues stemming from their upbringing or a trauma of some sort. Others may have a diagnosed disorder, like agoraphobia—a mental health condition causing excessive fear of becoming overwhelmed by anxiety or being unable to acquire help if needed. Oftentimes, however, people are stopped by a lack of self-confidence. Worries about how they’ll look doing something on their own only exist and carry weight because of self-doubt.

That’s a problem. An understandable problem, sure, but a problem nonetheless. And one that needs to be addressed. Because if you can’t do things by yourself, you’ll probably never achieve certain goals and dreams.

Why you need to be able to do things by yourself

Doing things with friends and family is great! But that doesn’t take away from the importance of being able to do things on your own. Because even if you are surrounded by people who want to do everything with you, from going to the movies to flying out to a networking conference, there will inevitably be times when schedules conflict. Meaning that you’ll be beholden to their schedule. Their availability. Not just in terms of time either, but regarding their social battery, their finances, and other factors too.

Until you have the confidence to go out and do things by yourself.

Yes, it can be scary. You might receive a weird look or two, or occasionally find yourself in uncomfortable conversations without backup. But it can also accelerate your growth—personally and professionally. Because when you have the confidence to go out and do things by yourself, you’re able to chase after your goals, dreams, and desires unencumbered. You’re able to run your race on your terms, on your schedule, and reap the resulting rewards.

How do you build this confidence? One brave leap at a time. You don’t need to go from zero to sixty and start taking every opportunity to do things by yourself right away. Instead of jumping off the cliff and possibly falling flat on your face, steadily work your way down. One leap here. Another leap there. Two leaps in a row. An occasional break. Then a marginally bigger jump, and so on and so forth until you reach level ground.

You could start by trying something low-risk, like going to the movies by yourself. Regardless, once you start, don’t stop. Keep building the confidence to do things by yourself. Keep building the confidence to live your life on your terms.

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