Now, I realize this all might seem silly and easy to some people. But for others, doing things alone can be a stretch. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, I think making a list of things that take you a bit out of your comfort zone can be healthy. Writing out a list helped me do some things I wouldn't normally, and I think I grew a bit from it. So there you go, a small personal success.
My list of "alone activities" had two different kinds,
1. Those I really did all alone, with no one else around,
2. Those I did by myself, but with lots of people around that I didn't know.
I think the latter might be a bit harder for me (and probably for most people), but I am happy to report I am feeling quite comfortable with both at this point, and I am getting better at quieting my mind from negative thoughts. As I do these things, I become less self focused, and then I become less self conscious, and realize no one cares if someone shows up to an event by themselves. They are more focused on themselves anyway. It's just human nature.
Doing things alone has also made me realize I have good friends. It was almost hard at times to do things alone, because I'd end up being invited somewhere, or I'd realize I wanted to catch up with someone and have them along with me. And while it somewhat thwarted my goal at times, it fulfilled a different wish of mine to appreciate and value my friends more.
I went to a movie alone the other night-it was a documentary at the Brattle theater, and I loved it. At that point it didn't cross my mind to feel weird going alone. Maybe if I had gone to a big theater showing a blockbuster it would have been more socially "odd"? In any case, I like smaller, more independent theaters that show lesser known films, so I enjoyed my alone date a lot. It was with a walk to and from, and that felt nice too. I didn't listen to anything, instead just left myself to my own thoughts. I did have to focus on positive thoughts, and try not to fall into this alone time becoming "critique yourself harshly time". But I have found when I just relax and focus on positive, uplifting things, I can be with myself for longer periods of time. (This is sort of sounding dramatic isn't it. I don't mean it to. I don't hate myself at all, being critical just tends to sneak in when I have quiet time to think. Anyone else do this?)
I have biked alone (every day), shopped alone (every time), carried out little projects alone, stargazed alone, gone on runs alone, gone to public spaces to people watch alone, gone to a city event alone, eaten out alone, etc... And I have a list of upcoming places to go and things to see that I plan on doing solo. Lest I start sounding like a complete loner, I have done many more things with other people, and love the company and companionship. But I am happy that I am strengthening my sense of self, working on a positive self image, and enjoying being a strong independent woman. I believe in women, I believe in men. I believe both are strong--on our own, and together.
If the thought of doing something by yourself makes you squirm, I recommend finding something outside your comfort zone and just going for it. You might be surprised at what great company you are to yourself.