I Am My Own Best Friend: A Journey Into Self-Reliance
I’m not going to lie to you, becoming my own best friend was the hardest and best decision I ever made.
If you’ve ever felt like you don’t know yourself or that you are constantly let down by others, this is the article for you.
So, I’m My Own Best Friend
In our modern FOMO (fear of missing out)-driven culture, it often feels like we’re drawn to searching for more friends, more activities, and more external validation than what we can hold.
And personally, I found myself alone at the end, and I was exhausted.
I was tired of inconsistency, of being forgotten, of feeling like I was no one’s number one; all feelings which came from my own baggage as much as others’. This is why we must be careful not to point the finger, but we’ll get into this more later in the article.
Alone Doesn’t Mean Lonely
I found myself searching for ways to feel fulfilled by forcing myself to spend time with people that were not good for me. I was trying to get into other people’s hobbies and interests to, essentially, feel like I had a connection with other people. Let’s just say this didn’t go well.
This new thought process all started when a person I cared about canceled on me last minute (again) and we had already purchased tickets for the show that we wanted to see. I had no other plans and I was looking forward to it.
So I did something that is far from revolutionary, but regardless, started a new path of thinking in my mind.
I went to the show by myself.
That’s when I realized, if I wanted to find happiness in myself and become the independent person I’d always wanted to be, I needed to rely on myself. In simple terms, I realized that the journey into self-reliance starts with becoming your own best friend.
Why is Self-Reliance Important?
The definition of self-reliance found on vocabulary.com is simple. It’s the reliance on one’s own powers and resources rather than those of others.
Leaning into self-reliance is like your own superpower that can subvert the way you interact with the world, leading you to bettering yourself.
Self-reliance is important because…
First, we have to look inside and prepare ourselves to find healthy relationships beyond codependency.
- improves your self-esteem
- makes you more independent
- allows you to focus on personal growth
- improves confidence
- will help with your external relationships in the long run
The last point is really important, we cannot simply point the finger at others when we find our relationships are failing.
Strategies for Courting Yourself: Here’s How I Did It
It began with three simple things: journaling, affirmation, and planning.
Journaling & Creating
I would write something every day. It didn’t have to be a typical journal entry, I just aimed to get my feelings on paper and really check in with myself. This allowed me to understand what I needed so that I could show up for myself more regularly.
I Affirmed Myself Through Positive Self-Talk
When I was spending a night in and I would begin to hear my negative self talk about not being cared for. I would work through mindful affirmations that would allow me to ground myself and see the world around me in a proper perspective.
My main go-to for this time was going for a 15-minute walk before sunset and allowing myself to look at the beauty around me. It was hard at first, but I began to enjoy my own company, which is a valuable skill to have.
Try this: Introduction to Walking Meditation
I Planned Dates with Myself
“Date” isn’t necessarily the best way to describe this. For me, self-dating means seeking out experiences that you crave, finding ways to self-improve, and time slots where you explore your own interests.
I started going to all events and movies that I wanted to go to, I enrolled in an improv course, and I began to host a party for one on weekend nights: this included painting/crafting, wine, and exploring my Tarot decks.
All of these kept me busy and fulfilled because I was getting what I desired out of my time without relying on other people to hold my hand through these experiences.
Did This Work? What I Learned…
I learned to enjoy my own company over time, which meant I had freed myself from my perceived limitations. I still spent time with friends and family, but I was less reliant on their feedback and praise.
I wasn’t walking around like a whole new person, but I was able to stand my ground in conversations and I felt more comfortable in strange and new places.
It was just me and my best friend exploring (this was crucial for networking at the beginning of my career).
Now You Try: Becoming Your Own Best Friend
This is a very personal experience for everyone, so if you are not a person who likes creating or writing, it is up to you to find ways to spend time with yourself to reframe your perspective.
At first, I suggest you try what I did and then build your own set of practices that allow you to learn to love spending time with yourself.
Try these Fun Self-Date Initiatives
Here are some ideas to get started.
- Coffee and Tea times - Take yourself to a coffee shop or spend 10 minutes in the morning making and enjoying a silent coffee/tea time. Make this a routine.
- Meditation - Explore your mind through mindfulness and meditation, use this time to check in on yourself.
- Interior decorating & home improvement - Work at redesigning your living space and try out Feng Shui
- Yoga or other exercises - Use this to better yourself, focus your mind, and have a routine with yourself (I love Zumba for this purpose).
- Cooking - Try new recipes and spend time with yourself learning to find new ways to sustain and treat your body
- Volunteer - Volunteer your time to an organization that you love, spend this time learning new skills and connecting your purpose to real actionable solutions.
You Got This!
I hope you choose to try this, even if it is in a more passive way. Once I began this journey, I found everything easier, I was on my phone less and, I began to sleep better.
Most important of all, becoming my best friend became an important part of working with my mental health.
Read this next: Self-Partnering: Taking Self-Love to the Next Level