If you want to be more confident, then you also need to be more independent.
After all, self-confidence is all about having faith in your own ability and your own decisions. If you don’t know how to be alone, or don’t feel you can do things without the help of others, then you won’t have true confidence!
The problem is that many of us struggle to be alone, or to do things for ourselves. Part of this comes down to a sheer lack of practice. If you went straight from living with your parents, to living with a partner, then you may never have truly experienced fending for yourself.
And living with friends isn’t necessarily much different.
Likewise, some of us will spend all of our spare time with others, to the point that we don’t have much identity or much purpose when left to our own devices. If you can’t stand the thought of spending an evening alone, then you need a quick boost in independence. So how do you get it?
The first way to be more independent is… to practice!
One of the best ways to do this is to drop yourself in at the deep end as it were. That means packing a bag and heading off on a trip alone for a couple of weeks. The more of an adventure this is, the better. So that might mean backpacking and talking to strangers, or it might meaning travelling somewhere where no-one speaks the language.
It might just surprise you what you’re capable of when left to your own devices!
Another way to practice is just to avoid the temptation to call for help the next time something goes wrong. DIY is a great place to experiment with this. Has the toilet stopped flushing? Do you have a hole in the wall that looks unsightly? Instead of calling for help, bring up YouTube and try to sort it yourself. This is hugely empowering and can do wonders for your esteem, as well as making you far less dependent on others.
Find Your Identity
Simply spending a little time alone is also a good idea. Even if you live with a partner, try top spend time apart just to pursue your own interests.
Finding a hobby is actually one of the most important things you can do to boost your independence, as this way you’ll always have something to entertain your thoughts.
Independence in Relationships
The happiest and most stable relationships are boomerang relationships. These are relationships between two people who will often go their separate ways, who will often do things independently and will then come back to each other with much more to share and to talk about.
Or another way to put it is that the couples who are happy apart, will be happy together. The same goes for friendships.
On the other hand, if you are someone who needs to be around your friends or around your partner to be happy, then you will likely be ‘clingy’. This can lead to you stealing that person’s space.
And even if they are the same way and they don’t mind spending all that time with you, you will likely find that it eventually leads to you running out of things to say to each other. You can start to become somewhat tired of each other’s company and end up sitting in silence.
Likewise, if you are not confident in yourself, then this can lead to you projecting your insecurities onto others. Low self-esteem is something that is highly contagious and if you aren’t happy with yourself and you don’t believe in your own abilities, then you will likely end up unintentionally bringing down your friends, relatives and romantic partners.
You might, for example, tell your partner that they should not try to start their own business because they will not succeed. This ultimately comes down to your own lack of self-belief – if you do not think you can do it, then chances are you won’t think they can do it either!
Worse, some people do not understand why their partners are with them. They have such low esteem that they think they do not deserve love and because of this, they can end up feeling insecure in the relationship.
They think their partner will leave them because... well why wouldn’t they? And as such they become jealous, clingy, and possessive. As you can see, hear their problem has become a larger problem for the relationship.
Therefore, it is such a mistake for people to jump from one romantic relationship to another one without having any time in between. This is almost certain to result in problems, as you won’t have had time to define yourself properly in between.
You’ll therefore risk changing too much in order to be like each of your partners, you’ll risk being overly dependent on your partners and therefore a little clingy and you might be overly passive, such that your own voice isn’t heard enough.
Instead, you should spend time between relationships building your independence. And the same goes for your friendships: spend time on your own, pursue hobbies and make sure that you are as well rounded, independent, and interesting as you can be.
If you are one of those people who just isn’t happy on their own, then know that this is something you can unlearn. The best way to do this is simply through practice and through perseverance.
Spend more time on your own, go travelling on your own, attend classes, develop hobbies and have ‘you days’ that involve being comfortable in front of Netflix with a nice glass of wine or a cup of tea.
In short, spend time learning the skill of being alone and get to the point where you can quite happily spend evenings
on your own without being highly stressed or upset.