Episode 96: How to Enjoy Your Own Company
One of the best things we can offer ourselves is the ability to enjoy being in your own company. We live in a world full of distractions that can make it difficult to really know and understand yourself so much so that it can feel uncomfortable and enlarge your insecurities. A key principle of living a life of quiet confidence is being able to love, savor, and really enjoy being in your own company. Tune in this week I walk you through the process of learning how to enjoy your company!
Welcome back to the show. I just love all of you wonderful souls.
I’ve been wanting to bring this topic to you because it’s an interesting inner gauge to see your confidence level and if you’ve been able to reach a point in your journey and progress where you can truly feel joy and so much love being in your own company.
Since our insecurities come from what we’re thinking it can be truly frightening to be alone. Being alone and I’m not talking solely about living alone or being alone – I mean any time you are alone because you don’t have other outside distractions or other people to try and outsource your emotions on. It’s just you and your thoughts and the perspective of what you create in your outer world.
I truly believe the best by-product of quiet confidence is being able to live the GOOD life. And I’m not talking about living someone else’s good life – like what you think your house should look like, or your body image, or your income, or education or anything like that – I’m talking about what is GOOD for you. I’m talking about creating a life that you just can’t help but smile at, where you are busy doing the things that you love, wearing what you love, being a person you love. That’s the good life – a life that is pure joy and remember joy isn’t all happy, rainbows, and daisies. It’s embracing the opposition in all things. It’s not that life is easy but it’s worthwhile and special for you.
I really love my own company. I love time when I get to be quiet and just think because my inner dialogue is so kind and loving and I appreciate that so much because it wasn’t always like that. I remember needing constant noise, like the TV on or talking on the phone to someone because I needed the distraction away from the thought of being alone. It’s amazing looking back now and feeling so much love and compassion for that younger me because I was such a mess and I didn’t even know it. I didn’t let myself know it because I was too busy distracting or numbing out the possibility to get to know myself and I’m not the only one.
There are quite a few of you out there that I’ve worked with and had the wonderful privilege to coach that are robbing themselves from an opportunity to get to know the most beautiful and incredible person you can spend time with and besides Divinity and the pure love of our Heavenly Parents and Jesus Christ – you are the next one.
It’s interesting because the most significant factor in our longevity is our connections. Loneliness is a bigger and more potent epidemic than any physical factor out there and connections are important. We do need each other but before that we need to reconnect our own company and our own relationship with ourselves. We need to learn how to create the GOOD LIFE with ourselves first and foremost because if we don’t we’re going to hinder all other relationships by trying to fill our needs with others that can’t ever give you what you really want and need. They can’t no matter how hard they try because even their best attempts can be foiled by your thoughts and your doubts about them. And not only that but we also miss out on an incredible relationship and connection that you forge with yourself and I’m talking about an incredible connection.
I saw a t-shirt on Etsy that I think I need that says, I like talking to myself – she gets me. We can’t feel confident if we’re always at war with ourselves and maybe you’re not always at war but what kind of relationship is that? What kind of dialogue goes on in your mind? When you see others or the circumstances around you what is the inner commentary?
Is it kind? Is it judgey? Is it worried or insecure?
This is what we want to focus on and learn to reconnect to ourselves so that no matter what happens around us – a global pandemic per se where most of the world is asked to stay in their own homes for an indefinite period of time – we can still feel abundantly loved, cared for, thought of, connected and whole – or complete.
Too many people struggle and numb themselves from their inner selves with food, or social media, or other people even so they don’t have to sit with their own thoughts and worries. Too many people don’t like themselves at all and they can’t move past their own judgments. Now the problem here is that we, as humans assume that we are the reference point. I have an entire podcast on this so if you want more go check out episode to hear it all but we assume that what we think is what everyone is thinking and if you’re judging yourself it clouds your perspective to assume that everyone is judging you too and it paints a discouraging world for you.
We don’t realize it but your inner thoughts and your beliefs about the world come out into your conversations with others and either build or limit the kind of relationship you can have. There’s a quote by Dr. Brene Brown that says, “Love is a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”
And I know you’re thinking, “No! I love them way more than I love myself” and what that means is that no matter how much you love them your thoughts, your perspective, your beliefs will always surface and you’ll only be able to love or feel loved as much as you love yourself.
So if you’re worried about your body image and you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin chances are it’s going to affect your relationships with others – intimately and in friendships. You’ll worry about what they’re thinking of you and when they compliment you you won’t be able to accept or believe it because you can’t. You’re limited in your view and beliefs about yourself and therefore your lovability. You will always have a doubting thought, worry, or insecurity running in the background.
We have to learn to love ourselves so that when they do offer a compliment we can smile and accept it because you truly believe that they think the best of you because that’s also what you’re able to offer yourself. We spend so much time thinking about our relationships with others, taking care of others, serving others, and next to none thinking about how to strengthen and cultivate the relationship you have with yourself. This is tough because out of everyone – you are the one you spend THE most time with and wouldn’t you want to bolster that one? The one who has direct access to your mind and feelings?
So just start by checking in and asking yourself honestly, do I like me? Do I like spending time with me? On a scale from 1-10 what would I say my confidence level is with myself?
Remember, living the good life, a life of quiet confidence is really about being at home in your mind. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are if you are your own best friend. If when you’re alone you’re still full of love and grace or when your default isn’t critical but encouraging.
Who do you enjoy being around? Really think about this. This would make a powerful journal entry or an awareness exercise – just grab a paper and start writing. Who do you enjoy being around? What qualities do they bring to the table? Why do you love spending time with them? How do you feel when you’re with them? How do you feel when you think about them? What does it feel like after you’ve been around them? How do they treat you? What do you spend time doing or talking about?
This isn’t a means to glorify someone or even to have a pity party that there’s no one in your life that you enjoy being around or that has amazing qualities. This is an opportunity for you to see what you love, what you appreciate, and what you are drawn to.
See the things, all these amazing things, these traits, and qualities are things you need to give yourself. This can be a roadmap to what you really want in your inner relationship – these needs, the way you want to feel or need to feel, the things you want to talk about and expound upon.
Chances are most people won’t be able to fulfill each of these areas and again, you might limit yourself by assuming things about them. For example, you might like to talk about a certain topic and maybe they don’t respond the way you think they should so you discount that part of the relationship. Like, no one likes to talk about what I like, or maybe you think you’re different and no one gets you. Or you make it mean that something is wrong with you even but what if you could hold a full on amazing conversation in your mind with the topic that you like to talk about and so when you bring it to another person you don’t interpret their silence as something wrong – you assume that they’re just as into it as you are and they’re taking time to think about it.
You release them from your needs because you’ve already fulfilled your needs – do you see this? Strengthening your relationship with yourself actually serves a means to strengthen the connections you have with others as well. We can only love and feel loved to the extent that we love ourselves.
Side tangent here: knowing this truth it can serve as a way to feel more compassion for others when they’re not showing up as confident or even as kind as they could. I had an experience once where my husband shared a really sweet moment that we had with a group of friends. It was a really endearing moment and where I only saw love and connection this friend made a comment that she thought he was being annoyed or frustrated and it really confused me so I asked my husband if I had misinterpreted and he also was confused and was like, “No, I wanted to share this moment in love” and I had so much compassion for this friend because the way you think on a daily basis – your inner dialogue is the lens through which you see the world around you.
If you’re annoyed and frustrated all the time or critical and judgey you’re going to believe and see others through that same lens. You’re going to interpret looks, comments, actions through that lens and here’s the thing, your brain is amazing at spinning the circumstances to fit your current narrative. It doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means that what you look for even subconsciously, you’re going to find it.
So compassion. We can feel compassion for others and most especially ourselves as we start getting to know ourselves and understanding why we see the world the way we see it. Okay, tangent over – let’s go back to your list of amazing qualities and characteristics. All the things we want from others is really your work, your outline, your job to create for yourself within yourself. This is how you need to show up for you.
So think about what you enjoy about other’s company and you know what? You don’t have to condense this to a particular person either – you can make this a collection of attributes and traits that you enjoy and this will be different for each of us because we all prefer different things.
It can be things like, They see me. They listen to me. They encourage me. They’re supportive of me. They give me the benefit of the doubt. They choose to see the good in me instead of pointing out the less good. They’re positive. They’re genuine.
I was asked once in a youth setting, what I was drawn to about my husband and on the spot, I love those questions – that are deep and meaningful and so in the 10 seconds I had to think I summed it up into one thought, he was and is the most genuine and authentic person I’ve even known. And his genuine authenticity is just goodness. He radiates a kindness and love that I long to be around always.
What other qualities do you enjoy being around? What are you drawn to? What do you long to be around?
They’re full of love. They savor life. One of my good friends chose the word, delight for her word of the year and I love that so much. So she occasionally shares things that delight her and in her sharing, it invites me to think about delight as well and I love that – I love when people share what delights them, what inspires them, what they’re working on, what is important to them.
Maybe it’s that you feel comfortable around them. You don’t have to pretend to worry about ulterior motives or any passive-aggressive traits or comments. Maybe it’s that they live a life of joy and simplicity. Maybe they crack you up or bring something intriguing to the table. I love when I can talk to someone that we are in full disagreement with and it’s okay. It doesn’t get elevated or weird. We just accept and love each other’s preferences and agency to choose what we want to choose. I love when people are happy for me. There’s a podcast in the making about that topic because it’s the mark of a truly confident individual when they can be happy for your happiness and not make it mean anything about them – they’re not feeling scarcity or insecurity or envy. They’re just genuinely happy that you are happy.
Okay, sit down and make your own list – don’t try and make this about one person because no one person besides Divinity can be all of these – we’re not perfect or complete yet but collectively just think about traits and you really enjoy being around and again, this becomes your work – not all at once. Just one trait at a time. How can you be more supportive of you? How can you give yourself the benefit of the doubt more like you love when others do that for you? How can you TODAY find delight in your daily routine and activities? How can you be happy fo you? Isn’t that an interesting thought? Sometimes we diminish our own happiness because we’re waiting for the ball to drop or again we think of what others are thinking about us or if they’re judging us. So how can you be uninhibitedly happy for you?
And just like I encouraged you to make a list of traits, gifts, things that you enjoy being around, spending time with, you’re going to want to spend time doing the same but things you don’t enjoy so that it’s not such a shock to you when it pops up.
For example, I had a friend once that wasn’t always on my side. Sometimes she would say negative things to me or be passive-aggressive, you know? And after a while when she’d invite me to hang out with her I felt my body droop, kinda sink because it wasn’t fun or enjoyable to be around someone that said kind of mean-spirited, or just not productive things to me or about me.
But how many times have you been that person to you?
How many times have you said something negative or even conducted passive-aggressive behaviors towards yourself? How many times have you struggled to be in your own head because that inner voice just isn’t being someone that you enjoy being with.
Dr. Guy Winch once said that, “Our minds and our feelings — they’re not the trustworthy friends we thought they were. They’re more like a really moody friend, who can be totally supportive one minute, and really unpleasant the next.”
So the more we’re aware of our inner moody friend and work with our minds to come from a more curious and more compassionate state and we can do that by turning to compassion. Dr. Winch says,
“Self-compassion involves developing a nonjudgmental inner voice that responds to our own suffering with kindness and caring rather than self-blame.”
It involves developing – which by definition means to grow or cause to grow,
To start to exist, or to experience
It doesn’t just happen. It won’t be an overnight process. It’s really letting yourself engage in the Confidence Model which is to KNOW and EMBRACE all the parts of you and then to trust in yourself and in your abilities.
You can begin by engaging in awareness. Giving yourself time to think about the qualities you enjoy and the qualities you don’t enjoy not to berate yourself – like, “Here I go again” and use that against you. But to notice and get to know yourself. Get to know your triggers and why you think that way.
Compassion starts with curiosity. Just asking yourself questions. I tell you what, even when I’m in a mood – and we’re human so we all get to feel all the things – I think there’s a common misconception that as life coaches with all the tools we become zen masters and almost unfeeling or only feeling positively but here’s the truth about that, we’re all human. We all feel all the feelings, however, and here’s a big, big, huge perk – the turnaround time is a lot faster.
The feelings aren’t a problem. It’s always the story that creates the feelings and that’s where thought work shines – and by beginning with something that children are amazing at – curiosity – you can start to retell your story in a way that serves you – and that is something I love to be around.
I enjoy the thought work process. I enjoy helping others through the though work process and with practice, we can develop an inner personality that we truly love to be around.
There’s a TV character that I love that was asked if he was lonely and he smiled a huge smile and laughed and said, “No, no, no. I’m not lonely! I have me!” And it can be this way. You can develop an inner voice that you love, that you enjoy spending time with, where you can develop these traits that you truly enjoy being around and slowly start to notice and weed out the traits that you don’t enjoy.
And you know what is amazing? The more you spend time with your inner you and you begin to develop this strong connection that you enjoy you’re going to find out that you’re able to go and do more. You’re going to be able to try new things and meet new people and talk to others because as you grow and feel good within. As you strengthen your own quiet confidence it becomes your superpower. Your self-esteem is elevated, your happiness increased, and your overall sense of joy is expanded.
You’ll be able to push yourself to do more things and in the most encouraging and loving ways. I have to brag for a moment about one of my all-star stellar clients. She’s a runner and amazing and she loves running and being outside but she’s human and some days her brain is like, “I don’t wanna. I don’t want to run. I don’t want to exercise.” And while at one point that was a struggle with her inner self. Over time she’s developed the most incredible connection with her inner being. Recently her brain told her that she was tired and didn’t wanna run and instead of diving into an unhelpful track of things like Well you have to. You should exercise. Or the you can’t feel good until you check off the boxes kind of thing. She said her inner voice was so kind and accepting and encouraging. It was okay if she truly didn’t want to. She wouldn’t make herself do anything that she didn’t truly want to do but she encouraged her to just put on her shoes and run for 2 minutes.
So she did. And then her inner voice suggested running to that lamppost outside and when she got there if she was done, they’d be done. But when she got there she said that she felt okay to go on and so her inner voice said, what about that next landmark and then that one – and she ran her whole course and felt amazing afterward because she wasn’t pushed. She wasn’t shamed. She wasn’t guilted into running. She was loved and encouraged the entire time. That is someone you want to be around. That is someone who is good for your soul – someone who loves and accepts you wholeheartedly and knows what you’re capable of and in the kindest of ways encourages you to reach that potential because it’s there that you feel the best.
We like to be around kind people. We love kindness and something within us resonates and longs to be around kind people. Learn to develop a kindness within you. Somewhere along the lines we got this terrible notion that for us to make progress we have to be mean to ourselves like a task-master and check off all the things and do more and if you don’t that voice will be there to shame you into progress but it feels awful and it holds you back because why would you ever want to start something when you’re dreading how you feel in the midst of it.
But on the opposite spectrum, we do things that we might not normally do when you have a kind cheerleader in your midst. You’re willing to learn, to take baby steps when that voice within you says, “it’s okay, let’s try again. You’re all good”. Just love.
This is one of the most important and impactful relationships you will ever develop and work on and I highly invite and encourage you to do so. It will change your life in all the best of ways. Start pondering what you’re drawn to and start being curious about how you can become that for you.
I love passionate people with wild ideas and the energy behind it. One of my clients once told me that she appreciated how she could bring anything to our sessions and I’d be all in with her. She used the wild example of becoming a human marshmallow -and I don’t even know what that would look like but because she brought it up in enthusiasm, I was like, “let’s do it – let’s talk about it” and just in a fun, open, curious way instead of looking for the flaws or how ridiculous it is like we often do in our minds.
Of course, I have to say – she does not want to become a human marshmallow – she was just enjoying the support and engagement that was offered – a safe, kind, accepting space and you can be this for you. Instead of shooting down your ideas let them play out in your minds. What will hurt to think and dream about it for a moment? What usually happens is that we get to a point where it IS amazing and we go for it or we realize that it’s not really what we want but that’s just it – it’s not what you want vs what you think you can’t have.
What an amazing connection and friendship you can develop within yourself if you just start with awareness and curiosity. Do yourself a huge favor and write that list. Make a goal to start asking questions to yourself – how can I be more like that? What’s one thing I can start practicing today that would create that for me – and listen, it’s less about the doing and more about the thinking. What can I think today that would be more kind to me or more supportive or more encouraging?
Okay my friends. What a fun topic. I definitely want to hear from you and what you’re practicing and developing – key word!
So listen, we have one week before the doors open again in the membership and you are 100% going to want to join us because we’re diving into thought work and learning to have your own back and it’s amazing. So be ready to come aboard because I can’t wait to love you.
One last thing, if you haven’t left a review yet I would absolutely love that. I have some super fun news coming out next week as well. It’s almost my birthday month and if you don’t know this about me, I celebrate all month. In my house, we get birthday month and I fully intend on savoring all of that – and so I’ve got some fun gifts and giveaways for you, and to be included in all of that I’ll be picking from my email list and those that have left ratings and reviews for the podcast so head on over and get a heads up because I’m giving away $1000’s of dollars in gifts and prizes – even for my Catalyst Members too so you’re going to want to be a part of it!
Okay, friends. See you next week!