Turn Your Loneliness Into Power With These Prompts
Have you ever felt alone in a crowd? Completely disconnected from the people around you - even if you’ve known them for years? Maybe you feel like you’re growing apart from your long-time friendship group, not getting along with your colleagues or you might just feel like a stranger to your own self! As upsetting as it seems at the time, this can be a very powerful experience. Loneliness can be a strong sign of the start of huge personal growth. We won’t lie, it IS a crazy thing to go through - overwhelming, isolating, scary. A time where you’ll probably question who you are and everything you ever thought to be true!
Sometimes, we need to work through the root issues of loneliness to find out what’s happening at a deeper level so we can heal and grow. Below are some deep journalling prompts for personal growth. To help you to identity why you feel so alone. Turn your loneliness into power (solitude!) and understand how you can use this experience as a tool to build character, boundaries and more meaning in your life.
Grab a piece of paper, let’s go! Remember, this is a no-judgement zone so that means being 100% honest with yourself about what’s going on inside. Be kind to yourself - but be real!
Try to identify when you first started to feel alone.
Was it after a breakup?
The breakdown of a friendship?
Did you start to drift apart from your friendship group?
Did you feel a disconnect from your family or lose interest in your career?
These questions will help you to work through the cause/s of your emotions, which is essential if we want to understand the root of why we are feeling the way we do. It helps us to understand that actually, there’s nothing wrong with us (something that feelings of loneliness can lead us to believe!) but there are changes happening around us that are causing discomfort, for whatever reason. Try and write about what you think these changes are. You don’t need to worry about putting down on paper why they are happening, just try to focus on establishing what is going on in your life right now.
Note: If you’ve been through a deep trauma that has led to feelings of loneliness, we urge you to seek professional help or confide in somebody you trust.
Spend time getting to know your true self.
That’s the real you - the you that exists without influence from your friends, parents, social media. Forget who everyone else wants or needs you to be.
Who are you right now?
Who do YOU want to be?
What do you want to be known for?
It’s ok if you can’t even answer these questions fully, or at all. Just close your eyes, take some deep breaths and write down some words that come to mind when you think about the person you want to be and the life you want to live. You can come back to what you’ve written in times you feel lost and alone, to remind yourself that you are on a journey of self discovery and that it’s ok if you don’t always feel super connected to everyone around you. Remind yourself that you are working on being more connected to yourSELF. Even if you have no clue who that is yet! You are a work in progress…and that’s perfectly ok.
Learn to enjoy your own company.
So many of us hide behind others to disguise who we are, out of fear that we won’t be accepted. In the same way, we surround ourselves with people and distractions to hide our true self from, you guessed it - ourSELF. Have you ever felt lonely in a group of people? But yet you still fill all of your time with the same group of friends? This is totally normal, but happens when we are scared of the discomfort we feel when truly alone. With only ourselves and our own thoughts. Away from the crowds, away from the people we’re most influenced by, we can find comfort in solitude. This is where we really get to know who we are!
What do you enjoy that your current friendship group doesn’t?
What things have you always wanted to do but had no one to do it with you?
What book have you always wanted to read, but never found the time?
When was the last time you allowed yourself to sit with your own thoughts, without being on your phone or distracted by electronics?
Aim for 30 minutes every morning free of any technology. Write down what’s on your mind when you wake up before it’s been influenced by outside sources. It doesn’t even have to be full sentences!
Think about the 3 people you spend the most time with. These are the people who have the most influence in your world.
How would you describe your relationship with them?
Is it a relationship that nourishes or stunts your growth?
Are you able to be your true self around them?
What are their qualities which help you to be a better, stronger person?
Do they have any characteristics that influence your wellbeing negatively?
What could you put in place to protect your energy around these people?
Remind yourself that you CAN choose your friends. You can cultivate a friendship group (or even just that 1 friend) who wants to see you win, who will lift you up, support you and push you to achieve your goals while also being empathetic and understanding on the days you just need to feel. Think about the kind of friend you need and deserve, if you don’t already have this in your life, try and put together a few ways you could meet new people. A support or community group, connecting with someone with a similar mindset - there are so many human beings out there and that friendship you’ve been waiting for, is out there! That mutual friendship that gives as much as it takes and is good for your soul.
(Note - if you are under 18, never meet anyone online without an adult present and even if you are an adult, always be vigilant when meeting new people online and ensure you meet in busy, public spaces and let someone know where you will be.)
Release the need to do it all. You CANNOT be everything to everyone!
It’s impossible. Striving for this is one sure fire way to make yourself feel inadequate, lonely and isolated - especially when you inevitably are made to feel like you have let someone down. The people who try to be everything to everyone else, are usually the ones who aren’t trying to be anything to themselves. They lock away their true wants, needs, goals and dreams in a box to conform to other people’s. Recognise that the reason we hide these things from ourselves is purely out of FEAR - fear that we will fail, fear that we won’t fit in, fear that if we do act on anything, things will change. And we ALL fear change. Consciously or unconsciously! This feeling of avoiding change and the things we want to do creates deep unrest within us. It makes us feel isolated from the world because we are isolated from ourselves and purpose. Spending time on yourself is one way to overcome feelings of loneliness, because the more you work on YOU, the more your confidence, passion and self esteem improves - leading to more meaningful conversations and relationships.
What kind of things do you currently do to distract yourself from your own thoughts and needs?
If you weren’t running around trying to save everyone and be the best friend / girlfriend / sister / mother / cousin / employee you could possibly be, what would you be able to do for YOU?
What is one goal you would love to achieve, if you had more time to spend on it?
What support do you need from the people around you, that you don’t currently receive?
Have you ever voiced this to them?
Calculate how much time you spend in a day responding to other people’s needs whether this is in person, over WhatsApp or email. Can you take 10% of this time and schedule it for yourself?
What could you do in this time to take a step towards your goals?
By sitting with our thoughts and feelings about why we are experiencing loneliness, we learn so much about our true self, away from the crowds, away from the comparison train of social media, away from the expectations of our friends and family. By becoming comfortable in solitude, we are able to expand our minds to a place of immense personal growth and we build confidence and trust in ourself and our inner voice. We start to become more in tune with this voice, we establish boundaries more quickly, we are able to better protect our energy from outside sources. We can begin to cultivate friendships and relationships that are good for us, and do so with the knowledge that if something doesn’t work out, we will be ok. We learn that there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. We aren’t lonely. We’re just alone. We start to understand that “alone” is not a scary place, it’s not somewhere we’ve been banished to without other human contact as punishment - it’s a state of mind and it’s actually very powerful. It’s where we can tap into our best ideas, understand our emotions and work through them to improve our mental wellness. It’s the place we are free to develop our best self, without judgement, pressure or influence from the outside world.