Posted in Motivation, Personal Development, Self Improvement

The Fear of Doing Things Alone

From experiences I have had previously, mostly my work experience, there are things I know you have to do to ease trepidation. The most important is to be prepared.  When I had to do presentations, or speak in front of a large group, I would spend hours writing everything down and going over and over what I was going to say.  I did a lot of tweaking so it sounded better and then I would visualize and practice.  It helped a great deal. The initial stepping out in front of people was always a little frightening but because I was so well prepared once I started talking it was fine.  It also helps to smile; it will ease your mind and those around you.

I am going to be taking my first Tai Yoga class this week. I have taken Yoga classes before, although it has been several years, but I am still a little apprehensive about walking into the class for the first time.  How many people will be there, will I know anyone, how long have they been taking the class and will there be someone else there who is a newbie?  To ease my nervousness I have looked on their website, I have looked at their Facebook page and did a live chat to ask questions.  It is important to ask questions before hand so when you arrive you won’t have to take time away from the allotted class time, ie: do you have to sign a waiver, when do you have to have it done? do you have to have a yoga mat of your own? So I have done all that. I know it will be fine and I understand that I really have no reason to be nervous.

If you are not familiar with something then it really helps to do some research and look at examples of how something is done. Prepare before you start. I will use Tai Chi as an example. Go on the internet and use YouTube and look for examples of movements or stances. That way you will have some understanding of what to expect and it will not be totally unfamiliar to you.  Perhaps practice a little before you go to your first class.

YouTube is a great source for doing just about anything.  When I decided to make two quilts for gifts this past Christmas I turned to YouTube a few times to learn how to properly do techniques like a french binding and it was very beneficial. It is much easier for me to be able to see something being done as opposed to reading instructions.

Something else I want to do is learn how to use hand held weights.  In this case I could join a gym and have a personal trainer give me instructions and make sure I am doing it correctly. But, and many of you may relate to this, it would cost money to do that and I cannot afford it.  So I have been looking at free videos on line.  Great examples can be found. I recommend Shape.com and Health.com but there are many others. Pinterest is a great source as well.  I have a Fitness board and it is a great place to store examples of exercises you are interested in doing.        

 One perception I think quite a number of us have is thinking that people are watching and judging us.  For the most part this is just not true.      
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “spotlight effect,” our tendency to believe that all eyes are on us when, in reality, no one’s paying attention.                                      

This is explained in the article, A Psychologist Explains How to Conquer Your Fear of Trying New Things  By Cari Romm , found at:<https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/how-to-conquer-your-fear-of-trying-new-things.html

I recommend reading this article as well as the others I have referenced such as: Just One ?  A girl’s Guide to Going Solo by Jen Doll which you can read in the link below:

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/advice/a4596/doing-things-alone/

This article was written about being a single woman and doing things alone.  In my case I am questioning what it may be like if my husband were to die before me. We are both in our 70’s and retired and we do most everything together 24/7.  So there are times I wonder about dining alone or going to the movies/theater, etc. and so many other things I might want to do.

I consider myself to be pretty independent so I think I would be ok with it but I would be nervous and uneasy, especially the first time.  My viewpoint is also complicated by the fact my husband is a retired law enforcement officer and he always gives me instructions on how to be safe when I do on occasion go somewhere without him. I find it irritating and I do not want him to instill fear. He means well and I do pay attention to my surroundings which I think is important for everyone to do but I do not want to be scared about it either.

 Our situation is also complicated by the fact that we adopted a dog who has extreme separation anxiety. When we go grocery shopping I go into the store and my husband and the dog wait in the car.  Depending on what store we are going to my husband may be the one to do the shopping and I wait with the dog. So if I end up being by myself what would I do with the dog; hire a dog sitter or take him to doggy day care ? I will have to figure out a way to comfort him and also be independent myself.

I may be 70+ but I hope to live many more years and accomplish so much. It is my hope all of the things I am beginning to do now will guarantee I do live a longer, healthy and active live, mentally and physically.

There is a great quote in this article by social scientist and author Bella DePaulo , found in this link:
<https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/advice/a4596/doing-things-alone/>

“If you know that you can do things alone, that gives you a certain power ” 

I don’t know about you but I like that quote. Who would not want that ?

The research result I liked the best can be found here:  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/4-tips-to-conquer-your-fear-of-doing-things-alone-during-the-holidays_n_8692144

“4 Tips to Conquer Your Fear of Doing things Alone During the Holidays”  written by Rosemond Perdue Cranner, a blogger who writes about divorce, dating, life and love over 40 at RoundandRound Rosie

The advice given applies to any time of the year, not just the holidays.  The research she refers to in her blog was done by Dr. Rebecca Ratner, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

The four points she made are:

  • We Underestimate How Much We’d Enjoy a Solo Activity and Overestimate Our Discomfort.
  • Calm Down. People Aren’t Judging You.
  • View Your Outing as Educational.
  • Just Do It.
  • Don’t Put Your Life on Hold Until You Have People To Do Things With.

You can find the article about Dr. Ratner’s research in The Washington Post.

What I found in my research about doing things alone are quite similar and can, for the most part, apply to anyone of any age, male or female.  Since starting my blog and my quest for Moving Forward in my life I have been doing a great deal of thinking about my life, my relationships and what is important to me.  I am searching for ways to make my life easier and to be more focused in everything I do.  It is so easy to procrastinate. I do it all the time and I know that is one of my biggest road blocks. When I have a deadline I accomplish so much more.

Just home from my First Tai-Yoga Class.  It was awesome and I feel so good.  What a great thing to do on the first day of spring.  So here is a fitting quote from B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of the style of modern yoga known as “Iyengar Yoga“:

“Change is not something we should fear.  Rather it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”

Happy Spring Everyone and Thank You For Reading My Blog !

Author:

Moving Forward.....that is what this blog is about and adjusting my Time Frame. We all have a time frame although we may acknowledge, or look at our life that way, but life is our own personal time frame. I am in my early 70's and I plan on living for many more years and accomplish many things. This blog is the beginning of that process. It is my way of pushing myself along that path. So where do I go from here? Follow along and maybe what I do will help you to Move Forward as well. Also, join me on my journey at https://medium.com/@lindalatt

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