FOBA: Fear Of Being Alone
How comfortable are you spending time with yourself? How about an extended period of time? I’m curious: What’s the longest period of time you have ever spent alone?
I’ve read several things about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but I think a bigger issue for many people may be FOBA (Fear Of Being Alone.)
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in community and human connection. In fact, connecting with others in a meaningful way is my second highest value and one of my top strengths. However, I think that our ability to truly connect with others in meaningful ways directly correlates to our ability to truly connect with ourselves first.
We surround ourselves with noise. We are connected to our phones, the internet, our families and friends, co-workers, etc. We feel overwhelmed by responsibilities and busy schedules and all the noise that comes along with life. We just want some peace and quiet. Right? But what do we do with it if we get it – and how long can we enjoy it?
Many of us find the idea of being completely alone for more than a few days, with only ourselves as company, to be somewhere between uncomfortable and terrifying.
DO YOU EXPERIENCE FOBA? IF SO, WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?
What if you found yourself completely alone for an entire day? How about a weekend? What if you found yourself completely alone for a solid week? Sound good?
How about if during that time you had no outside noise? No phone. No internet. No TV or movies. No pets. No people. Still sound good?
And what if you had no work? No to-do list. No one to take care of. No responsibilities other than your own well-being.
TIME ALONE – JUST YOU. Let yourself imagine it. Really imagine it. Feel it in your gut. Does it sound like heaven or does it sort of scare the hell out of you?
THE FEAR OF BEING ALONE (FOBA) CAN APPEAR IN A NUMBER OF WAYS.
See if you relate to any of the following:
* Time with yourself would be like being left in a room with a total stranger. You don’t know yourself well enough to know who you are or what you want.
* You don’t really like yourself enough to want to be alone with yourself for very long. * You believe you don’t really matter very much and aren’t worth spending time with.
* You are waiting for someone else to come and rescue or “fix” you (when, all along, you are your own superhero.)
* You fear being alone because you have abandoned yourself.
* You are afraid you will see yourself as a failure. OR
* You are actually afraid that you will discover your own inner greatness and have to admit you are not living up to your potential. Will you see yourself as a success who has been living way too small?
* You have spent so much time and effort focusing on everyone else that you have neglected yourself. You are so busy with surface connections and “responsibilities” that you have lost your deeper connection with yourself.
FOBA CAN SHOW UP IN A LOT OF WAYS – BUT IT IS ALWAYS BASED IN FEAR.
I used to be incredibly afraid I would end up all alone in an assisted living facility. It terrified me! Now, I know I’m enough.
One of the most rewarding and liberating things I have ever done was a Solo Journey. As a part of one of my college courses, I was required to spend a minimum of three days alone. I chose to spend ten days alone in my cabin in the beautiful Colorado mountains – in January. I was dropped off with food and picked up ten days later. It was an incredible experience. It gave me a chance to explore my FOBA – among other things. My Solo Journey gave me the gift of myself. (If you want more info on it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Although we definitely need others in our lives and human connection is vital to our health and wellness, It’s good to connect with ourselves first, and then, from that place, to connect to others.
It’s important to get quiet enough to hear those nagging, negative, universal human thoughts, recognize them simply for what they are, and then go deeper to the place inside that remembers who we really are. Like seeing an old friend after a long separation, we can re-connect and become best friends with our selves.
I realize it isn’t practical or possible for everyone to do something like a ten day Solo Journey. But I do believe it can be really helpful to disconnect from everything and everyone but yourself and see what comes up.
TAKE TIME TO HAVE THOSE INTERNAL CONVERSATIONS AND REALLY LISTEN.
Get to know:
What is important to you?
What brings you joy?
What are your greatest strengths? What do you really want?
What do you love about yourself? What changes would you like to make? Where do you want to grow?
What are you grateful for?
I believe that when we know who we really are – when we truly love and accept ourselves – when we see ourselves as a gift – there is no FOBA because we realize we are enough. From that place of inner abundance, we can connect with others and create the changes we want to see in our world. Take time to get to know yourself. You are pretty awesome.