10 best this.
Top 100 that.
We live in a world driven by comparisons. We do so in our personal lives as well.
Caroline McHugh, in her 2013 TED Talk, The Art of Being You, refers to this tendency to draw personal comparisons as an addiction to approval. From my own experience I can confirm that the addiction is not healthy. It’s distracting and uses energy that could be applied in more satisfying ways.
This is where solo travel comes in. Every time I travel I extract myself from my world of comparisons which, it must be noted, is of my own creation. As I travel solo that internal dialogue that juggles comparisons falls silent. In the silence I am able to be a more authentic me.
I’m not suggesting that one must sever ties to break the addiction. Far from it. My family and friends are enormously important to me. Plus, social scientists have identified connectedness as fundamental to good health.
What I am suggesting is that every time I travel solo, I get a little closer to being good at being me.
Perhaps you can use solo travel for this purpose as well.
Be Really Good at Being You
We all have special attributes. Perhaps you have a special ability for telling a story or dancing or giving warm hugs. Being really good at being you is not about what you do so much as about how you do it. It’s about letting these attributes shine through how you live on a daily basis. As you do, as you celebrate what you’re naturally good at, you’ll be breaking an approval addiction.
My mother once told me as I sat staring at people on a bus: “they all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth and they are each completely different”.
You are different. Celebrate your uniqueness. And if you’ve been trained at humility, consider what CS Lewis had to say on the matter. “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Thinking of yourself less is natural if you’re not constantly thinking of yourself relative to others.
And that’s what I do as I travel solo.