The "Dos" and "Don'ts" of Rebuilding Confidence and Self-Worth After Divorce: Part 1

rebuild confidence

The period after divorce can frequently bring on feelings of shame or failure,which can usher in periods of low self-confidence and self-worth. Following a divorce, or even during the process, you may feel isolated and sometimes surprised by the people who seemed to “turn their back” on you. These feelings are common, they are normal and they will dissipate over time. You can assist in speeding up the healing process by being proactive in your recovery. By working on building a strong inner core, you will greatly support the regrowth of your foundation and your overall well-being. Here are a few suggestions to follow and a few things to avoidwhen re-building your self-confidence any time during the divorce process.Of course, these lists are in no way conclusive and the best source of information we have is our clients. Please, comment on our Facebook or Twitter with your thoughts about #bouncingbackbetter so we can update these lists!

Do

  1. Try New Things, New Places and New People: It may sound elementary, but the more effort you put in to seeking positive experiences, the more you opportunities you create to have positive interactions. Whether you have minor children or not, after a divorce you will probably have more time to yourself. Use any increase in “me” time to try something new and meet new people. It does not matter how old or young you are, pick two things you are interested in doing, give yourself a time limit to have tried them by and then do them. If you like them, set goals for how often you want to participate and then stick to thosegoals. If you did not enjoy them as much as you thought you might, pick two different things, set new timelines and try those. This does not mean that by the end of two years you need to be a master quilter or the head of your book club, but it should mean that you do not make excuses to avoid social interactions as a single person. It might feel awkward at
    first, but this exercise will help you discover things you enjoy and things you are good at. It will also help you meet new people and get you used to interacting socially as a single person.
  1. Remember, Relationships Don’t Define Us, WE Define Us: If you were in a long-term relationship, suddenly finding yourself single can be particularly jarring. When you define yourself as a unit for a very long time, operating as an individual may feel strange and it is common to feel uncomfortable, especially when you spend time with couples you used to spend time with as a couple with your former spouse. Do not forget that you are and always have been you, an individual, even when you were married. Even though you thought of yourself as a unit, people noticed you as a person and they loved you for you. If during your marriage, every time you went out with people there was tension between you and your spouse, or even actual fighting, people may appreciate being around a happier you, who is free to be themselves. Remember that no one is watching or dictating your behavior now and enjoy your new freedom to be an individual.

Don’t

  1. Rush into a New Relationship; Allow Yourself Time to be “You”: There is nothing wrong with relationships and if the right person suddenly appears in your life, you do not need to reject them. However, you should take things slow and allow yourself time to establish your new identity.If you are establishing financial independence for the first time, or the first time in a long time, then it is important to build a strong
    sense of self in that regard and to establish a pattern of good habits.This is a time for you to learn who you are now and for you achieve the confidence that you are of value and importance both with and without a partner.
  1. Dwell on Past Mistakes, or Any Part of the Past: We all know that we cannot change the past, but thinking about our past relationships is very common. Many people spend time wondering what they did wrong, or what they could have done differently. This behavior is harmful to achieving a strong sense of self in your new life. Some people also begin thinking only about the good parts of their marriage and their memory selectively edits out all the reasons for the dissolution of the relationship. It’s pretty obvious why this type of thinking is unhealthy and should be avoided. Check out our blog on coping with stress and relaxing to read about staying in the present for ideas about avoiding these pitfalls.
  1. Put Your Own Needs Aside: Whether the world is ready to admit it or not, women, specifically moms,typically run the house. You may have put your husband’s needs before your own for a long time. Now, you may still put your children’s needs first. Even if you do not have children, or if they are adults living
    out of the house, you may still find ways to put yourself last. Stop. You are just as important as everyone else. A common way people suppress guilt is by prioritizing themselves after everyone else. Any guilt you may feel over taking time for yourself is a false guilt. There is a reason why airlines tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs; if you can’t breathe, you won’t be able to help anyone else.

Click here to read Part 2 of The “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Rebuilding Confidence and Self-Worth After Divorce!

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