Finding Your Confidence After Divorce
No one walks down the aisle thinking that they’re heading for the divorce courts. Regardless of when the relationship breaks down, whether it’s after five years, fifteen years or thirty years, it can be the single biggest knock to your confidence that you will experience in your lifetime. Your place in the world has changed, you may be questioning your identity, and you could feel as though you have come to the end of a large chapter in your life.
However, it is really important to think about the positives as well. You have a chance to make a fresh start, to re-invent yourself, and to see this period of your life as a challenge. That is not to say that you should tell yourself that everything is brilliant when it is not, but there are some small things you can do to help yourself along the path to recovery.
One of the best ways to regain your positivity is to think about the good things in your life. Take some time to think about the things in your life that you have to feel happy about, which could include:
- your family
- your friends
- your career
- your health
- your pets
- where you live
Planning for the FutureNow that you are single again, it’s important to give yourself some time to consider what your goals are. You may have had shared goals in your marriage, but now it’s time to plan your short, medium and long term goals for the future.
Write down all the things that you want to achieve in the next 90 days, making them attainable and realistic. Then write down the things you want for a year’s time, five years’ time and ten years’ time.
When you have finished, look at these goals objectively. Some will be more important than others. Take the most important from each time-scale and focus on achieving those. Now that you have goals set in your mind, you can look forwards rather than backwards.
Regaining a Sense of Self-WorthIf you are struggling to regain your confidence after divorce, this simple exercise could help you. Take a pen and a piece of paper and make a list of all the things that you have achieved. This could be anything - from passing a test, getting a qualification, learning how to cook, or helping someone get over an illness. Next to each of the items in your list, write down the characteristics you needed in order to achieve those things.
Now take a moment to look at the words next to your list. Have the same words cropped up more than once? That’s great – it shows more than one example of what a wonderful person you are! Keep adding to your list over time, and make sure you put it somewhere close at hand. That way, you can keep it in mind whenever you start to doubt yourself.
When You Start Dating AgainYou may want to hide yourself away after your divorce, for fear of rejection or failure. However, human beings need human contact so at some point you will have to come out of your shell and start dating again. Don’t expect dates to go perfectly: treat them as though you are learning a new skill.
As you begin to find your confidence again, there may be some good dates, some bad. You’re unlikely to fall madly in love with the first person you go for dinner with after your divorce –and you may not particularly like them as a person! However, the right person may be just around the corner. Here’s a little tip, though: it’s best to avoid talking too much to your dates about your divorce. If you need to talk to someone about how you feel, confide in a friend or consider talking to a therapist. Your dates will be more successful if you do!