Dealing With Grief

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Use these 3 tips for building your self-confidence and get over your divorce.

Failure. That’s what divorce is. It’s the failure of a marriage.

Divorce is NOT your personal failure. Yet that’s what almost everyone who gets divorced struggles with – the belief that they are now and forever more a failure of the worst kind because their marriage went bust.

Despite knowing the logical fact that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make it fail, it’s almost impossible not to fall into the trap of believing that somehow you’re more responsible.

And to go along with the guilt about being a failure, you’re probably comparing yourself to all those other people you know who are still married. It’s like you’re piling on misery on top of misery with no way out from underneath the suffocating weight of failure.

What you’re experiencing is normal. However, “normal” doesn’t really help you emerge from the quagmire of self-loathing. So how do you stop beating yourself up? How can you ever believe that you’re not a failure (and that you are worth loving)? By building your self-confidence.

Maybe this answer sounds trivial to you or maybe it sounds impossible. Either way, it’s obvious you’re not feeling that great about yourself if you’re feeling like a failure.

What if, just maybe, building your self-confidence could help you feel better? Isn’t that worth exploring – especially if you could do it easily?

Here are 3 simple ways to start rebuilding your self-confidence so you can get over your divorce faster:

  1. Talk to yourself (out loud and constructively). There are all kinds of studies that concluded talking out loud to yourself can make you smarter, improve your memory and help you focus. The key is to talk constructively and positively to yourself.

    Talking to yourself like this probably isn’t going to come naturally at first. So you’ve got to set up ways for you to purposefully do it.

    One of the easiest ways to begin training yourself to talk constructively and positively to yourself is to create a list of 10 things you like about yourself. These 10 things don’t have to be really big or amazing. Maybe you like the color of your eyes, or your sense of humor, or that you know how to make amazing chocolate chip cookies. Once you have your list, read it out loud to yourself with positive emotion periodically throughout the day.

  2. Turn down the volume on your negative bias. Humans have a tendency to focus on the negative. Unfortunately, when you’re going through a divorce that negative bias makes everything worse.

    Research has shown again and again in all kinds of different settings that it takes about 5 positive interactions to counteract a single negative one. What this means to you is that every time you have a negative thought, you can begin turning down the volume on it by choosing a positive thought and for every positive thought you heap against the one negative thought you’ll continue turning down the volume. The more you practice increasing your positive thoughts, the less impact your negative thoughts will have which means less suffering for you.

  3. Become more curious. Curiosity makes your mind active instead of passive so it enables you to find solutions to the challenges and unfamiliar situations you find yourself in as you go through divorce.

    The key to becoming more curious during divorce is to ask questions and keep an open mind. Now this is a little tricky because the most common questions asked during divorce are about the past and WHY the divorce happened. These questions aren’t truly helpful for developing curiosity because they keep you stuck in the misery.

    The kinds of questions that will help you increase your self-confidence and help you get over your divorce are about the present or creating the future you want and are focused on you (and your children) – not your ex.

Even though these tips for building your self-confidence are easy, they do take a little bit of effort to really put into play. It’s OK to ease into them. Feel good about every effort you make toward building your confidence because the more you praise yourself for your efforts the more likely you are to continue making the effort. (Oh yeah, and the more confident you’ll feel.)

And the more you continue feel good about yourself, the faster you’ll get over you divorce because you’ll realize that you’re not a failure. It was your marriage that was a failure.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who are struggling with divorce and don’t know how to stop the pain so they can move forward with their lives. You can join my anonymous newsletter list for free weekly advice or schedule a FREE 30-minute conversation with me directly in my Time Trade calendar.

Looking for more support and ideas for feeling better after your divorce? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Dealing With Grief.

This article originally appeared on DivorceForce.

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