One of the ways I market my business is to attend networking events. In early spring 2011, I attended an event where the featured speaker was a woman named Cricket Lee. Cricket spoke about how she had spent years researching and testing to perfect pant fit for women. She had a great story about her work and I chose to support her by ordering a pair of pants.
Now I’ll bet that just about every woman reading this has a belief similar to mine when I ordered the pants. My belief was that there’s no way that Cricket has really standardized fits in a way that would work for me. Finding pants that fit is almost impossible.
It took a bit longer than anticipated for the pants to arrive – a little more than a year, but I was completely OK with that because I knew that Cricket was attempting something BIG and besides the pants weren’t going to fit me any way.
When the pants did show up, I didn’t even open them. I had a broken ankle at the time and couldn’t put them on any way. And there was no way they were going to fit, so what did it really matter?
I left those pants in the box for months! It was only after running into Cricket again at an event in early October that I decided I might as well face my disappointment and try on the pants. Well, I put it off for a few more weeks and didn’t try them on until the beginning of November – before I would run into Cricket again and need to tell her they didn’t fit.
You know what? My belief was completely WRONG! The pants fit perfectly right out of the box. Despite being wrinkled after sitting in the box for many months, they looked amazing. After getting over my thrill about how great they fit and felt, I realized that my belief about what was going to happen had gotten in the way of me enjoying my new pants. Pretty ridiculous, right?
Well, here’s the thing, in my work with people navigating the chaos and confusion of divorce, I see beliefs getting in the way all the time. I see people who believe they deserve to hurt because they’re getting divorce and refuse to do what will help them to feel better. I hear stories of people who believe they aren’t worthy of being loved because they’re getting divorced. I hurt when people tell me they believe they don’t like themselves and are depressed because of their divorce.
Beliefs are personal and no one can make you believe anything you don’t want to and that’s the saddest thing of all. On some level, everyone who tells me they deserve to hurt or that they’re not worth loving or that they are depressed and don’t like themselves wants to believe these things.
Beliefs like these get in the way of living a great life and in a way are just as ridiculous as my belief that putting on a pair of pants would be a waste of time because they’d never fit me since I was different.
Beliefs can get in the way of healing from divorce and moving on with your life. Being willing and able to change the beliefs that get in your way is one of the key requirements to living a great life during and after your divorce. Your Functional Divorce Assignment will give you some ideas for how you might discard one or more of the beliefs that are keeping you from having the happiness and confidence I know could be yours.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
Identify a belief about yourself that brings you discomfort or pain. Maybe you are feeling depressed. If you are, dig down into what you are thinking when you feel the most depressed and you’ll likely uncover a belief. Or maybe you’re experiencing a different unhappy emotion. If you dig down into your thoughts when you’re experiencing it you’ll likely uncover a belief.
Is this belief appropriate? The beliefs that cause us discomfort or pain need to be examined regularly. It’s possible that the belief you uncovered in the previous step isn’t serving you anymore. If that’s the case, either that belief needs to be changed or your behavior needs to be changed to align with your belief.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach. I help people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice.