By Kimberly Pryor, award-winning author and Host of The Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce Retreat
Recently, I met a woman who said her biggest challenge after divorce was her self-esteem. And this makes sense. Because, let’s face it, when things in your life fall apart it’s natural to feel as if it might be your fault, to feel as if there’s something wrong with you, to feel as if you’re not lovable. But just because these may be natural emotions doesn’t mean they’re emotions that are serving you. In fact, these emotions are sabotaging your chance at happiness.
A lack of self-confidence after your divorce can show up in your life in different ways regardless of whether or not you’re dating again. Often, it’s simply a matter of your hearing a chorus of negative thoughts running through your brain. Thoughts that are similar to: Nothing I do ever works out or I can never seem to do anything right. These thoughts are like subconscious anchors weighing you down.
Or, perhaps your lack of self-confidence stops you from dating again after your divorce.
Other Ways Low Self-Confidence Sabotages Your Life
If you’re dating after divorce your lack of self-confidence shows in your words or actions, making you less appealing to your date. For example, one woman I know told the man she was dating, “You’re so interesting. Why would you be interested in someone like me?”
For some people who are dating after divorce, there’s the temptation to use sex as a self-confidence booster. After all, it’s really flattering to have someone pay a lot of attention to you. The problem is that there’s no hope that this will become a healthy relationship. And once the relationship falls apart, you’re back at square one. And if the person you’re with breaks up with you, it might make you feel as if there’s something wrong with you—even though the breakup isn’t a reflection of the wonderful, attractive person you really are.
Even if you’re not dating, narcissists and sociopaths have a low-self-esteem radar, so it’s really important that you become more self confident. Because these type of people can creep into your life in the guise of someone wonderful who you meet when you just happen to be out in the world and are not really looking to get involved in a relationship. But their behavior is so charming at first that they sweep you off your feet.
When you have self-esteem you feel more at peace, because even though you care about other people, you’re not always self-conscious and worried about what other people think of you.
The fact of the matter is that even if you don’t realize it right now, you’re an attractive, strong, loving person.
In this article, I’m going to give you four tips for boosting your self-confidence after your divorce.
Self-Confidence Booster #1
Chances are really good that you’ve accomplished a lot in your life. And the first step in boosting your self-esteem is to write down your past and current accomplishments.
Your accomplishments don’t have to make the national news. They can be something simple like you baked and decorated two dozen cupcakes for your daughter’s Valentine’s party even though you were on deadline for a major work project. Maybe your boss gave you a raise or even simply gave you a compliment on your work that day.
Include on the list anything that makes you realize that you have accomplished a lot in your life and that you’re a strong person. And put at least 50 accomplishments on your list.
Read the list every day right after you get up in the morning. And add to the list as you continue to have more accomplishments in life.
It’s important to also read the list when you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts. For example, when you catch yourself thinking something similar to Nothing I do ever works out, you can prove yourself wrong by looking at the list.
Self-Confidence Booster #2
Volunteer at a non-profit organization. This will help you generate new achievements. A number of years ago, I was the PR director for the Advertising Association of Northern Nevada. Every time I succeeded in getting the newspaper or TV stations to attend and cover one of the organization’s events, it was a definite boost of self-confidence.
When you help your favorite charity raise money through their annual fundraiser, it can’t help but make you feel good about yourself.
Self-Confidence Booster #3
Set a goal. Train for a marathon. Take the steps necessary to start your own business. Start writing that book you’ve always wanted to write.
Break the goal down into parts. Having one big goal can seem overwhelming. But if you break it into pieces it seems more manageable. Write down exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goal step by step and take it one step at a time.
When you accomplish the goal, your self-confidence will be at an all time high. But let’s say you don’t accomplish your goal. Rather than knocking yourself down, ask yourself “What can I do differently next time to accomplish my goal?”
For example, if five literary agents rejected your novel, could you join a critique group to improve the writing? If you receive positive feedback from the group and truly believe in the novel you could also self publish it. So no matter what your goal is, always shift your focus away from knocking yourself down and focus instead on what you can do differently next time to accomplish the goal.
Self-Confidence Booster #4
I’ve been rejected by a lot of men in my life (and I’ve rejected a lot of men, too). One of the reasons why I was able to shrug off the rejections and realize that my self-worth wasn’t dependent on whether or not a guy loved me, was because of something called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Using EFT really brought me to a place where I could be self-confident enough to attract a wonderful man like my fiancé.
There have been a lot of studies done on EFT—including some in patients with post traumatic stress disorder—to show it really works. EFT is a type of energy medicine. Basically, you tap on specific acupressure points while saying certain statements. You can find an EFT practitioner in your area, but one of the easiest and most affordable ways to learn EFT is by watching Rosemary Manning’s presentation on The Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce DVDs.
Sometimes, it’s harder to love ourselves than it is to love the people who are close to us. Practicing the four self-confidence boosters in this article is the first step in discovering how to have more self-esteem and feel better about the person who you are after your divorce.
Do you want to have more self-confidence after your divorce? Author Kimberly Pryor locked up a group of self-empowerment and relationship experts at a resort in the mountains and had them spill the beans about exactly what it takes to have self-confidence after your divorce. Find out more about how these experts can show you how to have more self-esteem by visiting www.afterdivorceadvice.com.