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Most folks recovering from divorce fight an internal battle that even loved ones aren’t aware of.
From the outside, a divorced person may come off as strong, resilient, and “so brave.”
But on the inside, as anyone who has been through divorce can attest, self-esteem and confidence are in the gutter.
I remember going through my own divorce, when everybody thought I had my sh*t together, but I was second-guessing everything in my head, with my insecurities wracking my brain and keeping me up at night.
“I’m such a failure.”
“No one will ever love me again.”
“I’m going to die alone with a house full of cats and reruns of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ playing.”
I’ve been there. You’re not alone.
I remember during my own divorce, well-meaning people in my life kept saying how strong I was, how resilient I was, but deep down, I hated myself.
It took years to finally unlearn all those toxic narratives that kept me from loving who I was, with all my quirks and silliness.
But what if you don’t have years and years?
You deserve to quickly master that radical self-love and let go of that divorce pain.
And you deserve better than to constantly question your self-worth and who you are. Because that’s a self-loathing pattern guaranteed to keep you stuck, afraid, and lonely. And it’s something that no amount of bad dates or whining on divorce forums is going to solve.
So if you’re tired of criticizing yourself after divorce and ready to finally start moving forward, you’re gonna need to start appreciating yourself. Loving yourself. And doing it consistently.
Four Joyful Ways to Start Loving Yourself After Divorce:
1. Reflect on the exact things that make you Wonder Woman.
Make a list of at least five things you’re a badass with. What do you do that’s incredible, that others could take for granted?
Do people rely on you to keep their secrets because they know they can trust you?
Do you make the best meatballs this side of Italy?
Are you the person family members and friends come to for advice?
If you’re struggling to come up with examples, email a handful of your closest friends and family members…they will be thrilled to give you some clues. You’ll also be surprised at what they have to say.
I remember going through this exercise myself and was unsure of what to write, so I asked my friends and family.
Here’s what I got back:
>> I was great at explaining wine to people in a way that was fun, not condescending and snobby.
>> My homemade tahini honey cookies were better than anything you could find in a bakery.
>> When someone needed honest advice, I was the first person they’d go to, because I never sugar-coated anything for them.
What makes you Wonder Woman? Don’t be shy when you list those traits, and relish in the feedback you get from others.
2. Every day, freakin’ acknowledge that you’re Wonder Woman.
The time for being modest is over.
Now is the time to make the celebration of all that you do a part of your day.
That could be looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning and saying:
>> I am loved.
>> I am trusted.
>> I am worthy of recognition for who I am.
It could be writing in a gratitude journal every night the three things you love about yourself or that you’re good at.
It doesn’t matter how you recognize it. But you must start doing this.
Because if you don’t, then who will?
3. Reflect on the things that you absolutely love, regardless of what other people think of them.
Do you love breaking out into a solo dance party while you’re cooking dinner?
What about painting scenes of the beach with water colors?
How about dressing your dog up into adorable, little sweaters?
Or maybe going into your favorite bar and having random conversations with complete strangers?
Regardless of what you love doing, you need to be doing more of it.
So make a list right now of those things. Don’t hesitate or overthink. Set a timer for five minutes and write that list.
Silly and quirky? Yes.
But soul-sustaining, inspiring, and giving me energy? Absolutely.
What are the quirky things you love to do?
4. Every week, commit to doing at least one thing that you love doing.
After you list the things you love doing, take out your planner and schedule a nonnegotiable time during the week that you are going to do that activity.
Yes, you can put “Do not disturb” on your calendar between 3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. so you can dance to Whitney Houston in the kitchen.
You have permission to put your errands on hold this weekend, drive an hour to the beach or to the mountains, and paint, draw, or write in your journal.
So much of your life has been focused on taking care of others and pleasing other people. You have been so caught up in those things that you forgot that what you wanted mattered, that who you were mattered, and that you deserve to take the time to celebrate those two things. Without feeling selfish or guilty.
When you’re getting over your divorce pain and getting unstuck, it’s absolutely critical that you start putting yourself first. Doing these four easy and fun steps can be the motivation to start thinking about yourself in the kind and loving way you deserve.
These will be the building blocks to getting your confidence back and feeling that sense of self-worth that’s been missing for years.
Don’t you owe it to yourself?