By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC
Divorce can be devastating on many levels. In addition to the financial and stress toll on both partners, it can easily wreak havoc on one’s self-esteem. Even those who initiate the divorce process can experience tremendous emotional turmoil resulting in guilt, anxiety and insecurity. Those who were not expecting or desiring the break-up can feel psychologically battered. They are often confused and come away questioning their own worth.
It’s hard to tackle these burdens alone. A divorce coach, therapist, support group
or other related resources can be quite valuable. They will remind you that:
- you are not alone in your experiences or feelings
- there can be a brighter future ahead for you
- you must take proactive steps in that direction
While family and friends are usually very well-intentioned, their support may not always be helpful for you. They have their own agendas, perspectives and values about marriage, family and divorce. What you most need at this difficult time is a viable support system. To be effective it must be dispassionate, compassionate and knowledgeable about responsible behaviors. The goal should be moving you into a more positive chapter in your life.
Here are some important tips to guide you in boosting your self-esteem during the divorce and its aftermath.
Be Committed to Releasing the Past:
Don’t stay stuck. Reliving and clinging to what no longer is your reality will not peace or happiness. There will be better, brighter days ahead – if you allow that awareness into your experience. Make space in your life for new friends, relationships, career options and fulfilling activities. Look for and expect new opportunities in new places. See the future as a positive beginning for you and your children. You’ll be pleasantly surprised about what you can create when you anticipate good things on the horizon.
Be Mindful about Choosing your Friends:
We can’t easily change other people, but we can change the people we associate with. If your social group isn’t supportive of you – leave. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Realize you have a choice in your life about who you spend time with. Choose instead aware, introspective people who accept responsibility for their own behavior. Align with those who proactively move ahead in transforming their lives. Move out of the blame game. Put yourself in the company of positive people with high self-esteem. Friends who can appreciate you. Who see the wonderful person you are, warts and all. You may find these people where you least expect them. So, step out of your comfort zone – and be receptive to new friends and new experiences.
Be Flexible about Change:
Life is always filled with changes, not just during divorce. Get comfortable with the unknowns ahead and accept that change is inevitable. While dark periods are tough to handle, realize they too will pass. Replace them with better days and new relationships. Determine what you want to change about yourself from within. Relax about controlling circumstances around you. When you come to accept the changes in your life, you’ll feel more at peace with yourself and those around you.
Be Aware of what you Tell Yourself:
Listen to your self-talk. Let go of limiting beliefs about yourself. When you catch yourself in doubt, fear or put-down language, become aware of those messages. Then consciously refute them. I am a worthy parent. I can attract a new loving partner. I deserve to be happy in my relationships. My children love me and know how much I love them. Change your beliefs about yourself – and you’ll change your life!
Life is all about choices and decisions. Use your divorce as a catalyst for positive change. Choose to be the person and parent you most want to be. Then watch how circumstances settle into place more harmoniously than you ever expected.
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is a Divorce & Parenting Coach and founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network. She’s the author of How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — With Love! For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right!, her coaching services and valuable resources on divorce and co-parenting issues, go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.