So, the divorce is finalised, the relationship is over, how are you left feeling? You have had to cope with multiple life changes: financial worries, childcare issues, changes in roles and relationships with others. You may be feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, bereaved. Your self-esteem and beliefs about yourself are at an all time low. You may think you can’t do anything right, that nobody likes you. You might think you are inadequate; why else would the divorce have happened?
Whatever your experience of divorce was, and continues to be, your confidence is likely to have been depleted while you have been struggling to make sense of what was happening and why. Now you are ready to move on. Now you are seeking some ways to help lift your mood and start to feel like you again. Now you are wondering where your confident, self-assured, assertive, and optimistic self has hidden herself and how to encourage her to come back.
What might be holding you back? “I can’t get anything right, I won’t be able to cope, I’m a failure.” When we feel low and unhappy our thoughts can become more negative and pessimistic. Over time this can lead us to automatically think negatively about any situation. The more negatively we think about things the more likely we are to avoid doing them. Our negative predictions about what will happen can even hold us back from trying to do things we used to enjoy. The less we do the less we feel we can do and a vicious cycle can develop that reduces our confidence to even try.
What can you do to challenge negative thinking that can drain your confidence?
Listen out for that critical voice and start to notice when you are thinking negative thoughts
about yourself and your abilities.
Write a list of your most common negative thoughts.
Ask yourself questions that will challenge your negative thoughts.
What is the evidence that does not support this thought?
What have I done in life that tells me this thought is not true all of the time?
What would someone who loves me say to me if they knew I was thinking this about
What else can you do to feel happier, more positive, and increase your confidence?
Take care of yourself. Make sure you find some time every week to get away from all the problems, stresses and strains of daily living. Remind yourself of activities you used to enjoy which brought you pleasure and enjoyment. Try and set aside some time to do these things more often.
Learn something new. Is there a hobby or activity you always wanted to do? Have you always wanted to learn a new skill be it cooking, horse riding or speaking Italian? Find a class or book some lessons to increase your confidence that you can successfully master new skills and tackle new challenges. Take a friend along for moral support as required