Trying To Move Forward During Divorce? Start By Looking At Your Past.

by | Mar 5, 2024

Trying To Move Forward During Divorce? Start By Looking At Your Past.

 I have always been an intuitive person. As a parent and a professional, I often rely on my gut reaction to a situation, and count on my ability to get a good sense of someone’s intentions, evaluate next steps, and determine right and wrong. There are countless times my intuition has served me well in both business and personal interactions. Trusting my judgement is a learning process that’s taken focus and effort, which is part of the reason I was so shaken to find myself rethinking every decision when it came to my divorce. Who was this hesitant and indecisive person who seemed to be taking over for me? Why couldn’t I move forward without second guessing every choice?

This unwelcome indecision was one of the most unsettling aspects of my divorce. I kept waiting for the version of me I trusted to show up and take over, but she was not to be found. As I later discovered, this shift is normal and even to be expected during a stressful life transition like divorce, but at the time it only made me feel more inadequate. Eventually, over many months (and a lot of therapy!) I gratefully realized that my intuition wasn’t gone, instead, it had just gone dormant. The process of reengaging my confidence was a valuable exercise, and one that I now do with clients who are also struggling with self-doubt.

 Where should you start if you find yourself in this situation?

First, recognize that during an upheaval as significant as divorce, it is perfectly normal to find yourself overwhelmed by all kinds of decisions (even the small ones).

Here are three important steps you can take to interrupt a cycle of disappointment and frustration.

1. Think about a time in your past when you overcame a significant challenge.

What was the situation? Now think about the skills you used to get through it and write them down. Were you creative, resourceful, a good researcher, able to ask for help? What else did you do?

 Next, think about your current challenges and create a list of how you could apply the skills you used in the past to help you reengage your self-confidence today. Be specific: list some of the issues you’re facing and how your skills can help you deal with them. Sometimes, just the act of remembering the effort and work it took to get you through other hard times, can change your perspective and give you a much-needed reminder that you are strong and capable.  

 Revisit this exercise when new challenges arise and celebrate your wins! Did you solve a problem, or cross something off your list? Give yourself credit for making progress!

 2. Engage a support system. I’m one of those people who struggles to ask for help. Most of my life I’ve been the person people come to, but my own divorce showed me that strong relationships can handle the transitions. Letting the people who cared about me provide support was hard at first but continues to benefit me today.

If you’re wondering what to ask for, identify three to five things that are most important to you right now. Is it being home for dinner, working out in the mornings, finding time for a walk? Then align your asks to help you meet those priorities. 

Chances are that the people who care about you most will be grateful for a specific opportunity to help.

3. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.

This is one of the hardest and most important aspects of any difficult situation. In my experience, constant vigilance is needed to shut down the judgmental, uninvited voice in your head who’s saying you can’t, you’re not worthy, it’s too hard, etc.

 Can you give this voice a name and kick them out? Tell him/her they’re not wanted and don’t deserve your time and energy. When you find yourself in that spiral, ask yourself what you would say to your best friend if roles were reversed? Say those words to yourself, out loud. And then believe what you’re saying and keep repeating them!  

Ready to dig in and figure out who you are at your best? Download my free Better Than Before Divorce™️ workbook here and start moving toward the amazing future you deserve. You CAN be BETTER on the other side.