There is nothing like a messy separation or divorce to knock your confidence to an all-time low.
It is an emotionally draining process that leaves us questioning ourselves from a very negative mindset. Things like:
What did I do wrong?
What is wrong with me?
It’s hard to find positive answers to these questions when our self-believe is plummeting daily.
My confidence was non-existent for a few years post divorce and it had a huge impact on my life which ultimately lead to further issues including social anxiety and depression.
For this reason, it is super important that you don’t let your confidence lack for too long. Instead, learn how to kick-start it and love yourself again with these tried and tested tips to get your confidence back after divorce.
10 Tips to rebuild your confidence after divorce
1. Remind yourself that divorce is not equal to failure
Divorce does not equal failure – this is an important concept to remember.
Although it may feel like you have failed if your relationship has come to an end, the truth is that relationships are ever-changing and evolving entities. Over the course of time, what works in a relationship at one point may no longer remain suitable for both partners, and this is completely natural. Many relationships have come to an end, but that does not mean it was a failure.
When going through my own divorce, I focused on the positives instead of dwelling on the negative aspects. I think about what I’ve learned in my relationship with my ex-partner and how much I have grown as a person. I also remember our beautiful children that have come out of our relationship, as they are a great reminder of all the love we once shared.
2. Prioritise yourself
Being a single parent is no easy feat, but by prioritising yourself it can make a world of difference and you will find yourself gaining confidence after divorce.
Setting aside dedicated time to do something you enjoy, such as reading a book or taking a yoga class, can help you find balance in your life and confidence after divorce. It can be difficult to prioritise yourself when your children need so much from you, but it is essential in order for you to have the energy and strength to take care of them.
Whenever I feel that I need a break, I make sure to take some time for myself. This could be anything from taking a bubble bath to going on a walk or simply sitting in silence and reflecting. Doing activities that help you relax and relieve stress can help you bounce back into the right mindset so that you are able to better care for your children.
Further reading: How to balance single mum life so you don’t go completely crazy.
3. Get the support you need
It is understandable to feel lost and overwhelmed when going through separation. Low self-esteem can make it difficult to move forward during this time, but there are ways to help you get back on track and have confidence after divorce. Seeking professional support is one of the best things you can do for yourself if your low self-esteem is not improving on its own. Circlesup.com is one good resource for divorced women who need emotional support.
I used to think that I could handle going through a separation and divorce on my own, but I soon realised how beneficial professional support can be. My friend referred me to counselling which has been invaluable in helping me re-build my self-esteem, work out what was causing my low self-esteem, and get back my confidence after divorce.
Further reading: How to supercharge your self-esteem after divorce.
4. Set achievable goals
It is important to set yourself achievable goals and challenges. When you have a habit of setting goals that you don’t end up achieving, it can have a negative impact on your self-esteem.
Goals are such an important part of our lives as they allow us to strive and grow. Whether it’s a big goal such as saving for a house, or something more seemingly easy like tidying up the kitchen; not completing these tasks can diminish our self-esteem and make us feel worse about ourselves.
My goals are typically ones I can complete within a short period of time, as this way I can get that feeling of accomplishment straight away. To give you an example, my goal today was to organise some of my kitchen drawers. It’s only small but I got a huge amount of satisfaction from doing it. I had to keep opening the drawers and admiring my handy work!
5. Think about the kids
As a single parent, it is important to lead by example when it comes to teaching your children about self-esteem and confidence.
Your children are constantly watching and learning from you, and if they see that you are suffering or have low self-esteem, they may start to develop the same problem as they grow older. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to build healthy self-esteem in yourself, so that your children can learn from you and develop positive attitudes towards themselves.
I always encourage my kids to think positively about themselves and focus on their strengths. I praise them for their efforts rather than their achievements, as this will help them understand better the importance of hard work and resilience. I also try to be a good model and example of how to maintain a positive self-image and strive for success in all aspects of life, no matter the circumstances.
How do I get my confidence back after divorce
6. Get a hobby you can do alone
Finding an enjoyable hobby that you can do alone is a great way to reconnect with your confidence after divorce and explore new possibilities. Doing something just for yourself, without worrying about other people’s opinions, can help take away the stress of judgment and give you the space to explore your creativity.
One of the hobbies I would recommend is something that isn’t too challenging, so you can ease into it without feeling overwhelmed. There are plenty of hobbies out there to try – pick one that interests you and make some time for yourself! You might be surprised by how much confidence it helps to build in the end.
7. Get up and exercise
Exercising is an essential and pivotal part of improving one’s self-esteem and overall mental health. Not only does it put us in a more positive frame of mind, but it also helps us to feel good about our appearance, physical body, and abilities. Numerous scientific studies have found a strong correlation between regular exercise and increased self-confidence and well-being in individuals.
If you don’t have access to a gym or equipment, there are plenty of other ways to get some exercise. Going for a walk, running on the beach, swimming or just dancing around your living room all count as great forms of physical activity. I love joining online classes and tutorials that help guide me through different exercises or techniques.
Further reading: 12 Online fitness programs you can do in your undies.
8. Share your successes
As a single parent, it can be incredibly overwhelming trying to juggle work and family life, not to mention any of the other everyday obligations that often get pushed aside.
Despite all the chaos, there are still successes in each day that should not go unnoticed. From getting dinner on the table to making it through the day without having a meltdown, each success is an accomplishment that should be celebrated and shared with others.
Whether it’s a promotion at work or just feeling more positive, I take the time to document my successes — no matter how small they may seem. I might share them on social media, tell my friends or family members, and even share them with my kids. This helps me appreciate and acknowledge the small wins I’m making everyday and recognise all the hard work I put in each day.
9. Learn to say NO
The weeks and months after a separation or divorce with children involved can be filled with guilt for the parents.
It is natural to worry about how the child will cope and even more so for the separated parents who may feel an urge to try and make up for the break-up of their family by pandering to their children’s needs in ways that can be detrimental to themselves. Although it may not seem like it, it is important that separated parents learn to say no and set boundaries for their children.
By setting boundaries and saying no, your children will come to understand what they can expect from you as a parent and in turn they will feel safe and secure in the knowledge of how they can be treated.
Also, if you don’t set these boundaries and keep burning yourself out trying to please your children in an attempt to compensate the guilt you feel, then eventually you will end up burned out and unable to effectively parent them.
Further reading: The truth about mum guilt and how to kiss it goodbye.
10. Talk to yourself positively
Throughout our lives, we are constantly talking to ourselves in our heads. Those inner voices can make a huge difference in the way we see and feel about ourselves and how we approach life’s challenges.
If you suffer from low self-esteem, focusing on positive self-talk can be an effective tool to help improve your confidence and outlook on life.
I always make sure to remind myself to focus on the positive when it comes to self-talk. For instance, I try to start my day with a few positive affirmations like:
“I am capable and strong”
“I can do this”
This helps me start the day in a more uplifting way. Whenever negative thoughts come into my head, I replace them with something more positive and realistic. I also try to practice gratitude for the things I have instead of focusing on what I don’t have.