Friday, May 4, 2018

Believing in Yourself

                I am so very fortunate that on account of age, travails, travels, and some guided instruction, I seem to be learning more and more of life’s great lessons. Probably the most important lesson is that believing in ourselves forms the essential foundation to healthy, happy, living. This one thing – believing in yourself – more than any other thing, sets your tone for each day. And affects every aspect of your life.  Certainly, I am not saying that if you believe in yourself nothing bad or evil or incomprehensibly difficult will happen.  However, what I absolutely know to be true is that our lives are much more easeful if we have a healthy self-esteem; the difficult events are easier to handle.
               How does this relate to divorcing, co-parenting, relationship breakup and heartache?  Fundamentally. Numerous articles have been written about free fall drops in self-esteem during breakups.  It’s almost bound to happen to some degree; however, you can prepare yourself and learn how to make improvements. (See below for some how-to helpful tips.)  As part of your divorce scenario, the benefits of a healthy self-love are well worth the work. Good self-esteem helps you to trust yourself to do what you need to do, even when the tasks are daunting and it seems you will never get through your divorce, let alone have a happy post-divorce life.   
Armed with a healthy self-esteem, you will not waste your precious energy second guessing yourself as you make huge decisions, which might include how you want your divorce to proceed (i.e., mediation or litigation, etc.), what makes sense for shared custody, whether you can keep the house or sell it, etc., etc., etc. – tons of gigantic decisions.  When we believe in ourselves, we are positioned to be centered and grounded – maybe picture yourself in a good strong Warrior’s Pose if you do Yoga, or if you have martial arts training, in a good fight stance. Steady and ready for what is to come. Believing that you will not get knocked down. Ever. And also knowing that when you do get knocked down (because let’s be honest, your divorce will up-end you at least once), you will be able to get back up.  
               Most divorces come at people fast and furious (unless of course you’re going to court, and then the lag times can be extremely frustrating).  A flurry of actions and emotions. Having a solid self-esteem, being grounded and centered, will help you to stay focused and resist the negative self-talk (and often the negative comments from your ex).  If you believe in yourself, you will get less rattled when your angry ex is telling you that you’re not worth jack, that you’re not going to have time with your kids, that you’re not going to get any financial support, etc., etc. When your self-esteem is good, you can let these comments roll off your back (think ducks and water).  And just to be clear, although it may be thought of as a gender thing, shaky self-esteem during a breakup is not limited to women; I have had plenty of male clients who have been laid low by their berating exes.
Believing in yourself and being grounded also puts you in a good position to make choices about what you would like and to calmly take steps to achieve those goals, rather than reacting from a defensive position. You will be in a better place to make those super important decisions about your future and your children’s lives when you have a good, solid, self-esteem.  In short, you will be in a great place to start formulating your Plan Be (aka Plan Believe) as you move through and beyond your breakup.  You can trust me – I’ve been through a nasty breakup, lots of life challenges, increasing numbers of gray hair, and am quite happy now living my Plan Be….

Resources to help you believe in yourself: