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7 Steps to Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem After Divorce

By Lisa A. Fredette

The reason for and the process of divorce is as varied as the shape of snowflakes. There is however a commonality among most divorce survivors - low self-esteem. Almost everyone I have spoken to or have coached around divorce recovery have low self-esteem in common. Therefore, one of the first steps in divorce recovery should be rebuilding your self-esteem. How do you go about rebuilding your self esteem, especially during an emotionally low point such as divorce?

The answer to that question is easy – you choose to change. Okay, so the answer may be easy but the implementation may not be so easy, right?

You may assume that the most common approach may be to look at why you are suffering from such low self-esteem, but I beg to differ. The truth is that you do suffer from low self-esteem – how you got to this point is not relevant because it has already happened – can't change that fact. All you can do is start from where you are now and decide where you want to go, so let's get started.

Here are seven steps to help you rebuild your self-esteem

1. Surround yourself with positive people: negative people drag the people around them down and positive people motivate others to come up to their level of enthusiasm. So take a look at the people in your life – are they positive? If they are not positive people I recommend limiting or eliminating your association with these people as they will keep you stuck. Go in search for people who are positive and are living the life they love and surround yourself with them.

2. Take Risks: try something new, step outside of your comfort zone. Once you realize that you can succeed at whatever you try you will start to believe that you are good enough. If you can't do it alone find a support buddy to try something new with or at least have them hold you accountable so you follow through when you start feeling uncomfortable.

3. Keep an Acknowledgement Journal: take the time to appreciate yourself and all that you do and contribute to the world. Begin writing down at least five things that you acknowledge yourself for doing each day, you will be amazed how wonderful you are – you just never took the time to look.

4. Make a commitment to change: you can choose to feel good or you can choose to feel bad about yourself and your life. What do you choose? Make the commitment to change your thinking today. Start appreciating what is right in the world and in your life and change the things that you don't like or don't want – stop being the victim and start taking action.

5. Change your Negative Self Talk: you know that voice in your head that tells you that you screwed up, that you're not good enough or you're stupid? Start telling that voice to shut up and start listening to the positive self talk. I challenge you to pay close attention to what you are telling yourself in any given situation; if it is negative find a way to turn it around into something positive. You learned how to talk negatively to yourself now teach yourself how to talk positively. Believe it or not it is a choice – will you live your life in negativity or will you shine in the light of positiveness?

6. Ask for support: if you find that you just can't make these changes on your own, but are committed to change then ask others for support. Find a coach, minister or support group to help you learn to appreciate yourself for all your greatness and leave that negative self-esteem behind.

7. Take Action: start to get moving, whether you start walking, running, going to the gym or work out at home – just do something. Physical activity is a great way to make you feel better both physically and emotionally. Make the commitment to get moving today and before you know it you will see your self-esteem skyrocket and you may even be able to fit into your skinny jeans again, who knows. Wouldn't hurt to find out, now would it?

If you are motivated to turn that self-esteem around and start living your life in a positive light then contact Lisa for a sample coaching session.  

About the Author

Lisa A. Fredette is a divorce expert on Fabulously40. To learn more about Lisa or read more articles, visit her profile 

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Barbara Http:// wrote Nov 3, 2008
    • Hi
      I think this is good advice. I wish there was more networking between divorced women. There is so much to deal with at once, most of it negative.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Valarie Kelley wrote Jun 21, 2009
    • yes indeed.  i’m 2 months into my separation, 4-5 months away from my divorce.   this is the most painful time of my life.   no one told me all the mini-dramas i’d experience.  between children, parents, friends,and well meaning-unknowing associates  its been just unbelievable.   i never knew my husband could/would stoop to such behaviors as he is.   he was fine as long as i was the injured, sad child.   now i’m angry and he’s now very pleased with that part of me.     wow!!!!!        i hope to work on my  self esteem  with this article.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vonniegirl wrote Jun 21, 2011
    • I’m just starting my separation and Valarie is right it is a painful process. I am lucky that my kids are grown but they are still experiencing their own pain and issues with the divorce. The biggest issue yet is who is taking sides with who and what is really being said for why we are divorcing. Really I just can’t wrap my head around it some days. My self esteem has been kicked around enough and I am not going to take it any more. Its time to move on!_

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jule1971 wrote Dec 14, 2011
    • It all sounds good, but I just cant do it.  I am gripped with sadness and fear.  My husband left me for another woman and now he is back.  I am afraid that he will leave again and I know that I cant make him stay.  I have 2 little boys and I dont know what to do to empower myself.  We are going to therpay seperately and together to try and work thru this.  I think that we can; he is not so sure.....  As you can see, I need ‘help’

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