I’ve been thinking a lot about getting confident after divorce.
In my years as a divorce recovery coach, and as a woman who’s gone through hell and back herself, I’ve found that these traits are evident in every single divorced woman who’s healed from all the divorce pain, broken through the patterns that kept her stuck, and gone on to live a life of self-love, fulfillment, and fun.
It doesn’t matter her professional background, or where she lives, or the circumstances leading to her divorce. What determines if she gets unstuck and breaks out of the hidden narratives she’s operating from are possessing four crucial traits.
Confident Divorced Woman Trait #1: She doesn’t play the victim.
Disclaimer: I am *not* talking about survivors of abuse when I say ‘victim.’ As a survivor of both an emotional abusive relationship and a sexual assault myself (these occured when I was in college), I understand the healing from that type of trauma is a long process. And if you fall into that category, god bless you and may your journey to healing give you what you need.
Anyway, after divorce, it’s understandable to feel like you’ve been wrong. And you’re allowed to grieve and work through the mistreatment and disrespect that you endured.
Taking charge of your healing is powerful. Knowing you deserve better and working to heal is what is going to build your confidence. But here’s the difference between a confident divorced woman who’s able to move on and kick ass and one who stays stuck for years, not being able to move on past the divoce pain.
The confident divorced woman acknowledges that pain, gets help with it, but knows that the mistreatment doesn’t define her. She owns her destiny and actively makes the moves to pursue her interests, passions, and the things that productively serve her so she can rock the next chapter of her life.
She knows that she is capable and worthy of moving on from that past bullshit.
And she knows that she deserves better than to perceive herself as “that poor divorced woman whose husband was an asshole to her.”
Women who struggle with confidence many times are stuck on that victim narrative. And it’s fueled by letting your ex define your story.
You see this all the time on “divorce support” websites and Facebook pages, where people just complain about their exes, without focusing on their own lives. It’s easier to talk shit about your ex-husband with a bunch of strangers than it is to focus on yourself.
Confident divorced women know this, which is why they don’t waste their emotional energy thinking about the people who wronged them. They’re too busy focusing on their own amazing lives.
Confident Divorced Woman Trait #2: She is self-aware.
A confident divorced woman knows her triggers, her quirks, her turn-ons, her non-negotiables, her standards, her boundaries, and her interests.
She also knows her strengths and her weaknesses, and can also acknowledge when she fell short or f*cked something up.
She knows her worth, knows when to use her voice, but also has the intellectual humility to know she doesn’t know it all, but is always open to try new things.
Confident divorced women also know what they want out of life, but are also okay with coming up with a Plan B when things don’t go as planned.
Is knowing all of these things easy?
Hell no. Especially when we women of a certain age were raised in a toxic culture that taught us to always follow a man, or to defer to the man in the room, that divorce made us less than, and and that our value went away the moment the wrinkles started to show around our eyes or the gray hairs started to come in.
But confident divorced women have the faith in themselves to do the work to overcome the BS narratives that are keeping them stuck.
That self-awareness, and being open to questioning those ideas that no longer serve them, and rewiring their DNA for something more empowering, is what sets them apart for the divorced women who feel stuck, unable to move on even years after their divorce.
Confident Divorced Woman Trait #3: She lets go of people-pleasing.
Many women were raised with trash narratives that went along the lines of “being ladylike” and “being a good girl” and not stepping on toes.
From a young age, many of us were conditioned to believe that the only way we would be accepted in life was if we made our parents happy, if we took care of our younger siblings, and if we got perfect grades to please the teachers.
As if those burdens weren’t enough, when we got older, the people pleasing came in the form of always dressing sharp but not too sexy, wearing makeup to look “nice,” but not too slutty, finding a man but not marrying “too old to have kids,” staying home to raise the kids but also having your own career, and the list goes on and on.
A confident divorced woman went through all of those contradictions. She’s didn’t have any special advantages over women who are still struggling.
But the one factor that let her move on was the fact that she said, “F*ck it.”
A confident divorced woman no longer cares what people think about her.
She has become so grounded in herself and her own worth that she is no longer trying to win the acceptance and validation of others.
She is aware that bending over backwards to get the approval of her mom, her sisters, her friends, her boss, or even society does not serve her.
So she’s not doing it anymore.
When a divorced woman turns her attention to herself, what makes her happy, what makes her feel fulfilled, she feels better. She starts living life on her own terms.
Confident Divorced Woman Trait #4: She invests in herself (without feeling guilty).
A confident divorced woman knows she’s worth it.
She invests in herself to feed her passion and interests.
Whether it’s signing for a French class because she loved learning it in high school but then life got in the way. Or hiring a private piano tutor because she loved playing when she was little, but then her parents quit paying for lessons. Or taking herself on a long weekend trip and staying at the beautiful hotel she one read about in a magazine at the doctor’s office.
She knows that people in her life may be catty and say, “gee, must be nice to afford that,” but she ignores them. She doesn’t owe them any explanation.
But she also invests in the things that will make her stronger, more resilient, and help her heal faster.
She’ll hire the coach. And the therapist.
She may feel overwhelmed and a little intimidated at taking the plunge to invest in herself.
That’s normal. But she won’t use the “I can’t afford it” as an excuse, when she knows that it’s okay to be scared and it’s okay to take the leap.
She has faith that her investment will pay off. And she’s not afraid to work her ass off to make sure she gets the return on her investment.
She knows that her past does not define her. That the commitment she makes to herself in the present will get her unstuck. And that her future is going to be own of fulfillment, fearlessness, and fun because she put the work in right to get it.
So, what type of divorced woman do you want to be?