Relationships affect a huge part of our lives and it's normal to feel like the rug has been pulled from under your feet when you experience something as life changing as divorce.
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I want to share with you some steps that can help you begin to reclaim your identity following a divorce.
Feel the feelings. Allow yourself to sit with the feelings. A common mistake people make when going through a tough time like divorce is to throw themselves into something else as a way to avoid feeling the pain or to cope or move on. Here’s what you need to be wary of. Throwing yourself emphatically into anything while going through something that is potentially as traumatic as divorce is that you carry your hurt and pain into other situations. Because you've not given yourself the space to feel and heal.
Change your perspective - Maybe you have an identity you have created or come to own as a part of this union and now that identity has been shattered. Maybe you loved being a wife or being his wife, or maybe you loved being the one who organises activities for you all to experience as a family and now that identity is gone. It’s ok to let that identity crash and burn. When you keep holding on to the identity that once was it will prevent you from reaching out to what can now be.
Here’s what to do instead. Is there an aspect of that identity that can be salvaged? Is there a part of that identity that you can build upon? So if you lived organising activities for you all to attend as a family, and now you can no longer do so in the sense it existed, maybe now you can be a fantastic organiser for you and your kids or at the local church or in a community you belong to or at your child's school. Because although the setting has changed, who you are at the core doesn't have to change. Simply find a new setting that brings you joy.
Rediscover yourself - Being part of a couple can create an identity that was not truly you. Being uncoupled can leave you feeling lost and with little clue as to who you are without this person. So to rediscover yourself, think about who you were before you got married. Were you outgoing, fun, energetic or laid back? And so it's time to get reacquainted with yourself. Practice allowing who you are to come to life again without shutting it out. Start actively doing the things you love to do or are curious to explore without making excuses as to why you can’t. Beauty, this may be a hard one. This may trigger all kinds of emotions that you didn't know you could express. This may unearth your well of vulnerability and you may find yourself crying for no reason, being frustrated or lashing out. And if you find this is the case, as we said earlier, allow it and let your emotions find a healthy release.
Connect with communities and people that share your passions or are supportive - it's a healthy framework to connect with people that share your passions, having supportive people around when we're going through a transition is incredibly helpful. It makes the weight lighter and it helps you heal faster. One such community you can take advantage of is called meet up. There may be one local to you, with communities that share your passions and interests which you can connect with. You can also lean on supportive friends and family at this point.
Speaking of support, if you want 1:1 support to move past the pain and uncertainty and create a future you're excited about, see how I help with 1:1 support below.
Give yourself the gift of starting Over. Don't mistake starting over to mean starting from nothing. At this stage of your life, you have a wealth of experience with which you can use to start this next phase of your life. This time you get the opportunity to start over on your own terms and create this next phase of your life exactly how you want it. Maybe we use a more appropriate term, build upon. This time you get the opportunity to build upon your experiences on your own terms and create this next phase of your life exactly how you want it. One step at a time.
Following on from that the next is boundaries. Let’s talk boundaries. Be careful who you let into your space, who you give access to be in your company and speak into your life. Be Ok with saying no. Self care is knowing when to say yes and making it OK to say no thank you or no not this time. Healthy choices is not putting other people’s welfare above your own. Your boundaries are a statement of who you are and how you expect people to treat you.
To a new you that positively surprises you ♥
I want to debunk some dangerous myths that women have come to believe about themselves following a divorce.
You’re a failure
There’s a social construct that attaches stigma to divorce. Whereby people feel that if they are unable to hold a marriage together they are a failure. This feeling if unchecked could spill into other areas of your area creating the feeling that because you failed in this area, you’ll fail in other areas of your life.
You’re not a failure because you’ve gone through a divorce. This one thing does not get to define your life. Don’t give it that kind of power. Everyone at some point in life will go through difficult situations. This is simply yours. Whether you are a failure or not is not based on your experiences but what you give power to.
Nobody is going to want you - Maybe your partner made you feel unwanted, maybe he put you down with his actions or went as far as telling you that nobody will want you. That’s a projection he’s putting on you. It’s a lie and it’s not yours to carry.
You may feel broken right now but that has nothing to do with your worth. Beauty, irrespective of what you’ve gone through you’re worthy in every sense of the word and you are worthy of love.
When you’ve healed and are ready to open your heart again, the right person will come your way. You have not lost your worth or beauty because of your experience. A £5 pound note doesn't lose it's value simply because it's rumpled'
I share steps on how you can become more confident irrespective of what you've been through. Get your copy here.
You'll be miserable for the rest of your life
You can find happiness beyond divorce. What is your perspective. Are you looking at life from a glass half full or half empty. Changing your perspective on this phase of your life can either bring you tremendous joy or a profound sense of loss.
Instead of focusing on all you’ve lost or can no longer do no matter how dim your situation is. Turn the lens on how much you can now achieve on your own terms. Do you want to go back and study, relocate or choose a new path. Divorce can give you a blank canvas to create life on new terms
I’m keen to hear your thoughts in the comments. Have you bought into any of these lies?
This can be the lie you were fed by your spouse. This feeling of not being loveable can be reinforced if you experienced situations in the past or were told by action or words from people who you care about that you are not loveable. This myth may also be the story your mind had made up given your experience. As a result, you may now believe that you are unloveable. As with the previous myth, you are worthy, and worthy of love and belonging. Don’t let anyone or your situation label you.
Believing these lies will hold you back from experiencing a fulfilled life.
If this helped you, I want to hear from you in the comments. Please share this with any woman who it will benefit
There is a prevalent notion in society that when women stand up for themselves, ask for what they want, talk about their accomplishments appropriately or refuse to settle for less they are being arrogant. And as a result they're told to “stay humble”.
Somehow society has come to equate humility to mean voicelessness, powerlessness and a lack of self-advocacy. And I use the word equate as opposed to confused.
Because to confuse is to be ignorant of something or to do something unwittingly. To be confused carries the connotation that you're unaware of something. But to equate is a conscious decision to assign meaning.
As a means to uphold patriarchy and keep women small, society has somehow equated speaking up to mean haughtiness and pride and as a way to keep us in our lane, women who exhibit confident traits are told to "stay humble".
To that, I call BS.
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According to Merriam Webster's dictionary: humility is freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble.
So, how did freedom from pride and arrogance translate to "you shouldn't advocate for yourself", "you shouldn't dream big and aim high"or use your voice?
This kind of message creates a hesitancy in women's desire to put themselves forward. As a result of this message, when women follow the call to "stay humble" we lose out on opportunities to advance our careers, increase our earning power or speak up about issues that affect us. Ultimately, we lose out on the ability to improve our lives. This message therefore maintains the status quo of gender inequality in all its facets.
Interestingly, the call to stay humble is not often shelled out to men. Society views traits such as driven, assertive and outspoken to be masculine as a result when women act contrary to our socialization to stay passive, nice, accommodating; we're seen as proud and arrogant and therefore face a backlash.
A research study on women and self-promotion found that women were uncomfortable self-promoting primarily due to backlash avoidance. Self promotion is your ability to positively talk about your accomplishments and characteristics. Self promotion is necessary for career advancement and securing educational opportunities.
Backlash avoidance is to avoid taking an action due to fear of social repercussions, even if it's in your own interest.
So even though women would benefit from self promotion they are uncomfortable to do so because it goes against society's expectation to “stay humble”.
So what’s my response to society's interpretation of humility, I say heck no!
Women have a right to be heard, to pursue big dreams, to aim high and to use our voice in whatever way it benefits us. Women should be able to negotiate for higher salaries, asked to be put forward for the board position without fearing a backlash.
So I say to you women reading this, keep speaking up about the issues that affect you, keep asking for what you want, be proud of your accomplishment and share it appropriately, don’t stay in boxes or lanes that your community, friends or society have confined you to. Don’t be afraid to dream big and go after your dreams.
Don’t be afraid to bring your authentic brilliant capabilities to all you do. Some people may say you’re too much, but that’s ok. They are just too small or you’re not for them.
And if anyone feels you’re being arrogant by being confident, driven or assertive. Then it’s ok for them not to be in your circle anymore. You’re perfectly fine not to give them your attention.
I don’t argue that to be kind and considerate of others is important and it’s something we should aim for. But that’s not what people mean when they say “stay humble”. They are saying, be quiet and stay in your place and to that I say heck no!
If you’re a man reading this, please share this with the women in your life.
Time for some self assessment ladies.
Have you bought into the message to "stay humble”? If you have, I hope this post has raised your awareness to see how society’s interpretation of humility holds women back. My hope is that you’ll consciously begin to choose how you show up in the world without being afraid of backlash.
The more women refuse to buy into this message to “stay humble” and choose instead to go for what they want, the more we’ll see women advance in every area.
Having a high self-worth is crucial to experiencing joy, fulfillment and the motivation to go after what you want.
Today, I want to share with you the 7 habits of women with high self-worth you can adopt.
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So what is self worth and how is it different from self esteem?
I’ll share how Dr Christina Hibbert explains it. Dr. Hibbert is a clinical psychologist and describes Self-Esteem as “what we think and feel and believe about ourselves”.
Self-worth is recognizing “I am greater than all of those things.
It is a deep knowing that I am of value, that I am loveable, necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth”.
This is in line with Merriam Webster’s dictionary which describes self-esteem as a confidence and satisfaction in oneself
Self-worth as a sense of one's own value as a human being.
Self-worth is foundational to joy and a fulfilling life because it is not dependent on external factors. As a result, it doesn’t matter whether you get the approval of others or not, whether you’re popular or whether you didn’t get the job.
The beauty of having a high self-worth is that even though the world around you crumbles you don’t internalise your experience and become your own enemy. A high self-worth enables you to separate THINGS from who you are. E.g work is not going well, I’ve gained weight, I failed. You can identify that these are things that are not going well but they don’t change the fact that you are worthy, loveable and able to achieve great things.
A high self-worth will make it easy to combat feelings of depression, anxiety and fear because no matter where you go and what you do, your worth is not on the line. You are worthy irrespective of what happens or doesn’t happen.
So what are the 7 habits of women with high self-worth you can adopt:
1. They know their worth is not based on other people’s definition. Women with high self-worth know that it doesn’t matter what their society, friendship circle or work colleagues define as the standard. They base their definition of worth on that deep knowledge that they are worthy of love, joy and whatever brings them happiness simply because they are here.
2. They are clear on what their values are. Women with high self-worth know that even when things around them are failing and are uncertain, they can measure their external circumstances against their own standard of worthiness and remain grounded.
3. They set boundaries. Women with high self-worth don’t allow into their space people who have not earned the right to be there. They are intentional about their relationships and they don’t give permission to anyone to make them small.
4. They celebrate others. Women with high self-worth celebrate others. Because they are not insecure in themselves, they are not in competition with others. As a result, they pull others up, they give them a helping hand and when others win, they celebrate them.
5. They see failure as feedback. Women with high self-worth don’t see failure as the final destination. Instead they use failure as a feedback to tweak their approach, do more research or go for a different alternative altogether. Whenever they encounter failure they use it as a yardstick to do better and try again.
6. They validate their feelings. Women with high self worth make room for their feelings. They don’t shut them down or dismiss them. They are not threatened by feelings that may be deemed “inappropriate”. They understand their feelings help them stay aware of their internal processes. They acknowledge these feelings and make room to express them in a healthy way.
7. They are not afraid to delegate. Women with high self-worth are not afraid to delegate. They are not afraid to relinquish some power and support other people’s talent to flourish.
In sharing the 7 habits of women with high self-worth, my hope is that you can pick a few or all of these habits and start adopting them starting today.
I’m keen to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Do you have goals and dreams you want to achieve? By becoming the best version of yourself and achieving the success you desire, together we can change the narrative of women. Coaching can help. Book your no-fee discovery call to find out how. You have everything to gain
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