When a woman gets divorced there's often an initial reaction of freedom and independence to live her own life, be her own person, do her own thing. But for many divorced women, actually being independent is scary. The thought of having to make all the decisions, fully step into the financial caretaker roll, handle all of the household, raise the kids and trust themselves that they can do it is frightening. They like the idea of independence but actually feeling independent after divorce without feeling stuck, uncertain and at times even helpless. In today's episode I'll be talking about how you can use your divorce as an opportunity to use this new independence to feel free, to feel capable, to feel connected to yourself, to build confidence. I teach you the steps to take including the importance of learning to make decisions and celebrating your wins. Divorce is hard and at times scary, but feeling independent doesn't have to be. Listen in to learn how to use feeling independent to your advantage after divorce and create an even better life than when you were married. What you'll learn in today's episode:
How to redefine your life after divorce that works in your favor.
The importance of making decisions and how you can start making decisions today to feel empowered as you move forward.
The key element of independence you've been leaving out and how to implement it now to build confidence, self love, and a strong independent character.
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If you want to feel independent without the fear or uncertainty that you can do life on your own after divorce, then I want you to schedule your free consult with me. Living independently after divorce is one of the BEST things that can happen to you. It's a feeling that will create confidence in every aspect of your life and will help you live a great life after divorce. (Not to mention your ex will look at you exuding your independence and won't believe his eyes.) Schedule your free consult by clicking here and let's get you started on that life.
Featured on this episode:
Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.
Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.
Want to know first hand how Karin can help you with your specific problems and create an even better life than when you were married? Click here to schedule a free consult.
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Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome back to Becoming You Again. I’m your host Karin Nelson. I’m a certified divorce confidence coach and this is the podcast where I teach you how to reconnect with yourself, create emotional resiliency and live a truly independent life, so you can have an even better life than when you were married.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to another episode of Becoming You Again. I’m your host, Karin Nelson and if you don’t know already I am a divorce confidence coach and I work specifically with women who are struggling after divorce. I teach them how to be confident, how to create emotional resiliency, how to feel independent after their divorce and in this new life that is ahead of them.
How are you all doing today? I hope you’re having a beautiful day. The day that this episode comes out will be on the Fourth of July. And in America the day this episode drops is Independence Day. It’s the day that we as American’s celebrate our independence as a country. So hopefully if you’re in America you’re enjoying good food and fireworks or doing something fun. Because it’s independence day I wanted to talk about independence after divorce.
I know right now this idea of independence can feel a little out of reach for many of us. I don’t really want to get too political on here, but with the overturn of Roe by the Supreme Court a few weeks ago, many women are feeling like our rights, our independence, is being taken away and we are essentially being told that we don’t get to decide for ourselves what we do with our own bodies. When something like this happens it leaves many of us feeling stuck, or uncertain and even helpless in our lives. And I know there are women in this country who don’t feel much like celebrating independence for this country because they have these thoughts and feelings like it’s all being taken away.
This same idea shows up for women after divorce because for however many years they were married they forgot how to live independently. This totally happened to me when I was in my marriage. And so when the marriage ends, they feel stuck, they feel uncertain. They don’t trust themselves and they uncertain of what the future even holds and they can even get to this place where they feel helpless because they don’t know if they can make it on their own. They don’t know how to make decisions. They are scared of what might come. And celebrating themselves or celebrating that they are out of a bad relationship or that they have created some kind of freedom for themselves just doesn’t seem that great or something to celebrate.
The question that I want you to ask yourself right now is, how can I lean into the independence that I have now that I’m divorced?
When we go through challenging things in our lives we can look at all the hard stuff and wonder why is this all happening to me? Or we can look at it and think how can this be an opportunity for me to grow? And I know there are a million other ways that we can look at these situations, right, these challenges that we go through but often we think in these terms of black and white and so it does sometimes come down to why is this happening to me or how can this be an opportunity for me to grow?
And regarding independence after divorce I want you to know that now is your opportunity to use this independence to feel free, to feel capable, to feel connected to yourself. To use it to feel confident, to build confidence in who you are. You are in a space right now out of divorce and in this new beginning where you get to choose what you want your life to look like and you get to move toward that every single day.
The first thing I want you to do – that every woman who is divorced needs to do – is define what it means to be a divorced woman. You need to do this for yourself. And here’s the really great news. This definition of what it means to be a divorced woman can be whatever you want. You just get to make it up. Who do you want to be? How do you want to think about yourself? What do you want your life to look like? Take all the best things that you want and write it all down and that is your new definition of what it means to be a divorced woman. I’m not kidding you when I say, write it down. This can be like the outline of who you are moving toward. Of who you are becoming in your life. Hang it up. See it every day. Read it every day. Use that as your intention of the kind of person you are becoming. This is your first step toward feeling independent after divorce. Have a focus of the person that you want to be and start to become her as you live your life.
The next thing that I want you to do is start making decisions. This can really tricky for a lot of divorced women. I know for me personally it has been a challenge that I continue to work through and work on every single day, because when I was married I got into this habit of deferring all of my decisions to my partner. I adopted this story that my ideas, my opinions, and my decisions they just weren’t right. They weren’t good enough. He didn’t like them. He would often put the blame on me. Or at least I was telling myself that story. I don’t know if this happened every time and maybe it did and maybe it didn’t. What matters is, I came out of my divorce not being able to make decisions because I didn’t trust myself. I would never choose anything because I thought I would fail or other people might not like it and they might be unhappy with my choice and so I just wouldn’t make decisions. Because I had created this habit while I was married, this didn’t magically disappear when I got divorced. I still had a hard time making decisions and so this habit of not making decisions came right along with me after my divorce, right, because my brain came with me.
So making decisions and trusting yourself that you can and that you know what is best and right for you, it may not come easy but this is something that can be learned. I promise you that. This is what I had to do and it’s what I’m continuing to do and it’s what I continue to help my clients do and it’s what you are going to do too as well.
So today, we are going to start. You are going to make one decision. Now it can be big. It can be small. You get to choose, but decide on something today. And the only rule is that you pick and then you don’t change your mind. You pick and stick with it. This is going to be very uncomfortable for a lot of you. I want you to remember this, just because something is uncomfortable doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or that something has gone wrong. It just means in this instance, with decisions, you’re not very practiced at it and it feels really weird. But I want to add that the more decisions you make, the easier it becomes and the less uncomfortable it feels. The more habitual it will be and the easier it will be for you. And I also want to say that of course moving forward you can always change your mind at any time after making a decision, but if you’re really in the space of even struggling to pick anything, I don’t want you to pick something and then change your mind right away, because all that leads to is being wishy washy and not trusting yourself. So while you’re building this muscle of making decisions I would offer that you not allow yourself to change your mind right away. Okay?
When I first started doing this exercise of making decisions one of the very first things I decided on was to buy a couch. My ex was moving out and he was going to be taking the couches and so I was going to buy something new. The kids and I went to the store and we sat on a ton of different couches. But there was one cough that I really liked, the kids really liked. But it was big. I just wasn’t even sure it was going to fit in the space and it was kind of pricey, but it was fine. I was going to make that part work. But I was mostly afraid of like is it going to fit in the space that we have and I really hoped that it would because it was like the perfect couch, the exact kind of couch that I wanted. So I was determined to decide and not defer this decision and not to take it to all of the people. All of my family and friends and say what do you think, should I do it? Should I not? Should I keep looking. You know, all of the things that we do when we’re trying to make decisions. We get all of the outside information. All I really needed to make this decision was to find out, will this couch fit? So I got the measurements, went home, measured the room, and realized, this couch will totally fit. So I went back to the store and purchased it. And I bought the couch. I made a decision and it felt so good. I felt so empowered to have stepped into that role of I can do this for me and it doesn’t have to be right, it doesn’t have to be wrong, it just has to be what I am choosing. I love this couch so much to this day. It is one of my favorite things and I know that it’s because I made that decision all by myself. For me. From my knowing.
And so now it’s your turn. I want you to feel that empowerment that comes with making decisions. Okay? Now you don’t have to decide on a couch, but pick something – literally anything. Go to a restaurant and decide on something to eat. Decide on a movie to watch with the kids. Decide on what to make for dinner. Decide on whether to get a pet or not. Decide to join a gym. Decide to start a savings account and how much money to put away each month. Decide to dye your hair. Decide to start loving yourself. Start with something and make a decision. This is powerful and it will give you a strong sense of independence after your divorce.
And the last thing to really lock in that feeling of independence after divorce is I want you to celebrating your decisions. Celebrate your wins. Celebrate you.
As women we are taught from a very small age that we are supposed to be quiet. We are not supposed to take up space. We are not supposed be too loud. We are not supposed to ‘brag’ or tell people our accomplishments. But I want to do is help you break all of that down and get rid of that programming altogether. You are allowed to take up space. You are allowed to make noise. You are allowed to do things and be proud of them and tell other people about them. You are allowed to celebrate yourself.
This celebration can literally look any way you want. But choose something that gives you a little bit of a dopamine hit. Okay? Something that makes you feel good in the moment when you give yourself a shout out. You can give yourself a high five (either use your other hand or do it in the mirror). You can clap for yourself. You can say, “Great job! I’m so freaking proud of you.” You can give yourself a little hug. You can do a little dance to yourself. You can pat yourself on the back. I personally have this move where I kind of punch my arm and hands forward in front of me several times in a specific rhythm. It’s almost like I’m hitting a punching bag but it’s way more fun than that. My boyfriend calls it the Karin dance. And it’s my way to celebrate me. I do it when I’m excited about something that I’ve done or something I’m about to do or when I did something during the day that I’m really proud of, I do that little dance. So pick something and then when you do something on your own, when you make a decision, when you accomplish something – literally anything. I’m not even kidding you. Anything, big or small, celebrate. Celebrate you.
Here are some examples that you could use. Did you pick up the kids from summer camp or school? Awesome! Give yourself a little celebration, whatever you decided on. Did you decide to get your car washed today? Great. Celebrate. Did you take a nap because your mind and body needed it? Perfect. Celebrate.
You don’t have to wait for a specific day of the year or a huge milestone to take place for you to be able to celebrate you and your accomplishments. I’m giving you permission right now to celebrate as often as you want. And I actually want you to do it more often than you think is necessary, because what you’ve been doing is probably no celebrating whatsoever and so you think that maybe like one or two times is like enough or too much. I want you to be doing it literally all day long. Brush your teeth? Great, high five yourself in the mirror. You put on some makeup, you got dressed, you vacuumed the house, you took a drive, you made dinner – like I don’t care what it is you start celebrating you. You are worth it. I promise you that you will start to feel independent. You will start to feel confident. You will start to feel worthy. You will start to feel loved by you. You will start to understand that you are worthy of this independence and it’s a good thing in your life.
I know how important these celebrations are in developing the skill of feeling independent, of feeling confident, of building a strong self-esteem and truly creating self-love for you. You might think this is stupid or you might think this isn’t going to make a difference but I want you to know you’re wrong about that. It’s these small seemingly insignificant steps in building our character that change how we think about ourselves and how we see ourselves and that ultimately is what creates a feeling of self-love, a feeling of self-acceptance, a feeling of confidence and a feeling ultimately of independence.
Have a beautiful rest of your week, my friends. I love you so much. Bye.
If you like what you heard on today’s podcast and you want to know more about working 1:1 with me, you can go to www.karinnelsoncoaching.com and schedule your free consult to find out more. That’s www dot Karin nelson coaching dot com.
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