Many divorced women struggle to move on because they are still plagued by feelings of guilt, selfishness, and that they “don’t deserve it.”
If learning ancient Greek sounds easier to you than putting yourself first, you’re not alone.
For years, divorced women absorbed messaging that made us believe that we shouldn’t put ourselves first.
Whether it’s the messaging you received throughout your marriage–that your role as a wife and mother was all that mattered, or narratives you’ve been carrying from childhood, such as good girls don’t ask for more and that they should just be happy for what they have–that programming doesn’t go away.
It won’t magically disappear just because you’re divorced.
Or when you get the promotion at work.
And it certainly won’t go away if you don’t do anything about it.
So if you want to learn the 3 mind-blowing mindset shifts that will let you put yourself first (without feeling guilty), then continue reading!
The guilt you feel when you put yourself first is from a narrative that wants to keep you miserable and unsure of yourself.
Whenever you try to buy something for yourself after divorce, like a new pair of shoes or a new car, do you have that nagging voice in your head that says, “It’s too expensive! You don’t deserve something this nice! Go to the clearance rack!”
Or maybe it might say, “You should be donating that money instead. Or giving it to your grown daughter–she is buying a house after all,”or “You should be giving that to your grandchild. He needs it more than you do.”
You’re not crazy if you struggle with those voices. In fact, many divorced women do.
They come from narratives of old white guys that were desperate to do whatever they could to keep women questioning themselves and their worth.
Because the more those toxic patriarchal structures could exert their influence over women, the easier it was to control them.
Especially after divorce and at midlife.
Need a concrete example?
How about the flood of marketing women get for anti-age creams, commanding us to look “more youthful,” as if growing wiser and more experienced as time passes was some kind of shameful thing? It’s not.
Your confidence is a threat to the people who benefit from your insecurity, so the longer you feel bad about yourself, the longer the narratives that hold you done can continue to wreak havoc on us.
But we’re not going to let them do that anymore.
So when you feel guilty or that nagging voice in your head says shit like, “you should just be happy with what you have,” you have permission to tell that voice to shut the hell up.
You are not guilty or selfish for putting yourself first. It’s the only thing that will get you unstuck after your divorce.
Mind-Blowing Mindset Shift 1: I am a strong warrior goddess. The *only way* to heal and move forward is to take care of myself. And the only way to take care of myself is to put myself above everything else.
Putting Yourself First After Divorce = Taking Your Power Back.
The feelings of guilt and selfishness from divorce are mechanisms that are attempting to take your power away from you.
Remember: Your confidence is a threat to the people who benefit from your insecurity.
These negative feelings–the ones that tell you that you shouldn’t “spend money on yourself when there are charities to give it to or children who could use it” are the agents of abusive power that are trying to keep you silent, scared, and stuck.
But when you put yourself first—when you decide to go on the weekend solo trip instead of spending another stressful holiday with your family, or when you turn off your cell phone so you can have some time to yourself, or when you say “no” to a project that you know will drain you—you are the person in charge.
When you stand up for yourself and prioritize what you want, instead of trying so hard to please everybody else–your confidence starts to solidify.
You quit doubting yourself.
You become more resistant to the triggering questions and judgement that others have been able to control you with for years.
Those skills build back your right to self-determination, independence, and agency over your own mind and body that years of people-pleasing, shame, toxic cultural messaging, unhealthy family dynamics, and patriarchy started stealing from you when you were young.
It is those skills that will give you the motivation to get out of your current rut—the one you’re frustrated with since the divorce ended. The one that has you wondering, “now what?!”
The “now what?!” is to prioritize your happiness and what you need.
“What now?!” is for you to start internalizing “what is good for me?”–something you may have never done in your life.
But now is the time to start.
Mind-Blowing Mindset Shift #2: Putting myself first is a source of pride, not guilt. When I take my power back, I set the example for the girls and women after me that they too are worthy. Just like I am worthy.
You deserve to be empowered and to let your voice be heard.
Nobody is here to save you.
The forces that have made you question yourself and make you feel bad about yourself over the decades—whether it was the sense of shame from your family, or the religion you were raised in, or if your ex-husband was an asshole, or if it was the toxic patriarchy that many of us still navigate on a daily basis—are not going to reward you for all the sacrifices you made.
None of those factors that contributed to you feeling guilty and bad about yourself are going to see the light and apologize for the hurt and gaslighting they did to you.
And if it was up to those factors that made you feel guilty, they’d love to maintain the status quo which has you questioning your worth as a divorced woman at mid-life.
It’s time for you to quit relying on others to give you the green light to start investing in yourself.
Because guess what, my sweet, beautiful soul?
No one is going to give you a reward for your hard work.
No one is going to reward you for being the martyr.
Mind-Blowing Mindset Shift 3: I do not rely on external factors to reward me. I focus on myself. The time to invest in myself is now.
So quit waiting around. The time to focus on yourself is now.
So how about you? Do you struggle with putting yourself first? What actions will you start taking to prioritize yourself after divorce?
And if you’re still struggling, give me a shout by booking your free transformation call today, where’ we’ll get crystal clear on the hidden struggles holding you back so you can move on with your life.
Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce recovery coach who helps professional divorced women quickly overcome their divorce pain and break free from the patterns keeping them stuck so they can feel fulfilled, have more fun, and live fearlessly.
To find out what’s *really* keeping you stuck after divorce, head over to https://marthabodyfelt.com/ to take the 30-second quiz.