There is no better time to be your own life coach than when going through separation and divorce. This is about taking responsibility and embracing new approaches to your future because being single means your choices are your own.
With the following tips you can start to reclaim your life and make the future the best it can possibly be.
Where do you start?
During the chaos, we have felt when our lives are upended by the end of a marriage, life coaching yourself is a path toward the future. You have experienced every emotion over the recent months. Feeling overwhelmed, angry, helpless, and abandoned are just a few of them. Taking charge of your life through the principles of life coaching will help you find that future you deserve.
Life coaching yourself is a practical way to effect change and requires commitment and a personal conviction you can and will get to a better place. Start with very basic priorities. Where do you feel the most change is needed? List a few in a journal dedicated to this journey.
We often get overwhelmed by expecting too much too fast so make your list short. This is a process and takes time. Being realistic about your initial priorities will help you focus on manageable steps to improving your life. As the future unfolds so too will new goals.
Just the very act of making the decision to coach yourself will be empowering. You are going to create strategies and techniques to improve your life including the way you act toward yourself and others. You will focus on reactions to the way you feel and take control of your thoughts.
It all starts with a plan. You plan school runs, meals, and work schedules so there is every reason to believe you can plan your way to a better life. Believe you can and that is the first step to achievement.
Perhaps worth mentioning is that you need achievable goals in this process. This gives you a better chance at success. Be realistic but bold and above all kind to yourself.
Your overall goal is change. You want to change your life and adapt to the new life that has presented itself. Your first step is to give yourself permission to want that change. Too often we pine for what we thought we had in the marriage. Realistically, was it more about tolerating a situation to maintain the status quo? Should we spend time wanting someone who didn’t want us? Change is opportunity.
No doubt your self-confidence has been shattered. The person left behind often has a sense of failure. If you weren’t reminded of it by the leaving partner, then you impose that way of thinking on yourself because blaming yourself is part of the divorce process.
Now it is time to look in the mirror, like what you see, and find the determination and motivation to take the next steps. Know that all this steely determination will lead to a brighter future for you.
Time to start digging a bit deeper. You know you need to change but that means you need to begin to think differently. This is where we leave the victim behind and become the victor. You have been given a unique opportunity to reinvent yourself with all the secret hopes and dreams you harboured over the years. Perhaps those dreams were scorned by your former partner. I, for one, wouldn’t be writing this article for The Divorce Magazine if I had listened to being told I had no ability to write.
Now is the time to believe in yourself. Start with five goals you would like to achieve. Write them down in a journal dedicated to your new age of discovery. Examples might be wanting to be less reactive when dealing with your former partner or building your self-confidence.
Beside each goal list a few steps to achieve it. This will be a dynamic list so give yourself space in the journal. As you think about your goals over the coming weeks and months, you will think of new ways to achieve them. Think of two or three ways you know you can implement each goal.
If your former partner makes you anxious or angry with each encounter, find ways to alleviate those feelings and calm yourself with some mindfulness tactics as you prepare for each meeting or encounter.
If your self-confidence has been diminished, make a list of things you do well. We all have skills and abilities so remind yourself of what you can do well. Do you have good friends and consider yourself a good friend? We live all our lives in the skin we are in and because our longest relationship is with ourselves, we can forget what we do well. It is what we’ve always done, and its significance can diminish in our own estimation. Time to embrace you that might have got lost through separation and divorce.
Remember to say yes to people. Life can become very insular through the divorce process, and we can talk ourselves out of doing things. If invitations are presented, say yes. In your journal, reflect on all the benefits that yes brought to your life.
What does happiness look like to you?
The preceding months and years have probably given you ample opportunity to know what unhappiness looks like. Now it is time to determine what happiness looks like in your life.
In lives that can be anything from busy to positively whirlwind, we can often lose sight of what moments were genuinely happy.
Reflect on those times in your journal. Recall the details of those happy times. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with or were you alone? These happy times were unencumbered by worries and fears. You could well have been alone and felt utter contentment and peace. Wherever it was and whatever it was will give you a framework for happy times.
You want to get to a place where you can make happy times a regular occurrence. After all the stress and strain of the recent past, your brain will thank you for feeling happy again.
About Linda Simpson
“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl
Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.
As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.
She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.
She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’
In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.
She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.