As a divorce recovery coach for professional women, there is a common theme I see in all of my clients. I bet you fall into this category, too!
- You’re hard-working and dedicated to the profession you chose
- You care deeply about your work and your coworkers
- You’ve sacrificed a lot to get to where you are—sometimes you look back wondering how on earth you managed to climb the professional latter and run the household
- During your divorce, work may have been like a refuge for you—someplace you could put your attention on so you could be distracted from the emotional shit-show you were dealing with at home
But now that you’re divorced, you may struggle with finding that balance between work and your personal life.
You may feel on top of your game at work (which you most likely are), but the moment you log off or come home, you struggle with feeling lonely, bored, and frustrated that you can’t be the same confident woman at home post-divorce that you can whenever you walk into the office.
Here’s the good news though.
With just a few mindset shifts, you can easily feel confident outside of work. Here’s how.
Step 1: Reflect on how far you’ve come at work.
Seriously. I want you to step away from the computer and think about where you were at work 20-30 years ago, and where you are right now.
Whether you were a teacher trainee, a bright-eyed new real estate agent, the rare female intern at the male-dominated company, the brand-new nurse on night shift, or anything in between, take a moment to reflect on the following:
- How much experience and insight have you gained since you started your career?
- How many lives have you changed and influenced for the better at your workplace?
- What barriers did you knock down—whether they were cultural or psychological–to get to where you are?
- How has your hard work and brilliant mind set you up for the financial security you’re feeling now?
- When you reflect on this path, you should be able to list quite a few things that you’ve accomplished.
Whether it’s the fact that you’ve closed over $5 million in home sales in the past two years, or helped your students get into the college of their dreams, or you managed to keep your VP out of hot water (again)—every day at work you are using your skills, work ethic, and all-around bad-ass character to make life better for people.
Now that you have those years and that experience under your belt, actively reflect on (and give yourself credit for) the fact that…
You are a role model for the young people who look up to you
Someone younger in their career at work is watching you (in a non-creepy way), and wants to ask you all the questions about how successful you are
Your strength and determination and courage at work did not come easy. But the fact that you’ve earned it is what gives you the confidence in the workplace that you may be lacking at home.
If you’re still tapping your foot thinking, “yeah yeah yeah Martha….the workplace isn’t the problem. It’s when I’m *not* at work when I feel like I’m in my own head and frustrated!” then I want you to pay very close attention to the next step.
Step 2: Repeat the Exact Steps Above, but Apply it to Your Personal Life.
Your work self and your home self are the same damn person.
It’s time to start acting like it.
Navigating the highs and lows of your career is what gives you professional confidence. You already have those skills to get confident in your personal life.
But it takes a simple mindset shift.
Reflect on the following things when it comes to your personal life.
- What are some difficult things you have managed in your personal life that you never would have imagined 20-30 years ago?
- Those events could be a life-changing illness, raising children, a loss in your family. And yes, your divorce.
- What did you learn about yourself from those events that made you stronger?
- How did those lessons make you more resilient?
- What did you face and overcome during that life event?
And here’s the most important step of the process.
How will you embrace those personal challenges you’ve overcome?
Because once you embrace them and give yourself credit for the grace and determination you have shown in your personal life, the faith in yourself comes. It may be a pebble here, a pebble there. But the more you acknowledge your strength, the more assured you’ll feel when it comes to making decisions in your personal life.
The more assured you feel, the less self-doubt you’ll have.
The less self-doubt you have, the more confidence you gain.
And those bits of confidence you collect and care for—like a beautiful garden you tend with sunlight and water—will build overtime to the feeling of…
- And the knowledge that you can do damn near whatever you want and nobody is going to stop you.
But it comes from acknowledging how far you’ve come.
How courageous and persistent you’ve been at work and at home.
And giving yourself the grace and credit you deserve.
Because nobody else is going to do it for you.
So the next time you feel frustrated and confused, wondering why you have no problem telling a client “no” but you can’t seem to say the same thing to your adult daughter or needling mother or your own self-doubt, remember this:
Confident work you is the same damn person as the self-doubting home you.
Quit pretending they are different.
You have the permission (and responsibility) to bring that confidence to your home life, because that’s where you need it the most.
Let those two sides meet.
It will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And future.
About Martha Bodyfelt
Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce recovery coach who helps professional divorced women overcome their divorce loneliness 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 marthabodyfelt.com to take the 30-second quiz.