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Don't let divorce define you

What woman in her right mind doesn't want to be deeply loved and in love, sexed up, whisked away on a romantic date and spoiled silly all while looking like a goddess? If there's a woman who doesn't want that, we haven't met her yet. So ...

Identity after divorce

Are you the divorced woman? Do you find that label unflattering and a little too heavy to carry on your shoulders? Do you feel somehow diminished whenever someone refers to you in this way? It's time for some empowerment, girlfriend!

Divorced woman thinking

Identity crisis or opportunity?

How's it going, hanging out with people you knew when you were part of a couple? When you show up at gatherings, single and alone, can you tell some people feel sorry for you, while others seem to give off a judgmental air? Obviously, these spoken and unspoken opinions don't do a lot for your self-esteem.

Divorce causes a radical change in your personal and social status, and it can be a difficult transition at times. Try taking a step back and looking at this moment through a new lens. Maybe this is your opportunity to mold the experience into what you want it to be for you -- because, no matter how others may try to dictate who you are now, no matter what society covertly says your new role should be, only you determine your new identity.

How do you do it?

1Get psyched

Let go of the negative voices around -- and within -- you. Find your internal on/off switch. Turn off the negativity in your mind that pronounces or implies how hard life is -- that everything is terrible, horrible and hopeless now that you are divorced. Turn on the voices, images, phrases and ideas that say you will have a wonderful life from this moment forward.

2Know that you have everything you need

quotation mark open...embrace the reality that you really DO get to define what the divorce experience is for you... YOU have the power. quotation mark close

One of the biggest reasons you don't get what you want in life is thinking you don't have any choices. But yes, you do. You have everything you need to achieve your dreams. Start by:

  • Assessing your skills, talents, experiences, assets, connections, education and other advantages that you might take for granted.
  • Considering something you have always wanted to do, have or be, but thought was out of your reach.
  • Asking yourself what it would take to accomplish just one of your dreams.
  • Beginning to work toward something simple, one step at a time, so you don't get overwhelmed. Once you get it, you can build on your ambitions from there.
  • Brainstorming with others -- people associated with what you want, and experts you find online.
  • Assessing whether you need classes, an internship, a mentor or a scholarship. What would propel you toward your goals?
  • Making a plan and writing down what you will do and when.

Help is out there for you to figure this out.

3Remove the blocks

We let others define who we are and what we can (and cannot) become by accepting our blocks. You can identify what those blockages are, however, and do the work it takes to remove them. Whenever you think you are too something (old, young, thin, fat, short, tall, poor, rich, beautiful, unattractive, "country" or "city") to have what you want, remember that this is not a reason; it's an excuse for not taking action and going after your vision.

  • Feel too emotionally "broken" after your divorce? Go to a counselor, coach or family therapist.
  • Too scared to be alone? Find your group of peers in a job or spiritual gathering and reach out to make new friends.
  • Bored or just uninterested in doing anything? Take a careful look back at what you once did in your youth that you loved and rediscover it in some form.
  • Lack energy? Guaranteed:  Physical exercise and de-cluttering your living environment will provide you with a new power surge.

The point is, you do have the power to change whatever is blocking you.

4 Understand: You are not alone

Though you may feel out of step with a world that seems to march together two by two, and you're just hobbling along by yourself, realize that you're not. Thousands of people, every day, are going through what you are experiencing. Millions of people have felt lost and adrift, just as you may feel now. Read some inspiring books. Find online support groups who can share their stories with you. Look for support groups in your community. If you feel alone, then you are not reaching out for the resources that are there to support you.

Define yourself!

As you make your way back into the world as a single woman, embrace the reality that you really do get to define what the divorce experience is for you. Your life is not over. You are not less of a person. And you do have the courage and strength to reinvent yourself to be the person you want to be. Your new definition is on its way. When you have processed and absorbed the above, start with this knowledge: You are going to be irresistibly attractive.

Related video

Savvy steps to a better life after divorce

Life after divorce is challenging, but it's also an opportunity to create a new life for yourself and your children. Negative emotions and self-doubt can often creep in, but a positive mindset can help you find strengths you never knew you had. Tap into your "inner savvy" and attract happiness and joy into your life after divorce.

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