Is your confidence level at an all time low? Divorce can do that.

Do you believe the negative things that he says about you? Even a little bit?

Are your own inner voices undermining your confidence?

Do you have trouble talking with attorneys, mediators, financial advisors and expressing what you want and need?

Is it difficult to explain to your ex, family, the kids, friends or colleagues in no uncertain terms what your plans are for yourself?

It’s all normal

You’re not alone. I remember feeling scared to death that I’d never make it through the divorce without breaking into a million pieces … and never being able to find all those pieces to begin again. I recall the panic that set in when I had to talk to the judge and describe what happened and what I felt I deserved.

What happens when your confidence takes a back seat to your fears? Do your palms sweat? Knees knock? Does your voice quiver? Does this scenario play out each and every time you do that thing that makes you most fearful? It did for me.

You have the power to choose confidence

These days people tell me they don’t think of me as lacking confidence — it’s because I work hard at choosing confidence over fear. I don’t claim to have conquered my fear in all areas for sure … speaking to an audience I don’t know is one of them. What will they think of me? Will they care what I have to share? Can I capture their attention and hold it till I’m done? Fear of judgment, lack of self-worth, fear of failure. Still self-doubt creeps in.

3 tips to improve your confidence level

As I struggled with my own confidence through divorce and in life, I’ve read many books and blogs; I’ve watched videos and listened to audio tapes; I’ve talked with coaches and meditated on the subject. There is a lot of good advice out there about how to improve your confidence and I’ve put many of them to the test. There are three approaches that have helped me the most:

1~~Practice, practice, practice — Confidence comes when you are clear about what you want to say. Spending time to get clear is the first step. What do you want? Dig deeply to understand what you want or need and this clarity will be the cornerstone upon which you can base your confidence. Then, practice putting it into words. Hone the words so they express the clarity of your message. Whether you’re speaking to your ex, the judge or your manager, your clear message will come across confidently. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become. I still practice. A.Lot!

2~~Believe in yourself — This is where your inner voices come into play. What messages are you sending yourself? What do you believe about yourself? Are you capable? Can you do this? Are you a loving person? Do you want the best for yourself and others? What do you value above all else?

When I started asking myself questions like these I started to feel more confident, because the answers were all very positive. Yes, I am capable. I can do anything I set my mind to—I’ve done it before and I can do it again! I value my independent nature, integrity and freedom to choose. WOW! Those are powerful and empowering statements. When I repeat those things to myself, it raises my confidence. I create affirmations from those statements and use them as a mantra until I become one with them. Try it for yourself. What are your belief questions? How do you answer them?

3~~Get your emotions under control — This could be the hardest one. It is for me. Your emotions can run right over you if you let them. Which emotion is your worst enemy? Is it fear? Guilt? Sadness? Whatever it is for you, this following activity will help.

It’s called “Reframe the Emotion.” For me it’s Reframe the Fear. Insert your “favorite” emotion in place of my fear. When fear grips me and won’t let go, I think about it in a different “frame.” Think of a picture frame … rather than focusing on what makes me afraid or nervous or less than confident, I think about the situation in different terms. What about this situation excites me? What about it can make me feel enthusiastic? What are the positive things I can say to myself that flips the switch from fear to excitement? Use positive self-talk to put a different picture frame around that emotion that stops you from what you want to do. Learn what different emotions will empower you rather than derail you.

If you suffer from attacks to your confidence, which can easily happen as you go through the divorce experience, give these three tips a try and let me know what works for you. Feel free to leave a comment here and share any other tips you’ve tried that may help others improve their confidence.

From my “mostly-confident” heart to yours …
Maria Signature

P.S. Better yet, come join my Facebook group of awesome, like-minded women who would welcome hearing how you are doing. Thrive after Divorce: Your Journey Begins is here to support you!

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