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Going through a divorce brings out the worst fears in most logical and rational-thinking people. And it’s justified. It is the end of a chapter in your life. So how do you handle this emotionally, physically and mentally? How you choose to approach this life change will make the difference.
Change is inevitable. It’s also exciting. There aren’t many times in life where people get a chance to alter their lives while being forewarned that change is coming. I’m not talking about the obvious changes: married now single, two parents in the same house now one parent at different homes. I’m talking about change that reverberates in all areas of life.
I’m talking about changing your life’s trajectory while you go through a divorce…because it sucks, it’s a “bottom” of sorts, yet there is opportunity everywhere to make changes that improve your (and your family’s) quality of life. Bottoms are here for a reason.
When going through a divorce, there are three possible growth spectrums:
1. Survival. You aren’t getting any worse and, hey, you’ll take it! You have learned to cope with the negativity in your life and you will “get through this.” It may not be pretty but you’re a grinder.
2. Fear. You’re afraid of the entire process. You have no compass, you feel lost, and you wish it would be over already. You have no confidence in what you are doing, you feel shame and irrationally think you can’t get better. You feel like a victim. You’re in a rut and the timing of this divorce shines the light on you. You feel like you “aren’t ready for this.”
3. Clarity. You see this divorce for what it is: a new beginning. You take on the challenge. You own your shortcomings and decide to make changes in your life. You take steps, even baby steps, to change your ways of thinking. You are engaged in the divorce process, you see the value in “ending well,” and you focus on becoming more self-aware. Divorce still sucks but neither the process nor the outcome defines you. You see new doors opening in your life.
A divorce with clarity is possible, regardless of where you are on the divorce spectrum. And if you have clarity going through the divorce, chances are you also see that better life in front of you.
Here are a few action steps to get you clarity while going through your life changing divorce:
1. Get your mind right. You didn’t get here by accident. You had a part in it. Don’t get bogged down on fault and blaming others. It’s a rabbit hole with no rabbit. You control your destiny. You dictate who takes up space in your head. Interview therapists and choose one that feels right to you. Read books that inspire and motivate you. Get some perspective and self-awareness, and enjoy having peace of mind.
2. Get your body right. Join a gym. Hire a personal trainer. Change your eating habits. Invest in the only body you have. Reduce your alcohol intake. Wake up earlier. Set goals and watch your confidence soar.
3. Change people, places and things. If you’re changing your life trajectory, you’ll need to get real about who you spend time with. Negativity and negative people are just negative. Seek to feed your brain and heart with reassurance and positivity. If that’s not readily available, then keep your distance or retreat from those who bring you down.
Divorce is a catalyst for change. It can be the best thing that has ever happened in your life if you let it.