Is building self-esteem after divorce possible?

The divorce, itself, can be a huge hit to your ego. You were so sure that you were headed towards that “happily ever after,” but now you just feel lost.

The first step to recovery, though, is building yourself back up.

You may feel like you’ve lost a lot and are grappling with a lot of regret and guilt, but it’s essential to remember that divorce is not just the aftermath of marriage — it’s a new era of possibility.

It’s an opportunity to love yourself in ways you never realized you could, if only you embrace this new opportunity to make the most of your life. In addition, you can grow and find the positives through this experience. Take a look at some of our wonderful ways on building self-esteem after divorce!


Here are 8 smart ways of building self-esteem after divorce.


1. Leave behind feelings of failure.

So, your marriage didn’t work out in the end, but that doesn’t mean it was a failure.

You probably had a lot of good moments and did have love in your life. You also probably learned a lot about yourself and what you need out of a relationship.

It can be easy to interrogate yourself after divorce: “Why didn’t I see the red flags? Why didn’t I listen to my gut? Why did I let them treat me like that for so long?”

But all of those questions only break down your trust and belief in yourself. Instead of asking yourself what you should’ve known or done better, ask yourself how you can use this experience to make the best decisions in the future.

Self-esteem requires you to accept your potential to grow.


2. Commit to yourself.

Now that you’re single, you might be feeling alone a lot. Don’t shy away from that — embrace it. It’s time to be there for yourself in new ways.

There’s only one commitment you should be rushing into post-divorce: commitment to yourself.

The time after your divorce is the perfect time to learn how to love yourself and lean on the one person that will always be there for you.


3. Set — and achieve — small goals.

If you’ve lost your confidence in yourself post-divorce, try to get it back by setting small, achievable goals.

Maybe relationships aren’t where you want to be putting your energy right now, so investing in something else that can make you feel good about yourself is essential.

Whether it’s conquering a yoga pose, finding a new growth on your houseplant, or teaching your dog a new trick, it’s surprising how little things can give us a sense of accomplishment.

You don’t have to be your most extraordinary self right now — you’re going through a lot and those high expectations can set you up for failure.

But, giving yourself a pat on the back for a small achievement can give you the boost of energy you need.


4. Embrace your alone time.

There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. Just because you’re spending more time alone, doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely.

Of course, those feelings are going to creep in while you try to cope with your new single life, but being alone is not an inherently bad thing. If you start feeling that loneliness creeping in, find ways to make your space more positive.

Light some candles, draw a bath, and watch your favorite show. There’s nothing that will build your self-esteem like realizing that you like to hang out with yourself.


5. Give yourself a fresh start.

After divorce, you want to embrace the new possibilities of your new life. It’s important to take time to grieve your old relationship, but divorce is about more than loss.

It’s about gaining something new. Whether that “something new” is your freedom, your energy, your time, or just a happier version of yourself, there are so many possibilities that come with this new era.

Socialize with new people, start new hobbies, and surround yourself with positive family and friends.

Divorce may be a tough experience, but it can also be an exciting moment where the whole world is ahead of you.


6. Create a positives list.

It feels good to just remember all the good things in your life. Whether you’re having a particularly rough day or just want to practice some self-care, create a list of all the wonderful things in your life.

They can be monumental things, like your kids or a promotion, but they can also be small things, like the natural light that comes into your apartment or the amazing takeout you had last night.

If it makes you feel better about your life, add it. You can keep adding things to it in the years to come, and return to it when you’re feeling lost.


7. Ground yourself in something physical.

When you lose your self-esteem, a lot of it comes from overthinking and catastrophizing in your own head.

Doing something physical, like exercising or yoga, can ground you in the real world, rather than all the fears and negatives that can infest your mind.

When you do something with your body, you’ll remember that you exist outside of all those thoughts that are bringing you and your self-esteem down


8. Connect with a therapist.

Therapists are invaluable when you’re trying to build up a more confident and self-aware you. Your low self-esteem is a result of intruding thoughts that create a negative version of yourself in your mind.

A therapist can help you work through those thoughts, help you understand when they’re irrational, and teach you how to replace them with more positive ones.


It’s natural to be feeling not-so-great about yourself after divorce.

But you can’t rely on anyone else to build up your self-esteem for yourself.

You have to take affirmative steps to care for yourself and grow into the best you. It’ll take some time, but you’ll get there.


Originally Published on Your Tango

Until the next Opening the Doors post.

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