This is the #1 thing you must do to stick up for yourself.
Here’s the uncomfortable truth, friends.
In your journey to get confident and feel better about yourself, you cannot be afraid to step on toes. In other words…
Don’t be afraid to tick people off.
Strong people will end up ticking people off. And that’s okay.
Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about being crazy in a wanton, sociopathic, “Fatal Attraction” bunny rabbit kind of way.
What I do mean, however, is that from now on, you need to start internalizing that you matter. What you want matters. Your worth matters.
Because here’s the thing. As you recover from your divorce, rebuild your self-esteem, and learn how to set healthy boundaries, there will be many people around you—some may even be close friends or family members–who may not like that you’re voicing your opinion.
Let this year be the year you stick up for yourself. And if they get angry or offended that you’re sticking up for yourself, forget them. Because you don’t need their toxicity anyway.
Let this be the first time in your life that you learn to stick up for yourself.
So many of us have been raised to not raise our voice. To just play nicely. To not cause a ruckus. And yeah, when you’re at a funeral or in a theater, those are great guidelines.
However, that social conditioning means that during your marriage, you probably let your spouse always have their way so there wouldn’t be a conflict. Maybe you went along with decisions–even when they didn’t serve you—because you didn’t want a fight or to make him upset.
But doing that for years probably made you resentful, or stole your self-confidence and ability to find your own voice. And this silence may have buried that part of you–the part that had dreams and hopes and goals that were every bit as valid as your partner’s and your children’s.
While it may not seem like it, that part of you is still alive. That part of you deserves to be heard, acknowledged, and validated.
But you have to do it yourself. It may seem intimidating, but you must speak up for yourself this year. And let people in your life know what you want.
Because, what other choice do you have?
It won’t be easy though, but at the end of the day and at the end of this transition to being divorced and independent in your life, there is one thing that will always be true.
No one will stand up for you but you. But you are all you need.
You’ve mattered all along, although people in your life probably weren’t reminding you of that. Heck, you probably forgot to remind yourself that you mattered. But you must start internalizing this. You must not be afraid to tell the people in your life–the ones who drain you and take advantage of you and don’t appreciate you–to back up, to shape up, or to get the hell out of your face.
You must be your own advocate.
You must be the person in the mirror who tell yourself that you got this.
You must know that it’s time to put yourself first for a change.
And if you need help, for the love of all things holy, ask for help.
Because at the end of the day, you have yourself. And if you do it right, that is all you need.
Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce and recovery coach whose website “Surviving Your Split” shows divorced women how to get their confidence back and move on with their lives. For your Free Goddess Recovery Guide, stop by Surviving Your Split today!