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5 Ways To Move On After A Divorce In Your 20s

5 Ways To Move On After A Divorce In Your 20s

Being young and in love is awesome. Until it isn’t.

You got married right out of college because you thought true love could be kindled over Natty Lite and existential conversations spurred by Bill Nye’s Twitter feed. Who else in this universe could possibly like both the color royal blue and Chris Pratt? Getting married was the next logical step in this too-good-to-be-true romance.

But then you realize there are important things that you don’t agree on. You want to move away and get a job in the city, your partner wants to stay near their family and have kids. You love to travel, they’d rather spend the weekend watching Netflix. Suddenly “till death do us part” seems like a death sentence.

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If you are part of the unlucky bunch of millennials that got married and divorced before you hit dirty 30, here are 5 ways to move on after a divorce in your 20s.

1. Do what you want.

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    Part of being married is about compromise, and honestly most of the time it means sacrificing your own desires for those of your partner. That might have been okay circa 1950, but today you should do whatever you want. Always wanted to be an erotic painter? Do it. Want to walk the Rainbow Bridge barefoot? Go for it. Those things you’ve always dreamed of doing? Go do them right now!

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    2. Get out.

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      Force yourself to join a book club or a gym. Get a puppy and meet people at the dog park. Become a bingo shark. Read slam poetry at that dive coffee shop. Just do something and put yourself out there. You don’t have to go to the bar to make new friends, but you should get off the couch and pry yourself away from binging on The Blacklist.

      3. Get it all out.

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      crying

        Going skydiving with your brand new friends from the bingo hall is great, but it’s time to step up your game. It’s time to accept that you are alone and that it’s actually okay.

        After my divorce, I went on a solo trip. I cried most of the time, but it was still a time for me to really come to terms with my situation. A time to realign with the world around me and stop feeling sorry for myself.  Give yourself alone time where you can sob/scream/laugh/meditate.

        4. Make mad money.

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        money

          Divorcees are generally in some state of financial ruin. When I got divorced, I was evicted, lost my business, my car was repossessed, and I ultimately filed for bankruptcy — all within a year. I went from making enough money to support a stay-at-home husband and 5 employees to barely being able to support my gas station wine habit. But hard work and some hard choices — like getting rid of my smart phone, driving a 20-year-old car, and living on chicken breasts and bananas — eventually paid off. Do whatever you have to do to get back on your feet. You won’t regret it.

          5. Love again.

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            My heart was scrambled and, consequently, I hated anyone that showed even the slightest interest in me. How could I love someone after what had happened to me?

            Then, I read a life-changing book that essentially said don’t take anything personally. Really? Yes! Once I realized that the way my husband had treated me wasn’t my fault, that it was due to some baggage he was carrying, I could see the world with eyes open wide once more.

            As Al Capone said, “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” Live with a soft heart and thick skin, and those that deserve your love will get it. Those that don’t, won’t.

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            Last Updated on October 13, 2020

            12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

            12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

            Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?

            We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.

            1. Compare Yourself to Others

            People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.

            In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1]. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.

            Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.

            2. Be Mean-Spirited

            People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.

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            If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.

            3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day

            Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse. 

            Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.

            People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.

            If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.

            4. Dwell on Failure

            It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.

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            People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset[2]. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.

            For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”

            Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:

            5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem

            People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.

            Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.

            6. Try to Please Others

            They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.

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            7. Close Yourself off

            Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.

            As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”[3]. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.

            You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:

            8. Follow and Avoiding Leading

            People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.

            9. Fish for Compliments

            If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.

            You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.

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            10. Be Lazy

            People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.

            This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.

            11. Shy Away from Risks

            When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.

            12. Gossip

            People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.

            Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.

            The Bottom Line

            Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.

            If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

            More Tips on Building Confidence

            Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem
            [2] Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
            [3] Forbes: Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better

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