By Heidi Krantz, OTR, CPC
Professional Life Coach
Divorce often brings with it enormous pain, confusion, fear, ambivalence and difficulty. We each mourn and grieve the loss of our dream or the life that we knew, in our unique way, at our individual pace. The end of a significant intimate relationship creates the need to navigate changes in every aspect of our lives. The thought of doing so can feel overwhelming and even frightening. However, there can be an element of excitement to be uncovered.
Let’s begin to emerge from the darkness and recognize that this challenging transition can be accompanied by amazing opportunity that would not have otherwise presented itself. Although it may not be easy to envision, if we seize this opportunity and approach change in an organized way with self-awareness and a positive attitude, our possibilities are limitless.We can emerge stronger, happier, more confident and eventually, have the capacity for a greater and more satisfying love than before.
How do we begin? Identify one goal that you can accomplish now, that you could not have achieved during your marriage. For whatever reason, you were held back by your previous relationship from pursuing a meaningful goal in some aspect of your life. What is that goal? Perhaps it to lose weight, to go back to school, to start a new business, to participate in a volunteer venture, or to take up yoga. What is your unique pursuit?
Now let’s break it down into baby steps (Bill Murray style, from the movie, “What About Bob”). Ask yourself the following question regarding your new goal: What is one small step I can take toward accomplishing my goal in the next week? So, if your goal is, for example, to go back to school, your baby step might be to search the internet and find three possible programs. That doesn’t mean that you have to go as far as to decide which program is best or to sign up, you are just beginning to generate a list of three. Next week, perhaps you will call to follow up with questions regarding one of the programs, and so on…
Small successes breed larger successes, particularly when your goals are measurable, time-defined, and realistic. Accomplishments in one area of your life spill over into other areas, which creates an overall feeling of general satisfaction. Celebrate each baby step forward.
There is tremendous power in the written word, so I encourage you to write down your exact intentions; speak the words aloud as well.Another key ingredient to achieving these goals is to have someone hold you accountable to what you commit to. That crucial accountability piece is one of the roles of a Life Coach, or it can be the role of a trusted friend or family member who is filled in on the plan.
Remember that uphill progress does not usually occur in a constant diagonal line up the mountain. The climb is often a jagged path with “two steps forward and one step back.” Eventually, if you are led by your power of positive thinking, you will reach the summit.
Using this blueprint of identifying and prioritizing goals and dreams, followed by breaking them down into smaller achievable steps, is the road toward your breakthrough, post-breakup. What has been holding you back all this time that can now be transformed to give you the wings to fly? What is the opportunity to uncover within all the challenge and change? You are remarkably resourceful and the answers are within you. Stretch out of your comfort zone and move from “Breakup to Breakthrough!” I did it, and so can you.
About the Author
Heidi Bernstein-Krantz, OTR, CPC is a Professional Life Coach with specialties in divorce and life transitions. She is the founder of Reinvention Life Coaching, a published author, and speaker. Heidi is expertly trained and certified by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), an internationally accredited program. Learn more at www.reinventionlifecoaching.com