Building Self Esteem After Divorce Part 2

Develop Positive Thoughts

You can’t think two thoughts at the same time. When you are thinking a positive thought you can’t be thinking a negative one at the same time. The next step in the process is to develop positive statements you can say in place of the negative thoughts whenever you notice yourself thinking them. When developing positive statements use positive words such as:

  • Warm
  • Loving
  • Happy
  • Peaceful
  • Exciting
  • Enthusiastic
  • Worthy
  • Fantastic
  • Successful
  • Valuable
  • Great

Avoid using negative words such as tired, bored, never, scared, upset, can’t, worried, and failure. To change your thoughts, don’t use a negative as a positive. For example, don’t say, “I am not going to worry anymore.” instead say, “I focus on the positive.” Always use the present tense, as if the condition already exists. Also use your name, ‘I’ or ‘me’ in your statements:

  • I am strong.
  • I am healthy.
  • I am well.
  • I deserve to be happy.
  • I have a good job.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am compassionate.
  • I am kind.
  • I am valuable.
  • I am a great person.
  • I am smart.
  • I do many things well.

Changing Negative to Positive

Keep a journal with you for a week or two and write down every negative thought you have about yourself. Then place each negative thought with a positive statement. Every time negative self-talk starts repeat the positive thought over and over. Whenever you get a chance, do this out loud and in front of a mirror. You may also want to write your positive thoughts over and over on a piece of paper to help reinforce them. For those troublesome negative thoughts that you know will be difficult to overcome, consider doing all the above and write your positive thought on post-its and place them where you will see them often. Creating affirmation cards, keeping them in your pocket or purse and reading them as much as possible is also very beneficial.

Changing your negative self-talk will require time and persistence. Reinforce the positive self-talk by repeating it over and over to yourself when you are relaxed, like when you are doing a deep breathing or relaxation exercise, or when you are just falling asleep or waking. By using these techniques for four to six weeks, you will notice a decline in the amount of negative self-talk. Don’t give in! You deserve to think good thoughts about yourself.

Additional Activities to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Affirming Lists

Make affirming lists, read and rewrite them often. Your list should include at least five of your strengths, the things you admire about yourself and greatest achievements. Make a list of ten ways you can make yourself laugh, help someone else and things you can do to make you feel good about yourself.

Reinforcing a Positive Self Image

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Write your name at the top of a piece of paper. Beneath your name write every positive thing you can think of about yourself. Include special attributes, talents, and achievements. You can use single words or sentences, whichever you prefer. If you wish to emphasize them write them over and over again. Write down whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be organized. Avoid negative statements and words, only use positive ones. When the 10 minutes are up, read what you wrote to yourself. Read it several times then put it in a convenient place where you can get at it to read several times per day.

Developing Positive Affirmations

Many people think affirmations are a waste of time; however, several people have conquered huge obstacles and changed their lives by using affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements and describe ways you would like to feel about yourself all the time, yet they may not reflect how you are feeling about yourself at this very moment. Here are some examples of affirmations:

  • I am liked by many people.
  • I deserve good things.
  • I am a wonderful person.
  • I spend quality time with people who care and are nice to me.
  • I am healthy and take good care of myself.
  • I feel good about myself.

Make a list of your affirmations. Write them on a business size card and get it laminated and keep it in your pocket so you can read it often or make several copies and keep them in various places at work and home. Read them whenever you get a chance and find times when you can read them out loud. As you do this over time, the affirmations tend to gradually become true.

Here is an example of an affirmation I wrote for myself, laminated it and carried it with me.

“My relationship with God is fantastic, personal, loving and faithful. I am producing fruit, giving to others and am a good role model for my daughter. I love myself as God loves me and I am worthy of love. I have received mercy, therefore, I show mercy. I am sensitive to the things of God and His Kingdom.”

Appreciation Statement

Get out a sheet of paper and at the top write “I like (your name) because:”

  • I have friends.
  • Family members
  • Job
  • Health
  • etc…

Write an appreciation statement about you on it. When you read it, don’t deny it or argue with what is written, just accept it! Keep this paper in a place where you can read it often.


It is possible to improve your self-esteem and get on with your life after a major loss or divorce. Don’t let others influence how you feel about yourself. You are a great person-flawed, but great-and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.. Take time to pray and have faith that God is answering your prayers. It may not happen in your timing or manifest itself the way you envisioned, but it will happen. Persistence equals Faith! Take action today.

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