Finding yourself in the middle of a divorce (or conscious uncoupling as some people are now calling it), can be a challenging time for a multitude of reasons. Not only are you dealing with the struggle of dividing your finances and your time with your children, but often times, you find yourself in the middle of an identity crisis. For many, you find yourself going from a long-time couple- a “we”, to a single- a “me”. This can be a major shift in how you feel about who you are. For years you have lived making decisions for the couple, and building your image as a family, and now that image is drastically changing. Now that you are emerging from this phase in your life, it is time to rediscover and freshen-up your self-brand. Part of our job as family law attorneys is not only helping our clients through the legal process of a divorce, but also through the personal journey. Rest assured, we have been in your shoes personally; we’ve witnessed this thousands of times professionally, and we have words of wisdom to offer:
Find You/Self-Search: The first step in re-discovering and updating your self-brand is finding who you are now as an individual. Part of this takes self-reflection over your past to sort through the path you’ve been down. For this, we always recommend our clients seek counseling from a professional, whether that be a mental-health professional, a religious professional, or a physician. Journaling can also be a helpful and cathartic way to reflect on where you have been. The next step is working on where you want to go and where you see yourself in the future. Listing goals, dreams, and aspirations is a great way to begin preparing for the future. During this time, we recommend trying different hobbies, spending time with friends and family, meeting new people, and generally exploring the world around you to find things that you enjoy and that interest you. Doing this will not only help you make new connections and cultivate new relationships, but it will also lead you to new passions, or may even lead to re-discovering old passions. Reflecting, dreaming, and exploring is all a part of the healing process, and will lead to you finding who you are in this new phase of your life.
Be You/Self-Brand: Once you have worked through reflecting on your past and have taken time to figure out where you want to go, what you are passionate about, and who you are as an individual, it is time to start letting others know who this new person is. This is when you re-establish your self-brand. Branding has become ever-so-important in the age of online marketing, social media, and networking. You want people to know who you are and what they get when they are dealing with you in business and in associating with you personally. The business side of self-branding consists of ensuring that you are presenting a professional, trust-worthy, and sound image of yourself. Your business, in part, will dictate the type of brand to be portrayed. Regardless of what the brand is, you should display your business brand in a uniform manner across all of your platforms, including social media, website, and other marketing materials. In your personal self-branding, you want to make sure that you are connected with your authentic self and that you are sharing that with those who you want to connect with personally. This means finding people who you are comfortable with so you can unmask and be your true self in its most raw form. Part of this means finding those who love you for you no matter what, and the other part is sharing who you are with those people. You will find that when you are able to do that, happiness in your personal life, no matter what is going on in your business life, will be easy to come by. In both your business and personal branding, there are countless resources to help you cultivate these brands. Life coaches, branding experts, social media managers, and other similar professionals can help you to perfect your brand, then hone in the skills to put that brand out in the world.
Love You/Self-Care: Finally, part of living a happy and healthy life following the unexpected path of a divorce is to love yourself and take care of yourself. You have reflected on where you have been and the ins and outs of how and why those things happened in your life. You have rediscovered who you are and how to share that person with others in a personal and professional sense. Now comes loving that person and making sure you take care of who you are so that you continue to grow and prosper. Loving yourself comes in many forms, but at its most basic, comes from being comfortable with who you are, appreciating what you stand for, and being proud of what makes you unique. Understanding that you will not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” and that you will never be able to please everybody all the time is a key to being able to love yourself. Constantly searching for the approval of others is a quick way to constantly feel depleted. Instead, connect with those who are most important to you. Use those people as a mirror to speak to you honestly so that you can stay in tune with what others are seeing from you, but otherwise, live your life, and if it makes you happy and makes those you love happy, then you’ve done all you need to do. The other side of loving yourself is taking care of yourself, which also comes in many forms. This can mean connecting to what fuels you spiritually, whether that is religion, yoga, nature, or the like. It can also mean taking care of yourself physically and mentally, which can be easy as taking a daily walk or taking some quiet time to yourself each day for a few minutes. It can also mean something as simple as making sure that you are always taking time to connect to those things you are passionate about and making time to do the things that fill your tank. If you are creative, take time to explore that creativity. If you love giving, do work with a non-profit. If travel brings you joy, make sure to set aside time for a trip whether that means weekend trips throughout the year, or a vacation abroad every once in a while. Whatever it is, make sure to stay in tune with the things that you can easily find happiness in.
We understand that divorce can be scary and confusing. It is a place most never imagined being, but if you will take time during the storm to connect with yourself and find who that is so that you can grow that person and love that person, you will find that the storm will subside and there is a bright new journey for you on the other side. No matter where you are in your marriage, your separation, your divorce, or your single life, we say cheers to you- you are smart, strong, and empowered.