November 10, 2019
"Rebuild Your Confidence After the End of A Love Relationship" with Dorothy Ratusny
the Wisdom Podcast Season 1 Episode 7
Podcast Intro: 0-2:12 | Welcome From Dorothy And the Stories Of My Clients: 2:14 | The Story of 'Adele' and the Building of Lasting Confidence: 5:22 | When a Love Relationship Ends Despite Our Will... 8:14 | Your Sense of Self: 9:45 | To Experience Greater Self-Confidence: 11:00 | How Well Formed is Your Sense of Self? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself: 12:40 | If Your Confidence Feels Shaken After a Breakup... 14:07 | How Adele Rebuilt Her Confidence and Challenged Her Untrue Core Beliefs: 18:05
If you feel unhappy, unworthy, undesirable or confused; if you are uncertain about the future as you are grieving the end of a relationship, this episode is for you.
TRUTH SERUM: Examining your life path and the origin of your core beliefs.
Re-writing the narrative.
A-HA MOMENTS: Realizing and rewriting self-limiting core beliefs.
Deepening your knowledge and confidence in who you are and that you are more than enough.
PRACTICAL WISDOM: Accepting what you cannot change and changing what you can to become stronger, happier and more confident. Become a stronger more confident version of yourself.
REAL CLIENT STORIES:
Love after loss, the 7 year itch, an Australian adventure and re-writing the narrative of those nagging core beliefs.
Courtney was restless, He wasn’t going to change his mind.
Jacob was widowed and had two young children.
Adele was excited, but cautious.
This is a story about choosing happiness and defying the stereotypes, about love, loss, uncertainty and travelling across the world to find self-love.
My client Adele* had been in a serious relationship with Jacob* for eight months. Jacob was widowed and had two young children. When they first began to date, Adele was excited, but cautious. Her previous long term relationship ended abruptly after seven years. Her then fiance Courtney* expressed to her one day that he hadn't been happy for some time; that he had been thinking about the rest of his life and the many experiences that he still wanted to have before settling down and having a family. Adele intuitively felt as though there was more that Courtney wasn't telling her, but in the end, after several months of holding hope that they would get back together, Adele realized that Courtney wasn't going to change his mind; that he was having fun being single and living his life on his terms; and that she needed to move on. After a prolonged time of intense grieving and the lingering confusion of not really knowing if there was something more; something that she may have done to cause this, Adele decided that a change of scenery would be a good thing for her, and so she left her job to travel for a year in Australia.
When a love relationship ends; and if the revelation is that our partner no longer wishes to be with us; it often becomes a personal blow to our sense of self. We internalize the ending of a relationship as a loss, as perhaps something that was our fault; and we are often left with unresolved feelings of confusion, disbelief, and sadness.
A relationship ending can cause you to doubt your ability to believe that you are desirable and worthy. It also has the potential of highlighting your insecurities and self-doubt. This may cause you to examine what aspects of your self you may lack confidence in. Therein begins your work - to deepen your knowledge and confidence in who you are and to know that you are more than enough.
Adele blamed herself for Courtney's decision to end the relationship and questioned what she could have done or said that may have caused this. When a love relationship ends despite our will, we might find ourselves deeply shaken; our confidence in our self and in feeling 'good enough' and 'desirable' may be damaged for a time or indefinitely - and we may find ourselves wondering if we will ever "find" someone again to love us (and would this next love last?)
"While you can't change the past, you can change the way you think about it and what effect it has on your present." - dorothy ratusny
A relationship can provide us with merit and the stability that allows us to feel approval, desirable, and loved; and yet it can also be a distraction from doing the work of loving and accepting our self as who we are; and as separate and unique from our identify as part of a couple.
For many, sense of self is enmeshed with job title, accomplishments and success, socioeconomic status; and quite often the success of our partner and the accomplishments of our children. It's only when you identify with who you are as separate from the many roles and responsibilities that you have, and from your relationships and affiliations with others, that you can truly own and internalize your self-worth and to know your authentic self.
For Adele and so many like her who experience a blow to their confidence and their feelings of desirability at the time of a breakup; this would suggest that there is some unfinished work towards developing a healthy and autonomous sense of self.
Starting a new relationship doesn't solve the quest of feeling confident and self assured. Taking the time while you are newly single to develop a better relationship with yourself; to learn about who you are at this time and place in your life; to experience greater self-confidence, and to feel desirable and good enough for yourself - by your healthy standards, means that when you are ready to step into the next relationship, you will be certain of what you want and what you are not willing to settle for.
Your relationship should never define how you feel about yourself or if you are good enough.
A few months into her travels abroad, Adele met Jacob. It wasn't long before they began dating exclusively and were in love. When Adele's travel visa expired and she was required to return home, she became overwhelmed with feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and fear. She had convinced herself that Jacob would forget about her and move on to someone new since now their relationship would be one of distance, and for an indefinite period of time until she could acquire a new visa.
Throughout life, we are given replete opportunities to face our insecurities and fears. We can choose to face these with a deep breath, guided by our inner knowing and our deepest desires of how we want to be; and embrace the challenges before us, knowing that to do so means that we will have a different outcome simply by our choice to react; to go after what we want rather than convince our self that we are not capable.
To help us with this, it is important, in fact its critical - that we do the inner work of growing our confidence; of building our sense of self; of being self-assured in who we are. Without self-confidence, we will continue to rely on others to help us feel better about our self, to validate that we are good enough and deserving rather than relying on our own belief and the self-knowledge that we are indeed more than enough, deserving, and worthy.
Your sense of self is built upon the practice of knowing yourself well and being willing to live true to who you are; it means relying on your feelings of confidence and self-esteem; of being independent and autonomous; able to take care of your needs; and to take the necessary steps to overcome whatever setbacks or loss you might experience with dignity and self-reassurance. Having a healthy sense of self means that you choose your forward movement along a path that you desire; with positive feelings and inertia, and to never give up on your self.
If you rely on others for external feedback to remind you that you are desirable and good enough, then you will be vulnerable and dependant on a source outside of yourself; a source that you can never fully expect to provide you with accolades, encouragement, and love in the ways or distinct timing that you would need it. Rather than rely on another person or a love relationship for your positive feelings of self-worth, ask yourself the following reflective questions as a way of determining how much confidence and esteem you hold that is based on your belief of who you are rather than on how others see or value you:
Click to Download an Introspective Worksheet
For Cultivating Confidence
How well formed is your sense of self?
- What are the qualities that I value most about myself? (e.g. attributes, personality traits, my strengths, what I believe in, etc)
- What causes me to feel less desirable or unworthy?
- What can I do for myself in these situations (or moments) to acknowledge my worthiness and value; and to uphold my confidence and self-worth?
These questions are definitely worth the investment of time that you give them. Once you have your answers, keep them close at hand to remind you that your confidence and worth originate within you.
If your confidence feels shaken after the ending of a love relationship, rather than jump immediately back into the dating world, even though you may think that doing so can help boost your confidence; remember that this very action is an example of looking externally for validation. To begin a new relationship before you build confidence in yourself keeps you feeling vulnerable and overly sensitive to what others say and do; and it sets you up for feeling judged or rejected if your new partner does not provide you with what you are in search of; which is ultimately approval, acceptance, and love.
Instead take this time whilst being single to look with honesty at where you feel a lack of confidence; and make it a priority to know yourself better; to ask the important questions (such as the ones I mentioned earlier and others) that will help you look within for building your confidence and sense of self, and to ultimately know yourself best in order to give yourself what you need, rather than rely on others for this.
"When you are newly single after a breakup, it is one of the best times to reexamine your path in life and what you truly want; to become self-focused rather than looking at others for what you think you should be doing and having. To know your self is to deepen your understanding and knowledge of who you are and what is most important to you. This is how you become a stronger, more confident version of your self." - dorothy ratusny
When you make yourself a priority and invest quality time in your own company, you come to know your self better. When you rely on yourself and your abilities, you feel a sense of accomplishment and successful. In doing what allows you to feel authentic happiness, you realize that you are the source of your happiness; that others may contribute to the quality of your life but that it is up to you to feel happiness from within. Your positive feelings about yourself are felt from the experiences of revelling in (and owning) your personal accomplishments and successes.
Adopt an outlook of seeing setbacks, disappointment or rejection as an opportunity for becoming more, and for examining what you need to change and improve upon (and not for anyone else - but yourself). This allows your perspective of life to be one of optimism and of allowing rather than resisting what happens 'to you'; and to revel in life's moments; to reveal ways that can help you to become more confident and self assured. [You can always assess what doesn't go your way, and to consider whether you need to take a different path to attain your goals, or if perhaps what you want is something different.]
For Adele, this meant examining some of the core beliefs that she held about herself, particularly as it related to her feelings of desirability and attractiveness; which (as she admitted to me) were aspects of herself that she had always felt less confident about. Adele and I also challenged her core belief that she was "not enough" for someone to want to be with her 'forever', and I showed her how to come up with accurate and positive evidence for how the opposite was in fact true.
When you examine the origin of your core beliefs, you understand how the real life events that you have witnessed and experienced - have set the stage for what you believe - and also what reinforces your insecurities and fears. With some help to strengthen the new core beliefs that Adele identified, she was able to feel a growing confidence in her worthiness, and she was far less fearful if a future relationship were to end.
Your learned beliefs originate from earlier life experiences, what you have been witness to in your environment; including the spoken and unspoken messages you were given throughout childhood, and what you continue to tell yourself, and believe.
Know that in life, you will continue to be given experiences that are opportunities to challenge your core beliefs; revealing what you need to examine more closely, to build greater confidence. See these life experiences as opportunities to become stronger and more resilient; and to evolve into the very best version of yourself.
You can always increase your self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.
The more that you live aligned with your authentic or highest self; of choosing what is right and best for you, the more that you will appreciate and value who you are. Tweet this!
Adele needed to believe in her own desirability and worth first, in order to feel confident; and to know that she had much to offer someone as a life partner.
As Adele began to develop new core beliefs that she could believe in, her confidence in herself, and her desirability and attractiveness grew. She began to acknowledge her worth and value based on who she already was, and she found evidence to prove to herself that she was more than good enough as a life partner for someone. As I showed Adele how to challenge her self-doubts and the critical thoughts that would on occasion creep into her mind, Adele began to look for and find evidence that she was indeed desirable and worthy of having a wonderful long term relationship. With a little help, she began rewriting the old insecure narratives that she had been telling herself for so long.
When her travel visa was ready and she returned to Australia, Adele brought with her a newfound sense of self that she had never felt before; together with the knowledge that she was more than enough for this or any relationship. Adele also noticed that having done this inner work meant that she no longer would lose herself in a relationship; and that she could voice her needs and desires knowing that she deserved to feel happiness based on knowing herself best and in choosing a path that was right for her. Adele continues to live in Australia with her partner and two step-children and is a wonderful example of how self-confidence can be built at any time in one's life by choice.
The ending of a love relationship may rattle our confidence for a short time, and it is also possible that we will never really know the whole truth about why someone has chosen to end the relationship. What is even more important is that you understand and know your worth; that all relationships begin and end in some form, but that your responsibility to yourself is always to believe in who you are (in your greatness). Your belief in yourself is built upon positive action, through the ongoing and repetitive inner dialogue that reminds you of all that you are capable and deserving of, and to know that it is always within your power and your sacred rite to improve yourself; to grow and enhance who you are - because of your desire to do so.
If you enter into a new relationship continuing to doubt your worthiness, to feel insecure in who you are, to question your desirability, intelligence, attractiveness, or to be fearful of not being 'enough'; then you will not attract the kind of partner that you truly want. It matters first that you feel secure in who you are and confident in your value and worth.
If you know that you could benefit from rebuilding your confidence and a healthy sense of self that is based in truth rather than what problematic core beliefs you hold; please let me help. It may be time that you free yourself of the insecurities and fears that have kept you from finding the 'right' partner and for knowing that you are deserving of much (unconditional) love, beginning with your feelings towards yourself. If you would like my help in doing this, please reach out to me. 💜
*The name of my client and others have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Additional details or circumstances may also have been altered in order to ensure their utmost privacy.
Sharing the wisdom and beauty of divine love with you...
Podcast Theme Music: 'Aura' from the Album, Illuvia by Eternell www.eternell.net/album/illuvia
Accompanying Music: Eternell, 'Embrace'
A generous 'thank you' to Audio Engineer, P. Kirpikau for your excellent work!