It’s crucial that you learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup. Breakups are one of life’s events that really take a toll on confidence and rebuilding it improves your chances of getting your ex back greatly. Read the information below as a starter, but to really dig into rebuilding your confidence, be sure to get the book, Ex Back: The Five Step Process to Get Him Back.
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How to Rebuild Your Confidence After a Breakup | Become Independent
Independence vs. Dependence vs. Interdependence
In order for a relationship to be truly fulfilling and successful, it must be an interdependent relationship. That might not seem right to you, but I encourage you to read the differences between these three types of relationships and then form your own opinion about which type you had with your ex and which type of relationship you want, moving forward.
When we start our lives, we’re dependent on our parents for all our basic needs, but as we grow, if our parents are doing their jobs, we gain independence. Sometimes, however, our parents aren’t emotionally equipped to raise us to be independent, through no fault of their own. Your teen years should be filled with exploration, learning how to earn and save money and how to take responsibility for your life so that when you reach adulthood, you’re on the pathway to a happy, fulfilling life.
We all know it doesn’t always work this way, and that’s why we’re here today. In order to learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup, you need to understand why, and this is a big reason why right here!
When you experience dependence in a relationship, it means you give up your own needs for those of your partner. Some things you might give up include, but are not limited to:
- Spending time with your female friends
- Pursuing your hobbies
- Enjoying workout time with friends
- Doing things by yourself, like going to a movie or dinner out
When you are in a dependent relationship, you might be a victim of, or may say and do some of these things:
- Tolerating berating comments from your partner
- Berating your partner
- Constantly needing to know where your guy is, to the point of following him around to check up on him
- Having a partner who must always know where you are and what you’re doing, to the point of following you around to check up on you
- Giving up everything to spend more time with your guy
- Your guy relying on you for financial support for too long (i.e. he’s out of work but not motivated to find a new job)
- Controlling every action your guy wants to take
- Your guy wanting to control every action you take
Instead of being built on love and respect, these relationships are built on dependence. One or both of you are dependent on the other for your happiness and sense of fulfillment.
When your happiness relies on or is determined by the mood or presence of another person, you’re not going to find happiness in a relationship. Instead, it’s importance to find happiness from within and learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup.
There is no way to say this except to be direct. You cannot be one half of a successful relationship until you become an independent woman. What does this mean? It means it’s time to get to know and love yourself, something that you’re perfectly set up to do right now because you’re single.
Get to Know Yourself
You might think you already know yourself, but let’s think about it for a moment. A great way to do this is to start journaling. Before you groan and yell at me, just try it. You can journal any way you want. Art journal, junk journal or just a writing journal. It makes no difference. The point is to take time, every day, to write down what happened and how you feel about it.
Your boss came into your office and told you he was considering you for a promotion. When you journal about it, you might discover that, while it’s flattering and exciting, you were also a little scared at the possibility. That’s good! Write it all down.
Your mom called to ask you to come for Thanksgiving dinner, filling you with dread over the usual family conflicts and drama. Write it all down.
When you look back, decide whether you presented the true you to the world or a varnished version you think the world wants to see. Sometimes, we varnish our exterior to present what we think others expect from us, hiding the true person inside.
You might journal that your coworkers asked you to go to lunch, but you’re trying to lose some weight. You decide to go out of peer pressure, ditching the diet for another day. You may notice that this made you feel disappointed in yourself. You’ve discovered that your actions were incongruent with your values and goals.
With this awareness, you can decline their invitation next time. That’s what discovering who you are is all about. How do your actions line up with your goals and desires? When they start to align, you’re living your life for yourself, instead of the opinions of others. THAT is an independent woman! THAT is how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup.
Challenge What You Believe
Without realizing it, we create statements about life that come from beliefs that are a bit skewed. Challenging what you believe means looking at the things you think you believe then examining whether there’s validity to those thoughts.
For example, you might have a belief you aren’t even aware of about control. It might go something like this:
Belief: People in control hurt other people with their control–>People in control don’t care about the people they control–>People in control are really out of control.
What this means to me: I don’t take control of my life because I fear being out of control – but – I am already out of control–>I need to take control of my choices. I need to control my actions. I need to let go of misguided beliefs.
The root of the beliefs is where you land at the end, like People in control are really out of control. You can see how tha troot belief has impacted your own belief system. Then, you can begin to look at the facts behind your belief to determine whether they’re true. Are all people in control out hurting others or have you been hurt by one person who was in control over you?
As you learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup, examine your beliefs in several areas of your life, like money, career, love, spirituality and relationships. Other things like control are good, as are power, happiness and anything else you feel might be holding you back.
Learn to Speak Up for Yourself
It’s so easy to let others speak for you, especially if you’re shy or lack confidence. Being agreeable is great if it doesn’t leave you looking or acting like a doormat.
It’s time to be assertive! Independent women are able to speak up for themselves, sticking to their boundaries and staying true to goals and values. None of these things make you mean or bad. They make you independent!
Become a Decision-Maker
It might seem as if you’re being agreeable to never have an opinion about where to eat dinner tonight, which team should win the Superbowl or which political party you prefer, but really, it comes off as a lack of confidence. Bummer, right? Here all this time, you thought you were being a good person, and to some extent, you were, but you weren’t being a confident person.
When you express what you want, it doesn’t make you difficult, it makes you confident. Men appreciate this. A great guy wants to know where you want to go for dinner because he cares for you and your happiness is important to him. If you get all wishy-washy on him, he’ll just regret asking.
Other traits of an independent woman include:
- Practicing self-care
- Developing new, healthy habits
- Having goals and plans
- Learning to self-soothe
- Being willing to take some risks
- Not always seeking agreement, but being willing to challenge your ideas or those of someone else
Why is independence so important? Because the only way to a healthy, interdependent relationship is through becoming an independent woman and you most definitely want to be in an interdependent relationship. Let’s discover why.
Sadly, we don’t often hear the term interdependent as it relates to relationships, and that’s unfortunate, because that’s the only type of relationship that will make you and your great guy happy. Why?
Because in an interdependent relationship, you each allow the other to maintain their identity. If you love art and want to pursue it, a great guy will encourage you to do so, and he won’t complain about it cutting into his time because while you’re pursuing your art, he’s out doing his own thing with his friends or on his own.
When two independent people form a relationship, they maintain who they are, instead of giving that up to spend more time together or to make the other person happy. Nobody has the right to ask you to change. If you want to change, have a good reason, like discontinuing horseback riding because you want to have a baby. An independent person never asks their partner to give up a piece of themselves, but encourages a healthy discussion about the issue so it can be resolved. Being an independent person is easy once you know how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup.
From Independent to Interdependent
Once you become an independent woman, it’s easy to find a great, independent man. Why? Confident men are drawn to confident women for starters. Secondly, players and losers will quickly recognize that you’re out of their league and if they approach at all, they won’t stick around for long.
You are placing yourself in the position of choosing great men to date, instead of being grateful to be chosen or desperate. You will never find a great guy from a position of desperation. Great guys, losers and players sniff out desperation like cheap draft beer at a bar. The great guys will steer clear and the losers and players will move in for the kill.
Who are you as one half of in interdependent relationship?
- You and your partner both have boundaries and respect those boundaries
- You each maintain your uniqueness
- You find and foster common ground between you
- You have excellent communication skills
- You respond to one another’s needs
- You recognize and adapt to change
- You become tolerant
Now that you see the difference between a co-dependent relationship and an interdependent relationship, it’s time to continue on to building your confidence!
How to Make Positive Changes in Your Life
Do you remember, waaaaay back, when I said you would be getting your ex back indirectly? As you learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup, you’re doing just that!
What does it mean to make positive changes in your life? Well, first of all, I’m not saying your life is bad as it is, but we all have room for improvement, so let’s find out where those places are for you and why these changes will help you.
How to Rebuild Your Confidence After a Breakup | Make Financial Improvements
Do you have a good handle on where your money goes? I know I like to sit down every few months and look in depth at where mine goes. It’s so easy to sign up for free trials of things and then the payments kick in and you’re not even using whatever it is you signed up for. Also, it’s easy to use cash for things like eating out or going out with friends, and there is no real tracking of those expenses. Hitting the drive-thru on the way to work to grab a coffee and a muffin is a quick way to get yourself out the door, but what’s the cost?
Whether you’re bringing in four figures a year or six, it’s important to understand where your money goes, all the time. Do a month-long evaluation of everything you spend, what your bills are, what debts you have outstanding and so on. I have a workbook in my Etsy shop that will help you complete this evaluation. You can find it here. The cost is minimal but the value you will get from getting a handle on your finances is priceless!
Learning how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup also means making physical improvements. Even if you’re already fit as a fiddle, there are things you can do.
These improvements stretch from head to toe and everywhere in between. Physical improvements mean different things to different people, but here, what I’m mainly referring to is your overall health. Are you eating a healthy, balanced diet? Do you get regular exercise? Is your weight where you’d like it to be? Do you drink enough water?
Do you have poor health habits, like smoking, drinking too much or substance abuse? Would a doctor’s assessment say you were in the obese or morbidly obese category?
We all know what we do to our bodies that we shouldn’t. The question is are you willing to change? I’m not asking you to change for a guy. I am never a proponent of changing yourself to fit someone else’s idea of what is acceptable. What I am suggesting is that you make an assessment of what you can improve and go for it. For you. Not for me or your ex. For you!
Breakups are terrible on your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect, which is why it’s so important to learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup.
Your self-confidence is trusting your own abilities to do something. Right now, you may not believe you’re capable of experiencing a good relationship with a man. Depending on what reasons he gave for the breakup, your confidence may have dropped in other areas too.
Your self-esteem or self-worth is your confidence in your abilities or worth. You might not believe you’re worthy of a great man, but by the time you’re done with Step Three, you should be questioning whether your ex is worthy of you!
Your self-respect is having pride in what you accomplish and being able to recognize it when you do something well. It’s being able to say thank you when someone compliments you, instead of hanging your head in embarrassment.
Where do you fall in each category? Do you trust your abilities in every area of your life? Your job, your family life, your relationships with men?
Do you believe you’re worthy of having a successful, fulfilling relationship, or do you think you deserve the next slob who shows interest in you, just so you can have a guy, any guy?
And finally, when you do something great, do you feel proud of yourself for that accomlishment? Can you pat yourself on the back and say job well done?
If you answered “No” to any of these, it’s time to get to work on those three things – self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
Improvements in Self-Care
Sometimes it gets stuck in your head that self-care is selfish, but it isn’t. Self-care is mandatory if you are to be able to function appropriately in the real world. However, all to often, people who are nurturers, male or female, tend to take care of others, in lieu of taking care of themselves. Sometimes, this comes from a lack of self-esteem. You don’t believe you deserve to be taken care of so you pour all your energy into taking care of someone else instead.
It’s time to start taking care of yourself. Today. Not tomorrow, not next week. Today. In your journey to learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup, it’s important not to put this step off any longer!
How? Do something just for you. Read a book. Take a walk. Soak in a hot tub full of bubbles or bath salts. Get a pedicure or a haircut. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s something you can sit back and enjoy and it’s something you want to do. As luck would have it, I have a book called, The Little Self-Care Handbook that will guide you through six types of self-care and implementing what you need. You can find it here.
How to Rebuild Your Confidence After a Breakup | Improvement Your Self-Talk
You talk to yourself, and you hear things others say about you all the time. From the time you were a child, people have said things that either played a positive or negative role in the self-talk you engage in today.
For example, if you had a parent who said, “You’ll never amount to anything”, you probably still say that to yourself and believe it. To improve your self-talk, you first need to truly listen to it. Uncover what you are saying to yourself. As you hear things like I’ll never amount to anything, strive to turn those thoughts around. This can be challenging and you may need to seek professional help to get the ball rolling if you had an abusive past, but learning how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup mans healing all parts of you, and this is a big one!
Turning negative self-talk into positive takes time and effort, but it is possible and necessary if you are to believe in yourself and become an independent woman.
It’s Time to Break Your Routine
Routines are comfortable. We can move through pieces of the day on auto-pilot if we have routines in place. The problem with routines is that they’re boring and they disable our ability to notice things around us.
Breaking your routine will automatically come with some of the positive changes you’ll be making, but there are other ways in which you can break your routine. For example, if you’ve always gone to the corner coffee shop on Saturday mornings for coffee and a blueberry muffin, you can either find a new place to go, or you can change your order. Get a pumpkin muffin or a different flavor of coffee. Change something about that routine. If you normally take the same route to work every morning, try a new one.
Changing your routine forces you to think. It’s good for your brain because it awakens and becomes more alert. How many times have you driven out of your neighborhood and then wondered if you put the garage door down? I don’t even want to count! That’s because pulling out of your driveway and hitting the button is a routine. It’s broken when you get a new car and the button moves, or when you move to a new place, but it soon becomes routine again. Move the remote if you can, so you’re forced to think about it.
Changing your routine also makes you a little mysterious. Your ex might think he can bump into you at that Saturday morning coffee shop, but if you aren’t there, he’ll wonder why. This is a good thing. He might know that you always grocery shop on Friday nights after work, but this week, you go on Thursday and you visit a new store.
Mystery keeps a guy intrigued. He will be wondering why you’re changing things. Is there a new guy in your life? Could he be losing you? We want him to start asking these questions!
Everything on your quest to learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup is designed to help you get him back indirectly. He is noticing these changes, whether he’s learning about them through friends or his own experiences, he knows and if he’s a great guy who loves you, he’s intrigued and his resolve is begining to waver.
How to Rebuild Your Confidence After a Breakup | Create a Vision for Your Life
Whether you realize it or not, you operate on a set of core beliefs. These usually focus on a few areas of your life: money, love, power, sex, spirituality, men and so on.
You also probably have some reality you cling to about your life, which you’ve developed based on those core beliefs and your own life experiences. Sometimes, those realities form, not from what you want to do, but what you think you should do. You may make choices that you feel are more socially acceptable in order to feel accepted, rather than making a choice that aligns with your core values. Learning how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup means learning to stand up for your core values.
The big question is this: do you know what you want your life to be like?
Have you ever given more than thirty seconds of thought to what you want? Do you ever dream of a different life?
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Dream
People will listen to others talk about having dreams and goals, but few people will take action. Heck, few people know how to take action to make their dreams and goals come true, but you’re different. The new you building inside is a take-action type of woman!
I dare you to live your life for the next ten years exactly as it is today. I dare you not to grow and change and improve.
Do you see how ridiculous it sounds? Of course we all grow and change, but many of us do so on autopilot. The boss orders new software and you have to learn it. You grew, not because you chose to, but because your job required you to.
Moving closer to your dream life means learning how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup, which means taking risks and facing fears, but the great thing about it is that along the way, you begin to build your confidence and discover what the life you want to live actually looks like. As you keep working at it, you proceed closer and closer to your vision. It’s an awesome feeling!
Addressing Limiting Beliefs
As you experience different things througout your life, you will form beliefs based on those experiences. Some of the beliefs will be built on fact and are beliefs you can rely on, but others are built on negative experiences and cause you to form limiting beliefs, or beliefs that limit what you think you’re capable of.
When you learn how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup, you become excited about growing your life closer to your dreams and goals. But before you can do that, you have to figure out what those limiting beliefs are and work on freeing yourself from them. Let’s look at an example or two.
The first limiting belief to examine is your belief about love. If you’ve been in a few relationships that ended badly, you probably have some limiting beliefs. They could be about relationships in general, your ability to find a great guy, men, or love. It might look something like this:
I want to find love -> Finding love is very hard -> I can’t seem to find love -> I am unlovable
It’s very easy to arrive at these conclusions. Let’s look at another:
I want to find an attractive man –> attractive men only like attractive women –> I’m not attractive so I can’t find an attractive man
These types of beliefs are holding you back, and you probably don’t even realize it.
After you arrive at your limiting belief, “I am unlovable” or “I can’t find an attractive man” or whatever, write that statement down on a piece of paper, then write down how looking at it makes you feel. Do you feel anxious? Sad? Hopeless?
Turning Around Your Limiting Beliefs
Once you’ve identified one of your limiting beliefs, it’s time to examine the truthfulness of it. Let’s look at a limiting belief on power:
I want to work in a high power job –> Powerful people are mean –> I don’t want to be mean –> I can’t be powerful
Are all powerful people mean? Were all the teachers you had in school mean? Were all your bosses mean, or is it really just a select few? The truth is that not all powerful people are mean, but your personal experience tells you differently and that became your belief.
Now that you’ve uncovered the truth, it’s time to create a new belief statement that provides you with a more truthful account, like this:
I am capable of being a kind and powerful woman.
I am a lovable woman who deserves love.
Your Beliefs About Your Ex
Chances are you’ve developed some limiting beliefs about your past relationship. They might go something like this:
I can’t trust my ex
In order to get my ex back, I will have to sacrifice
I’m too ____ for him to come back to me
I’ll never get over my ex
Has your ex truly been untrustworthy for your entire relationship? Are any of these statements backed up by actual facts? Chances are the answer is no. You will get over him if you choose not to take him back. There probably was trust in your relationship, and with time, you can rebuild trust. You will not be sacrificing anything to get him back and you aren’t too anything for him to come back. He loved you before just as you were, but when he next sees you, you’ll be a new and improved version of yourself and he will be wowed!
Live as if it’s True
Once you have your new statements, it’s time to start living as if they’re true. Act like a woman who deserves love. Walk proudly. Take care of yourself and show you love yourself so others will to. Begin to act like a kind and powerful woman. You will need to muster up some courage for some of your new life, but that will help you build even more confidence! The more fearful you are, the bigger boost to your confidence once you face it!
You have created your life around these limiting beliefs and now that you’re learning how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup, you’ll need to make a few changes so you can live your life according to your new beliefs. Write down the steps you need to take to take your life where you want it to go, then start taking action! Will it be scary at times? YES! Will it be worth it? YES!
You Need a Story! Learn How to Write Yours
Everyone has a story. Your story is written with the life experiences you have so far, but many people reach a point where they stop shooting for new experiences. They settle into a life of routine and status quo. Your journey of how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup is one in which you’ll never stop writing your story with new experiences!
YOU are about to write volume two of your story. Volume one was everything that happeneed in your past. Volume two is what is yet to happen. Your story is not right or wrong, it just is, but that doesn’t mean your story moving forward can’t be more in your control!
All you need to do to start writing a new story is follow the other headings on this page. Unburden yourself from limiting beliefs. Take some risks and face your fears. Create a vision for your life and pursue your goals. Start taking care of yourself. Find yourself a hobby or something about which you can really get passionate. Do it all and more!
How to Rebuild Your Confidence After a Breakup | Stop Living in The Past
When your world is turned upside down, regardless of the reason, it’s easy to live in the past. You recall the good times and spend time berating yourself for the bad times. Depending on what stage of grieving the relationship you’re experiencing, you might be doing more or less of that right now. In order to move forward and build your confidence, you need to end the parade of memories, but how?
Stop Avoiding the Emotions
It’s so easy to stuff emotions, but you already went through the Rein in Your Emotions step of getting your ex back, so this shouldn’t be a problem for you by now. Still, it’s easy to allow it to sneak up on you, so let’s touch on it, if only for a moment.
The next time you feel sad, angry, disappointed or whatever about the breakup and your ex, stop yourself. Feel those emotions instead of pushing them away. Allow them to flow through you. Acknowledge that you feel what you’re feeling and also recognize that, while the feeling is uncomfortable, you survived feeling it.
At first, this won’t feel like too much fun, but as you do it more and more, it will become more automatic and less traumatic.
Avoid Getting Stuck in Negativity
It’s so easy to wallow in self-pity, especially if you have friends who help you stay there, but nothing good comes from negative attitudes and mindsets, so it’s time to move on. Studies show that excessive negative thinking can lead to depression and depression can lead to negative thinking, so you can easily get caught up in a cycle that will be difficult to overcome.
Instead, when you feel negativity creeping in, switch to your gratitude journal and work on what you can be grateful for – positive things in your life. Learning how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup means identifying those moments and stopping them in their tracks.
Try to Examine What Has You Stuck
Sometimes, something is keeping you stuck in your past. It could be three weeks old, or it could be something from many years ago. Up until now, you’ve been avoiding the pain of dealing with it, but in order to move forward, you need to unpack that negative past and truly put it behind you. This might require you to seek professional therapy as some of our negative past is very deep and painful. Don’t be afraid to seek out that help!
Uncover the Lesson
Every time we experience something in our lives, positive or negative, there is a lesson to be learned. Rather than dwelling on the mistakes you feel you may have made in the past, focus on taking something from it. If someone hurt you in some way, look at how that made you the woman you are today. Chances are, their hurtful actions helped you build something within yourself, most likely a strength you don’t realize you possess.
Notice I did say mistakes you feel you may have made. Much of what has happened to you in your past night not be by any fault of yours. This is especially true of any abuse, emotional, physical or sexual, you may have be a victim of. That was not your fault! Even so, you learned something from it. It changed your personality in some way, and not all in a negative way. Find the positive. Find the lesson. Look for the good that may have come from the situation.
Stop Playing the Victim
There is a whole section to follow on this, so for now, just know that it’s part of helping you move out of the past and into your bright new future!
Forgiveness is not for the person you’re forgiving. They might not ever know you forgave them. Forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness frees your mind of the burden you’re carrying. It takes a lot of energy to carry hatred and negativity along with you.
Think of it this way, you have limited capacity in your mind. Your brain can only manage so many thoughts in a day, and you can only spend so much energy during a given day. Why waste it on anger and bitterness?
Forgiveness lightens your heart and makes room for love. It provides you with a sense of peace and gives you the energy and space for more positive living.
Forget Waiting for Closure
Closure is an illusion. It’s something you wait for, thinking that some answer somewhere, or some form of justice will make you feel better, but it won’t. Waiting for closure that may never come just keeps you stuck on the negative aspect of the situation.
I know some situations are terrible and you want some sort of resolution, but tht resolution won’t come from outside, it will come from within, through forgiveness and allowing the negative feelings to flow through you. The peace you want will come from living a positive life and not dwelling on the past.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
It might be time to forge some new friendships. Some of your relationships might be toxic and contributing to the negativity in your life.
Linnie has a lot of friends, and she had two close friends, Sarah and Courtney. That was until Linne’s confidence started to bloom and theirs didn’t. On Courtney’s birthday, she chose to go about sixty miles from home to have breakfast with some of her friends. Linnie’s budget just didn’t currently allow her to take such a trip, nor did she want to drive one hundred and twenty miles, round trip, for a breakfast sandwich when she could get one a half–mile from home. Courtney made a point of texting Linnie in an attempt to shame her into coming. She proclaimed that she was sitting in the restaurant parking lot crying because her friend hadn’t come. Linnie’s response was to go shopping with her mother and ignore the toxic text.
Recognizing toxic relationships helps you to weed the out of your life. Linnie now realizes that Courtney can be a friend, but she has lost any best friend status she once held. As time passes, Linnie will fully eradicate Courtney from her social circle because she no longer wants to deal with the drama. Sarah had already earned her way out of Linnie’s life with similar behavior. Meanwhile, Linnie has a new friend, Julia, who is much more pulled together and has a lot less drama.
Here are some other ways in which you can stop living in the past:
- Practice mindfulness
- Work at a job you love
- Stay on a coarse of continuous improvement
- Overcome any addictions you have, including alochol, drugs, sugar, smoking and so on
- Take risks and overcome fears
- Ditch the idea of a normal life, it doesn’t exist for anyone
- Savor and create visual memories of positive experiences, past and present (i.e. scrapbooks, photo albums, etc.)
Are You a Student or a Victim? It’s Time to Be a Student
When life starts beating you up, it’s easy to take on a victim mentality. Your boyfriend or husband broke it off with you, your car died, your refrigerator filters have expired, the cat needs to go to the vet and the grocery store was out of your favorite flavor of ice cream. Can it get much worse? These things all signal that the entire universe is conspiring against you, right?
All this means is that you’re experiencing a tremendously unfortunate string of bad luck. Nobody is conspiring against you. It’s just how your world is right now. You can probably look back in your life and find a time when everything went right as well. Remember, those types of thoughts are called limiting beliefs and you debunk them with the truth. Knowing how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup means knowing it’s time to make the shift from victim to student.
Student vs. Victim #1: Responsibility
While a student accepts responsibility for her actions, a victim finds someone else to blame. While it sometimes feels better to blame someone else for our mistakes, deep down, we usually know where the fault lies, and avoiding responsibility for it festers within you like an open wound. The ultimate problem with not accepting responsibility, however, is that you can’t fix anything if you don’t acknowledge it’s broken.
Student vs. Victim #2: The Story
A victim has a tragic story and is willing to share it with anyone, whether they want to hear it or not. Most people will shy away from someone like this as soon as they can politely do so. While telling a tragic story can bring the wanted attention, and sometimes even an offer of assistance, it is not how you build confidence or live a positive life.
A student weaves an interesting story and is willing to share it, but is often more interested in someone else’s story. She doesn’t need someone else’s attention to feel worthy or valuable. She’s out living life, not looking for validation through the sympathy of others.
Student vs. Victim #3: Save your Drama for Your Mamma
A victim is happy when there is plenty of drama around. The truth about men and drama is that, generally speaking, men hate drama, and the men who do thrive on it are also playing the victim on some level, or their confidence is very low and this is how they get attention.
A student finds other ways to entertain herself and finds validation in the good things she does, instead of from the attention of others. She is out exploring her world and uncovering new adventures and experiences. She is writing her story.
Student vs. Victim #4: Learning or Giving Up?
Perhaps you’re aware of Eeyore, a continuously depressed donkey who lives with Winnie the Pooh in the 100-Acre Woods. Of course, it’s all ficional, but Eeyore represents anyone who walks with their head down, sullen all the time and playing the victim. While he’s cute, a real-life Eeyore is not so cute. People tire quickly of being around this type of person.
Students, however, are always learning new things, whether it’s how to knit a scarf or how to buckle on a parachute to go sky diving. Students are truly students, learners all the time. They walk with their head held high, looking people in the eye instead of hiding behind their hair or sunglasses.
Student vs. Victim #5: Opportunity is Knocking, are You Home?
Your boss just called you into his office and he has asked you to make some changes to a report you completed. While you thought it was perfectly executed, he wants some changes. You can either:
- Act defeated, go back to your desk and have a good cry or even a little angry outburst
- Acknowledge that you could do something to make the situation better and press on, having learned something about your work and yourself
A student can accept constructive criticism with a smile and take away a valuable lesson. She isn’t left feeling beaten down or berated, even if the boss delivered his message in an unnkind way.
Student vs. Victim #6: Friends
Victims have friends who are victims.
Students have friends who are adventurers.
It’s pretty easy to tell which type of friends you have right now. Do you need to make a change?
How to End the Victim Mentality
Change Your Language
This is a big lesson in learning how to rebuild your confidence after a breakup! Instead of saying, “You make me so angry”, try this, “It makes me feel angry when you speak to me that way.”
Instead of, “They are always picking on me,” try this, “I don’t like it when everyone chooses to focus on the flaws they think I have.”
Can you see the difference? In the first statements, you are saying you have no control over how you react to something, but this isn’t true. You are in full control. The second statements still convey the message, but they put it in terms of how someone else’s actions make you feel so they can better understand and hopefully fix what they’re doing.
Quit Fighting Life
Some days, life just hits hard. A victim is always fighting the system and feels helpless to make any positive changes in her life. Perhaps you’ve read this entire page and still feel as if you can’t do it.
Stop that line of thinking right now! You are much stronger than you believe you are. I believe in you or I wouldn’t be here. I know doing some of these things won’t be easy and they’re scaring the heck out of you right now. I get it, but if you want to get your ex back, or find a great guy somewhere else, you need to take these steps and follow the advice here.
You are in control of how you react to things and you are in control of making positive changes in your life. Start telling yourself those two things, multiple times a day, every day until you believe it.
Treat Yourself Like You Treat Others
Most of the time, we treat ourselves worse than we would ever think of treating someone else. Why? Why is it okay to treat yourself so terribly? It isn’t okay.
When you’re listening to your self-talk or thinking about your past, imagine it’s your best friend saying those things about herself about her past. What would you say to her? Say those things to yourself. Provide yourself with encouraging words. When you feel down, say something to yourself to improve your mood.
Do Something for Someone Else
Nothing lifts the spirit like giving back. This is a great way to stop being a victim. When you’re doing something kind for someone else, you can’t help but feel good about what you’re doing. There is always someone nearby who can use your help. Even if it’s the mother with three kids and a stroller who needs you to open the door for her, it’s a kind gesture for someone else and it will give you a moment to smile.
Other times, a smile is all you need to deliver. You never know what someone is going through. Your smile might make the difference in how they feel the rest of their day. And what did it cost you? Not one thing.
Here are just a few more ideas for how to become a student:
- Dismantle those faulty beliefs
- Practice gratitude
- Develop positive statements and affirmations to replace the negative
- Break the pattern of negativity