Neil Sedaka wasn’t wrong when he sang “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” It’s emotionally draining to call it quits when a relationship isn’t working out any longer, and the whole process can leave you reeling, wondering what you did wrong or what you could’ve done differently to prevent the collapse of romance from happening in the first place. It’s common for people to blame themselves when things go sour in a partnership, and it’s even more common among people who have low self-esteem. Igniting self-confidence is already difficult for some people, but it becomes an even harder process when you have the concrete evidence of a breakup to turn to and persevere on. Fortunately, you can learn how to gain self-confidence after a breakup with a few simple ideas. Sure, it won’t happen overnight, and you’ll need to make a commitment to focusing on your self-worth, but in the end you’ll be feeling great knowing that you can take on the world as you, not as part of a pair.
Take Time to Grieve
Just like it is when anything else comes to an end, grieving the “death” of your relationship is a healthy part of the process of saying goodbye. When you allow yourself to process the end of your union, you work through your feelings and eventually free up the energy that you’ve been using to replay memories over and over. Acknowledge that your relationship is done, and name all the feelings you’re experiencing. Then, bid farewell to the past so you can start devoting your energy to another area of your life. Doing this shows you that you have the power to take charge of your life; it doesn’t have the power to take charge of you any more.
Remember That You’re Valuable
This is one of the most important—and most difficult—things to do, but it’s a critical step in understanding just how important you are. Sit down and write out a list of 25 or 50 things you love about yourself. Don’t worry about what anyone else has said about you. Just focus on the reasons why you think you’re great. Do you pride yourself on always being honest? Do you always offer great advice to friends? Do you have a creative imagination that loves to run wild? These are all examples of important qualities to include.
Take Up a New Hobby
This is one great way to start building yourself back up again after a romantic relationship has ended. Have you always wanted to take a knitting class but couldn’t because you were spending that time with your ex? Or have you dreamed of taking capoeira lessons but were too content in your relationship to strike out doing something new? Now’s the time to start. Learning a new skill or hobby can take your mind off of dwelling on the past and shift your focus. When you start succeeding at it or producing measureable results, it’ll give you a great self-confidence boost as well.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
Entering into your last relationship was a big risk, and because it didn’t end well, it’s natural to become wary of putting yourself out there again. Taking risks means you might open yourself up to emotional pain, of course. But it also means that you might end up in a much better place than you were when you started. Learn to take healthy risks; sign up and start training for a half marathon, or join a public-speaking group and write your own speech. The most important part isn’t that you were a great success, it’s that you set out to do something and finished it—and you were propelled by your self-confidence the whole time.
Stop Making Comparisons
Comparing yourself or behavior to anyone, whether that’s your ex’s new love or your ex’s actions in the old relationship, is never a healthy thing to do. Remember that it takes two to tango, and it was just as much your ex’s doing for things ending as it was yours. Plus, just because your old flame found someone else, that doesn’t mean the person is better than you are. He or she is different, not better, and that’s all you need to understand. If you feel the need to compare, compare your present self to the self you were when you first started dating. Think about all the ways you’ve changed for the better, and you’ll realize that things are looking rosier now than they were before. Treat your past relationship as a learning experience and marvel at everything it’s taught you about yourself.
Maybe breaking up isn’t the hard part after all; recovering from it is what takes time and plenty of self-love in the process. Regaining yourself-confidence after a breakup is a process; just remember that your self-worth isn’t based on any kind of validation you get from a significant other’s attention. There are plenty of special things that make you who you are, so tap into them and put them to work.