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Proactive Change in the Face of DivorceThere tends to be two basic coping mechanisms following abrupt, and at many times difficult, changes in one’s life. The fight-or-flight response summarizes them well. In the fight response,  you take the change head on, courageously facing the issues that arise as you fight to keep your head above water. In the flight response, which is rather easy to settle into, there’s a kind of denial and avoidance of the change–it’s tempting to curl into a ball and wait for the storm to pass. However, the response that promotes the most growth and opportunity to become a better person during the life-altering divorce process tends to be the fight response–proactively facing the situation and making the best of it and yourself.

Of course, the word “fight” doesn’t need to be taken literally, we would hope. An uncontested divorce tends to produce the best circumstances and a much smoother transition into a better life and a better self in the face of this difficult change.

Five Ways to be Proactive

In a piece from Psychology Today, Terri Goetz writes about five ways to make progress in your personal life to increase confidence and help you accomplish your goals during the upheaval of divorce.

1.) Renew your passion for or define your values. It helps to ask yourself questions like these: What do you believe in? What gives you a sense of purpose? What do you hold dear to your heart? Use the answers to reevaluate your life and decide what actions you could adopt for the sake of realigning your life alongside your unique values.

2.) Seek to improve yourself. Avoid playing the victim, or the curling into a ball syndrome, by finding aspects of yourself that you’d like to strengthen. Stretch your interests, develop new skills sets, or re-energize talents that may be laying dormant.

3.) Take things others say at face value instead of internalizing or personalizing them. If your partner or ex says something potentially hurtful, try to recognize what they are saying as more about them and their own issues, and less about you. Look at it objectively instead of as a personal attack.

4.) Create a positive personal environment by keeping loved ones who uplift you close and negative friends at a safe distance. We tend to absorb and retain the energy of the personalities around us, so choose your friends and those you regularly spend time with wisely.

5.) Learn different perspectives outside of your own, possibly emotionally charged, viewpoints. It helps to look at the situation from a different angle to gain objective insight and renewed confidence that things will turn out positively.

Hope for a New Future

The best part of any life-change, even though it may come with pain and heartache, is realizing that you are the driver of your future, a future that can bring great progress and self-improvement. It’s up to each of us to take action instead of simply reacting to problems. Fight for the life that you want, and be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Although it’s easier said than done at times, we need to find the courage within ourselves to face challenges with positive energy to proactively direct our path out of turmoil and into happiness.

Have other ways you proactively get through hard times? Share them in the comment box below.

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