After grieving your loss, the first thing you need to do after a break up is learn how to gain confidence. Even if you initiated the breakup, you may feel shattered when your relationship ends.
Did you know there really is only one secret to getting your confidence back after a breakup? I learned it when I was in my 20s, but it’s only now – halfway through my 40s – that I realized how right it is. There are a million ways to get there, but only one underlying secret.
Regaining your confident self isn’t about “getting back in the saddle” and dating again. It’s not about home or full-body makeovers, learning how to end a relationship when you’re scared to be alone, or finding a new job. Rather, learning how to gain confidence is about being bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you always imagined. And there is only one way to do it…
What do you already know about gaining confidence after a breakup? It’s important for you to have a clear idea about what you believe. You need to know yourself – what works for you, what doesn’t – before you apply this “secret” to your life…I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below!
How to Gain Confidence After a Breakup
You need to do things that scare you. Explore and get lost, start new projects and fail, venture forth and learn what you’re made of.
Failing is a BETTER way to gain confidence because it shows you what you’re made of. If you try something and fail, you learn that the world marches right along. People barely even notice that you attempted something that didn’t work.
Doing things that scare you is the secret to gaining confidence. Here are two examples…
How I gained confidence – I started a newsletter
Starting my Blossoms and Blessings newsletter was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Well, maybe not as hard as living in Africa for three years or getting my Master of Social Work – but it was really difficult!
Sending an email to thousands of people was way, way out of my comfort zone because it’s more personal than a blog post. I felt weird about emailing people directly, even though they subscribed to my newsletter.
I’ve sent about a dozen newsletters so far, and it’s still hard. I still feel doubt and fear. I’m insecure about it! But I do it every week, and that’s how I learned that the best tip on how to gain confidence is to do things that scare you. Because I’m far more confident today than I was last week, or the week before that. Writing that newsletter is building my self-confidence.
In fact, I sent my most recent newsletter out today, called How to Blossom When You Feel Beaten, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.
I couldn’t haven’t kept the newsletter going without my faith in God, though. Learning how to gain confidence is useless on its own. We need an unshakeable and consistent source of love, power, freedom, strength, and courage. That can only come from Him.
Take an acting class – it’s a perfect way to gain confidence
Here’s another tip on how to gain confidence, from an entry called on Teacher Appreciation: Learning Values Through Acting on a website called Stage of Life:
“Take an acting class, because it is an incredibly useful class for life in general. I initially took an acting class to overcome my anxiety of speaking in front of people, but in the end I gained so much more,” says riserthinking. “My Beginning Acting professor was one of the toughest professors in the department. His warm-up exercises at the beginning of class felt silly at first, but actually taught me many lessons about life.”
An acting class taught him how to:
- Balance both laser-sharp focus and flexibility
- Be vulnerable, as it’s the most effective way to genuinely connect with people
- Breathe better and be more mindful of his own body
- Better understood non-verbal communication
Most of all, he learned a psychological lesson that he applies in his clinical work: we cannot force a change in emotions by simply focusing on those emotions. Rather, we have to focus on motivation and actions in relation to other people.
How is this a strategy on how to gain confidence and heal after a breakup? Here…
“All of my acting roles in class involved terrible situations in which my characters were being abused or dealing with someone’s death,” says riserthinking. “I had little relation to these roles, yet I had to pull off emulating the deep emotions of these women. Prior to the class I thought that actors had to simply envision and act out these emotions. My professor taught otherwise. Trying to act out the emotions would make the experience contrived. My professor repeatedly emphasized concentrating on what characters valued so we could focus on the motivation in each dialogue line.”
He learned how to tap into the motivation behind a character’s words and actions. This allowed him to show his characters’ emotions in a more natural and convincing way. He felt unnatural doing this exercise, and thus dedicated many hours to ensure he could effectively perform the roles. He said, “Hard work paid off and for once in my life, I felt in command with both verbal and non-verbal communication.”
How to blossom with confidence
Riserthinking is now a therapist, and he uses the lessons he learned from acting class every day. That’s how doing something new and scary can help us gain confidence: it teaches us things we had no idea we had to learn, in ways that challenge and grow us. That’s how we blossom!
“Many people come into therapy because of distressing emotions they want to change,” he says. “I teach my clients basic breathing and concentration skills. Most of all, I do not tackle the emotions first. There are many types of therapies; I use acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which focuses on recognizing one’s own values and committing to doing actions in line with them.”
The idea is not to force a change in emotions (such as pushing yourself to gain confidence after a breakup), but rather to facilitate a change.
A question for you
What is one thing you could do today that will stretch you, and show you how to gain confidence?
While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of how to gain confidence.
My next article is called Lessons Learned in Unhealthy Relationships. Make sure you sign up below for my weekly email to receive new articles!