Coaching Self During Divorce

Coaching Self During Divorce

When you think of an athlete you think of someone who is strong, determined, unwavering, focused….

"Give me 20!"

“Give me 20!”

These are the traits athletes use to help them achieve their goals and win! Somewhere along the line, these set of skills went missing in the midst of your break up.

In separation or divorce, you constantly second guess every decision. Am I doing the right thing for me? What will it do to our family? What if I miss him/her? What if they change? Can I give them another 100 chances?

It would be so much easier to have a coach on the sidelines screaming out plays to you during this difficult time.

“Suzy, get your head in the game”.
“Billy, don’t let that player get the best of you”.
“Mary, keep going, you can do this!”

As a volunteer coach for a middle school team I am often times tasked with figuring out ways to help the girls feel more empowered.

I think in life as with sports we are taught to find the good in everything. I think we are taught to not give up. I think we are brainwashed to think positively. I say brainwashed because sometimes we all need a dose of reality.

All of these positive traits that serve an athlete, can sometimes reek havoc on your decision making skills in relationships. Why did it take me so long to find my way? Everyday I woke up and thought “tomorrow is another day”. My strength and positivity needed a wake up call.

In order to face the next opponent, you sometimes have to face the harsh reality of loss from the last match if you ever have any chance of winning.  I saw my break up as failure, a loss.  Vince Lombardi said it so well, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”.

Last season, our team took the Championship while I was finalizing the details of my separation. As a coach, I often “replay” the games in my mind and assessing what went wrong or right.

I recently applied the same exercise to my break up.  Here are some of the “take-aways” from my own separation.  If I were to look for the positives in my break up that would serve me later, here are the tops:

  • ​Don’t give up!
  • ​Don’t give in!
  • ​If it doesn’t work– try something else!
  • ​If it doesn’t kill you– it will make you stronger!
  • ​Have confidence in yourself above everything (and everyone) else!
  • ​Trust your Gut!
  • Don’t overthink it!
  • Your first thought is sometimes the best thought!

So what’s ahead for this coach?

I am now able to see the failings of my marriage as an opportunity to hit the court again.

As I move forward, I looked at what I missed most during my marriage. I really missed connecting with others and being social. I can count on one hand how many social events I have been in the last year.

This is going to take some serious focus and determination to get me out in the world again. I haven’t been on this court in over a decade. Here are my “social” goals for the next 90 days. I am a fan of team sports so PLEASE join me in this quest!

  1. Throw a social event.
  2. Attend a social event.
  3. Try a new hobby.
  4. Re-connect with an old childhood friend.
  5. Try a new group work out.

We all need coaches in our life, but we have to remember we are our best advocate. Be true to yourself and you can’t go wrong. You can’t continue to beat yourself up for your break up.  It’s easier said than done I know!

I love this quote :

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”.
Michael Jordan

My take away:

Sometimes it is our failings that make the next chapter worth winning.

Get to Work!

Coach K

Previous Spousal Support
Next Three Parenting Mistakes Good Parents Make — Mistake #1

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  1. Thom Slade
    June 04, 21:34 Reply
    Thanks Coach! I'm definitely ready for my next chapter. Regarding your point 4. I have called old friends, great with the guys, but the opposite sex always think your looking to reignite old flames. Have you had this, or do you just keep to the same sex? I keep thinking of "Grosse Pointe Blank" Thom
  2. Lisa
    June 05, 00:35 Reply
    Relationships are challenging things that we never really experience until we are actually into the thick of it. The commitment is one of love, faith, sacrifice and persistence. They can be a dream, a nightmare or somewhere in between. When I divorced, I thought that I would never love “that way again” and I have to admit that it has been difficult and it still is in many ways. I have replayed all kinds of what-if scenarios in my head over and over again but now, I have learned after 7 years, to take one day at a time, to embrace my friends and family (those who really love and care for me) and to just keep going. I, too, wish for the coach to yell some encouraging words my way but I have learned to be my own cheerleader and embrace this part of my journey. There are many lessons that I’ve learned and one of the major ones has been to “always trust my gut.” It’s like my compass and when I pay attention, it steers me according to the rhythm of my own heart. I love that you have given yourself some active 90 day goals, please keep us posted and let us know how each one actually manifests in your life. Wishing you much success on this leg of your journey….
    • Coach K
      June 07, 08:55 Reply
      Lisa, it sounds like your "years" have given you wonderful perspective. You will find that love again, just stay open to it! I will share my journey and keep sharing yours. We can all learn from each other. We have to remember, our marriage failed but we didn't. Stay positive and those difficult times will eventually lead to a victory lap! Coach K
  3. Coach K
    June 07, 08:49 Reply
    Thom, I agree it's easier to connect with same sex. I recommend sharing the rules with the opposite sex right off the bat if you aren't looking to rekindle a relationship. This way you both know what the goals are and there isn't any awkward moments. If you are looking to rekindle, go slow and keep your eyes open. There is usually a reason why it didn't work the first time. But... you are both older and wiser now and had many years of personal growth, so you never know! My team is not allowed to say "I can't", they are only allowed "I'll try". Good to remember! Coach K.

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