Going through a bad breakup is often one of the most challenging moments in our lives. When a long-term relationship ends, we often feel like our entire world is ending and we don't know if we will ever recover.
While you may not realize it yet, your broken heart may be the thing you needed. In fact, many people come out of challenging moments such as these even better than before, and they ultimately live much happier lives.
However, getting to that point of peace and happiness is a process — a process that starts with improving yourself.
Things to know
- You don't need to worry about self-improvement straight away. Allow yourself to be upset and grieve the break-up before moving on.
- Once you feel ready, you can start doing things you love. E.g., resuming your social life and picking up old hobbies. Plus, taking on healthy habits like exercise and mindfulness.
- Setting micro-goals can help you feel motivated that you're making progress and stay in tune with your personal growth journey.
So, if you're ready to grow into an even better version of yourself and rise from the ashes of your broken heart, keep reading. Because today, we're going to learn exactly how you can focus on self-improvement after your breakup and use it to become the very best version of yourself:
- Give Yourself Time To Grieve
- Put The Past In The Past
- Become A Better Version Of You
- Let Positive Changes Carry You Forward
- Don't Worry, Love Will Come Again
Give Yourself Time To Grieve
Anytime we go through a tough breakup, you will feel a lot of negative emotions. You may feel angry, sad, lonely, or even ashamed — whatever negative feelings come up for you are normal. We've all been there, and it's never easy.
People may tell you that you shouldn't mourn the breakup. They may even encourage you to "fill the void" with a distraction like going out to parties or having a rebound relationship. In fact, some people take their friends out to "live it up" after a breakup and party for days or weeks on end.
While these distractions can help you avoid the heartache of a breakup temporarily, they make it hard for you to fully process the loss. Instead, you need time and space to grieve this past relationship. This will not only help you move on, but it will improve your mental health in the long run.
What The Breakup Grieving Process Looks Like
In the aftermath of a bad breakup, most people experience a grieving process that feels very similar to the grieving process that occurs when we lose a loved one.
In fact, most experts agree that the breakup grieving process contains seven clearly-defined steps individuals face before they finally move past the heartbreak of their past relationship.
These steps include:
- shock and denial
- sadness and grief
- competitiveness or revenge
It can take several months to move through all of these stepping stones, but you need to push through the grieving process for your self-esteem and any future relationships you want to have.
Also, don't be afraid to seek help as you work through this difficult time. Your true friends will be there to help you, and there are plenty of professionals out there who can help you work through your emotions and heartache as you work through the loss.
Put The Past In The Past
Alright, so you've mourned the loss of your previous relationship. Now what? Well, the first step in the healing process is to let go of the past and forge a path forward.
To do this, you will first need to look at your previous romantic relationship in an objective way. Look at the negative events that lead to the breakup from all sides and really inspect the different ways you both impacted the end result.
You may have a hard time owning your mistakes at first, but it's so important. This awareness will open the door for you in so many ways, and will ultimately help your personal growth so you can come out of this difficult time as a new person.
Then, after you've clearly defined the parts you and your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend played in the ending of your relationship, you can start to put the past in the past. You can release the blame you hold on yourself and your former partner, look for the silver lining of the situation, and find closure.
Forgiveness vs. Closure
After a relationship ends, we often work towards two things as we continue our journey of personal growth: forgiveness and closure.
When we forgive someone, we make the deliberate decision to let go of any resentment or anger we feel towards a person. Alternatively, closure is simply the acceptance of the relationship's end whether you forgive your ex or not.
Some people say that forgiveness is a critical step in your growth process after a breakup. However, forgiveness isn't always necessary, nor is it always warranted. For example, if your ex-partner cheated on you or abused you in any way, you do not need to forgive them to obtain closure.
Whether you decide to forgive your former partner or not is your decision to make. Don't let anyone bully you into forgiveness if you aren't ready — it's definitely not the end of the world if you aren't ready to forgive your ex just yet.
However, closure is necessary for your growth. So, look for a way to find closure on your own terms.
Become A Better Version Of You
Once you've mended your broken heart and made peace with the past, you will easily identify where your actions and emotions impacted your former relationship. In fact, many people see the time after a breakup as a time for self-improvement and tremendous personal growth.
Of course, the path towards self-improvement starts with you. Therefore, you need to take some time and really think about how you can become the best version of yourself before you move on to a new relationship.
Becoming a better version of yourself takes time, and involves several steps. However, if you're up to the challenge, you will love the end results of this adventure.
Own Your Flaws
As you work on yourself, you'll first need to acknowledge your flaws and shortcomings. These can be aspects of yourself that potentially contributed to the breakup, like your attachment style or communication. It can also be things you'd just like to improve, like low self-esteem or an over-dependence on social media.
Whatever these flaws are, make a note of them and accept that they are things about yourself you want to work on.
When you recognize your own shortcomings, you can begin understanding why your past relationships didn't work. You can see places that, moving forward, you want to work on as you become the best version of yourself.
Set Personal Growth Goals
Once you have a list of areas of improvement, you're ready to set goals for your personal growth. Goals give us clearly defined action items to work towards. Furthermore, we get the satisfaction of a job well done when we achieve each goal we set for ourselves, which is great for self-esteem and overall mental health.
Obviously, the goals you set should first address the areas of growth you identified, like improving your interpersonal communication or boosting your self-esteem. However, these goals should also take your long-term plans into account as well since now is the perfect time to really put your energy into being the best version of yourself you can possibly be.
When setting goals, make sure they are measurable and attainable so you set yourself up for success. Also, try to break each goal down into smaller, bite-sized steps you can take. This will help you achieve the goals and help you clearly visualize the end game you're working towards.
Remember, these goals can both be intrapersonal goals (meaning goals that solely involve you) as well as more interpersonal goals, or goals that involve friends and family members. These goals can also be short-term, meaning something you can do immediately, as well as long-term goals that will take more time to cross off the list.
And, most importantly, these goals can be as big or as small as you want them to be, so don't be afraid to work towards your dreams.
Do The Work
Once your goals are set and you've created a game plan for working towards them, it's time to actually work towards these goals. It requires time, energy, and lots of hard work. However, it can be very rewarding.
In working through these goals, you will more than likely have new experiences. You will also start to find satisfaction in your life and see the positive changes play out in your day-to-day activities. You will also likely notice a self-esteem boost and generally improved mental health.
Unfortunately, this is also the part where a lot of people struggle. Some people find it hard to make serious changes to the habits and personality traits they have lived with for a long time. Other people lack the motivation to really commit to making these changes.
However, you're the one who ultimately wins by investing in yourself, so it's worth the challenge.
Let Positive Changes Carry You Forward
The Law of Attraction is a philosophy that states positive thoughts bring positive results into our lives. In the context of your post-breakup life, focusing on improving yourself and making the most of life as a newly single person can ultimately lead you to happiness and, in many cases, your next relationship.
Therefore, as you work on becoming a new and improved you, it's important to let these positive changes push you forward.
Create A "No Negativity" Zone
As you work on yourself, chances are someone else may try to bring you down. However, you can combat this by making a "no negativity" pact with yourself. In other words, you get to decide whether or not you're going to let others bring you down.
Sometimes, this will mean you need to establish new boundaries with friends and family members who aren't on board with the new you. You may have to be assertive, stand up for yourself, and say no to people who try to bring you down. It's all part of the process.
Other times, you will need to set boundaries with yourself. You'll need to retrain your brain to stop allowing the negative automatic thoughts that once plagued you and replace them with positive affirmations about yourself. This can be hard at first, but it gets easier with time as your brain learns to use positive statements instead.
Don't Be Afraid To Be Yourself
As human beings, we're wired for connection. Unfortunately, this often causes us to lose pieces of ourselves as we try to be the person our loved ones, and especially our romantic love, want us to be.
Now that you've put that negative experience of your previous relationship behind you, though, it's time to let loose and be yourself again! You can wear what you want to wear, take yourself on dates to places you want to go, and live your life to the fullest. In fact, you can even practice self-care and not feel guilty about it — it's an exhilarating time to be alive.
Don't Worry, Love Will Come Again
If you've read this far, you're probably thinking, "that's all fine and dandy, but when will I find true love?" Well, as they say, "love will find a way."
In all reality, love often finds us when we least expect it. And, more importantly, you're going to be more than ready for love after you've taken the time to focus on yourself and take the necessary steps to become the best possible version of yourself in the aftermath of your tough breakup.
So, don't worry, love will come again. And, until then, keep enjoying this new and improved you, because it's amazing.