Shift #2: Intention Shift – Decide How You Will Be in Divorce
Few people realize how much their thoughts about divorce impact their divorce experience. The truth is, your thoughts about how you will be in divorce will affect your experience more than any other factor–including the actions and attitude of your former spouse.
If you believe that the divorce is going to be filled with antagonism, or that your post-divorce relationship with a co-parent is going to be hostile, then that’s very likely the experience that you’re going to get. Negative energy begets negativity.
But if you decide that you want a peaceful, positive divorce and post-divorce experience, you can create that for yourself as well. The key to getting the ideal experience lies in taking control of your thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
This week, my guest, Deb Purdy, and I discuss how setting a positive intention is instrumental in creating the divorce experience you want.
Deb is a transformational coach, speaker, workshop leader who successfully changed her messy, painful divorce experience to a positive one by using several internal shifts that helped her change her attitude towards her divorce. Thanks to these shifts, she designed the post-divorce life she wanted and created a collaborative and friendly relationship with her ex-husband. She is the author of the book, Something Gained: 7 Shifts to Be Stronger, Smarter & Happier After Divorce.
Breaking Away From Negative Thoughts
Who hasn’t gotten swept up negative thoughts and worries under stressful circumstances? No one. It’s a normal human reaction. However, problems arise if we can’t break free from negative-mode. When we let unpleasant thoughts dominate our minds, they heavily influence our emotions and actions. In other words, your inner life affects your outer life.
Deb Purdy says we can combat these negative thoughts by reminding ourselves that “negative thoughts are not necessarily true thoughts.” For example, if you’re having thoughts like, “What if I end up penniless after the divorce?” Deb suggests immediately shifting your thoughts to the opposite of your concerns: “What if I find an extremely well-paying job after the divorce?”
She says that training your mind to think the “opposite” of your negative thought can not only lower stress but transform your ideas into positive ones that might open a new world of possibilities.
Set an Intention
Setting an intention is a core part of creating a positive shift in your mindset. Deb defines setting an intention as making a proactive and precise decision about what you want, and having a clear vision of how you will be in your divorce or post-divorce life.
Deb offers a powerful example of the effectiveness of setting an intention. A client’s ex-husband habitually came late to pick up their kids, an action that she viewed as passive-aggressive, and that triggered nasty fights between them. Eventually, the woman realized that she couldn’t change his behavior–she could only change her own reaction. So, she set an intention to stay peaceful inside herself no matter what he did or how late he showed up.
She also decided that if he was late and she had errands to run, she would simply take the kids with her, and he would have to pick them up wherever she was. But she would not get upset that he was late.
Even though some of her friends felt her attitude let the ex-husband “off the hook” with possibly passive-aggressive behavior, the woman found peace with her decision. Moreover, when she stopped getting angry and went on with her life despite his behavior, he stopped arriving late.
What kind of intention would help you to find peace in your divorce or post-divorce life? What action can you take to support the intention? Think about it. Making this shift can make your life a lot easier–and happier.
Read the rest of our series: “Rewriting Your Post-Divorce Storyline”:
- Use Your Divorce For Positive Transformation
- Shift #1: Culture Shift – Transform Your Relationship to Divorce
- Shift #3: Story Shift – Change Your Divorce Story
- Shift #4: Shift on Your Ex – Find Peace in Your Relationship
- Shift #5: Shift the Conversation – Help Loved Ones to Support You in Divorce
- Shift #6: Kids are Shifters Too – Helping Your Children Thrive Post-Divorce
- Shift #7: Shift On – Enjoy Your Life Do-Over After Divorce