Confidence and Grief: How One Affects the Other

After a break-up, have you ever been stuck, grieving the loss of the relationship, not able to move on?

On my commute to work last week, I listened to a radio talk show.  The person being interviewed was Matthew Hussey, author of  Get The Guy.  The discussion was about core confidence, and how it affects our relationships.

That got me thinking about grief, and the process of coping with losing someone that we love.

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When we lose a relationship, for whatever reason, it can shake our self-confidence to the core, especially if that person, that relationship, was the main source of our self-worth.  It may even make us lose our identity.

Then, we grieve not only the person, and the lost relationship, but the loss of our identity as well.

I’ve always been an introvert, and I was a wallflower until I met my husband.  He is the one that helped me gain confidence: he was proud of me, and proud of what I could accomplish.  Because I had him as a cheerleader beside me, I gained self-esteem for the first time in my life.

As the years went by, I tried new things.  I took classes to improve my job skills.  I tried new hobbies.  Sometimes I failed.  But sometimes I had success, and that’s when my self-confidence grew.  And then I became a mom, and every time my little boy wrapped his arms around my neck and told me he loved me, my self-confidence meter went through the roof.

Then, my husband died. I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task of raising my son all by myself.  But the experiences of the past years were there in my memory, to help me through the difficult time.  I researched.  I tried new things.  And my son and I are coping with the loss, and healing more and more every day.

If you find yourself stuck, missing the person you once were, what can you do about it?  What is the answer to this crisis of confidence?

Find yourself again

How does a person actually regain self-confidence?  Or, maybe even increase their self-worth for the first time?

Try something new.  What do you love to do?  What have you always wanted to try?  Play an instrument? Paint? Write? Learn a new language?

When we practice and become skilled at something, anything, our confidence increases dramatically.

So why not try a new skill, find a new hobby?


professional help to cope with loss and deal with grief
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Find something new to think about, talk about.  When we get passionate about new talents and interests, that passion is visible to others.

And this leads right into finding a new ‘forward motion’.

Forward Motion

When we lose someone we love in death, all of the sudden it’s gone.  The future we’d hoped for, planned for, is no more.  It is completely natural to mourn that future, to miss ‘how it could have been.’

In the Ted Talk video below, Norah Casey describes the cure she found for her own grief.  It involved finding forward motion.  She needed a new plan, and a new future.

When she finally found something that she was excited about, that she enjoyed doing, her life took a new path.

 The Cure for Grief  – by Norah Casey

By finding something she enjoyed, and that she excelled at, she eventually found happiness again.

This is not a magic, instantaneous fix.  It may take time, and it may be a process of trial and error.  Just like grief is a process, so is building up our self-confidence.

Here is a list of 17 ways to build self-confidence: Building Confidence and Self-Esteem

What is something new that you have always wanted to try?



1 Comment

  1. Mia, thank you for writing this post. You provide practical tips on a topic that feels like that opposite of practical. I really like your blog and how open you are with readers about your life and the challenges and triumphs you face. I will definitely be following along.


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