I felt like I was stuck.
Frozen in fear.
This was not a place I wanted to stay, but I remember thinking “WHAT am I going to do now?!?” That and well, only about a hundred other questions swirled through my head as a played out various scenarios for the future and as I replayed stories from the past.
Maybe you can relate?
Uncertainty is the “normal” landscape of divorce. We are VERY uncertain about our future and sometimes we are uncertain about the past (What happened? and Why? and When did this relationship first start to falter?)
Where do fear and uncertainty during divorce come from?
I have learned that fear shows up for three main reasons; one of which is fear of the outcome. I believe one of the reasons why fear runs wild during divorce is for this exact reason; divorce provides the perfect environment to question the outcome…What will this new chapter look like, be like, feel like?
As we are going through a divorce, of course we are going to feel fear. The life we built, the relationship we had committed to, and all that we have and know are changing. We don’t know what the outcome will be. Of course we are going to feel fear. If we didn’t, we may be some sort of superhuman. But, most of us are not, we want some steady ground to walk on; we crave the assurance that everything will be alright; we desire safety and security; we want to know how this will play out; we want to know what this new chapter will be like.
Those are all great questions; all very logical and real. In my personal and professional experience, I can tell you those answers will come, but only as you walk through this process. Your journey will unfold and you will be able to handle the realities that come your way. So the question becomes: “How Do We Deal with the Fear and Uncertainty of Divorce?”
The Anchors of Support
It’s all about what I call “the anchors of support” in your life. These are the people (both personal and professional) and the activities you turn to when the storm is rocky and life is throwing you wave after wave. Your anchors are the people you call upon when you need someone to steady things, to provide some perspective, professional knowledge, and support. Your anchors are the critical activities you do which keep you healthy mind, body, and soul. Divorce creates fear and uncertainty; the perfect storm in which your anchors are necessary.
Personally, I know from navigating my own divorce, how heavily I relied on my anchors throughout the various chapters. Professionally, as a Certified Professional Coach, I know the value of accountability and the results that customized strategies of support can yield for clients.
The 6 Categories of Support
There are six categories of support SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, FINANCIAL, SOCIAL, LEGAL, and PHYSICAL. There are specific situations or chapters of divorce which require the strength of support from one particular area or another. But each of these areas plays a role in dealing with fear and shoring up uncertainty during divorce.
If you are open to a suggestion I recommend taking a quick inventory for yourself to create awareness around where you could use additional support. Think about each of the six categories and rate yourself 1-10 (10 being fully supported) for how much support you are currently experiencing in that arena.
Once you have rated them, you can ask yourself the following questions:
What is showing up as a low rating for you? Where could you benefit from more support?
It is amazing how the people in our lives are willing and able to rise to the occasion if we give them the chance. Often times our loved ones don’t know how to help and it is SO appreciated when we can communicate what support we need and how we would like to receive that support.
Minimizing Fear and Uncertainty During Divorce
I used to think asking for help was a sign of weakness. Now I realize it is actually a sign of humility and strength. It is a gift to another person to ask for his or her help; they get to use their gifts or talents as a professional or show their love and concern as a loved one.
Fear has a hard time existing when you shine the light; when you verbalize your fears and when you take action to obtain the knowledge that will start to battle the uncertainty you minimize the space the fear has to exist. Now, will it show back up again? Yes, of course, it will; time and time again. But you have a whole wealth of support resources at your disposable. You can look to your anchors and identity to discover which areas of support will help minimize the fear and uncertainty as you proceed on your journey. It IS possible to navigate your divorce well despite the fear and uncertainty – and using your support anchors will be a key strategy in your success.
Sending you strength for your journey.
To read more of my story and to learn about private divorce coaching, visit www.lovestrengthandgrace.com.