When embarking on my journey as a single mother, I received a plethora of advice, some of which proved helpful. One piece of wisdom that stood out was the importance of developing resilience. While the concept seemed appealing, nobody could offer me a clear roadmap to build resilience or explain why it was essential.
Developing resilience is a vital skill for navigating the challenges of single motherhood with grace and strength. Resilience enables us to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to change, and maintain a positive outlook despite adversity. It empowers us to confront challenges head-on, learn from our experiences, and grow stronger. Furthermore, it serves as an effective means of overcoming shame.
Understanding Shame: Its Impact and Identifying the Triggers.
Shame arises when we perceive ourselves as having failed or fallen short, and it becomes especially prevalent when our marital relationship breaks down. As mothers, we often experience shame, feeling inadequate and not good enough. Even when we leave a relationship due to feeling unsafe or unloved, we bear the weight of the relationship split on our shoulders.
The burden of shame significantly impacts our daily lives, diminishing self-esteem, eroding confidence, and interfering with emotional regulation. We must develop effective coping strategies to manage shame, embracing resilience, self-compassion, and emotional regulation to prevent this detrimental impact.
Understanding the causes and triggers of shame is crucial to overcoming its grip on our lives. Shame triggers may stem from various sources, such as past trauma, criticism, rejection, or feeling judged by others. By identifying these triggers, we can break free from the destructive cycle of negative thoughts and behaviours associated with shame. This awareness is the foundation for building resilience and moving toward a healthier and more empowered state of being. You can read a more in-depth dive into shame HERE.
Building Resilience to Overcome Shame.
Many strategies can help cultivate resilience, such as developing a solid support system, practising self-care, setting achievable goals, and developing healthy coping skills. We will briefly cover these here, with opportunities to explore each topic further in previous articles within the Single Mama Way Guide.
A great place to start is by cultivating a growth mindset. I am a huge advocate and fan of investing time in the way you perceive the world, as in reality, this is the only thing you can really change This concept is something I have struggled with on and off in the past. (This article delves into the benefits and ways to achieve a positive mindset)
It involves embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and reframing failures as valuable learning experiences. It’s a way of thinking that you do not have to get 100% right every time. Just being aware that you are in control and adopting a positive perspective can transform how you govern your life. By perceiving setbacks as stepping stones towards personal development, we manage our lives with a positive outlook and take control of the journey.
Build resilience through Self-Compassion.
Fostering self-compassion plays a significant role in building resilience. By showing kindness and understanding towards ourselves, we acknowledge our strengths and limitations without harsh self-judgment. Practising self-forgiveness and embracing self-care create a nurturing environment for resilience to thrive.
Self-compassion is essential for emotional regulation and resilience building, enabling us to care for ourselves during difficult times. Through techniques such as mindfulness, self-reflection, and self-forgiveness, we can learn to be kinder to ourselves in the face of adversity. We can build resilience and manage our emotions better by developing emotional regulation strategies.
The practice of self-compassion has been shown to enhance personal growth and self-esteem. In one study, participants who engaged in a weekend workshop on self-compassion showed increased positive feelings and lower anxiety levels after the course ended. Another research study found that people who practised mindful compassion training had fewer negative thoughts about themselves than those who did not participate in the program.
Both meditation and music are known to have strong positive effects on mental health, including reducing feelings of loneliness, depression, stress and anxiety. Single Mama Way utilizes many evidence-based tools like narrative empathy to help you develop self-compassion. You can book a 20min chat with me here to explore some of those tools for free.
The Importance of Healthy Coping Strategies
Developing coping strategies following a relationship breakdown is crucial for various reasons. Firstly, it facilitates emotional healing by providing healthy avenues to process and express sadness, grief, and anger. Secondly, coping strategies promote self-care and overall well-being, enabling individuals to prioritize their needs, seek support, and focus on personal growth.
Coping strategies also encourage self-reflection, offering insights into unique patterns and facilitating future healthier relationship choices. Ultimately, these strategies empower you to move forward, create a new life, and find meaning and fulfilment beyond the past relationship.
When you work with me through the Single Mama Way counselling sessions, we identify healthy ways to manage stress, tackle those barbed comments from the toxic ex and strengthen your ability to smile through complex challenges.
We explore tools and techniques such as engaging in self-care activities, seeking support from loved ones, and practising relaxation methods. We work to empower you to take care of your physical and mental well-being, as it is crucial for maintaining resilience in the face of adversity.
Build Resilience Through a Support System
Overcoming shame and rebuilding self-esteem can be a complicated process. Thankfully, there is now a growing support system out there that can provide helpful guidance and encouragement. From online forums to therapy sessions, people can access resources that help them work through their experiences with shame and low self-esteem to move forward in life.
Single Mama Way Membership offers such a community. A virtual connection via FB group or locally in the Coffs Harbour area is a space founded on nurture and support. Not to mention all the other perks of being a member, like discounts on all the books and services within the Single Mama Way website.
Moreover, building a solid support system is vital in nurturing resilience. Surrounding ourselves with positive and encouraging individuals who believe in us can provide the strength and motivation to overcome challenges. In addition, seeking support from friends, family, or support groups can offer valuable perspectives, advice, and empathy during difficult times.
Conclusion: Taking Steps Towards Building Resilience and Overcoming Shame
Lastly, maintaining a sense of purpose and meaning builds resilience. By aligning our actions with our core values and finding meaning in our roles as mothers, we cultivate a sense of determination and perseverance. This sense of purpose can be a guiding force, even during the most challenging times.
Building resilience is an ongoing process that requires patience, self-reflection, and perseverance. While overcoming shame may seem daunting, it is not impossible. By recognizing the power of resilience and taking steps to cultivate it, we can work toward overcoming shame and developing a healthier relationship with ourselves.
Resilience enables us to cope with difficult emotions, move forward, and make positive changes. With resilience, we can heal the wounds of our past and create a better future for ourselves.