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How to Heal and Rebuild Self-Worth

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Healing, and rebuilding, your self-worth after going through a divorce is a process. It's not an easy road to travel, and one you don't want to move through too quickly.

The key word is process, which means taking one step at a time. Someone once said, "You can’t hurry wellness any more than you can hurry love, without failing at both." Taking time to heal your inner wounds, and rebuild your self-worth, takes courage and real commitment. You are worth it, so take the time to take care of YOU.

Here are some tips on how to heal and rebuild your self-worth after divorce:

Heal open wounds.

Taking the necessary time to heal your open wounds from divorce should be high on your priority list. Accept the fact that it will be a process, not something you can fix overnight. It takes courage for you to call these emotional wounds what they are, "open wounds." You need to pay close attention to your emotional state.

Next, have the courage to acknowledge the emotions you may be feeling; such as betrayal, shame, anger, sadness, abandonment, resentment, loneliness, etc. These feelings will not disappear if you choose to ignore them. Instead they'll build up, becoming toxic in your system. Being courageous to extricate them from your heart is when healing can begin to take place.

Rebuild your identity.

Divorce can really traumatize your self-worth! So often when we're in an intimate relationship, such as marriage, a large part of our identity and self-worth is tied up in that relationship. When you go through divorce, the level of being reliant on that other person (your husband or wife) for your own identity becomes obvious very quickly.

It's a painful experience, bringing up fears you may have about yourself as an individual, and the reality that you will be without your spouse, feeling alone. You may question whether you can trust yourself to make better choices going forward, in terms of dating and possibly remarrying again. Doing the work to rebuild your self-worth as an individual first is essential.

Regain your self-worth.

Regaining your self-worth after going through divorce is a must in order to heal. The definition of worth means to "be good or important enough to justify something useful." Do you believe you are worthy enough to have relationships that matter to you, and a life that you love? Ask yourself these questions. I hope you answered with an affirmative yes! If you're not feeling the answer is a definite yes today, right now, that's okay, too.

Be honest with yourself. I hope you will choose to do the work to move through your grieving process, then begin to rebuild your self-worth, and identify who you are by beginning to participate in activities you enjoy with the people you enjoy spending time with. The people will most likely be those within your support system. You will begin to feel more peaceful inside, more accepting of yourself, and more willing to be kind to yourself, forgiving of yourself, and hopeful for a brighter, happy future. 

At the end of the day it's all YOU.

At the end of the day, regaining your self-worth is up to YOU! Choose to value yourself, and begin to love who you are. There are some significant steps you can take that are fairly simple, but necessary.

Take note of where you are relying on others for your own self-worth. You may still be looking to other family members, friends, your career, colleagues, etc. for validation. Acknowledge your own talents, and remind yourself that you are worthy of love. Writing in your journal, and posting "positive affirmations" are two ways to help you begin to acknowledge your own individual worth.

Life is short, so don't wait any longer to begin healing. Be kind to you, and pat yourself on the back when you've accomplished even the little things each day. These little validations add up, and will impact the way you feel about yourself in a positive and significant way. 

Confide in a true friend.

Confiding in one of your true friends will help you be accountable to yourself and to him or her when it comes to working on building your self-confidence and self-worth. He or she can cheer you on, giving you added perspective, genuine encouragement, and positive reinforcement.

Use positive self-talk to verbally tell yourself throughout the day that you are good enough. You are worthy of love and happiness in your own life. Tell yourself each day that you believe in YOU, and cheer yourself on. The healing starts with your own inner self-talk and positive thinking.


Having the desire and determination to rebuild your self-worth, and heal, after going through divorce takes a lot of courage. It is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones. Make the commitment right now to take the time that's needed to heal your open wounds. Healing is a process, so don't hurry through it. It takes work, but in the end we learn that we are enough, that we have many talents to develop and share with others, and that we are worthy of love and happiness in our own lives. 

If you are experiencing marital difficulties, please visit ProConnect to speak with one of our experts. To learn more about our Community, visit www.DivorceForce.com. 
Written by Lisa LaBelle, MSC, ACMHC

Lisa LaBelle, MSC, ACMHC, is the founder of Hope After Divorce, HopeAfterDivorce.blogspot.com, and HopeAfterHealing.com. She is a licensed Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Lisa has a B.S. degree in Education and a Master of Science degree in Counseling. Her counseling work centers on families, individuals, and children experiencing divorce, grief, and loss. Lisa is a family and child advocate, and a published author. Her work includes Hope After Divorce, Hope After Divorce Support Group Program, and Hope After Healing Support Group Program for Youth. She has been an educator for over 25 years and a divorce consultant for over 15 years.

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