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I’ve said before I’m working on me. Focusing on me. Not him. Not his affair. Not the pain from it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and I’m ignoring it – it just means I’m focusing more of my energy on me.

My focus is on engaging in activities that will heal me. Lately I’ve been doing things to build my self confidence. My self esteem. My strength.

I’ve joined a book club. I’ve signed up for a cooking class. I’ve taken an interest in yoga. I’m trying a boxing class. I’ve committed myself to one new experience each month. I am spending time with friends again. I’ve taken better care of myself. I’m looking forward to a work trip this week and spending some time ALONE.

Here are some tips I’ve learned about building self confidence:

*Take care of yourself. Eat right. Exercise. We all know we need to do this. Its self care 101. This is the time in your life you when you feel the least like doing this, but its also the most critical.

*Dress nicely. Practice proper hygiene. When you are reeling from intense pain, the last thing you care about is how you are dressed. You could care less if you brush your teeth, let alone get a hair cut and shave your armpits! Its a little trick you play on yourself by dressing nicely. You feel better when you are clean and dressed up. Its ok to fake it til you make it. Plus, when you look good, you get noticed by others. Which helps to build your confidence.

*Kill negative thoughts. Avoid negative people. Get the negativity out of your life. Learn techniques to stop the negative thoughts. I’ve done the popular ones like saying “stop” out loud. I’ve worn a rubber band on my wrist and snapped it when I have negative thoughts. I’m now working on doing something good for myself when I ruminate. Surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you.

*Think positive. More importantly ACT positive. Action is the key. More than just thinking about something good – do something good. For yourself or someone else. Compliment others. By looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself. Be someone who builds other up instead of tearing them down.

*Set a small goal and achieve it. Nothing builds confidence like achieving a goal. Whether its to tackle a project you’ve been putting off. Losing 5 pounds. Eating healthier. Anything. Start small. Make it attainable and measurable. Then get busy doing it.

*Be grateful. I started a gratitude journal shortly after learning of his affair. It has helped me not lose sight of what good things I have in my life. Its a way to focus on the good and not the negative.

*Create daily affirmations. alk to yourself in a nice and loving manner. You are a wonderful person that deserves to be happy. Remind yourself every day. Be kind to yourself. Focus on what is good about you.

*Empower yourself with knowledge. Learn something new. Challenge yourself a little.

*Trust yourself. Whew. That’s hard right now huh? You trusted your instincts and beliefs that your spouse wouldn’t cheat. Hard to trust yourself on anything right now. The reality is that you can still trust yourself. And should. Go with what feels right for you.

*Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t compare your behind the scenes with their highlight reel. Everybody has struggles and secretes. Hidden pain. Don’t assume because their Facebook status is happy go lucky that their life if perfect.

*Accept and love yourself. Just as you are. Not when you lose the weight. Or get the job. Today. Right now. Love yourself. Accept yourself.

Do not allow yourself to feel like you are not good enough because you weren’t treated the way you should have been. Another tough one. Just because your spouse (or anyone else) didn’t value who you are doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy. Doesn’t mean you are any less beautiful. Any less valuable. Any less good. Any less everything. Someone else’s opinion of you, quite frankly doesn’t matter. Its how you feel about yourself that counts. When you put your self worth and happiness in someone else’s hands you are setting yourself up for disaster. When you are confident and value yourself – you will be happy no matter what others do to you. You will care less about their actions. You won’t sit around and worry if they’ll cheat again. If they are lying again. You won’t live your life in fear. You will know that if they screw up again, you will be ok. You will feel pain. You will grieve. But it won’t consume you. Because you know your worth. If someone else can’t see it, then it truly is their loss. Do not work on yourself to please anyone else. You should be building yourself for you and you alone. As a side  note – you will find that the more self esteem and confidence and positivity you have in your life – the more appealing you are to others. Not a reason to do the work, but a nice perk.

All of this is a daily choice. A choice to put yourself first. A choice to stop the negativity and allow something good in your life.

If you want to reach out for something new, you must first let go of what’s in your hand.