Our episode this week on The Amicable Divorce Expert podcast is on Individuation, an evolving process by which we define who we are and how we want to live, even if it means losing some of our relationships. Our guest, Anthony Metten, a TedX Speaker, Podcast Host, and Coach takes on Individuation in his businesses. Anthony has been divorced twice and knows first hand how important it is to use a major life change, like divorce, as an opportunity to grow and become the person you want and need to be. Becoming your authentic self is as important as breathing.
Enter divorce. How can something so tragic as divorce be a springboard to greater happiness and human growth? Because growth comes out of challenge, adversity, hardship, and dramatic life changes. The closing line of my confirmation emails when booking divorce mediations is, “Divorce Is a New Beginning”. I mean it. I’ve lived it. And so have many people once the drama of the filing has ended and your new normal unfolds. Your new normal is a process in which you have a key role. You can create your new way of life if you see divorce as a beginning and not just an end. Life doesn’t stop when a tragedy occurs. Life moves on, and so must you.
A therapist colleague of mine, Pamela Payton MFT, responded to a Facebook post I made about the episode on Individuation and said that she did one of her dissertations on Individuation and Self-Esteem. It immediately got me thinking about the importance of self-esteem and how living a life with people who don’t fulfill us, and in careers that don’t fulfill us, possibly even in geographical environments that don’t fulfill us, influences our self-esteem. The definition of self-esteem is “confidence in one’s own worth and abilities”. The best way to develop confidence and worth is to live a life that is a natural expression of who we are, what we like, what we don’t like, and how we want to live, work, play, and love.
Conversely, accepting a life that doesn’t express who we are and how we need to live, diminishes our confidence, our purpose, and our physical and mental health. We are not the individuals we can and should be. We are not feeling joy, happiness, and a level of calm necessary to make good decisions if we compromise who we are and how we want to live. We cannot be the unique person we were meant to be. We need to exercise Individuation as a birthright, and use as a process to get us to be our most self-confident, and to enjoy the self-esteem that comes with being our authentic selves.
No time like the present to Individuate!