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How To Change Your Gray Divorce Mindset

Gray Divorce Mindset

Divorce and Transitions: Mardi Winder-Adams

How we think about and interpret the world through our values, beliefs, life experiences, and thoughts creates a worldview known as a mindset. This is particularly critical through the gray divorce.

During divorce or other life transitions, having the right mindset is a powerful positive influence on managing the stress of the divorce. 

“People with a growth mindset see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow rather than obstacles that define their abilities.”

While there are many possible types of mindset considerations, the following are ones that my clients find helpful to cultivate and practice in times of challenges and life-changing events.

Growth Mindset:

According to psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is the belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed and enhanced through dedication and hard work. People with a growth mindset see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow rather than obstacles that define their abilities. They embrace failures as learning experiences and are likelier to persist in the face of setbacks. 

A growth mindset fosters a love for learning and a resilience that is essential for navigating the challenges of divorce. It also allows you to see the learning opportunities and the possibilities for your future. This may not happen in the moment, but it does happen when you can sit back and reflect on how you have moved through the challenge. 

Here are some ways to develop a growth mindset:

  • Embrace learning new things – see challenges as a chance to learn something new. Stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to get to know yourself and to continue to grow your personal and professional skills, talents, and abilities.
  • Challenge your thoughts and beliefs – identify and challenge any limiting beliefs about yourself or the divorce process. These negative thoughts often include statements like “I can’t, I’m not good enough, I’m too old, etc.”. When this happens, immediately recognize the negative thought and ask yourself if this is true. Make a list of positive affirmations that help you banish those negative thoughts. 
  • Focus on solutions – instead of dwelling on problems, focus on finding solutions. Break down big challenges into smaller, more manageable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way.

“Visualizing abundance can help you attract more positive experiences into your life.”

Abundance In The Gray Divorce Mindset:

An abundance mindset is the belief that there are always enough resources and opportunities for everyone. The opposite of this is a scarcity mindset, which is the belief there is never enough. Shifting focus from scarcity to abundance, from what is lacking to what is plentiful, is helpful during any challenge and allows us to focus on seeing ourselves as resourceful and capable of meeting our needs. 

People with an abundance mindset believe that they are inherently resourceful and that other people receiving money, happiness, love, and support do not negatively impact their ability to access these resources. This mindset can be particularly empowering during divorce, as it helps individuals see beyond immediate challenges and envision a future full of possibilities and opportunities.

  • Practice gratitude – make it a habit to acknowledge and appreciate the good things in your life daily. These can be small things that bring you happiness or pleasure. 
  • Visualize the future – give yourself permission to imagine a future where you have everything you need to thrive. Visualizing abundance can help you attract more positive experiences into your life.
  • Share your abundance – abundance is more than money. Make it a point to share your time, talents, and resources with others. Giving back can help you feel more connected and abundant.

Positive Gray Divorce Mindset:

A positive gray divorce mindset is an optimistic outlook on life characterized by a belief in your ability to overcome challenges. It doesn’t mean pretending that everything is good and that all things in life have a silver lining. It does mean being resilient and believing you can get through challenges. 

“The great thing about mindset is that it can be changed.”

People with a positive mindset are more likely to see setbacks as temporary and to approach problems by looking for solutions and opportunities. This mindset is essential during divorce, as it can help individuals stay hopeful and resilient in the face of the emotional and practical challenges that are a part of the process.

  • Build a support network – surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Seek out friends, family, a coach, or a therapist who can provide emotional support and is there to assist you. 
  • Practice self-care – prioritize taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Engage in activities that recharge and rejuvenate you every day, even if it means scheduling them on the calendar. 
  • Stay flexible – be willing to adapt to changing circumstances. Flexibility allows you to bounce back from setbacks and find new ways forward, building creativity and problem-solving abilities.

The Victor Mindset:

Finally, it is easy to fall into the victim gray divorce mindset. It may seem like nothing is going your way, and you have limited control over the process.

Instead of being the victim and seeing yourself as losing a relationship, consider the opportunities for personal growth, change, and living the life you want. This not only helps to move you out of the victim mindset, but it incorporates elements from other positive mindset shifts that are critical during divorce and post-divorce rebuilding. 

The great thing about mindset is that it can be changed. Looking at divorce from a different frame of reference can radically change your divorce experience and your ability to thrive in the future. 

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Mardi Winder-Adams

About the Author:

Mardi Winder-Adams is an Executive and Leadership Coach, Certified Divorce Transition Coach, and a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator in Texas. She has experienced her own divorce, moved to a new country and started her own business, and worked through the challenges of being a caregiver and managing the loss of a spouse.

Handling life transitions and pivots is her specialty! In her professional role as a divorce coach, Mardi has helped hundreds of women before, during, and after divorce to reduce the emotional and financial costs of the process. She is the founder of Positive Communication Systems, LLC.