Want to become a better person after a breakup? Learn from your mistakes? Focus on growing as a person from your past relationship? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s how to improve yourself after a breakup, turning – what could be seen as – a negative, into a positive, and feeling far happier in yourself again.
How To Improve Yourself After a Breakup
To jump straight into it – when it comes to how to improve yourself after a breakup, the process is really quite simple.
However, there are a few “rules” which will make it easier and more effective…
So, if you want to improve yourself after a breakup, you need to make sure that:
1) You aren’t too hard on yourself.
At the end of the day – you’re human. Mistakes are normal, regrets or “what ifs” are natural, but you don’t need to beat yourself up.
If you’re being OVERLY critical, and allowing negative self-talk to take over, you’ll only drag yourself down, not up.
So, I know everything still hurts, and you feel a little battered, bruised and raw right now, but make sure you don’t put TOO much on yourself, or go to extremes with this.
This leads me onto my next point…
2) You allow yourself to grieve.
Looking at how to improve yourself after a breakup is a good, positive thing, but you can’t use it as an escape.
You still need to work your way through the grieving process that heartbreak brings.
You also don’t want to repress your emotions and should instead “feel your emotions in order to release them.” (So essentially – you won’t be able to avoid the tears by doing this!)
Instead, your post breakup self improvement work should work alongside your healing…
It should support you, motivate you and encourage you. Just bear in mind, at times, you may need to take time out as you’re still processing a lot here too.
Sometimes the biggest victory is getting dressed, getting out, and carrying on with your day (despite how you feel inside!)
3) You focus on YOU, more than anything else.
The biggest “danger” of looking to improve yourself after a breakup, is that it’s too much, too soon, and you end up fixating on every detail of the breakup, how you acted and what happened.
You can end up overanalysing, dwelling on the past, and reminding yourself of your ex even more. (When we want you to STOP thinking about your ex, not the opposite!)
You can also start to look for a “quick fix”, struggling with feeling unwanted and “needing” to “fill the void”, which can lead to jumping into the wrong relationship, with the wrong person, too soon. (NOT what we want for you here!)
Recommended Read: Signs Your Ex Is In a Rebound Relationship (Don’t make the same mistakes here too!)
For this reason, you should follow OUR process of how to improve yourself after a breakup, as our questions and method, ensure the focus is on you more than anything or anyone else.
How To Improve Yourself After a Breakup
So now we’ve got that out the way, how do you improve yourself after a breakup?
Well, it’s all about reflecting, learning and growing by looking at small, simple changes, and putting them into practice.
This is actually super fun… and exciting too! So let’s get stuck in, shall we?
Instructions: Grab a new notepad and a pen, and start by answering the following questions…
Note: To identify how to improve yourself after a breakup, we’re not going to just look at picking out your mistakes or “flaws.” But instead, get a rounded overview of you as a person and how you behaved, so you can decide what actually needs homing in on and how big of a deal each thing is.
For instance, if you just wrote a big long list of, “well, I did this” or “this one time I did this” or “I shouldn’t have done this”, you’ll just end up thinking you were “the worst partner in the world” and this is “all your fault”… when it’s not!
Questions To Identify Your Areas For Improvement
So to get clearer on how you can improve yourself after a breakup, you want to gain the overall picture of your behaviour, your relationship, what you can learn from it, how you’ll learn certain lessons, and any further action you need to take in order to grow.
This Means Asking Yourself:
– What was your relationship like, overall, as a whole?
– What created some of the best times and what created some of the worst times? Plus (more importantly) how did you contribute to these times, for the better or the worse?
– What things can you look back on and feel proud about? This may be in terms of how you acted, what you did (or didn’t do), or what you learnt.
– Are there any things you look back on and regret about the relationship? Or any things you wish you’d done differently? And why? What difference do you think these changes would have made?
– When it comes to regrets – which situations spring to mind the most? Then, when it comes to these – how did you act? Why did you act this way? What drove this behaviour? And why was it hard to respond in a different way in that moment in time?
– What things do you want to work on, which you think would make you a better partner or build a healthier, happier, stronger relationship, in the future?
Continue To Explore:
– Are there any things that others have said about you, or your relationships, which you perhaps struggle to see yourself?
– What lessons have you learnt from your last relationship? What things will you take away? Or what things do you want to make sure that you do take away from it?
– How do you think you can truly learn from your mistakes? What action do you think you need to take, or commitments you need to make? And how will you stick to it / remember it, moving forward?
– What habits / behaviours do you think can cause the most damage in a relationship? (In general?) And how many of these do you think that you have / do? Plus, to what level?
– What is your relationship vision? And what kind of person would you need to be, in order to have the relationship that you want?
– Where are you now and where do you want to be, when it comes to how you act, feel and behave in a relationship?
– In what ways DON’T you need to be perfect? What things are actually okay, every now and then? Or “normal” even?
How To Improve Yourself After a Breakup (The Process)
The above questions should have helped to get you thinking of what areas you want to focus on when it comes to improving yourself after a breakup. So, what do you do now? Well…
Step 1) Prioritise
Have a read of all of your notes from the above questions, and start to pull your answers into key areas for self improvement.
From there, you can then organise the “goals” into a list, organised based on priority.
So, the things you want to work on FIRST, should be at the top. These first things should be the changes that are the most important, urgent, or will have the greatest impact once successfully done.
After all, as one of my favourite quotes by David Allen says:
“You can do anything, but not everything.”
If you were to look at your areas for self improvement and try to tackle them all in one go – it would become overwhelming.
But by breaking it down to find the areas to best place your time initially, it then becomes more manageable.
Psst, Please Note:
You also don’t have to focus on your past relationship to improve yourself after a breakup at all. (Say whaaaat!) That’s right!
You can focus on general self improvement as well… Especially if you went through a relationship that “just didn’t work out”, but no major mistakes were made.
Improving your self-care, self-love, self-confidence, health, fitness & courage; pushing yourself to do more, get to know yourself better, and grow into everything you know you can be – that’s a great way to move forward from a past relationship too.
You’re simply using this as the turning point; as your fresh chapter. You’re taking the time to focus on YOU again, after so long putting so much time and energy into the wrong relationship… It’s an opportunity.
So no matter what happened in your last relationship, and what things you did or didn’t do ‘wrong’, you can always improve yourself after a breakup…
Which makes it really quite a ground-breaking and empowering process!
Step 2) Break Each Goal Down
Next, you want to take your first “goal” and break it down into the key things you need to do, in order to make the changes you want to see. Now you might think that this may be tricky.
After all, when it comes to how to improve yourself after a breakup, many of your goals will be relationship goals, or behaviours in a relationship that you want to change…
And now you’re NOT in a relationship, so you might wonder how you can work on it!
But you can! See, fundamentally, the way you behave is influenced by the way you feel inside.
So the main focus is working on yourself, to then improve yourself after a breakup, and be able to put it into practice in your next relationship.
When you start to date, and things move forward with someone there, you’ll also be able to “test” yourself there – to see if the way you think, feel and act, is different.
So here, let me give you an example to make this a little clearer…
Goal Based Example For How To Improve Yourself After a Breakup
To tackle this, straight away, post breakup, you may therefore try:
- Getting therapy to discover where your abandonment issues come from; how (and why) you react to your fear of abandonment in your current way; and how to work through it.
- Working on becoming more independent – learning to enjoy alone time… which can then be broken down further, starting with challenging yourself to go on some solo dates (simply with yourself!)
- Working on becoming more secure and confident in yourself – so that you worry less about the person you’re with, and know that you don’t feel like you need to cling onto them in the first place – you know the right person will always stay!
Now, you may not know all the things you need to do, straight away. You don’t need to have all of the answers immediately.
The most important thing is you look at what you need to work on, you brainstorm ideas for things you COULD do, which you think COULD help… and then you do them – you try, you learn and you see what does and doesn’t work.
I always say, “the more you do, the more you can go on to do” and it’s similar when it comes to improving yourself after a breakup…
The more things you try (which you think will create the change you want to see), the more it will lead you to those biggest “breakthroughs” with the things that actually worked!
Break Each Goal Down
So write your “goal” at the top of a piece of paper and list as many things as you possibly can, with key “action tasks” for things you can do, to work on yourself in that area. From there…
Step 3) Plan / Schedule
Once you know what you need to do, to see the changes you want to see in yourself after a breakup, it doesn’t stop there…
In fact, this is where the self improvement journey officially begins as it’s all about TAKING ACTION!
From your list of tasks / ideas, pull them into a schedule or plan.
Start with something you can do right now (like picking up a new book and getting stuck in) to really hit the ground running.
Then schedule the “bigger things” into your diary – setting time aside to work on them…
Schedule them as if they were a set meeting or event. Block out the time for them. Make them important in your life. Then it will simply be a case of working through each task, one by one.
Remember: you may not have all the answers straight away. It’s all about trial and error; learning and growing.
Some things you do may not make a difference. Other things will. And other things will then lead you to more ideas for the things you need to do…
Just keep at it, and stick with it… Which then leads us to our next step.
Step 4) Don’t Rush
Change takes time. This isn’t a tick-list that you can fly through.
Yes, you can create deeper change, faster, when you commit to it fully and work on it more, but you want LASTING change, not just initial change…
So know what you need to do, work through it, work on it, and then KEEP working on it.
For instance, going back to the example above about if you were to work on being less clingy in a relationship:
You can’t just go on a few solo dates, start a new hobby, improve your independence and then think, “okay, that’s done! I won’t be clingy in a relationship next time I get into one now…”
You need to stick with it. You need to develop long-term habits & adjustments and you need to dig deeper to how you feel inside.
Now of course, there will only be so much you can do, in some areas, whilst you’re still single, but that’s where our final step comes in…
Step 5) Know How You’re Going To Stick To It
So let’s say you’ve reached the point where you feel change in the area you want to work on, and feel confident that that change can last when you next get into a relationship…
Well, to be sure – make “rules” and “guidelines” for your behaviour to make sure you stick with it.
So, again, going back to the “clingy in a relationship” example, in this case, you may set something like:
“When I next date someone, I’m going to keep a healthy balance. I’m going to take things slow when dating, I’m not going to let the relationship move too fast and I’m still going to keep doing the things I enjoy doing, that I’ve found whilst being single. As part of this… [and you can then get more specific.]”
When it then comes to the stage where you can put this into practice, you can better monitor and track how well you’re sticking to it (and if any adjustments need to be made to either – make it more realistic, or, take more action to stop slipping back into old habits.)
But make sure you keep these goals and areas of improvement in the forefront of your mind, because – like I said – you’ll start to notice the way you feel and behave (and therefore any changes you have or haven’t made), even at the earlier dating stages.
How To Improve Yourself After a Breakup
So that’s the process for how to improve yourself after a breakup – broken down, step by step.
We also have our key questions to help you identify which areas you need to work on in the first place. Just remember:
Improving yourself after a breakup is not about getting a new haircut, or losing a load of weight, to try to get back at your ex (or alternatively, try to WIN them back!) No, no, no.
Improving yourself after a breakup should be more about improving the way you feel and behave in relationships, to create happier, healthier and longer-lasting ones moving forward…
Alongside those general self improvements to shift your focus AWAY from your past and OVER to your future, and the best way in which you can move forward positively.
… That’s what you want to focus on from here!
So there we have it! I hope this has both helped and inspired you.
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Good luck! Take care.