In Life After Divorce, Don’t Play Small

life after divorce

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Does life after divorce and a lack of confidence have you playing small? 

by Shannon McGorry


“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

That is one of my favorite quotes and I share it because it helps light the spark in me, and my hope is that it does the same for you.

I know divorce can leave quite a wake…I have stood in the divorce storm wreckage so I get it.  The entire thing often strikes a serious blow to our confidence.  So please know if that lack of confidence has you playing it safe or small in life after divorce you are not alone or crazy…those emotions and feelings are REAL because of all that you have been through.

The beauty of it is…we have the chance to recognize how we are showing up in our own life and we have the freedom to make another choice. 

It’s time to make that choice; now.


The Center for Divorce Recovery


Stop. Playing. Small.

You have so many gifts and talents.

You have so much to give the world.

This is YOUR life to live, and embrace, and love!

It is amazing.  The consistent message I hear and see from women who have been through divorce…

“I lost myself.”

“I have totally lost touch with who I am.”

“I’m not sure what I want, I haven’t thought about me in a long time.”

“It has been so long since I’ve focused on me.”

Of course those thoughts and emotions are going to lead us to actions that have us  shrinking into a smaller, quieter version of ourselves.

Yet, it’s not who we really are or who we want to be, so what do we do with those thoughts and feelings?  Back to the quote I go…when I read those words of wisdom, I immediately ask myself two things:

WHERE in my life am I playing small? AND   WHY am I playing small at all?

The WHERE:  The area of life where I am not showing up as my FULL and BEST self is different day to day – sometimes it’s in yoga, sometimes it’s as the chief dinner chef in our home,  or in my mindset.  Playing safe can creep into any area of life; its normal.  But layer on top of that normalcy the enormous hit our confidence takes during and after divorce and we can become professionals at playing small if we aren’t careful.


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The WHY: WHY am I playing small…now that’s interesting…usually it has to do with fear.


Fear usually shows up for three reasons:

1. Fear of the unknown outcome
2. Fear of the process
3. Fear of loss

Interesting right?  But when you think about you own life and the times when you hold back, I bet more often than that one of those three fear factors has reared its ugly head.

So now the real question….WHAT  do we do when we feel the fear; when we are tempted to play small in any area of life?

That’s when and where we dig in, when we look inside ourselves, when we recognize our gifts and talents and strengths, and we make a choice for what we want to experience from our life.

And then despite the fear, we do it anyway.



And we do it anyway because we are SO worth it and because we are tired of playing small.  The best thing we can do to regain the confidence, to remember who we are, to get back in touch with our inner spark, is to take action, to start showing up, to do, and be, and live.

We refuse to play small because we will not settle for a life that is any less than what we are oh so very capable of living and loving.

With Love,

Shannon McGorry, Divorce Recovery Coach


life after divorce

Shannon McGorry is a Divorce Recovery Coach passionate about creating a powerful shift in focus for women who are ready to reclaim their power during and after divorce. Shannon is certified as a Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, a graduate of I Heart Coaching, and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Siena College with a B.A. in Economics.  Her powerful coaching skills lead women toward lives of purpose, fulfillment, and joy; learn more at and receive Shannon’s free guide: 3 Steps on How To Reclaim Your Power After Divorce.

Like this article? Check out, “Listen Up! You Deserve Better!”


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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

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