How do you rebuild your self-worth after narcissistic abuse?

How do you rebuild your self-worth after narcissistic abuse?

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, whether it has been your parent or your partner, your self-worth is most probably torn into pieces. Maybe there are not even any pieces left, maybe it is gone completely.

Narcissists are master manipulators, looking for opportunities to mess with your head and your self-worth. With the help of various manipulation techniques, like gaslighting, they will gradually make you question not only your self-worth but also your sanity.

It is easy to start feeling like you don’t mean anything. You feel disconnected from yourself. You don’t know who you are and you certainly don’t remember your own worth anymore.

How can you rebuild your self-worth once you decide that enough is enough?

The below points are not written in any particular order. The more you do for yourself to recover your sense of self, the better and faster results you will get.

1. Let your emotions flow

If you’ve suffered from narcissistic abuse, you might have already noticed that there are a lot of emotions trapped inside you. Sometimes we don’t even realise how deep we buried the feelings of hurt, resentment and anger.

Start a journal and every day let your emotions flow. Write everything down. Whatever feelings come to you, don’t judge them. Just write them down.

There is no rule about how much time it will take for you to feel relief. Do this practice until you feel that you are free from this emotional baggage.

You need to “clean the house” of your inner world so that there is a space to fill yourself up with positivity.

2. Replace negative messages with positive ones

If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, your mind is full of negative messages about you. Most probably you’ve been invalidated, gaslighted and emotionally abused.

You probably have a lot of self-doubt. You may be thinking that you are not good enough and you don’t deserve to achieve success in your professional and personal life.

Luckily, all these negative, harmful messages can be replaced. Again I would suggest writing down all the negative messages you used to get from the narcissist in your life. Write them all down and take a closer look at them. Are they really true? Do they have the power to define you as a person? They certainly don’t if you decide not to give them such power.

Once you investigate all those negative messages you used to be bombarded with, write down new positive messages about yourself that you would like to plant in your subconscious mind. Once you’ve done that, turn them into affirmations. Repeat them as much as you can and add feelings to what you say.

For example, if your new message is: “I’m worthy of love” or “I am lovable”, feel this love for yourself in your heart. Look at yourself in the mirror and notice all the beautiful qualities that you have in you. At first, it may seem a little fake. You might be feeling that you are forcing yourself to do this practice but repetition is the key here. The more you say it and feel it, the more quickly those positive seeds will blossom. Your self-worth will blossom too.

3. Forgive yourself for the abuse

In order to regain your self-worth and move on with your life, you need to reconcile with the person you used to be before the abuse happened. You need to forgive yourself for allowing this abusive relationship to hurt you.

It is not easy. I know. But it is really essential that you made peace with that part of yourself. How can you do that?

When I was healing from narcissistic abuse, I used to sit in a quiet place, light a candle, close my eyes and I called this part of me to come to me. And she always used to come to me. At first, she was crying and feeling guilty but I told her that I love her. I don’t want to judge her. I just want us to reconcile.

It sounds maybe a bit strange but give it a try. We consist of different versions of us from different moments of our lives. For example, you still have the little girl/ boy that you used to be in you. The same with you who allowed the abuse, that person is still a part of you, feeling probably terribly guilty and sad that such abuse happened to you. Meet with her/ him, show them kindness and love. Forgiving yourself will bring a lot of peace into your heart and it will noticeably help you rebuild your self-worth.

If you like guided meditations, try one of my meditations about emotional healing and forgiveness.

4. Celebrate your successes

Giving yourself credit and acknowledging your strengths and success is necessary if you want to rebuild your confidence and self-worth after narcissistic abuse.

If you were in a narcissistic relationship, you must have been invalidated regularly. Probably everything you did was criticised, even your successes if they were not meant to fuel the narcissist in your life.

Starting a journal of your successes will be very valuable and useful to make you see how good you are doing in life. Every week, schedule some time in your calendar, sit in a quiet place and write down all the things that went well last week. All the small victories and all the big ones. Every little thing matters.

Looking through this journal will boost your self-worth and confidence on the days when you might start questioning your self-worth again.

5. Practise self-love

Self-love is not only important but it is actually essential for your mental well-being. Focusing on developing more love for yourself will help you a lot in regaining self-worth.

The way we feel about ourselves has a direct impact on every decision we make and every interaction we have. It helps us set healthy boundaries, stay open to life’s opportunities and pursue our dreams with courage and confidence.

There are different ways in which you can practise self-love. One of the practices that are very effective if you are consistent is to simply stand in front of a mirror (ideally in the morning when you are just about to start your day), look into your own eyes and say “I love you”. It might seem a bit awkward at first. You might sound fake even to yourself but it is important to stick to the practice and do it every single day.

Gradually the words will sound true to you and you will be able to see progress on the path to rebuild your self-worth. In the video below, I’m sharing more practices that will help you develop more self-love.

All the above practices will help you reprogram your subconscious mind, peel the layers of negative messages that the narcissistic abuser “fed” you, and ultimately rebuild your self-worth. The key to reprogramming your mind is consistency and belief that you can do it. It takes time and effort to see sustainable changes in our thoughts and behaviours but it is definitely worth spending this energy on healing to regain control over your life. I wish you all the best! And if you need any help, please reach out.

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