If you’ve recently left a toxic relationship, it probably feels like the wind has been knocked out of your sails. You may still be trying to wrap your mind around what happened and wonder how you’ll ever get through the crippling confusion and shock of betrayal.
Even more, you wonder if there will ever come a day when you’ll be blessed with the ability to stop obsessing about your Ex 24/7.
The good news is yes, it’s possible to stop ruminating over your Ex (or toxic co-worker, friend, family member), but it will take time and practice. And it all starts with training your mind to think different thoughts. Specifically, you’ll need to be aware of when you’re in obsession mode and turn your thoughts around to yourself, recall your intellectual knowledge of what you need to do to heal, and reclaim your inner strength.
When tough times trigger your insecurities, you can discover an inner strength that will get you through practically anything. Keep in mind, however, the wise words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
Following are six recommendations to get you started on reclaiming your inner strength:
- Reflect on the tough times you’ve had before. Ask yourself how you got through it. What did you do? What did you think? What did you tell yourself? Your resilience will become evident as you do this exercise and give you real hope for the future in dealing with other obstacles.
- Recognize that you’ve made it through those difficult situations. Then think about what you’re experiencing right now. Is the current situation similar to or much different from your other tough times? Use what you’ve learned from your past challenges.
- Learn to talk to yourself in positive, encouraging ways. This will help you build up your inner strength.
- As if speaking to your own best friend, tell yourself what will most help and encourage you. What do you most want to hear? What do you need to hear to help gather your strength? Is there something specific you’re hoping will happen?
- Practice providing yourself with encouraging, uplifting messages. The messages you give yourself can be less than helpful or they can propel you through the roughest of circumstances.
- Talking to yourself with respect, care and positivity builds your inner strength so it’s there when you need it. When the going gets tough, you’ll have yourself to fall back on.
- Allow yourself time to think through whatever the situation is. It’s okay to feel confused.
- What are your ideas about how to weather the storm? Examine all the solutions you can come up with. Explain to yourself what you’ll do and how you’ll do it.
- A sense of your own resourcefulness can be found in your ability to problem-solve through challenging situations. Often, survivors of narcissistic abuse believe they have no options, but that’s usually not the case. There may not be immediate solutions, but there are almost always ways out of tough situations with careful planning.
- Consider who you regard as role models or mentors. You follow those people because you respect and admire them. They’re strong enough people that you want to emulate them. A good rule of thumb is to follow blogs and recovery sites that focus on healing and moving forward, not just on the toxic behaviors of narcissists and sociopaths. Remember, what you think about the most is what will play out in your day-to-day life.
- Who do you know or follow who has left a toxic situation and redesigned their life? Think about their strength of character. How do you know they have it? What does that strength look like? How does it manifest? If they were able to do it, you can do it, too.
- Reflect on what you’ve done or been through that you’re most proud of. Was it making it through college although you had to work while you attended classes? Maybe it was moving out on your own for the first time and figuring out you could take care of yourself.
- Even though you might have felt afraid, uncomfortable, lost, or confused, you discovered your internal resources and made it through those experiences.
- When you examine what you did to handle those situations and how you made it through, you’ll recall your inner strength.
- You can get in touch with your own resourcefulness by re-visiting those events that bring you pride.
- Sometimes, you’ve just got to “fake it till you make it.” You can probably recall a time when you felt afraid or weren’t sure you could succeed, but you stood up and met the challenge head on.
Discovering your inner strength is possible, even in the toughest of times in the aftermath of narcissistic abuse. Following the steps above will help you discover your courage and resourcefulness. And with this self-understanding, you can handle anything! You’ve come this far, haven’t you?
Are you stuck in the back-and-forth of trying to go No Contact for good? Get help reclaiming your Inner Strength and rock it like the Rockstar you are!