Self-confidence can often be in short supply for survivors of narcissistic abuse, but there are many ways you can get it back. When your self-confidence is lacking, take control of the situation and make yourself confident again. You can accomplish a lot more with self-confidence than you can without.
Once you know how to create confidence, you become a powerful person. Self-confidence is yours for the taking if you try these simple little life hacks.
1. Make a short to-do list and accomplish it. Many experts advocate starting with the toughest task first, but if your self-confidence is in the basement, this might not be the best option. Try doing a few of the easier tasks first. Show yourself that you can be productive and successful.
Each time you make a plan and execute it, you have more confidence in yourself. It doesn’t matter whether it’s following through on your plan to go to the gym or to clean out your sock drawer. Make a to-do list and get it done.
2. Keep your biggest goals to yourself. Revealing your big goals to others can be enough to make you consider quitting. You’ll be on the receiving end of a lot of negative comments that will make you question yourself and your goals.
3. Improve your posture. How you use your body affects how you feel. If you sit and stand tall, you’ll feel more confident. Think about someone you know that always seems to be confident. Notice how they move. Try to mimic their movements and posture. Notice how much more confident you feel.
Movies can be a great source of inspiration. Think of a confident movie character and watch how they use their body. Practice standing, sitting and moving the same way.
4. Remove those things from your life you’ve been tolerating. We tolerate too much. Get the riff-raff out of your life. This includes toxic people, items you no longer need, the rattling muffler on your car, and everything else that annoys you. Tell yourself that you deserve better and then make it happen.
5. Do something you’re good at. What are you good at? Whatever it is, you feel better after doing it. Try to spend time each day doing something that you know you’re great at. Your self-confidence will increase.
It’s probably not possible to feel confident 100% of the time, but you can come a lot closer than you think. Even in challenging circumstances, you are the same. Self-confidence is always right there, you just have to see it. These simple actions are an easy way to find the self-confidence you’ve temporarily misplaced.
Get Inspired: Watch this video Angie did with Spartan Life Coach Richard Grannon!
Today, I want to share my experience with the narcissist I call “Ultimate Edgelord Casanova.”
Many narcissists are subtle in their manipulation. They don’t throw down in the dramatic way we come to expect, because people will call them out. So, they gaslight. They provide evidence that they’re telling the truth. The only way to prove they’re lying is to engage in extreme sleuthing. This, of course, is time-consuming and unreasonable. But narcissists rely on people to be reasonable, which is why it takes so long for many of us to figure out what they’re up to.
The Ultimate Edgelord Casanova and I were introduced by a mutual friend, who had wanted to set me up with him three years ago. I kept putting it off until last fall. I knew he was shady when he canceled our first date.
Once, when I asked how his evening was going, he sent me a photo of what was definitely a wine bar. It was a romantic-looking setting. I asked him if he was on a date. He said he was having a dinner party with staff. (I did not believe him). But it wasn’t until the second date that I realized what was seriously wrong with him. Additionally, I was dating a few other people at the time, so I was not that focused on him.
Basically, he had this tendency to ask me out on a date only to cancel two days before the date. His usual excuse was that he had an out of town business trip. One time he told me he was out of town on business but sent me a photo of a golf cart on a golf course. So, clearly, he was playing golf and not doing business. He has outed himself as a liar, correct? When I pointed out the discrepancy, he claimed that he had taken his staff away to play golf. Whatever. The next morning, he sent me a photo of himself (naked, from behind) with a large painful looking bruise on his back.
His message had lots of exclamation marks.
“Look!!! I fell and hurt my back!!! I can’t go out with you!!! It hurts when I sit down. I can’t even drive!!!”
I was not actually in contact him at the time so I thought it was weird how much effort he was putting into making excuses to not see me. He seemed happy about the fact that he was injured. Weird, no? Anyway, the bruise looked really bad, so I urged him to go to the hospital, in case a bone was broken. He replied that he had no time to go to the hospital as he had a plane to catch. Red flag. A few hours later, he was back in town and he sent me a photo from inside his car. He was driving to another city that was three hours away. I said something like, “Good luck.” Grade A A-hole, right? Big red flag.
A month later, he asked me out. By this time, I realized that for him the payoff was my accepting the date and not actually going out. So, I told him to ask me out on the afternoon he was available. I said that if I was available on that day, I would go out with him. I think that was how we ended up going out on the second date. He wanted to save face because I was calling him out on his shadiness.
On the second date, he told me he had spent about USD 2 million on lawyers to avoid paying a bill of 200,000 Canadian dollars to a commercial supplier. My spider senses were on full alert so I asked for receipts. As it turns out, he had photos of the contracts, the shipping container, and payment invoices saved on his phone. Wow. The evidence did not match his story, at which point, I realized he was lying to me. I asked to see what messages he had exchanged with the company. Then, I revealed to him that I had a business negotiation certification from Harvard and that this was my area of specialization.
Could I do anything to help? Because he’s spent ten times the amount of the bill to avoid settling the bill. So, clearly, he needed to fire his lawyer, right? If he was in the right, he would ask me to help him. He hasn’t.
What happened? He did the same thing to the Canadian company that he had been doing to me. He made a big order of commercial products to feed his large ‘international man of business’ ego. Then, he paid half the invoice amount to have the product shipped. This gave him boasting rights with the receipts (which is why they were in his phone in the first place). But it took a long time for the products to get to him in the shipping container, so he lost interest. (Typical narcissist – short attention span). Then, when the container finally arrived, he took photos of the container to prove that he had in fact completed this huge international transaction.
But, of course, he decided to “Ultimate Edgelord Casanova” the company, like he does to women. He called the company and said that he wanted to return the products and be refunded his money. They were defective, he said. Their lawyer demanded that he pay the remainder of his bill.
Do you know what he did next? He told them that the person (his representative and agent for the contract) who inspected the products was actually untruthful about the quality of the products put in the container. He also claimed that this person disappeared on him. However, he probably forgot that I had just seen the text messages he and this agent had recently exchanged via iMessage on his iPhone.
At this point, I realized that he was lying to me about EVERYTHING and that he uses photos as “evidence”. Obviously, he spends a lot of time talking to women who aren’t very clever. Right? Who sends golf course photos when they’re supposed to be on a business trip out of town? Also, for a business person, he has a lot of golf playing time. He has serious financial problems so how can he afford to take his staff to play golf? The back injury could not have been recent. Driving for three hours after you dinged your hip bone on the edge of a concrete step?
I have never lived with my mother, but I was extremely traumatized by her toxic behavior. I had buried some of the trauma I experienced so deeply and I think they’re only now coming back because I am strong enough to confront them without spiraling. This happened over twenty years ago and it involves my sister who was 14 at the time, and my narcissist mother, who was 39.
The truth was that this was actual karma at work, because my mother told me that her only criteria for marrying a man were that he could sing ballads and thrill her. Well, her narcissist husband had a great singing voice and pretended to speak several languages. She fell pregnant with my baby sister and they got married.
She got what she wanted. He could sing. But he didn’t own a home even though he was CEO of a multi-million dollar business. He was financially irresponsible and he cheated on her all the time. They were at each other’s throats from day one.
Skip forward after six years of that.
My mother and stepfather have just been evicted from their rented home. The banks are calling him over a business loan repayment. One Saturday morning, my stepfather and mother had a quarrel. According to what I heard, he had spent almost nine hours beating my mother. At one point, he was trying to pour drain cleaner down her throat.
My 14-year-old sister does not call the police, a neighbor, me, or anyone. Neighbors heard my mother screaming and my stepfather shouting for the entire day and forced their way in. That was when someone phoned me at my grandparents’ home to tell me what had happened. I was barely an adult at the time (18) and I was embarrassed about being around something so vulgar. I decided not to go comfort my mother. (That was a hard no for me).
Six days later, on Friday evening of the next week, the incident was headlined on the front page of a tabloid paper. A journalist wrote a blow-by-blow account of my mother’s nine-hour beating in the center pages of the paper. My sister bought the paper on her way home from school and showed it to me. She was excited and happy to show me illustrations depicting the more disgusting parts of the abuse. Quotes from actual conversations were included. I couldn’t bear to read any of it. Well, my sister told me she had called the papers herself and offered to sell them the story. She was very proud that she had produced this juicy story for the ENTIRE country to read.
Do you think my mother was angry, embarrassed or upset? Think again. My teenage sister was her proxy in the war against my stepfather in the press.
Most women would call the police, get the man arrested and charged and then file for divorce, right? Not my mother. She doesn’t want to be disliked by a man. In her mind, sneakily exposing his savage abuse in the press was a clever way of shaming her husband into giving her access to his millions.
Needless to say, my mother sacrificed her dignity for nothing. My stepfather still refused to pay my sister’s tuition for a private preparatory school, piano lessons, medical bills, etc.
As a result of his neglect, I was asked to be financially responsible (parentification!!) for my youngest sister when she turned twelve. I remained so until she left university (I paid her full tuition – no loans).
On top of that, my mother complained that she had to provide room and board and my stepfather was spending money elsewhere. I was scared my mother would kick my sister out, so I agreed to pay her utility and grocery bills until my sister graduated. If you are disgusted by my mother’s irresponsible behavior, try to imagine my brain exploding a little every time I think about that.
Postscript: My stepfather died penniless in a rundown rented home four years ago. He had testicular cancer and refused to take his medication, knowing he would surely die. The landlady came after my mother for rent owed shortly before that.
Momentum makes it easier to create change. It’s much harder to find the first client than to find the 10th. If you have to lose 50 pounds, the second 10 are easier to lose than the first 10. It’s just hard to get started when you’re trying to change something in your life. It’s easier to keep a boulder rolling than it is to get it started.
Try these ideas to start your momentum:
1. Do something worthwhile as early in the day as possible.Whatever your big goal in life happens to be, do something about it first thing each day. It’s a great way to show yourself that you’re serious about being successful. It’s also a way to build a lot of momentum that can carry you through the day.
If you need to drop a few pounds, get out of the door ASAP in the morning and go for a quick walk.
If you want to write a novel, write one page before you even take a shower.
Are you interested in speaking Italian? Learn three new vocabulary words before you have your morning coffee.
A small accomplishment early in the day can motivate you to do more later in the day. A bad morning usually drains your motivation, so ensure you have a great morning.
2. Make your bed each day. It might seem like a trivial act, but it can make a big difference. You’ve barely woken up and you’ve already accomplished something. You’ll also appreciate it when you go to bed. Try it for a week and notice how much better you feel about yourself.
3. Find a mentor that’s doing better than you are. Even the most successful people can use a good mentor. Get help dealing with your toxic relationship, or whatever issue you’re struggling with right now. If you need to lose weight, find someone who’s lost 100+ lbs. If you want to make 6-figures, find a mentor that’s making seven. A good mentor will push you to be more than you’re currently demonstrating.
4. Be consistent. It’s impossible to gain momentum without consistency. Each time you stop, it’s necessary to get started again. That’s the opposite of momentum. Get started and keep going. Consistent action is the key.
5. Perform a 30-day challenge. Pick a habit you’d like to create and force yourself to do it each day for the next month. This is a great way to build momentum. When the 30 days are up, you should be able to continue. You’ve already been doing it for a month after all. What’s another month or decade? Easy.
6. Have a vision. A compelling vision for the future can be the motivation needed to get started and to continue until you experience success. Think about what you want to accomplish. Who do you want to become? What type of life do you want to live? Create an attractive vision of a future that fills you with excitement. Few people have a long-term plan for their life. Even fewer have a plan that excites them. Be one of the few.
7. Be action-oriented. Most of us do too much planning and spend too much time gathering more information. The people that accomplish the most are those that take action quickly, consistently, and aggressively. Focus on the actions you can take and actually take them. Momentum is the result.
With momentum, it’s easy to believe that you can accomplish anything. Without it, everything feels impossible. There’s no substitute for work ethic and perseverance, but there are plenty of things that can be done to create momentum. If you’re feeling stuck, work on creating momentum and then fight to keep it going.
Get Inspired! Watch this video Angie did with Rupa Kapoor – a Woman Redefined!
As you’re evolving and moving forward in your life after your toxic relationship, it’s important to start thinking about what you need to be happy. And while we often share ways that can help to bring happiness into your life, there are also plenty of habits that will chase happiness away.
When we’re in a toxic relationship, it’s very unlikely that we’ll experience happiness on a regular basis. But whether you’re still stuck in one or you’ve moved on, you might be doing at least of a couple of these things and never considered the negative impact that they could be having on your life.
So, if you want to ensure your happiness (and I think we can both agree that you might need to!), you can avoid these habits that can rob you of happiness.
1. Unnecessary spending. One of the greatest stressors in life is financial issues. Happiness is harder to find when you’re up to your eyeballs in debt. General financial pressure is one of the greatest causes of misery and divorce.
Think about the reward you gain by spending and find a less destructive way to accomplish the same thing.
If you want to make happiness a real possibility in your life, keep your spending under control.
2. Postponing your life. We’re always waiting for something to happen before taking action. Whether it’s waiting for the first of the month to start a diet, or waiting for the kids to leave the home before starting an online business, we always have an excuse to wait.
There will never be a perfect time to take that big step. Manage your circumstances as well as possible and get started today. Time is the one thing none of us can ever get back.
3. Blaming others for your challenges. This is not to say that you should take responsibility for what happened to you. But you CAN take responsibility for everything from this moment forward. It might feel hard to do that right now, but if you keep focusing on what the narcissist did to you, it lets the narcissist have control over you – even if you’ve already gotten out of that situation. It’s not easy – it actually sucks sometimes, but what other choice do you have? No one else is going to fix it for you.
My point is that even if you’ve been used and abused, you are still responsible for dealing with the aftermath. Accept the challenge and move forward.
4. Not staying grounded in the present. Most people have a bad habit of dwelling on past mistakes and tragedies and worrying about the future. The past is over, so leave it there. Good choices today eliminate most future challenges. Focus on making the most of today, and the future will take care of itself.
Pay attention to your thoughts for an entire day. Notice how much time you spend thinking about the past or the future. Think about how that impacts your effectiveness and your happiness.
5. Holding a grudge. If someone has wronged you, you might be making a good decision by not trusting that person again. However, holding on to the animosity is pointless. You just make yourself unhappy and less effective. Once it’s over, learn what you can from it and forge ahead.
6. Focusing on challenges instead of solutions. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you focus on the unpleasant things in your life. When you’re ready to stop grieving the narcissist, begin to spend your time, energy, and focus on finding a way to make things better. You’ll feel better and be much more successful.
It’s easier to be happy if you stop doing the things that prevent happiness. We all pick up some bad habits along the way. The important thing is to recognize them and eliminate them.
Allow yourself to be happy by letting go of your anti-happiness habits. You’ll find that happiness isn’t as challenging to achieve as you thought.