So, you're in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, and you've decide you're ready to create some personal change in your life - mainly, that you're ready to end the narcissistic abuse.

5 ways to prepare for your escapeKnowing that you want your life to change requires that you take stock of your life, and for victims of narcissists, this can be really tough - especially when you consider what happens to us when we're in these kinds of dehumanizing relationships. It means that you have to examine every area and look at what's not been working to make you feel the inner satisfaction that you'd like to have.

The first way that you can find your catalyst is to understand the things in your life that matter to you. Your catalyst for motivation won't be the same as someone else's, because no two situations are the same.

Quick side note: I read an article from Let Me Reach's Kim Saeed yesterday that really struck a chord with me - and honestly, I think maybe for people who are dealing with narcissists, the situations may be more similar than we think - we tend to feel that we have to prove to them that we're not like "all the others" who didn't stand by them, or we are too full of fear to move forward. I talked about this topic earlier this week, actually.

(BTW - Kim really opened up in the article and shared a lot of her own personal story - and with it, some really honest material that seriously hit home for me - check out the article here - it's a quick read.)

What gets you up in the morning?

What really matters to you?

As you move toward removing yourself from your relationship with a narcissist, or even after you've done so, you might find yourself feeling sort of lost - and who can blame you?

You've been under the influence of the narcissist long enough by now that you may be suffering from any number of common side-effects and complications of narcissistic abuse in relationships, both physical and mental.

But now, it's time to decide who YOU are - and what YOU really want.

Maybe you really dream of having a beautiful home, or perhaps you're more concerned with financial security for your retirement, or more time to spend with your loved ones.

If having time to do what you want to do with creative work is what matters to you, then your catalyst will be whatever action gives you the chance to free your inner artist.

This may be something as simple as cutting back on hours with work or finding a different job.

Try something new, whether it's career-related or otherwise. You

It might be the catalyst of taking an art or a writing class. Whatever it is should be something that you truly desire - something that you feel your life would be lacking if you didn't have it.

Get ready to change - and accept that it's necessary.

The second way is to accept that you're going to have to change things in order to get what matters to you. Many people are willing to acknowledge what matters to them, but then they balk at the change.

You won't get what matters to you without change. It's like losing weight. You can't shed pounds if you stay sedentary, eating like there's no tomorrow. You have to be mindful of your movement and intake - it's simple mechanics.

Be Open to Receiving What You Want

The third way to find your catalyst is to give it the opportunity to happen. You've got to be open to receiving what you want!

For example, if you want to start your own business, but your personal and professional life doesn't leave you with room to learn about business development or to increase your talents, then something has to give.

You have to make room to let the change in. Maybe that means spending a little time after work on the weekdays or on the weekends to educate yourself. It's a temporary sacrifice for a long-term benefit. You feel me?

Firm It Up: Know Exactly What You're Going For

The fourth way to find your catalyst is to make it concrete. Write it down. Share it with others. Find a mentor. Don't allow this change you want to remain nothing more than a desire.

By naming it, you're taking a step toward making it your future reality. Claim what it is that you want for your life. Then make a formidable plan to go after it, step-by-step.

Be Freaking Fearless and Plan Ahead

The fifth way is to not let the size of the change throw you off your goal. Some changes that people want to make really are pretty big. Changes like moving from your home to live in another country because it's what you've always wanted is a huge change - just like the changes you'll be making as you go through your recovery after a narcissistic relationship.

You wouldn't want to pack up overnight and head out the next morning. You can't throw away personal responsibility when a catalyst happens. What you have to do is focus on the things you need to do in order to reach that change sensibly.

If your goal is moving to another country, you would want to find a place to live and secure a way to support yourself financially before taking the leap. Those are action steps that you can take that lead to the big change.

Small change is what equals big change and it gets you closer to where you want to be in life. Think about how often you've just accepted your fate - your lot in life.

Have you ever made an action plan to get to a better place? To have more peaceful relationships by setting boundaries? To feel the thrill of waking up each morning, ready to lead a life that excites you?

If you've been watching time pass by, waiting for a bolt of lightening, consider this day your wake up call. It's time to embrace every catalyst you encounter so that years down the
road, you're not still stuck in the mud wondering why life passed you by. 

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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