3 Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

3 Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

When I first started my healing journey through narcissistic abuse recovery, I didn’t even know what a limiting belief was. Yet, I still found myself victim to some of these negative thoughts and feelings.

How do you figure out which limiting beliefs you’re holding on to?

It’s definitely a process to suss out your own limiting beliefs, but it’s a worthy one. For me, it took looking back at my childhood traumas and the beliefs I learned growing up before I discovered that they were holding me back. This is when it finally clicked for me; how could I ever live the life I wanted if those very thoughts and feelings were preventing it from coming to fruition? It was time to let go. Can you relate?

What are the limiting beliefs holding you back from narcissistic abuse recovery?

There are several limiting beliefs that can hold you back in your recovery from narcissistic abuse. You may have developed these due to childhood trauma and/or the trauma the narcissist inflicted on you. Regardless of how you came to believe these things about yourself, they will prevent you from healing and getting over your ex. It is time to let go of what’s holding you back so you can move forward and create a healthy future for yourself!

Why do we feel so powerless after narcissistic abuse?

One of the biggest struggles for survivors of narcissistic abuse is learning that they need to start putting themselves first or consider themselves a top priority. This seems easier than it might actually be, especially for those of us who have been through the hell of being connected to a toxic person. In addition to our own perceptions about what we SHOULD be, we have society telling us that we’re supposed to always put other people before ourselves.

Think about it: how many times did your mom tell you not to be selfish? How much social pressure is there for you to be selfless?

3 Limiting Beliefs You Need to Let Go Of Today

If you’ve been in a toxic relationship, you know how hard it can be to put yourself first. If you’re having trouble prioritizing yourself without guilt, there might be something holding you back. Now is the time to let go of those limiting beliefs and take control of your own life.

1. If I set boundaries, no one will like me!

You’re allowed (and, in my opinion, you have a responsibility) to set boundaries. But narcissists have this way of pushing your boundaries and eventually eliminating them, so you might be a little out of practice. The first thing I want to do is reassure you – if you start to take care of yourself, your friends and family will like you even better. They’ll be relieved to finally see you getting your needs met.

The unfortunate thing is that the people who might push away from you might also be toxic. But for those who are your real friends and who really care, you’ll find something very different happens. If you’re polite but firm, they’ll accept that you can’t run yourself ragged doing what everyone else wants all the time. They might even respect you more for your honesty!

2. Everyone counts on me to be the strong one!

You know that friend who is constantly inviting themselves to dinner at your house? The one who always seems to have the neediest, most dramatic problems ever? Who thinks that “caring” means you should spend time listening to their never-ending parade of complaints about how hard their life is? Are you falling into the role of the victim/rescuer? You’re having a tough time and no one hears you. Do they even care or are they just used to hearing your sad stories?

Having been scapegoated and played, the eternal caregiver is a self-inflicted victim role that narcissists make their victims adopt by exploiting their vulnerabilities. In a way, they are emotionally manipulating us into sacrificing ourselves on the altar of their false emotional needs, which are as hollow as their pathological ego. It’s time to step out of our people-pleaser roles and reclaim our true identities, to become more authentic and whole.

You might be wondering why you feel the need to take care of everyone and everything. And if you don’t start taking care of yourself, might you become someone who gets burnt out and resentful? After all, it can be exhausting to have other people always relying on you. So take some time to get some rest. You deserve it after all!

Cut yourself and everyone else some slack and let other people help too. As a bonus, if you make sure your own needs are satisfied, you’ll be in a much better position to give.

3. But, it’s not right to put me first!

It may seem counterintuitive, but putting yourself first is actually good advice. It is not selfish to start caring for your physical and emotional health. When you don’t put yourself first, you’re telling your unconscious mind that other people are more important than you. And listen – believing you can’t achieve anything, and you don’t deserve to succeed is a recipe for staying stuck.

Why do you need to leave these limiting beliefs behind you?

Are you drained of energy by putting other’s needs before yours? Or perhaps you’ve given up on believing your needs and desires will ever come first? These three core beliefs need to be challenged and overcome if you’re going to develop a healthier attitude to putting yourself first. Like changing any habit, you need to practice and take baby steps first.

Have a look at your own needs and desires, and practice saying yes to what your body, mind, and heart need.

Are you having trouble keeping yourself from falling back into your toxic relationship?

You might be interested in this discussion we had during a live stream today in which we discussed letting go of your feelings for the toxic person in your life and steps you can take to ease the pain.

If you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or you might do better with a therapist. But, first, you have to decide what to do from here – if you’re unsure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

If you haven’t already picked it up, head over and download your free PLANning Tool Kit (Planning to Leave a Narcissist). Then, when you’re safe and ready to move forward, remember that online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

Recent FAQ on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery at QueenBeeing

Recent FAQ on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery at QueenBeeing

After a recent poll of my email subscribers, I noticed a few commonly asked questions and thought I’d share the answers with you as well. (Though, if you are one of my email insiders who completed the survey, you may have already seen this. If you aren’t, you can claim your spot on the inside right here). I’ll even give you some helpful free stuff when you do.

If you don’t see the answer to your most pressing questions below, please check out my FAQ pages as well – I’ve got a surprising amount of information covered there, too.

Without further delay, here are the answers to the 9 most recent frequently asked questions about QueenBeeing Narcissistic Abuse Recovery.

Q. Can you start publishing the transcripts with your videos?

A. I recently started doing exactly that. Check out my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Blog and let me know your thoughts!

Q. Can I email you my questions and expect to receive an answer?

A. If I’m being honest, I get hundreds of emails every day. There is just no way I can possibly answer all of the questions that come my way, especially when sometimes people send me lengthy stories that I need to read to understand what they are going through. I DO try to answer as many emails and messages as I can, but it’s really hard for me, and I don’t currently have anyone who can help me with certain types of questions. This leads me to three suggestions for you:

  • First, if you keep your question to one paragraph or less (say, no more than 350 words), I am far more likely to catch and respond to your question.
  • Second, if your question is about something like an appointment, a group, a class/course or where to find something, you can always email my office manager Melina, at [email protected]. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll know where to find it.
  • One last tip: use your search bar in Google and/or YouTube and type your question along with my name (for example, you might type something like, “angie atkinson what is gaslighting?” to be directed to both my YouTube videos and/or my QueenBeeing blog posts on this topic. I have done a LOT of work in this field and a lot of people are surprised that this simple tip will often get them the answers they have been seeking. (It could save you time, anyway!)

Q. Why did you name your website “QueenBeeing” anyway? Isn’t that kind of narcissistic?

A. Well, it all started with my own need to feel powerful. (Click here to read my story) This made-up word “QueenBeeing” felt powerful to me. There is a lot of symbolism in it for me (read about that here). In fact, you might say it’s a whole art form – or at least a lifestyle. You can read about the Art of QueenBeeing here and see if it feels like a fit for you. Once you’ve read my reasons, I don’t think you’ll feel like it’s so narcissistic after all. It’s more about reclaiming personal power than anything else.

Q. I wish there were other ways to be part of the community. I am not on Facebook or any other social media, but I would like to be part of a group like you have on Facebook. Am I right that I would have to pay to subscribe to be part of a non Facebook group? I am not sure what my options are.

A. I totally understand. You’re right that the free groups are primarily Facebook based and I know that doesn’t work for everyone. However, I do have an off-Facebook option at MySpanily.com that is available. It does cost $3.99 per month as it costs me money to keep it up and running. However, if you are in a position where you cannot afford $3.99 per month and you really need the off-Facebook support, please let us know – I’ll gift you a membership. I want to support everyone I can and this is one place I am able to bend a little, and I do when someone needs the help.

Please Note: if you want to help cover the costs of memberships for people who can’t afford them, you can submit donations to my PayPal account under [email protected]. You’ll see my business name, BlissFireMedia, LLC – don’t worry, that’s me.

Q. I would like to see real survivors giving video testimonials about their abuse and life with their narcissists, how they managed to leave and start over, how things went for them and what steps they had to take to get to where they are now, and what their life has been like, since; ways it’s improved and ways in which it has deteriorated. Maybe a once weekly slot that a survivor volunteers to fill and allows to show on your site​.

A. This is an excellent idea! The only issue is that a lot of survivors don’t want to put their faces on camera. However, I would be thrilled to work with anyone who would be willing to share their stories on camera. If you’re one of those people, let us know and we’ll send you instructions on what to do. And don’t forget that we do have a whole section of survivor stories on QueenBeeing.com. I would LOVE to help you share your story too! You can learn more and submit your own written story here, if you’re interested. It may take a couple of weeks to get published, but we do our best to say on top of entries.​

Q. Perhaps you have it already, but I’m looking a place to reach out for counseling. I am seeking one on one.

A. I do offer one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching, as do my fellow coaches. You can learn more and schedule an appointment by clicking right here. We also offer group coaching and many free support groups, if you’re interested. Learn more about that right here.

Q Could you offer more courses on Udemy?  Could you offer more learning courses anywhere online?​ 

A. I’ll consider adding more courses to my Udemy selection (I just noticed the two I have there are currently part of a huge sale Udemy is having!), but in the meantime, you might want to visit Life Makeover Academy – I have TONS of free and paid courses there for you. If you have a course topic you don’t see over at LMA that you’d like me to create, please let me know! Like I said, I want to do whatever I can to serve you.

Q. Is there a way to find content for me personally, for just the stage of recovery I’m in right now? 

A. Yes, I have a little quiz you can take to figure out where you are in the recovery process (click here to try it) and your results will direct you to some resources specifically for you. If you already know which recovery phase you are in, you can click here to find the resources you need. I’ll keep working on making this easier for you to find and always appreciate your ideas and thoughts on this stuff – please let me know if you have any thoughts on how I can make everything easier to find for you.

Quarantined with a Narcissist? Quick & Dirty Tips to Help You Survive With Less Stress

Quarantined with a Narcissist? Quick & Dirty Tips to Help You Survive With Less Stress

Stuck at Home with a Narcissist During the CoVID19 Quarantine? Here’s How to Deal and What to Expect

Are you stuck at home with a narcissist during this difficult time? If you are, then you’ll need tips on how to deal and what to expect. This video offers you the honest truth about what you can expect as well as tips and ideas on how to deal with the narcissist’s manipulation and gaslighting in the moment, and more.

Recognizing and Overcoming the Pink Cloud in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Recognizing and Overcoming the Pink Cloud in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery


We’ve talked before about how the trauma bonds we develop with narcissists affect the same part of the brain as any other addiction. We are literally addicted to our toxic relationships, and that is why it’s so much harder to end a relationship with a narcissist than anyone else.

Just like any addict, we need to recover from our toxic relationships and gain control over our addiction.

There’s one phenomenon that early in recovery puts us at risk, and if we fall for it, we will end up “relapsing” and find ourselves falling for hoovering from the narcissist – or worse, chasing after them. It’s called “the pink cloud.”

What is the Pink Cloud in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery?

Pink cloud (or “pink clouding” or “pink cloud syndrome”) is a term that is used to describe the feeling of elation that many addicts and alcoholics feel shortly after detoxing and moving into sobriety. They feel excited and hopeful in ways they didn’t before, and things seem to be moving in the right direction for the first time maybe ever. Since survivors of narcissistic abuse are often trauma bonded with their abusers, they deal with very similar issues. Trauma bonding works very much like drug addiction in the brain.

Why is pink clouding dangerous for survivors of narcissistic abuse? 

There is only one problem with the “pink cloud” syndrome – and that is quite simply that it can make people dangerously overconfident in themselves and their recovery. This overconfidence can sadly lead to a relapse. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happens to many in narcissistic abuse recovery as well. For example, when you first leave a narcissist, you can start to see the possibilities of a life without constant control and codependency.

You feel like you’ve overcome your trauma bonding and you have all of this hope – you feel like you’re on top of the world!

With all of this new goodness coming your way, you start to think this is how you’re going to feel all the time. Like life has just turned on a dime and the only way to go is up.

It is an amazing feeling! And while I want to tell you to hold on to it as long as you can, I also want to be realistic with you and let you know that it won’t last forever.

You’re still human and you’ll still have bad days. In fact, I would venture to say, you may find yourself feeling a sudden drop from the cloud, and you’ll feel like you’ve crashed back to earth in a most undignified way.

Reality will set back in and you’ll realize that even without the toxic person in your life, there are still difficulties and hard times.

What are the effects of pink cloud syndrome in narcissistic abuse recovery?

You may find yourself stuck in a deep depression if you’re not careful – remember, you weren’t allowed to show your feelings completely with the narcissist, so you may have sort of numbed out in order to get through it.

Letting go of the narcissist and working on your healing will require you, at some point, to mourn the relationship and work through all the hard feelings that go with it.

When you’ve lived in this constant state of control and numbness for so long, you might find that “normal” – you know, living without someone holding you down and without someone always sort of “managing” your every move – it might feel like you’re high on life.

You can’t even recall, if you ever knew, what real life feels like – and you have most likely forgotten how it feels to deal with your emotions.

It is good to feel happy and excited – it can help you to start to heal and make intentional choices. Don’t get me wrong.

But be aware that the pink cloud will eventually dissipate and you’ll need to keep pushing through the hard parts. You might think you don’t need help and you can just start living.

And I think you CAN just start living – but you must also stick with your support groups, and/or your coach and/or therapist. Don’t assume that “pink cloud” means all done healing.

How do you deal with pink clouding in narcissistic abuse recovery?

Here are some tips to help you get through the hard parts of the dissipating pink cloud.

1. Focus on finding balance.

In the relationship, all emotions are extreme. You deal with the highest highs and the lowest lows. After the relationship, start to focus on calmness and releasing the need to feel “extreme” emotions in order to feel normal.

2. Try to steer clear of the narcissist and places you know they will be.

Find a new route to work, or go to a different grocery store/bank, etc. Reduce the temptation of going back when you create new ways to do your business.

3. Create new routines and traditions.

After you are away from the narcissist, start creating new routines and traditions right away. Do things differently than before and when it comes to holidays and celebrations, keep the stuff you love, but release the traditions that don’t fit anymore – and in either case, add in new stuff and new ways to do things.

4. Realize that you must go no contact (or low contact) with the narcissist. 

Do not fool yourself into thinking you can be friends with this person or just see them a little bit. Addiction is addiction. You wouldn’t just take one drink if you were a recovering alcoholic, right? The same principle applies to our recovery from toxic relationships.

5. Get support from a group, a coach, or a therapist.

Get the support you need in narcissistic abuse recovery because going it alone is not only dangerous but less effective. And stick with it. Don’t let the pink cloud push you away – at least not for too long.

6. Take care of yourself and be prepared for triggers.

Make sure you’re taking care of yourself during the narcissistic abuse recovery process. Self-care is so important for a number of reasons – primarily because you probably haven’t had much opportunity to focus on yourself for years, or even decades. It’s also important to watch for triggers and have a plan in place for when one hits you.

7. Keep your eye on the prize!

Narcissistic abuse recovery is not easy, so it’s really important that you remember why you’re doing all of this – you’re working on creating the life you want and deserve. And it’s about time!

Get support for narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

Get Unstuck with this ONE Thing

Get Unstuck with this ONE Thing

The Secret To Self Motivation – It’s Motivational Monday! Today we’re talking about how to get stuff done when you’re feeling stuck. So often, when we’re dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship, we find ourselves feeling stuck and like we just can’t get anything done. Today, we’re talking about exactly what you can do to stop feeling stuck and start getting stuff done!

My Cards:

Hoovering

Hoovering

When you end a toxic relationship with a narcissist, you might think that it’s over – but very often, the narcissist has other ideas.

In fact, more often than not, the narcissist will do something to suck you back into their drama – or even fully back into the relationship – using a technique called hoovering.

What is hoovering?

Hoovering, named after the famous vacuum cleaner company, is what we call it when the narcissist tries to “suck you back in” after you’ve left them or ended the relationship, or after they have discarded you. They may use some kind of personal problem or dramatic issue to pull you back in, or they may use love-bombing. Hoovering is always an attempt to obtain more narcissistic supply from you, and in many cases, it can be an attempt to reconcile the relationship. It can also just be a manipulation tactic used to get you to break no contact.

In this video, I explain hoovering, several ways narcissists use this tactic, and how you can deal with it.

What are the signs of a hoovering narcissist?

The first thing you need to remember here is that there is no level to which a narcissist won’t stoop – nothing is off-limits for them. Here are a few ways narcissists might engage in hoovering you.

Finally saying that one thing you’ve been dying to hear. Narcissists are infamous for holding things over your head and for feeling justified in not giving you what you want and need in a relationship. For example, if you were dating a narcissist for 10 years and you just wanted them to pop the question, they might hoover you with a diamond ring and a proposal. Or if you were married to the narcissist and always wanted a baby, they might hoover you with an offer to try to get pregnant.

Future faking you.

Narcissists are known for their future-faking ways – where they promise you an amazing life together and never follow through. Many narcissists will use future-faking as a way to suck you back in. They will promise you the world – maybe they promise to buy you a house, or to finally go to couples counseling, or to really stop cheating on you this time. Most often, they fail to deliver, but use this future-faking in order to get you back into their clutches – and into the relationship.

Getting you involved in their drama.

As someone who has struggled with codependency, you’re especially susceptible to helping someone in need. The couldn’t be more true for someone you love or have loved. So, a narcissist might come to you with some big problem or issue in their lives that they need your help with. This could be something as serious as the death of a loved one that they just can’t make it through without your support, or something as simple as an argument with a friend or a coworker. One of my clients told me that her ex tried to hoover her by bringing his sick dog to her house and asking her to help take care of it. Like I said, they have no limits.

Accidentally ‘butt-dialing’ you or sending you a text ‘meant for someone else.’

This is a sneaky one. Narcissists will often “accidentally” call your phone or text you something random and mysterious so that you’re enticed to call or text back and ask what they need, what they meant by that text or why they called. Then, they’ll pretend that it was an accident or that they meant to call or text someone else – and before you know it, you’re in a full-on conversation during which the narcissist will try to pull you back into the “circle of supply.”

Swearing that they can’t live without you.

When they realize that you’ve truly moved on, a lot of narcissists will use a resounding declaration of love and claim they cannot live without you. They’ll say you’re their soulmate and they’ll even pretend to admit their own flaws and faults in order to get you to fall for it. This will effectively begin a whole new period of love-bombing, designed to suck you back into the relationship.

Engaging flying monkeys to do their dirty work.

Narcissists always have a crew of flying monkeys on hand – people who are happy to “do their bidding” for them. This may include flying monkeys who are willing to help them manipulate you without remorse, and it may also include “unwilling” flying monkeys – well-meaning people who fall for the narcissist’s lies and who are really trying to help. In hoovering, narcissists send the flying monkeys your way with worries and concerns about your (or the narcissist’s) well-being, all designed to get you to communicate directly with the narcissist or to manipulate you with drama.

Suddenly recognizing the error of their ways.

In a last-ditch effort to get you back into the relationship, some narcissists will come to you in tears, telling you they’re a terrible person and admitting “everything they did wrong,” which is often done by parroting back exactly what you’ve been trying to tell them for the duration of the relationship. They’ll say things like “I know I don’t treat you right” and “You really do deserve better than me” in order to soften you up and pull you back in.

Using fear and intimidation to bully you.

Some narcissists will even go so far as to try to scare you back into the relationship. They may also use guilt or blame-shifting to force you back in. And bullying is a very common manipulation tactic for most narcissists.

These are just a few of the ways narcissists will try to hoover you. This playlist offers a more complete list of ways that narcissists might try to hoover you back into the relationship.

How can you deal with hoovering?

The next question on the mind of every narcissistic abuse survivor is usually, “How can I avoid the hoover?” Here are a few of the most important things you can do.

  1. Remember that knowledge is power. Simply be aware of the fact that the narcissist may try to hoover you and become familiar with the signs of hoovering. That in itself can be enough to help you avoid falling for it.
  2. Use the gray rock method. Don’t show any emotion and only talk to the narcissist if you must, about what you must. If you have no shared children or shared business, you can completely go no contact.
  3. If possible, eliminate their ability to contact you. Change your phone number, block them on your social media and don’t answer the door if they come calling.
  4. Focus on YOU for once! Take the time you need to do self-care, to do that redecorating project you’ve been meaning to do, or to just do more nice things for yourself. You deserve it, and it’ll help you to distract yourself from the narcissist’s hoovering attempts.
  5. Reconnect with old friends, and make new ones. While you shouldn’t jump into any romantic relationships too soon after ending a relationship with a narcissist (because you need to heal first), it’s a great idea to dive into your friendships. Since you may have lost touch with old friends as a result of the narcissist isolating you during the relationship, what better way to celebrate the end of it? Reach out to your old friends and consider making new ones by getting involved in a group of like-minded people. Maybe that means taking a class, going to church or synagogue or joining a local club. You can also look at sites like Meetup.com to find groups of local people with similar interests. If that feels like too much, start with one of our online support groups for survivors of narcissistic abuse. 

This video playlist goes into more detail and offers more coping techniques for how to avoid being hoovered by a narcissist.

Why haven’t the narcissist hoovered me yet?

This question is often asked by survivors of narcissistic abuse who aren’t quite ready to be done with the narcissist just yet. They actually want the hoover because they want another chance to try and fix the relationship. While this question is one that makes me a little sad, I totally get it. And there are a number of reasons the narcissist may not be hoovering you.

Get the full rundown of reasons the narcissist isn’t hoovering in this video.

Bottom line: even if you do fall for hoovering and get back into the relationship with the narcissist, chances are that any change you see will only be temporary. Once the narcissist knows you’re back “in” officially, they will quickly return to their usual manipulative, abusive ways. Don’t fall for the hoover!

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery, right now.

Pin It on Pinterest