Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 5 Toxic Beliefs and How to Get Over Them

Written by Angela Atkinson

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know how daunting it can be to find any sort of positive in the situation. Silver linings can be hard to come by when you’re dealing with someone who literally insists on making your life harder than it needs to be, am I right?

And, when you really think about it, some beliefs have the power to stop you in your tracks – especially when you’ve become toxic due to the constant emotional abuse of a narcissist.

So, if you think you’ll never be happy, you can count on it. Just like if you believe that you could never run a marathon or win a chili cooking contest, you’d never try.

Of course, some toxic beliefs will have more impact than others and can really permeate multiple areas of your life. These beliefs are more damaging than specific beliefs because they will sort of leak into your psyche and recolor your entire perception. 

So, for example, believing you can never learn to play the French horn or that you can’t get a job you won’t hate doesn’t have the same negative impact as the belief that you’re too old to follow your dreams.

See, if you focus on something that you can’t change or control, you’re putting yourself on track for feeling hopeless. Try to focus instead on what you CAN control, and on what you’re grateful for, and you’ll find yourself feeling happier and even becoming more successful.

So let’s discuss a few common toxic beliefs that limit your life, and how you can get rid of them, shall we?

Common Toxic Belief #1. It’s too late, or I’m too old. Sometimes it is too late. You’re probably not going to start playing in the NBA or WNBA if you’re 43 years old, right? But the number of things you can do is far greater than the number of things you can’t.

Let’s remember:

  • Colonel Sanders didn’t settle on a chicken recipe until he was 49 years old. Yet, you know who he is and you’ve eaten his chicken.
  • There have been a few medical students that didn’t get started until their 60’s. Avoid jumping to conclusions regarding your age. You can do a lot more than you think.

Common Toxic Belief #2. Failure is bad. Failure is normal. If you’re living, you’re also failing from time to time. The trick is to fail in the right way and make good use of it. Failure is nothing more than an undesired result.

  • Take the opportunity to learn from your failures and adjust your approach. If one way doesn’t work, try another. If you continue to improve your method, how can you possibly fail over the long haul?

Common Toxic Belief #3. The past equals the future. You have an amazing ability to change and adapt. Just because you’ve been lazy, made poor choices, been uneducated, had poor social skills, or self-destructed in the past doesn’t mean the future can’t be different. The past only affects you if you permit it. You can choose to drop the past and live in the present.

Common Toxic Belief #4. People will criticize me, laugh at me or think I am a loser. You’re right. They might. This isn’t an inaccurate belief, but it’s harmful to be concerned about the opinions of others. No matter what you do, there are people that won’t be impressed. And there’s always someone ready to make a negative comment. Why do you care?

You don’t have time to worry about such silliness. You’re no longer in high school, so let go of the peer pressure.

Please yourself and avoid worrying about anyone else’s opinion.

Common Toxic Belief #5. I’m not smart, good with money, good with people, educated enough, special or (fill in the blank). No one is good at everything. You can learn to be good at whatever skill you’re lacking. Don’t know how to save money? Read a book. Not good with people? Take a class. Lacking in real estate knowledge? Find a mentor.

Successful people are often surprisingly ordinary. You don’t have to do anything spectacular to have spectacular results. You can find or create whatever you’re currently lacking.

Listen, the best revenge is living well, and a toxic belief could be holding you back from the success you deserve. These negative beliefs are difficult to recognize because you’ve been carrying them around for so long.

Do a personal inventory and evaluate all your beliefs that inhibit you. How do you know they’re true? What are they costing you? Get rid of them and proceed to bring your dreams to life!

Are you ready? Let’s do this. 

Your Turn: What toxic beliefs do you need to let go of in order to reach the next level of  healing in your journey? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it. 


  • Angela Atkinson

    Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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