“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
By now, you’ve realized that chances for the narcissist to change and become a less damaged version of him/her self is unlikely – maybe even impossible.
Whether you’re still working on a way to get out or you’ve already left, you’ve got a long road ahead of you when it comes to recovery. One of the biggest hurdles is sort of “reprogramming your brain” in order to let go of the poisonous thoughts and beliefs that the narc’s emotional and mental torture have almost certainly left behind.
When you were actively engaging with the narcissist, you probably eventually stopped trying to make choices of your own. That’s because by doing so, you may have found yourself the victim of added gaslighting and other kinds of covert abuse – maybe even less than covert.
But now that you’ve left, or are planning to leave, you’ve got to learn to choose your own path – and that can begin by simply deciding what you want and then taking the steps you want to get there – simple as that.
Still, when things don’t go your way, do you know how to deal? Can you cope with the hard times on your own?
Ask yourself this: When life isn’t going your way, do you empower yourself to make improvements?
Most people are great at getting themselves worked up into a state that’s anything but empowering, and when you’ve been abused by a narcissist, the effects of PTSD can become overwhelming. When things get challenging, we need all of our resources if we’re really going to turn things around.
We all have the power to overcome our negative thinking and emotions. And we all have the power to bring about positive change in our lives.
1. Be assertive. Because we’ve been abused by these toxic people, many of us have become too passive to ever accomplish anything significant. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes you have to declare what you want. Sometimes you have to say ‘no’ to others. You don’t have to be selfish, but there’s nothing wrong with making a decision and then making it happen.
2. Make a list of your 10 greatest strengths. Now think of ways that you can leverage them to your advantage. If you’re going to take back control of your life quickly, you’ll probably need your strengths to accomplish it.
3. It’s also worthwhile to think about your 10 greatest weaknesses. These are commonly the things that get us into trouble. What you can do to reduce the impact of your weaknesses?
4. Stop making excuses. Excuses limit you and prevent you from taking charge of the situation. If you can take responsibility, you can change the situation. Excuses give you a justification for being passive. If you believe that something is outside of your control, you also believe that you can’t do anything to change it.
5. Get more sleep. Most people simply don’t sleep enough to be at their best. Studies have shown that most people experience improved mood, clarity of thought, and increased energy if they increase their sleep by one hour per night. Turn off the TV and go to bed an hour earlier.
6. Do the most important things first. Spend the first hour or two each morning on the most important tasks you have for the day. Your focus and energy will be at their greatest.
7. Decide which area of your life would have the greatest impact if improved. Focus on the one area of your life that will make the biggest difference. If you’re already making $1 million a year, making more money probably isn’t going to have a great impact on your life.
8. Forget about expectations. The whole world seems to tell us what we should be doing. What would you do if you were free of all of those expectations? Choose for yourself for a change.
9. Figure out what’s holding you back. Why aren’t you already living your life the way you choose? What’s preventing you? What are you afraid of? What can you do to work around these challenges? Develop a plan to get past this resistance.
10. Make the necessary changes. After all of the above steps, you know what you need to do. It’s time to do what needs to be done. Take action.
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Few things are as fulfilling as having full control over your life – and for survivors of narcissistic abuse, it can mean the difference between being happy and fulfilled and being completely destroyed.
Take back control of your life NOW! You’ll feel like there’s nothing you can’t do. The world is just sitting there, patiently waiting for you to take control of your life. Get started today by taking the first steps. A few steps each day become quite significant very quickly.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach 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 relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in 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 QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.