Going through the hell that is narcissistic abuse does a real number to your ability to see your own self-worth. And while “self-worth” might not seem like a very important thing in theory, it can affect literally every single aspect of your life – and this does include your physical health, not to mention your mental health and ability to succeed in life.
Self-worth is the level of value you place on yourself as an individual. Think of it as a step above self-respect. Having self-respect means that you understand that you are valuable as a person, while self-worth means that you feel valuable among people – that you feel that you bring something special to the table; that you are valuable.
Why do narcissistic abuse survivors have low self-worth?
There are a number of other reasons a person might struggle with lowered self-worth. For example, maybe you feel a low sense of self-worth because you may feel like you haven’t learned or accomplished as much as those around you. Or, maybe you’ve just entered a new space in which you feel less qualified than those around you, or you recently tried something that didn’t work out and it damaged your sense of self-worth. Whatever your situation is, there’s nothing wrong with the feeling that you need to earn a sense of self-worth provided that you know where to start. So what are you supposed to do?
How do you define your self-worth after narcissistic abuse?
How do you rediscover (or discover for the first time) your self-worth? How can you recognize your value as a person?
First: Change Your Perspective
Your perspective is the way you see things, and the first and most important thing you can do to improve your self-worth is to change your perspective.
Interesting fact: after being emotionally and mentally abused, we tend to become people-pleasers. This leads us to attempt to improve our self-worth by trying to prove ourselves to other people.
This almost never works, at least not for long. Validation from outside ourselves is fleeting and dependent on other people. We have to learn to self-validate – this is the only way to truly own our sense of self and self-worth.
Start by looking at how far you’ve come in your journey rather than comparing yourself to other people. And remember: everyone is different, and none of us was born with all of the knowledge, experience, and skills that make us valuable. Other people aren’t better than you because they got there first.
Learn Something New or Start a Project
I always find that a good project can be just what I need to get out of a slump. Maybe the project IS learning something new, or maybe it’s a creative venture. Either way, there’s a certain sense of accomplishment in creating, and in knowing that you know something. It gives you something to focus on, something to talk about and think about – something positive instead of negative. Learning something new that you are passionate about can help you to “grow forward” in some pretty significant ways. Join a club devoted to your passion, or just try to find some time on your own to do some reading and then find people with whom you share your interests. It’s a beautiful thing, my friend.
Maybe you can use your newfound skills as a volunteer. Not only could it help to improve your opinion of yourself, but it can also be the perfect outlet for your creative energy. Plus: volunteering is great for self-worth for a couple of reasons.
Sense of accomplishment and purpose – By volunteering, no matter what you do, you are giving your time and energy in order to help those who are less fortunate than you. Maybe you didn’t graduate at the top of your class or that last project at work didn’t go the way that you hoped, but every volunteer should feel that they are doing meaningful work and that their efforts are appreciated.
Using your talents in a supportive and unique environment – Learning new skills or learning how to use your skills in new ways can both be great ways to discover or increase your potential in an environment that is likely to be more supportive and less judgmental than a school or work environment.
Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is SO important in understanding our self-worth. It might seem obvious, but taking even a few minutes a day to just take care of YOU can change your whole world – and it can most definitely build self-worth.
Do you feel stuck in your healing or stuck dealing with a narcissist ? What are ways that help you heal? Many people feel stuck in moving forward after being abused by a narcissist and still many others can not fully get the narcissist out of their lives and feel stuck because of that. In this video I give a few suggestion to help with both types of feeling stuck. What are your thoughts and have you healed this part of your life after a narcissist? You never know who you may help by adding a comment to the video and offering ideas or support to others.
For information about Lise Colucci and how to schedule appointments for coaching, group coaching you can find her here https://queenbeeing.com/lise/
Do you ever feel like you’re just not good enough? If you do, you aren’t alone. When you’re involved in physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive relationships with narcissists, you will begin to lose your self-worth very quickly, if you had any to begin with. And while you try to maintain a good front, and though you might be you’re keeping up the facade of a really healthy relationship to most people in your life – you secretly feel like there’s something not right about you. Or at least something that isn’t quite good enough.
Do you ever ask yourself questions like, “Am I unlovable?” If you’re feeling like you’re unlovable after you’ve been gaslighted, discarded, and devalued by a toxic, abusive narcissist. Or, if you feel that you’re not good enough, please take a minute and watch this video. I made it for you.
It is so confusing for their friends and extended family who can sometimes see that something is wrong in the relationship. They don’t understand why you stay when, as far as they see it, you clearly deserve better. But for some reason, you aren’t on the same page. You aren’t sure you deserve better at all.
For the record, I want you to know that I am absolutely positive that you do not deserve to be abused. I am positive that you deserve to be respected just like every other human on the planet does. The abuser in your life wants you to think otherwise because it keeps you more firmly in their control. It keeps you feeling stuck – and it keeps you from leaving them. Even if friends and family beg you to leave, you stay because at least some part of you truly believes that you really don’t deserve better at all.
And, if you’re being honest, even if you can SAY that you don’t deserve to be treated that way, and even if you recognize it logically, you continue to tolerate it because you genuinely don’t think you’re worth more, or maybe you are worried because you think you’ve done something – or that you ARE something – that somehow justifies the abuser’s behavior. The truth is more likely that you are actually not the problem in your relationship at all. Normal people don’t behave the way that narcissists do with the people they claim to love.
There is No Legitimate Justification (and Absolutely NO Excuse) for Abuse.
I want you to read this next part really, really carefully. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for physical, psychological, emotional, financial, or relationship abuse of any kind. No amount of personal flaws could possibly offer any justification for disrespect, rudeness, yelling, screaming, belittling, projection, gaslighting.
You must accept absolutely no form of abuse for any reason. Because of this, before anything else, you need to start planning your way out of this toxic and abusive relationship. Now if you have kids or other issues that will make leaving more complicated, you might be tempted to wait until the kids are gone or the credit cards are paid off, or whatever it is that’s holding you back.
You Do Not Have to Accept Narcissistic Abuse.
Now listen, my friend. I want you to take a deep breath, and as long as physical abuse isn’t part of the equation, I want you to recognize that you don’t have to be out tomorrow or next week or even next month. It might even take a year or two. It doesn’t feel like an option at all, maybe. But don’t stress yourself out – know this: some action toward getting free can be almost as good as actually getting free.
Knowing you are planning to leave can make you feel more powerful day-to-day, and it can be a good thing to think about during the times you might otherwise dissociate or space out. What I mean is: knowing you have a plan to leave can help you feel less overpowered when you are tolerating narcissistic abuse in order to keep the peace.
Above all, remember that it’s important to be kind and compassionate to yourself now. If you’ve just discovered that you’ve been dealing with narcissistic abuse, you might get angry at yourself for not seeing it sooner. Don’t do that. Give yourself a break – none of us realized we were dealing with this until we realized it!
I don’t want you to feel pressured and rushed. I just want you to recognize that, if you really want to be able to be happy or at least to live a peaceful and even fulfilling life that doesn’t suck, you’re going to have to find a way out of this relationship eventually. And in my experience, that can begin with taking just one small step toward the life you want and deserve. Maybe that just means you start thinking about the possibility of it today.
So, now you know you don’t want a toxic relationship, right? This means that, as you’re moving forward in your narcissistic abuse recovery, you have to start figuring out what you actually do want in your life. This is the key. When you feel like you’re not good enough for the things you want and need in your life, you project that to the universe – and that’s what you get back – more feelings of being (and reasons to feel) “not good enough.”
First, Change your Mind: Realize You’re Already Good Enough.
As like attracts like, when we KNOW that we ARE good enough, that we’re “worth it,” we attract the things and situations we desire. Contrary to the teachings of many societal groups, suffering is not necessary in this life. You don’t have to wait until you’re dead to enjoy your life.
Whatever your reason for feeling that you’re not good enough – your past mistakes, negativity from others in your life – whatever it is – I’m here to tell you that you can change your mind. The power is within you. It’s not up to your mom, your boss, your spouse – it’s up to you. You are the sole individual who has the right to decide who you are, and who has the right to decide whether you’re good enough.
The first step to recognizing that you’re good enough is to identify and release negative self-perceptions. So, in short, stop believing what everyone else says about who you are.
The next part is the fun part.
Next, Decide What (and Who) Comes Next for You.
You get to decide who you want to be. Take the parts of you that you like, and focus on them. Then, think about who you want to be – and become that person.
As you take inspired action to fully express your new self to the world, you must believe that you are already your ideal version of yourself. As Robert Anthony once said, “You can have anything you want if you will give up the belief that you can’t have it.”
Toxic Relationships Make You Think You’re Not Good Enough
Do you feel bad about yourself? Do you feel like you’re not loveable or like you’re just not good enough? Watch How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Good Enough – Do This One Thing and Never Doubt Yourself Again: Codependency Recovery on YouTube.
Narcissists Exploit You in the Worst Possible Ways
You have more than one particular quality that narcissists use against you in toxic relationships – and you might be surprised when you learn exactly what it is (and how they use it against you!). Knowledge is power – and learning what the number one mind game narcissists play with you actually is can help you learn to outsmart the narcissist for good! This video will help you to understand the #1 way that narcissists will exploit you.
Be Aware of This Possible Complication in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
If you’ve asked yourself why you’re still obsessed with the narcissist, and what you can do to STOP that, here are the answers you need. You might find that you get a little obsessed with researching and figuring out what you’ve been through when you finally discover that you’ve been dealing with narcissistic abuse. You’ll want to know everything you can about narcissists and narcissism. You’ll be digging into your own psychological issues and trying to figure yourself out too. All of that is normal and healthy. But at some point, you might get stuck and feel almost addicted to checking on the narcissist, what they’re doing, who they’re with, what they’re posting on social media.
That’s normal too, but only for a while. You’re going to want to let go of this a quickly as you can if you want to be able to heal and to move forward.
Here’s what you need to know about healing and letting go after a toxic relationship with a narcissist.
Why You’re Obsessed With the Truth About the Narcissist (And How to LET GO and Move Forward)