Ever feel like you’re just kind of weak? If you do, you’re not alone – and this is especially the case for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse in relationships.
So, you might want to be a roaring lion, but you feel like a weak little kitten, right?
I feel you – and listen – I’ve been there. In fact, that’s kinda why I do what I do! It’s also why I created the free Post-Gaslighting Emergency Recovery Kit (PERK), a sort of “first aid” kit for your soul designed to be used directly after a gaslighting attac.
Are you hanging by a thread?
The fact is that when we go actively searching for ways to sort of “beef up” our inner strength, it’s because we’re in a state of helplessness – almost like we’re hanging on by a thread and feel like if we don’t get a stronger hold on our emotions and confidence, we could lose everything.
Inner strength is defined by each person uniquely. You might see it as simply being able to say no when you want to, while another person might consider it living life in a way where every action and emotion you have is geared toward your happiness.
You and me? We were born with inner strength. We all were.
See, when we’re first born, we are void of excuses – of negative thought patterns about ourselves or life in general. There’s nothing we can’t do. You’ve seen babies and toddlers move about in the world – they do it with no fear. They attempt things without thinking of consequences.
So, we should all be fearless, then, right? Well yeah, kinda.
Obviously, that kind of carelessness can have a negative impact on you as well, so there’s definitely a health balance between not caring and caring so much that outside factors cripple or paralyze you.
We Allow Events and People to Chip Away at Our Inner Strength
It doesn’t just dissipate like steam rising from a boiling pot. Inner strength is envied by others, and ignored by tragedies that we go through. In order for this to occur we have to hand over a certain amount of permission allowing it to happen.
As children, we’re taught that other people have power over us to some degree – teachers, parents – any and all authority figures. We’re taught to play nice and cave in to some activities and elements of life we may not enjoy just to be polite.
And, if we’re enmeshed in relationships with toxic narcissists, there’s another icky side effect:
We Become People Pleasers
It’s hard to grow out of that mindset, but kids usually take a path when they reach the teen years – and it continues on throughout adulthood.
As a teen, you either were labeled headstrong (which translates into inner strength), or not labeled at all – because people without inner strength are barely noticeable. They go along with whatever expectations people have of them.
Sometimes even if someone starts out on the right path – of having ample inner strength – they can lose it as they let their defenses down and allow other people to deeply influence them. Or, they go through a series of situations that bring them to their knees and with every encounter, they’re a little less strong.
Inner Strength Can Always Be Replenished
No matter how often you feel like you’ve been knocked down or that you’re unable to face a situation, you will always have a spark of inner strength ignited in your soul. Sometimes it will be a large flame and sometimes you’ll wonder if it’s gone for good.
When you are relentlessly gaslighted by a narc, you find yourself feeling numb, despondent, depressed – all signs of PTSD.
But it’s in there. You simply have to fan the flames and focus on it to get it back.
Like a muscle that’s atrophied, your inner strength has to be flexed for it to work again. It has to be used on a regular basis – tested so that it becomes a force that’s able to protect you from harm and lift you to heights you never knew were possible.
Stand up, pull up your panties and throw on your favorite outfit. And let’s do this – be strong because you CAN. Be strong because you must. Be strong, and get ready to take back your life!
You might also like to read Take Back Your Power: How to End People Pleasing, Stop Letting Life Happen to You and Start Getting What You Want.
What do you think? How do you manage to dig deep enough to find your inner strength? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
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.