Toxic relationship can leave you really wounded and mess up your self esteem. Even if your partner was not narcissistic and didn’t bring you down verbally, the whole experience can make you start doubting yourself.
Toxic relationships tend to consume us completely, because our hope for things changing for the better makes us work extra-hard and give all our energy to this relationship. And when this relationship finally breaks down, we can end up feeling not good enough, because despite so much effort we couldn’t make it work. On top of that, realizing that you were in a toxic relationship can add a feeling of shame, making it even more difficult to believe in yourself.
That is why it is so important to address the issue as soon as the relationship is over. The sooner you build your self esteem back, the sooner you will be back on track towards a healthy relationship. But how to do it? Here is a process you can use to manage your doubts and start believing in yourself again.
Check your thoughts
Start by bringing awareness to your internal dialogue as often as you can. You need to notice how you are talking with yourself and what exactly you are telling yourself. This is usually an automatic process in our minds and we don’t pay enough attention to it. Our thoughts and self-talk are constantly programming our subconscious mind.
So note down what you are saying about yourself and how you talk, what words you use in this dialogue. You will soon notice some patterns in your thoughts – write them down. These patterns indicate what kind of beliefs you have about yourself. Check if any of them contribute to your self doubt.
Challenge your beliefs
Now look at your notes carefully. Think where these self-deprecating beliefs came from and analyze how reliable this source was.
For example, your ex-partner might have told you that you are bad at cooking. Consider how valid is his judgement. Did anyone else share his point of view? Did anyone tell you that you are an amazing cook? What was your own opinion on this before you met him? Keep asking yourself questions about this belief and look for counter-arguments until you weaken it.
Now that the core beliefs that were causing your low self esteem don’t seem as solid, think of the action you can take to form a new belief. In the example above, you can decide to cook for a dinner with friends, or maybe take up a cooking challenge, or a course.
Great thing about this step is that once you do it for one of your negative beliefs, it will be much easier to change other ones, since you will already know that they are not as solid, as they seem at first.
The steps above are quite enough to make you believe in yourself again, but it is much easier to do it with someone’s support. It needs to be a positive person, who believes in you and will help you find arguments to fight negative self talk, or give you ideas on what actions to take to prove yourself that your negative self-belief is false.
Friends and family would be great for this, but if not – don’t forget about huge online community, where you can find understanding and support.Self confidence is a super power. Once you start to believe in yourself, magic starts happening. Click To Tweet