Changing the internal dialogue is crucial for recovery from narcissistic abuse

From the book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery © 2017

Each of us has a subconscious inner voice, called “internal dialogue”, which strongly influences our lives. Since it’s always been such a constant part of our waking life, most of us don’t even realize it’s there.

Our inner dialogue controls everything we do. It shapes our perception, it makes decisions for us, it warns us, it forms our values ​​and opinions, it tells us who we are and what we like, it monitors our behavior, it evaluates situations and it makes judgments.

When our internal dialogue is positive, it empowers us. When our internal dialogue is negative it discourages us. Negative dialogue forms limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs can come from powerful outside influences, such as parents, religions, families, educators, culture, the media, and society. They can also develop on their own after repeated exposure to stimuli, or as a result of trauma or abuse.

Limiting beliefs sabotage our life. They tell us falsehoods and lies, make us feel bad about ourselves, impede our success, and cause us to repeat unhealthy patterns. They even govern our moods and reactions.

Years of degradation, manipulation, and brainwashing by your narcissistic abuser have instilled many limiting beliefs in your mind. You’ll be surprised how many of the following she can claim as her own:

  • I do not deserve it: happiness, success, love, recognition, success, money, relationships, friendships with quality people
  • I don’t: trust myself, know what I want, feel worthy, have self-control, like or love myself, matter
  • I am not: good enough, smart enough, valuable enough, thoughtful enough, motivated enough, competent enough, rich enough, outgoing enough, thin enough, pretty enough, skillful enough, important enough
  • Can’t: do as well as others can, achieve goals, make money, survive on my own, start a business, get a degree, change who I am, change the way I think
  • Should not: Thinking of myself first, loving or liking myself, feeling good about myself, feeling angry, asking for what I want, expecting others to help me, trusting someone, letting down my guard.
  • I should be: more successful than me, further along in life than me, more educated, more social, a better person
  • Nobody: listens to me, cares about me, loves me, believes in me, likes me, accepts me
  • No one will love me or love me if: I’m not perfect, I’m not successful, I’m not pleasing, I’m known, I speak honestly, I’m not beautiful, I don’t win their approval.
  • Everyone else: judges me, is better than me, rejects me, hates me, thinks I’m stupid
  • I always: make mistakes, procrastinate, say stupid things, make people angry, leave things, frustrate people, feel guilty, look foolish
  • Am: a quitter, a freak, lazy, a nasty person, a nasty person, a failure, responsible for the happiness of others
  • It’s my job: smooth things over, make others happy, make others feel better, apologize, keep the peace
  • Has no sense: get my hopes up, try everything, try again, be honest, have goals, ask for what I want, show people who I really am
  • Congratulations: a myth, unattainable, for others
  • I must suffer for: show how much i care, get attention, make up for the bad things i’ve done, prove my point
  • I must be afraid of: other people, life, relationships, men, women

Reread the list above and highlight all the limiting beliefs that apply to you. Explore each one by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Why do I have the limiting belief?

  2. Is the belief true or false?

  3. Is the belief relevant to my life now?

  4. Am I willing to let go of the belief?

Before you can change your subconscious self-talk, you must bring it into your conscious mind and then challenge it. That involves monitoring your thoughts, emotions, actions, and reactions to see what triggers you and what unproductive patterns you’re stuck in.

Limiting beliefs change when they are replaced by positive dialogue. You can reprogram your mind by using positive affirmations like:

  • I deserve to love and be loved

  • I love and accept myself totally and completely

  • I choose happiness and peace in my life.

  • I am whole, healthy and whole.

  • I am worthy of success

  • I deserve to live a life of abundance.

  • I’m the only one in charge of my life

  • I am a beautiful person inside and out

  • I’m a survivor

  • I am worthy of all the good things in life.

  • I can face any challenge

These are just suggestions. You can create your own affirmations or find others that resonate with you.

Repeat your affirmations often. Say them to yourself in the mirror. Post them in places where you spend a lot of time. Use them especially when you realize you have limiting beliefs. The more often and regularly you repeat your affirmations, the faster your inner dialogue will change and the better you will feel about yourself.

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