There are many facets to healing from Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse. One of these facets is rebuilding your self-esteem. More specifically, building and cultivating a healthy self-esteem. How is this done, especially when the Narcissists pull out every tactic in the book to tear us down?
By now, we all know that healing from Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse is a process. It is not an overnight success story. It’s a journey that will have its ups and downs. We will have good days and we will have bad days. Each day of our healing journey, we must re-teach ourselves how to live again. How to build ourselves back up. After all, the Narcissists spent so much time tearing us down, it only stands to reason that it’ll take time to build ourselves back up.
What is self-esteem?
By definition, self-esteem is simply what we think, feel and believe about ourselves. It is shaped by our thoughts, actions, environment and circumstances.
The Self Esteem Experts website defines a healthy self-esteem as follows:
“Healthy self-esteem means that you continually make choices in your thoughts and actions that are aligned with and support your values, peace of mind and your dreams. Increasing your self-esteem is a process, not something you develop overnight. You can think of it like a muscle that requires regular exercise to be strengthened and maintained.”
Ok, so HOW can you build and cultivate your self-esteem? How can we rebuild what the Narcissists took away? In the beginning, that will seem like such a monumental task.
The 3 H’s
Our healing journey is the cornerstone to our future. We need to focus on our journey and keep the 3 H’s in mind – to live happy, healthy and healing. How can we work towards the 3 H’s every day? Yes, some days it’ll be quite a challenge, especially if the Narcissists are still in your life (like due to having children together).
Life isn’t about traveling in a straight line. You will be thrown curveballs. I don’t believe people who say they are happy with themselves all of the time. Everyone goes through self-esteem issues.
Focusing on being happy, healthy and healing takes practice. Our healing journeys take practice. So how can we work on being and living those 3 H’s?
In my moments of introspection, I ask myself several questions:
When we ask ourselves questions like this, we take an active part in changing the way we think. We have the power to change our way of thinking! The Narcissists may slowly, over time, erode our positive nature and our self-esteem by employing the use of their many tactics. But we, as survivors, can effect change in our own futures. We can choose our own thoughts. We can choose to seek out therapy to further our healing journeys. We can choose to employ the use of positive affirmations. (For more on why positive affirmations are so important, read my blog Why It’s So Important To Have Self-Affirming Thoughts.)
The Narcissists aim to destroy our self-esteem and our self-worth. They condition us to believe that we are not good enough. Thoughts like that creep into our minds and take over our thoughts. The negative thoughts begin to consume us and soon we are believing what the Narcissists tell us!
Even nearly 7 years post-Narc, I still struggle with negative thoughts. Thoughts that my NX wove into my psyche. Thoughts that I began to believe. Building and cultivating a healthy self-esteem is a journey that we must be willing to endure if we are to live in the 3 H’s – happy, healthy and healing. It is okay to have those tough days where we struggle and all we feel like doing is curling up in a ball in bed. But part of building our self-esteem back up is partaking in positive and happy things – hiking, gardening, painting, spending time with friends and family, laughing, listening to empowering music.
When we DO have healthy thoughts about ourselves, we need to stop and recognize our progress. We are rebuilding what the Narcissists took away.
What do you do to build and cultivate your self-esteem? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
How Narcissists Make Sure You Never Solve Problems In A Relationship
The Fake Apology
How I Lost My Identity
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
The Great Manipulator
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.