Rebuilding Trust With Oneself After Codependency
By Stacy Brookman, Leadership & Resilience Coach.
Codependency is a relationship dynamic characterized by an excessive reliance on a partner, typically one who needs help due to illness, addiction, or incapability. It involves prioritizing another’s needs over one’s own, often leading to resentment, lack of self-worth, and even identity loss.
The journey out of codependency requires, among other things, the challenging process of rebuilding trust in oneself.
In this article, we delve into why self-trust is so crucial after codependency and offer strategies for cultivating it.
Understanding the Erosion of Self-Trust in Codependency:
Codependent relationships can slowly chip away at one’s trust in oneself. Several factors contribute to this erosion:
Compromising Personal Boundaries: Regularly putting someone else’s needs before one’s own can blur personal boundaries. Over time, a codependent individual might lose clarity on what they truly want, value, or feel. This happened to me so strongly that when I left the tough relationship, I initially found it difficult to pick a place to eat or a movie to go to on my own.
External Validation: A codependent person often seeks validation from their partner, rather than deriving it from within. This dependency on external affirmation can erode self-confidence and one’s belief in their own judgment.
Losing Sight of One’s Identity: By continuously prioritizing another’s needs, a codependent person might lose touch with their own desires, ambitions, and identity. This loss can make it hard to trust one’s instincts or decisions.
Reclaiming Self-Trust – Strategies and Techniques:
Rebuilding trust in oneself after coming out of a codependent relationship is akin to relearning to walk on one’s own. It’s about regaining confidence in one’s judgment, feelings, and choices. Here are some strategies to help in this journey:
- Self-awareness and Reflection: Begin by understanding your past behavior. Journaling can be an effective way to process past experiences, recognize patterns, and gain insights into your emotions and actions. A great journal and doodling option is the Doodle Your Thoughts journal I’ve created.
- Set Boundaries: Rediscover what you stand for and what your limits are. Setting and respecting personal boundaries is a key step to regaining trust in your ability to protect and prioritize yourself.
- Seek Support: Whether it’s therapy, support groups, or understanding friends, surround yourself with people who can guide and support you. Listening to others’ experiences and seeking expert advice can provide invaluable insights.
- Celebrate Small Achievements: Trust is built gradually. Start by making small decisions on your own and celebrate them. This positive reinforcement can gradually improve your confidence in bigger decisions.
- Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices can help you stay connected with your feelings and instincts. They can guide you in understanding and trusting your inner self.
Fostering a Healthy Relationship with Oneself:
Moving forward, it’s essential to nurture a positive relationship with oneself. A few steps can help maintain and strengthen the rebuilt self-trust:
Regular Check-ins: Take out time to regularly check in with yourself. Understand your feelings, assess if you’re staying true to your boundaries, and ensure you’re prioritizing your well-being.
Stay Informed: Understand what codependency is and how it manifests. By staying informed, you can recognize if you’re slipping back into old patterns and take corrective action.
Practice Self-compassion: Mistakes are a part of growth. Instead of being harsh on yourself for slip-ups, practice understanding and compassion. This approach will foster resilience and trust in oneself.
Embracing Proactive Habits for Sustainable Recovery:
Sustainability is the cornerstone of any recovery process. As individuals work to rebuild trust in themselves, integrating certain proactive habits can ensure that this newfound trust stands the test of time and external influences.
- Educate Continuously: Understanding the nuances of codependency can be empowering. By continually educating oneself through books, workshops, or lectures, individuals can stay a step ahead, recognizing symptoms before they escalate.
- Engage in Solo Activities: Solo hobbies like painting, writing, hiking, or even cooking can be therapeutic. They not only allow moments of introspection but also reinforce the idea that one’s company is enriching and sufficient.
- Physical Health Connection: A sound body often houses a sound mind. Regular exercise, yoga, or even simple walks can release endorphins, improve mood, and bolster one’s self-image and self-worth.
- Establish a Personal Support System: Building a foundation of supportive individuals is crucial. This foundation doesn’t just have to be friends or family; professional guidance can offer pivotal insights. Consider partnering with a coach who specializes in codependency or self-trust issues. A coach can offer objective feedback, tools tailored to your unique journey, and consistent motivation. Their external perspective can illuminate blind spots, ensuring you’re not just moving forward, but moving forward effectively and healthily.
- Digital Detox: In our interconnected world, digital spaces can sometimes reinforce codependent behaviors or the need for external validation (e.g., social media likes). Regular digital detoxes can offer a reprieve, allowing individuals to reconnect with themselves without external noise.
- Travel Solo: Traveling solo, even if it’s a short trip, can be a transformative experience. It pushes one out of their comfort zone, necessitating trust in one’s decisions and abilities.
Emerging from codependency and rebuilding trust in oneself is undoubtedly challenging, but it’s a journey worth undertaking. As you navigate this path, remember that every step, no matter how small, is a step towards a healthier relationship with yourself and others. By nurturing self-trust, you lay the foundation for genuine happiness, fulfillment, and meaningful connections.
Women who want to stop giving away their power and start using their voice leverage Stacy’s resilience and performance coaching to gain clarity from their life lessons, lean on their hard-won wisdom, and have power to speak up for themselves. Stacy is the founder of Real Life Resilience. Get the Doodle Your Thoughts journal here: https://amzn.to/44uhmZY