How To Break Free From Codependency
10 Tips to discover your self-worth and fall in love with yourself
Struggling with codependency is stressful and tiring as it puts you in a constant state of anxiety. Learning how to fix codependency can help you break free from fear of rejection, improve your relationship with yourself and with others.
By fixing your codependency you become self-reliant, improve your self-esteem, and release the need to control others. Change can feel overwhelming, but it’s important to work on your codependency issues. This will improve your communication style and dynamics in your relationships.
Moreover, codependents are more susceptible to abusive and narcissistic relationships due to their lack of solid boundaries, people-pleasing, tendencies, and low self-esteem. Narcissistic abuse breaks your self-esteem and can lead to long-term damaging effects due to emotional abuse and manipulation.
1. Become aware of your codependent behavior
The first step to recover and heal from codependency is to become aware of your behaviors. When you learn about your codependent behaviors it will be easier for you to work on changing them.
These are typical codependent behaviors which you might recognize in yourself:
- Rescuing and fixing others gives you a sense of purpose and makes you feel valued
- You ignore your needs and feelings and focus on helping other people
- It’s not the first time you imposed your unsolicited advice
- You tend to be controlling and clingy
- Feelings of guilt and shame overwhelm you especially if you fail to help others
- You often feel worried and anxious
- You are overly critical of yourself
- You feel responsible for other people’s feelings
- You don’t know have a strong sense of self and a strong opinion
- You don’t know what you like, how you feel or what is important to you
- Your people-pleasing tendencies drive you to sacrifice your needs
- You struggle to set solid boundaries and to be assertive
- You struggle with intimacy and trusting others
- Decision making and self-trust are not your forte
- You fear abandonment in relationships which can lead to abusive relationships
- You are sensitive to criticism and fear rejection
- You don’t know your self-worth and seek validation from others
- You struggle to adapt to change which leads to a lack of flexibility
When you catch yourself engaging in these kinds of behaviors, pause and reflect before you act. Take a deep breath and give yourself a moment to act consciously rather than impulsively. Self-awareness is key to change.
2. Understand your actions
Our actions and behaviors are determined by how we think and how we feel. Understanding what triggers these kinds of actions is crucial to understand ourselves better and fix codependency.
For example, if you feel anxious when your partner tells you that he needs some time for himself, you might try to control his behavior to keep him closer to you. This will only push him away as you are not respecting his need for space and self-development which can make him feel suffocated.
You might not realize why you feel panicked and anxious by your partners’ requests. This usually comes from fear of rejection and abandonment. It will be easier for you to control codependency when you realize that you are being driven by irrational fears.
On the other hand, if you’re a codependent in a relationship with a narcissist, you might struggle to understand why you stay with an abusive partner. Understanding why you are allowing someone to mistreat you and disrespect you will help you understand the root cause of your codependency.
You might say to yourself that it’s because you truly love this person. However, there’s usually an underlying cause behind your tolerance for abuse. Understanding where your unhealthy behavioral choices come from is essential to learning how to fix your codependency and break free from toxic relationships. Otherwise, you might stay stuck in a pattern of narcissistic relationships where you try to fix and rescue your partner instead of focusing on helping yourself.
When you focus on fixing others and neglect your own needs and feelings, you are denying yourself the self-love and care which you deserve!
3. Discover your attachment style
Your attachment style defines what kind of people you are attracted to, and how you communicate in a relationship. There are 4 types of attachment styles according to attachment theory: Secure, Anxious-Preoccupied, Dismissive Avoidant, Fearful Avoidant (Disorganized).
Codependent behavior is related to anxious and avoidant attachment styles. These attachment styles have different strategies for managing needs for intimacy and independence.
Discovering your type of attachment style sheds light on why you react in certain ways and what triggers you in a relationship. When you discover your attachment style, you can work on changing your insecure attachment style to a secure one which improves the quality of your relationships.
4. Build up your self-esteem
Developing healthy self-esteem is an essential step when it comes to fixing codependency. Codependents struggle with self-worth and seek validation from other people.
They want to feel needed to feel that they have a purpose in life. People who struggle with codependency want to rescue others and end up neglecting their own needs and emotions.
By building up your self-esteem, you realize your self-worth and your true value. A person with stable and healthy self-esteem does not feel the need to sacrifice himself to please others. Additionally, you won’t tolerate abuse and mistreatment as you know your self-worth and you don’t need other people to make you feel good about yourself.
A powerful technique that helps you build solid self-esteem and fix codependency is repeating codependency affirmations. Codependency affirmations help you rewire your brain so you release codependency traits and empower yourself to be self-reliant.
5. Date yourself
I know that it might feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but this is truly an effective and powerful step in fixing codependency!
Taking yourself out on a date is an act of self-love. You will get to know yourself better, and it will empower you with self-confidence. The first time you might feel a bit awkward, you start telling yourself all sorts of things and fear that people will laugh at you for dining out alone. But keep in mind that this is only in your head!
Going out on a self-date is actually an act of confidence. So whether you spontaneously take yourself out for a coffee date, or you set a date in your calendar for a lovely dinner, hold your head high and enjoy each and every minute of it.
When you’re alone at your table, don’t waste your time on your phone distracting yourself. You wouldn’t do that if you were on a date with someone. Relax and release the self-negative thoughts. Be with yourself…..enjoy the view….. spoil yourself with a nice meal and be proud that you had the courage to do it.
Learning how to enjoy your own company will boost up your confidence. When you fall in love with yourself, you won’t find yourself doubting whether others will want to spend time with you.
6. Set boundaries
Codependents find it difficult to set solid boundaries. As a result, they end up agreeing to things with which they don’t agree.
You cannot fix codependency if you don’t learn how to set solid boundaries. Practicing assertiveness goes hand in hand with setting boundaries. There’s nothing wrong with reaffirming your boundaries when someone doesn’t respect them. It’s a way of respecting yourself and taking care of your emotional wellbeing.
Your feelings and needs matter so learn how to honor them and make your voice heard. Otherwise, you will find people pushing you around and you make it harder for yourself to be in peace with yourself.
Start practicing assertiveness and the more you practice this skill, the easier it will come for you to set solid boundaries. Learning how to stop codependency and set boundaries is a crucial step in recovering from codependency. Start by taking small steps and the next time someone asks you where you would like to go, instead of leaving it up to them, express your preference.
You might realize that you don’t even have a preference because you’re so used to depending on others that you don’t even know what you would like. Don’t get discouraged, it’s never too late to get to know what you like and dislike!
7. Be your own hero
A common trait in codependents is wanting to rescue and be someone else’s hero. By fixing and helping others, they feel better about themselves as they feel needed. They’re always focused on serving others. As a result, they don’t focus on their goals or they don’t think that they are capable of achieving them.
Codependents lack autonomy and self-reliance. They rely on others to make their dreams come true. People with codependency are not aware of their strengths and positive qualities and they don’t trust themselves.
By acknowledging and embracing your positive skills and qualities, you strengthen your sense of autonomy and self-reliance. Instead of depending on others to fulfill your needs and make you happy, you learn to take action and do things that give you fulfillment and satisfaction in your life.
This will require you to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. Don’t give in to fear! Change self-negative talk to empowerment talk. By shifting to a positive mindset and a can-do attitude you learn how to stop relying on others and make your dreams come true.
8. Challenge yourself
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is an effective way to fix codependency and become self-reliant. Every time you try out something new or take a risk, you learn something new about yourself. You’re empowering yourself as you’re creating a stronger sense of self which boosts up your self-confidence and self-esteem.
You will be surprised with your capabilities, and you will realize that you were inhibiting yourself from reaching your potential by self-negative beliefs. Your limitations imposed by yourself lower your self-esteem and keep you stuck in a loop of fear and insecurity.
Each time you overcome one of your fears and push yourself further, you are breaking down old habits which no longer serve you. By breaking down old habits you are making space for the new you to emerge. Learning new and healthy behavioral patterns empowers you to be self-reliant and recover from codependency.
For example, if you’re scared of traveling alone, don’t wait until you meet someone willing to join you on your trip. You are capable of traveling alone and you can make it a fun experience! Plan out your itinerary and help yourself feel safer by learning how to get there beforehand. When you have things planned out, it will help you relax and enjoy your solo travel plans!
9. Learn something new
Learning new skills is a way of investing in yourself. Codependents most often don’t even know what they would like to learn or what they are interested in. But this is an exciting period as you are on a journey of self-discovery.
You don’t have to master every skill or turn it into a new business. The point is that you enjoy yourself along the way so don’t be scared to experiment with new things and activities. Explore what you like and what you don’t like. Perhaps you are curious about how to play an instrument, or perhaps you are interested in enrolling in an online course.
Whether it’s a physical activity class, a new subject, or a new skill, learning something new is a good way to boost up your self-confidence and self-esteem. You are giving yourself time and space for self-development and improvement.
As you get to know yourself better, you will find yourself more interesting as an individual. The next time someone asks you questions about yourself, you will answer proudly instead of struggling to find the answers.
10. Seek support and guidance
Learning how to fix and recover from codependency can seem challenging and overwhelming.
You might give up and revert to old habits because they seem familiar to you. Having someone guide you along the way will make the process easier and smoother. When you have someone ensuring that you stay on track, it can make a big difference in your progress.
Breaking free from codependency requires self-commitment and hard work. But the results are extremely liberating and make the experience totally worth it. If you would like to work with me to fix your codependency issues, you can contact me via this link.
Why should you learn how to fix codependency?
Recovering from codependency is truly an exciting journey of self-discovery. This kind of transformation improves the relationship with yourself, with friends, and also your romantic relationships. You learn the difference between interdependence vs codependency in relationships which is based on trust and true intimacy.
Let’s have a look at the benefits of fixing codependency:
- strong sense of self
- knowing your self-worth
- autonomy and self-reliance
- setting and achieving goals
- self-empowerment and healthy self-esteem
- setting solid boundaries
- protecting yourself from abusive people
- improving the quality of your relationships
As you release and heal your codependency issues, you feel empowered to achieve beyond what you ever imagined and create a life that you truly love!
Originally published at https://grace-being.com on December 21, 2021.