Codependent thoughts and behaviors can sabotage our health, happiness, and relationships.
We neglect ourselves in order to take care of others.
We lose our individuality trying to please others.
We dont ask for what we need and often dont know what we want or need.
We get obsessed with other people and their problems.
We worry excessively.
Were afraid to say no or set boundaries, so we get taken advantage of or hurt.
We stuff our feelings (and then sometimes explode).
We feel undeserving, unlovable, or flawed.
These codependent behaviors and feelings are based on distorted thoughts and false beliefs that we likely developed in childhood. Theyre overly negative, inaccurate, and unhelpful. Yet, they seem so natural to us because weve been thinking this way for decades and unconsciously reinforcing these beliefs.
As we work on changing our codependent thoughts and behaviors, it can help to intentionally repeat healthier thoughts that support us in improving our self-esteem, taking better care of ourselves, and building relationships based on mutual trust and respect. Doing this helps to direct our thoughts away from codependency and toward healthy interdependency.
Try reading the statements below once or twice a day to reinforce the thoughts and behaviors youre trying to develop.
1. I cant control other people, but I can control my reactions.
Logically, we all know that we cant control others, but that doesnt always stop us from trying! But trying to get others to change or do what we want, never works. Everyone ends up frustrated or resentful. Its much more effective to focus on what you can control changing your reactions to what other people are doing. When we change our reactions the entire relationship dynamic starts to shift.
2. Its healthy to have my own ideas, feelings, interests, goals, and values.
You dont have to think and feel like everyone else does; youre not simply an extension of your parents or spouse. Youre entitled to be a unique individual and develop a strong sense of self, regardless of whether its pleasing to others or not.
3. Were all responsible for managing our own lives.
Its not your job to fix other people or solve their problems. In most cases, its impossible to do so and we often drive ourselves crazy trying, only to end up frustrated. Instead, we should focus on managing our own problems, feelings, and lives.
4. I am not powerless.
Sometimes we sink into depression or a victim mindset because we cant see our choices (or we dont like them). But we always have choices, which means we are not powerless to change our situation and improve ourselves.
5. I can say no and still be a kind person.
Contrary to popular belief, setting boundaries is not inherently mean or unfair. In fact, its kind to set clear expectations and let others know how you want to be treated.
6. Taking care of others shouldnt come at the expense of my own wellbeing.
I dont have to sacrifice myself in order to care for others. I can take care of others and establish limits to protect my physical health, finances, peace of mind, and so forth. This ensures that I will be well enough to continue giving to others in a way that supports everyones needs.
7. I deserve the same kindness and generosity that I give to others.
When I practice self-compassion, I recognize that I am worthy of loving-kindness just like everyone else because we all deserve to be treated with kindness.
8. My self-worth isnt based on my accomplishments.
Your worth as a person is inherent. Its not based on how much you accomplish or what you achieve. We all have different strengths and abilities and none are better than others theyre just different. You are just as worthy as everyone else.
9. My self-worth doesnt depend on other peoples approval.
No matter how hard you try, its not possible to please others all the time. And when you base your self-worth on what others think, you give away your power. Instead, you can value yourself regardless of what others think. We can build our self-esteem and learn to love and value ourselves by noticing our strengths, forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, and most importantly, remembering that love doesnt have to be earned.
10. Doing whats right for me is not selfish.
Many codependents mistakenly think that doing whats right for them whether its spending the holidays away from their family or refusing to loan money to a friend who never repays them is selfish. Doing things for others, when its detrimental to your own wellbeing, is being a doormat — not being selfish. Truly selfish people only think about themselves; our goal is to consider our own needs and other peoples needs. And when they are in conflict, we sometimes need to prioritize our own wellbeing. This doesnt make us selfish. When others call you selfish its often simply an attempt to manipulate you into doing what they want.
11. Giving unsolicited advice is usually counterproductive.
In an effort to help, codependents often try to solve other peoples problems by giving advice or nagging. But, lets face it, unsolicited advice is rarely taken or appreciated. It can even be disrespectful to assume that you know what someone else should do.
12. I dont have to be perfect to be lovable.
Being perfect isnt the key to being loved. Love surpasses our flaws and often its our imperfections that draw us closer and make us more relatable and lovable. So, perfecting your appearance or accomplishing more or saying the right things isnt the way to attract love. Be yourself. The right people will love you and its okay that youre not everyones cup of tea.
Changing our thoughts and behaviors takes a lot of practice. So, dont give up if it doesnt happen right away. Little by little, youll get there. And Im sure it will be worth the effort!
To continue practicing with these 12 reminders, you can print a cheat sheet from my Resource Library, which can be accessed for free when you join my email list HERE.