The truth is, most of us don’t know how to set and maintain good boundaries. We’ve been taught to put the needs of others ahead of our own. And the attachment many of us feel to keeping others happy is tenacious. Pleasing becomes our currency, the way we purchase love and attention. But each time you set a healthy boundary, you say “yes” to more freedom.
In my experience, setting new boundaries means assessing each situation from the perspective of putting your own needs first. Too often we abandon ourselves for the sake of another. Setting healthy boundaries is about consciously choosing to honor yourself and no longer acting or reacting in response to someone else.
Setting new boundaries will allow you to move from a clean, clear place…your your own authentic motivation and agency.
Many of my coaching clients first enter into this conversation around boundaries with the fear of being seen as selfish, uncaring and irresponsible. They cite their relationships, children, finances or work obligations as excuses for not setting boundaries and taking care of themselves. Now let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting you turn your back on your obligations and responsibilities. In fact, it’s only possible to make choices and changes in the direction of your dreams and desires by making yourself a priority.
Just like speaking truth to ourselves, setting boundaries takes practice. As you set them, you may feel off balance, like you have a new pair of legs, and it can be challenging because the habit of trying to take care of everyone else is a very hard one to break.
Be gentle with yourself.
Keep reminding yourself that you’re ready to support you, instead of rescuing everyone else.
- When we refuse to set a healthy boundary, we’re expressing and affirming the common core beliefs that run our inner dialogue: I’m not enough, I’m not lovable, the needs and opinions of others are more important or valid than my own, If I disagree with someone or ask for what I want, I’ll end up alone and unloved, etc.
- These beliefs are either determined by a conclusion we’ve drawn about ourselves, or sometimes they’re inherited. They belong to someone else and we adopt them, allowing other people to take up valuable space in our heads. Wherever these beliefs come from, it’s time now to disengage from these voices to find your own.
Imagine giving yourself what you need internally, rather than hunting for it externally!
Imagine meeting your desire to cultivate more self-love and have more fun.
What if you placed pleasing yourself above pleasing others?
What if, instead of defaulting to your knee-jerk yes, you honored your own no today?
Setting one boundary will help you develop the courage to set more boundaries.
What new boundary will you set first? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.