Boundaries make freedom possible.
The kind of freedom that most of us dream about each and every day. The freedom we believe will happen “when” and “if” we suddenly and miraculously are removed from our current reality and transported to the fantasy of what we believe our life could be.
We think the freedom we crave is somewhere “over there” and wonder how, if we . . . landed the perfect job or partner or won the lottery, we could finally have the freedom to live a better life.
But we never stop and imagine that everything we truly want and need, begins and ends with our ability to set and maintain effective boundaries.
Yet, most of the time, we’re unwilling or unable to set boundaries that enable us to get what we want. So, we stay stuck in a never-ending cycle of wishing, wanting and never having more.
It’s like we have this gaping hole in our life that will never get filled because we allow others (and ourselves) to step over the things that matter most.
And if you’re anything like the me who used to never even think about boundaries, you might not even be aware that there is a hole to fill – because you’re so busy taking care of others’ needs that you don’t even register on the list of your many priorities!
But the problem is that even when you’re unaware you have needs, they sneak up on you and find a way of being heard.
They might come out as destructive and self-sabotaging behaviors, addiction, illness, numbing or even rage – grabbing our attention and reminding us that living without needs is no longer sustainable.
My inability to share my needs – or dare even have needs – partnered well with my people-pleasing overachiever, so I was able to hide my wants (from even myself) for many many years. But, like I openly share in my book, Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, my needs still made themselves known and in not so pretty ways – until it became clear that I could no longer contort myself to be what anyone wanted of me.
And still, even though I understood that I needed to honor my needs and give them a voice – I still didn’t know what it might look like to set healthy and effective boundaries so that I didn’t feel so anxious and fearful each time I had to share what I wanted with someone else.
Setting boundaries is often a matter of knowing what to say.
After years of practice and working with thousands of clients on this subject, I’ve perfected the formula of having tough conversations.
And while each of us may have a different approach, there actually is an art to setting boundaries that you too can learn and apply to your life – quickly.
I call the art of setting boundaries and having tough talks Boundary Badassery because when you are able to master these kinds of conversations, you can’t help but feel like a badass!
Boundary Badassery is what happens when you learn to share your needs clearly – without guilt or explanation. It’s when you focus on collaboration rather than negotiation and the constant power-struggle that dominates a majority of your relationships. And when you take responsibility for upholding your own boundaries, instead of expecting anyone else to.
One of the other benefits of learning to set boundaries is that instead of always feeling like you’re a victim of others’ actions or inactions, you begin to see how you (being a Boundary Badass) are the only person you need to meet your needs.
When you adopt this practice you happily give up waiting to win the lottery, hoping prince or princess charming will arrive or wishing that you could ditch it all and run away.
Well my dear, because you will no longer need to dream about freedom like it’s something that might only arrive one day in the far distant future.
When you learn how to set boundaries and clearly ask for what you need, life opens up. In many ways, I will say that learning how to set effective boundaries has been the single biggest secret to getting the life I want!
And now I want you to experience feeling this good too!
One of the fundamentals of Boundary Badassery is that before you can express your needs with others, you must be willing to tell yourself the truth – and take a good hard look at where you aren’t first setting boundaries with yourself.
Where are the places in your life where you make promises to yourself, only to break them a few short moments later?
Before you can hope that others will be able to honor your needs, it’s important to look and see how can you truly respect your needs in a more relevant way?
Really look at all the sneaky ways you dismiss your needs. Do you . . .
- Always let others pick restaurants, saying that you’re fine with whatever anyone else wants?
- Tell yourself you’ll start an exercise program, but give it up only moments later?
- Buy things for others often, but never for yourself?
- Stay quiet, just so you don’t upset another person?
- Say yes when you mean no – over and over?
When you begin to tell yourself the truth and see your reality for what it is, you can begin to lay a new foundation – one that feels empowering and moves you one step closer to freedom.
This week, as you begin to uncover the truth about setting boundaries with yourself, give yourself a challenge – and make it fun – to set a new boundary with yourself. Notice at least one place in your life where setting a boundary can help you move toward what you want in your life.
And then set and keep the boundary. Give yourself some reward for doing what you said and even allow yourself to soak in how much better it can be when you learn to set a proper boundary with yourself!
I also want to invite you to tune in to my Hay House Radio Program tomorrow, Thursday, June 20 at 8am PT / 11am E for a very special announcement I have about Boundary Badassery!
I’ll be sharing about Boundary Badassery, The Pocket Guide I’ve just created to help you fully stand in your freedom and find the words to express your needs so you can take some giant steps forward like never before!
So, if you’re ready, tune in live (or catch the replay) for your chance to grab your “scripts” for handling hard conversations with ease!
P.S. To learn more about how to become a Boundary Badass, tune in to my Hay House Radio show tomorrow, Thursday, June 20 at 8am PT / 11am ET, where I’ll be talking live about this topic and taking your calls.