Creating Healthy Boundaries For Yourself
Boundaries define who we are. They establish ‘what is me’ and ‘what isn’t me.’
Personal Boundaries help us create ownership and protection of ourselves. Boundaries are our personal security. Boundaries are essential to have healthy relationships with romantic partners, friends, and even colleagues. But so many people struggle with saying “no,” and communicating where their limits actually are.
Why Do I Need Boundaries?
If you don’t set healthy boundaries, you are likely to constantly be at the mercies of others. You give up your power. This means you allow others to tell you how to think, act, and feel. It also means you tend to spend your time and energy doing what others want you to do over what you deep down want to do.
In the long term, this can lead to frustration and depression because you will feel unfulfilled, lost and not recognized. At its worse, not setting boundaries allow others to do things to you that are upsetting or even harmful.
Some people don’t like the term “boundary” because it sounds too rigid. But you don’t have to think of yourself as being stubborn. Boundaries simply show people how you want to be respected.
If you are not sure you are good at setting boundaries or indeed have any at all, ask yourself these questions.
- How often do I worry about what other people think?
- Do I feel guilty for wanting to do things by myself?
- When did I last say no to someone?
- When did I last say yes to something I secretly didn’t want to do?
- Do I feel like I deserve respect or I have to earn it by being ‘nice’?
- What are the five rules to being my friend? Do I know them quickly and easily?
- What are the 10 things I most like to do with my time? Can I quickly come up with them?
- What are the 10 things I hate doing? Do I even have strong feelings about things?
- When I think about saying no to someone, do I feel afraid? Or calm inside?
Steps To Making Better Boundaries
1. Know this sad truth: NO boundaries = little self-esteem.
The first step to change is admitting this. Your boundaries are your values. Boundaries are representative of how much or little you respect yourself. Boundaries are your friend.
2. Decide what your core values are.
Who are you? What do you value? Figure out what, exactly, you’re comfortable with and what you aren’t. Once you get clear on what matters most to you, then you can take bigger step of communicating this to others.
Instead of creating your boundaries around a difficult relationship in your life, you must make your boundaries about you.
3. You can’t change others, instead, change yourself.
We cannot change others. We are not responsible for what comes out of their mouth, the daily choices they make or their reactions, etc. The bottom line? Since you can’t change other people, change how you deal with them.
4. Decide the consequences ahead of time.
So what do we do if anyone pushes our boundaries? Decide what the consequences are. The best way to figure out your own boundaries and consequences when people cross them is sitting quietly down with yourself and making this all about you.
5. Let your behavior, not your words, speak for you.
You present your boundaries clearly to people and then let your behavior do the talking. Learn to become comfortable with the word NO. You’ll know you’re getting healthier when this doesn’t get an emotional reaction out of you. When your boundaries are your core beliefs, you will not get riled up if you are tested.
6. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
The biggest part of boundaries is HOW clearly you communicate them. You can have the most healthy set of boundaries on the planet but if you do not communicate them clearly, you are going to create some really confusing relationships, both for you and everyone else involved.
One way to quickly get someone to question your character or authenticity? Say one thing and do another. We conceal our true feelings because we’re scared of people’s reactions. The more you ground yourself with your boundaries and values, the more you’ll be able to be very clear in your communication! Learn to become comfortable with the word NO.
Things to consider when setting boundaries.
- When you set a boundary, expect some pushback and maybe some anger. While a person is less likely to react to a boundary with anger when you approach them in an assertive and compassionate way, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility. This is a normal part of the boundary setting process, and it’s something that’s good to be prepared for.
- You will probably need to reassert your boundaries, maybe repeatedly. You may need to reassert a boundary two or three times before you’re truly heard.
The Takeaway Of Creating Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are a form of empowerment, strength, and a way for us to align with our identity, our desires, and where we stand in the world. When you don’t have boundaries, you are sending out a signal that you don’t know what you want, that you’ll take whatever you can get, and that you won’t put up a fight along the way.
By respecting yourself enough to set the necessary boundaries in your life, you’ll discover a unique sense of freedom and peace of mind.
Are you ready to transform your life today? Discover the secrets of the happiest, healthiest and most productive men and women alive and learn how they’ve overcome abuse, neglect, addiction, injury, and obesity to discover the lifestyle they always wanted.
Creating the changes you want are within your grasp.