Super important question for you today, lovelies…
Do you have healthy boundaries?
Boundaries are foundational to creating a life in which were secure knowing someone truly has our back. That somone is YOU! Think of them like an invisible rule book that teaches friends, family members and co-workers how to interact with us. Knowing when to loosen or build them up can completely shift our world as we know it.
When someone trespasses our invisible line its common to feel angry, anxious even gross. Maybe all at the same time! Not surprisingly, this isn’t limited to romantic relationships since our biggest testers of our boundaries are most often the human beings closest to us.
Sahar Andrade Mb.BCh. connects the importance of boundaries in both personal and professional relationships in this article published in Forbes. She links that fundamental to greater satisfaction and success. And in my own coaching practice, clients often have areas where boundaries could use some tweaking, theyre either too rigid or too weak.
Do either of these feel familiar to you?…
Ah, the accomplished Diva. She is usually a professional powerhouse, independant and decisive. Her boundaries are so solid, she often has relationship challanges. She feels respected but lonely. She very much wants to trust herself and share that trust with others but her fear of eventual abandonment holds her back. Her desire for control blocks one of the most important ingrediants to connection, vulnerability. When you realize your boundaries are rigid, one small baby steps towards the other direction is a great first step.
This is the People Pleaser AKA Care-giver. She’s frequently exhausted and oversheduled. The simple thought of creating conflict feels awful. She wants to get along with everyone at the expense of her own self-care and overall well-being. A good indication of weak boudaries is feeling a lack of power. She has a hard time standing up for herself when she feels taken advantage of. As Oprah says “she has the disease to please.”Another way to measure weak boundaries, is the word “yes” flies out of your mouth before you blink an eye. You have zero interest, time or money but yes it always is.. The people pleaser often takes on the care-taker role and ends up feeling resentful. Learning to say no will get her on her way to prioritizing her passions.
Is There A Middle Ground?
Unreasonable boundaries do not serve you or others well. So just when you thought you were doomed to be a Diva or a Doormat, there is a healthy middle ground!
“Boundaries are not just about getting what you want. It’s about you getting to live your life on your own terms.” ~Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh
There are four amazing benefits of setting healthy boundaries in life:
- You reach goals faster. Prioritizing everyone else’s needs puts your own goals and projects on the back burner. When you reflect on your values and create healthy boundaries to protect them, you progress in all areas of your life much faster.
2. Your self-worth increases. If you take away one small offering from this article, let it be this one. Why? Because your level of self-worth is directly linked to the quality of your life. It is also connected to your identity and your story about your place in this world. Knowing and expressing your “ok’s” and “not ok’s” builds trust within your beautiful self. When you rely on anyone or anything outside of yourself as your sole source of love, attention or validation you feel powerless. Expressing courage and integrity, despite risking unfavorable consequences this boosts your self-worth. It also makes you unbelievable attractive!
3. You enjoy healthier relationships. When someone crosses your boundaries, you feel it. You may not be aware of what exactly youre feeling but you know something is off. Boundaries clearly communicate what behaviors you find acceptable or unacceptable from others around you. They also define what you’re willing to accept responsibility for and what you aren’t. True intimacy and safety in relationships cannot exist without them. Healthy boundaries create trust and strengthen relationships.
4. You feel more respected. Flimsy boundaries do not make you more likable. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s undeniable that people with strong boundaries command more respect. When you know how to calmly and firmly say NO, when faced with overwhelm, unreasonable deadlines, or expectations, you teach people how you want to be treated. Honor yourself and others will too. This one is super tough for me personally but Im working on it.
Yeah… But How?
First, identify and write your values so you can see them clearly. They are like a compass to your most purposeful life. Second, write down which of your boundaries (or lack there of), go against your core values and which can be enforced with greater flexibility. If one of your values is human connection and you are staring at a computer screen for 40-50 hrs/week working as an accountant, you will get a knock on your internal door. It will shout something like “HEY! PAY ATTENTION something needs to change.” Thirdly, reach out to a friend, support group, therapist or coach to bounce thoughts on what you are unsure of. Sharing what your fears and getting feedback from someone you trust will help put things in perspective. The bestselling book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control Of Your Life by Cloud & Townsend is a great resource to help you set limits.
The more you practice establishing well-defined boundaries, the more people will treat you as a worthy, self-respecting individual. And as your self-esteem becomes stronger, the stronger the boundaries you can implement.
Implimenting healthy boundaries is the quickest way to remember who you are and take your power back. Be patient with yourself. This takes time but you can succeed. If you’re self-sabotaging opportunities or potential relationships, please feel free to message me on Instagram. The link is below my bio. I offer a complimentary session and would LOVE to chat with you 🙂
Irene is the creator of the Happiness Within Reach program which coaches single, freedom loving women on the foundational skills of building a meaningful relationship with themselves so they can attain the love they dream of. She is an ICF, Certified Personal coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. She is also an Amazon best-selling co-author of the book How To Be Crazy Amazing During Difficult Times and has been interviewed on podcasts such as Chat With Leaders and Beyond Barriers. Her mission is to remind women of their indisputable worthiness and capability of creating the extraordinary soul on fire life that is their birthright. Connect with her on Instagram.