How would your life be different if you could set boundaries without feelings of shame or guilt?
Learning to create boundaries is essential to any healthy relationship. When you create boundaries you are honoring your own feelings and values by defining how you would like to be treated. Without clear boundaries, you invite people to decide what is right for you and put their needs before your own.
What would it look like if you cared just as much about your thoughts and your needs as you do about the feelings of other people? Your time, your mental and physical energy, and your important relationships all deserve to be your top priorities. When you choose to honor these priorities through healthy boundaries you will find that you are free. You are free to be happy and to love your life.
Things To Remember When Setting Boundaries
Setting boundaries and limits does not make you a bad person
The guilt and shame you feel when you set boundaries can come from many places. Oftentimes, we are worried that we will be judged. It is the gremlin in our head that tells us everyone will think we are lazy or selfish. Ask yourself if those thoughts are true and what evidence do you have to confirm that truth.
Changing our mindset is also helpful when creating boundaries. What is another way you could look at your choices?
- Having time to myself allows me to be a better mom
- Working overtime makes me feel tired and resentful. I work hard when I am there and put in a lot of effort throughout the week, so it is okay to say no to overtime.
- She is a good friend, and she will understand why I can’t help with her rummage sale.
When we say yes to something we are saying no to something else
Every time you say yes to a request from others, you are inevitably saying no to something else in your life. By saying yes to volunteering, you are saying no to quality time with your kids. When you say yes to taking on another project at work, you are saying no to personal time or time to recharge your batteries.
What is the cost of this imbalance in your life? How does saying yes to everyone else and no to your own wants and needs affect your happiness?
Learning more about what you value in life can help you decide what things you truly want to say yes to. Think about the things that you value. These are the things you would fight for, the things that you feel truly passionate about and also the things that make you happy. Once you have thought about some of your values practice using them when making decisions.
For example, if you value family time and a co-worker asks for help with a project, you might decide to say no because adding one more commitment will take away from your family time. Or, perhaps you value health and wellness but you have been over-committing to your duties at home. Changing your expectations on how often you clean or who will cook dinner might provide you with more time to say yes to exercise.
As you begin to take on this mindset, remember, no is a complete sentence and you do not have to give an explanation when you turn down a request for your time.
You are not responsible for other people’s feelings
Talking to people about your boundaries, especially if you have never set any with them before, can result in some backlash or hard feelings. Unfortunately, not everyone will understand or appreciate the boundaries you have set for yourself, and that is okay.
If you avoid setting boundaries because you are afraid of how other people will react, then you are not being compassionate to yourself. Remember, this is your happiness that we are talking about here! Don’t give away your happiness to please other people. And if they are having a hard time accepting these changes, that is on them to figure out. Chances are, they have some nasty gremlins that they need to deal with!
Sometimes setting boundaries will help someone
When another person’s unhealthy patterns are given room to grow through a lack of boundaries, this is called enabling. Although you are not responsible for the feelings or actions of others, you are responsible for the amount of energy and mental bandwidth that you give to them. Setting boundaries with people makes them accountable for their decisions.
Decide what unhealthy boundaries you have in your life and set yourself free!
If you are interested in learning more about how to establish boundaries in your life, or if you are curious about learning more about your values, then sign up for a free 15-minute consultation with me.