Setting Boundaries is an important component to self-care. There is a strong need for us to protect our self, our space, and our energy. It is a form of self-respect and self-love. When we lack boundaries or refrain from keeping them enforced we cause harm to our mental state. It can cause stress, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, hurt, a negative mindset and much more. This can apply to any relationship and also partnerships on a business level. When I think about boundaries Proverbs 25:28 comes to mind, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." We leave ourselves completely open to any and everything if we don’t create a barrier or stay guarded.
Boundaries show up in many different ways. It can be seen by the way we carry ourselves, the things we say, how we act and react, how we think and also how we view ourselves. I want to encourage you to spend some time with yourself to reflect on the different relationships/ friendships in your life. Are there any that cause more stress or hurt? What do you allow that you shouldn't? What do these boundaries look like in those relationships? Take a moment to reflect and write.
Boundaries with Self
I realize that I have to say no to myself to avoid being overwhelmed. Should I stay up late and finish my work? or should I take a break and get some rest? Sometimes I exert more than I have and run myself dry because I did not set a boundary with myself from the beginning. Take a moment to reflect and see what boundaries you lack within yourself that may be hindering your self-care. Do you need to create a barrier to limit self destructive thoughts? Are you needing to say no to unrealistic expectations? Are you trying to add more to your plate to stay busy to avoid a real concern? Take some time to reflect and write. You can also record a voice note as a reflection.
A Lack of Personal Boundaries
Maybe you’re not sure if you have boundaries in place or what they may look like. Here are a few signs that reveal a lack of personal boundaries:
-Not speaking up when you’re mistreated
-Giving away too much of your time
-Agreeing when you feel like disagreeing
-Feeling guilty for dedicating time to yourself
-You feel taken for granted by others
-Fear about what others think about you
-Attraction to people who try to control or dominate you
How to set up boundaries
Now that we’ve begun to recognize a need for boundaries lets discuss how we can set them up. The first thing I want you to do is write down the things that you do not want to see, hear, or do! Next, set limits. Write down the things you will not tolerate. Keep in mind your tolerance level may be different from someone else, so make sure not to compare yourself to anyone else. After you become aware of these things you will start to change the way you act and react and the way you carry yourself. You will be expressing new found boundaries as you interact with different people. Observe how people react to your boundaries. There will be people who encourage and respect your boundaries and then there will be many who become upset. Try not to let people make you feel guilty for setting boundaries.
Here are a few things to remember:
-Be consistent and strong with your boundaries
-Be Clear with yourself and what you accept and will not accept
-Accept that some people will not respect your boundaries no matter what you do.
-You cant control people but you're in control of yourself - if you have to remove yourself do what's best for you
-Communicate to those who are truly looking to understand
How your boundaries will show up:
-Saying "no" without guilt
-Saying "yes" because you want to, not out of obligation or to please others
-Asking for what you want or need
-Feeling safe to express emotions that are hard / have a disagreement (standing up for yourself)
-Taking responsibility of your own happiness
-Not feeling responsible for someone else's happiness
-Being in-tune with your feelings
Personal boundaries should not make you feel like a mean person. Be fair to yourself and understand that your’re entitled to have peace. Share your thoughts in a comment below!