“You need boundaries” she said, “You really need stronger boundaries” I heard, “When are you going to set some boundaries?”, he asked.
BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE A BI*%#
Ummm, I don’t think so, I thought to myself. If I have to ‘institute’ boundaries, that means I’ll have to close myself off, I’ll have to get mean, people won’t like me, and I’ll turn into a total bitch. How wrong I was!
When we find ourselves in a situation that is unpleasant or disagreeable it is a direct result of failing to listen to our inner voice. Weak boundaries show up in our lives as driving ourselves to accommodate everything and everyone. It shows up as overcommitting ourselves to anyone who is wanting our time, attention and energy. It shows up most frequently by saying yes to far too many things for ourselves (and for our kids) that ultimately are not aligned with what is truly most important to you.
The scariest part of all of this is, we become so accustomed to pleasing others that we lose touch with what is pleasing to us.
A MOST BIZARRE HYBRID
When I started examining what boundaries I had, I was shocked. I had created a schedule and a life that was a bizarre hybrid of meeting the expectations of others (spoken and unspoken) and what I thought I ‘should’ be doing.
Women in particular are vulnerable to having weaker boundaries. Most of us were raised to behave, take care of others, be sweet, do the right thing, help others, at any cost. It is inherent in our big, beautiful feminine essence to be nurturing and caring.
The beauty of having stable boundaries is it allows us to be fully nurturing and caring from a very heartfelt and true space instead of a place of resentment or obligation.
But not being able to identify and uphold your boundaries will leave you irritable, resentful, stressed and exhausted.
Some of the biggest triggers around setting boundaries are: the fear of being rude, wanting to be agreeable, fear of rejection, fear of conflict, don’t want to disappoint, fear of lost opportunities and we really want to be seen as helpful.
It’s up to you to protect what’s important. And once you are clear on what you really want, setting boundaries and keeping them in place is vital so you can focus on what really matters to you.
teach people how you want to be treated
What it comes down to, is boundaries tell people what is OK with you and what’s not OK with you. A boundary is simply a limit, a limit of what you are willing to accept for you. And most of us were never taught how to communicate our needs and desires with grace and ease.
It is your responsibility to teach people how you want to be treated.
If you are constantly putting yourself and your needs at the bottom of the list, you are teaching your children, your spouse, your colleagues to do the same.
Holding boundaries can be really challenging. It will take practice to learn what works for you.
Remember, as with all shifts and new decisions—what may seem like tough choices today will help you to reach deep happiness, meaning and fulfillment tomorrow.