HOW TO SET HEALTHY PERSONAL BOUNDARIES
Do you tolerate offensive comments, back away from conflict or have a difficult time standing up for yourself?
Do you say yes, when you really want to say no?
Do you feel pushed and pulled in every direction — and completely consumed by all of the drama?
Is your work-life balance a little…unbalanced? Does it seem like you’re losing your sense of self?
Chances are, you need to get some rock solid boundaries in your life!
In essence, boundaries set an important space, line or divide between you and another person or situation in order to protect you — your time, energy, body, mind, emotions, privacy, safety and so on.
Boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we set to protect us from being manipulated, mistreated or disrespected and enable us to detach who we are and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others.
They centre us.
When we don’t maintain boundaries — whether it’s in our personal or professional lives — we lose our voice, our sense of identity and risk becoming drained, unfocused and unhappy. We take on too many responsibilities and unnecessary burdens.
Here are some simple steps you can take in order to take back your personal power, set or strengthen boundaries and become deeply grounded in who you are and what you need.
In order to set healthy, productive boundaries, we must first know what we are feeling — and what needs attention. This might seem obvious, but the truth is that people with feeble boundaries can become so engrossed in other lives and situations that they lose touch with their own feelings.
So learn to listen to and nurture your connection with yourself. Become mindful of the moments your ‘energy field’ is breached — when you’re feeling stretched, depleted, violated, unbalanced, overwhelmed, guilty or threatened.
IDENTIFY THE WEAKNESSES AND LEAKS
Once you’ve started feeling all the feels, reflect on and examine each situation.
Does it happen repeatedly? Is there a pattern? What line has been crossed or blurred? Where have you been unconsciously giving away your energy? Alternatively, what ‘stuff’ are you letting in that isn’t yours?
Is your work cutting into family time?
Are you pressured to party every weekend?
Do you feel suffocated by your lover?
GET CLEAR ON THE BOUNDARIES
Now that you’ve identified the problem areas, you can determine what you will no longer tolerate and begin to draw up some boundaries.
What action do you need to take in order to regain your personal power, demand self-respect, create space or strengthen the buffers you already had in place?
Do you need to quit working overtime or stop taking on extra clients?
Do you need to decline more social invitations?
Do you need some ‘me’ time?
COMMUNICATE YOUR BOUNDARIES
Depending on the situation, you will either need to either declare your boundary to another person or group, or simply take different action.
When communicating your personal boundaries — whether it’s a colleague, family member, friend or yourself — it’s important to be firm and confident.
Use simple, direct language to show your priorities have changed and that you’re taking care of your needs, right now. You may feel a little resistance or guilt, and some people will still continue to push the limits, test the waters and overstep the line — so be unshakeable in who you are and what you need.