“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” (Brene Brown)
Some people just intuitively know how far they can push us and exactly what to say or do, to get what they want or need. It can leave us feeling exhausted, violated and completely under appreciated. This can happen in our personal life and in our business.
Do you find it hard to set boundaries?
- You want to assert yourself, but you’re scared to speak your truth and you fear judgement, rejection and criticism.
- You want to have the freedom to choose what’s best for you, but instead you put the other person first, choosing to keep the peace and avoiding conflict.
- You want people to like you and so whatever they need, you’re there for them. Even when your body is crying out for you to stop and there are things you need to do for yourself.
- You feel like everyone is taking advantage of you… your friends, clients, colleagues and even your family.
- You’re so angry at yourself for being weak and not standing your ground, but every time you decide that today is the day you’ll be brave and say no or speak your truth, you give in or procrastinate.
It’s so confusing and exhausting. You end up feeling resentful at the people who are taking advantage of you, but in reality, you’re the one allowing it. I want you to know that you’re not alone in this, and often our choices are a trauma response. It’s why it’s so unhelpful when people say ‘just speak up and say no’, ‘what are you waiting for?’, or ‘why is this such a big deal?’. Sometimes we just don’t know consciously, but our body is definitely remembering something and so it’s coming from a place of fear and survival.
To feel truly free, happy and in alignment with ourselves, we need to have boundaries. Otherwise we can lose sight of who we are and why we’re here. This is even more important to the sensitive souls among us, because we always put others first, thinking we’re selfish by standing our ground or asserting our boundaries.
Can you imagine how different life would feel and be for you, if you said how you really felt, if you did what was right for you and if you knew how to manage your own energy. The toxic people would fall away, you would be making choices that make you happy and you would find yourself deeply connected to yourself and all of life again.
If you find setting boundaries difficult, there are two simple things that you can begin to do:
- Get very clear on what your boundaries are, and what behaviour is and is not okay from others.
- Notice how it feels in your body when someone has crossed a boundary? This will help you to recognise when it’s happening.
To get this process started, I’ve create a new EFT script for you to try – I’m scared to speak up – try this to see if anything resonates for you and to begin the process of finding your voice and speaking your truth. I would love to know how this belief impacts you right now.
If this post and this topic has resonated for you, and you know that this is the year for speaking up and showing up, then you have a few ways you can work with me. CLICK HERE.
Until next time!
Helping sensitive souls to embody self-care, self-acceptance and self belief
The following are some of the most common questions I get asked about boundaries. If you have a question of your own, you’re welcome to drop me an email.
Why is setting boundaries difficult?
First of all, please don’t be too hard on yourself, lots of people struggle with boundaries and it often stems from childhood. We have grown up with parents and carers that didn’t allow us boundaries, or respect them. We might also be very fearful of conflict, because disagreeing meant dealing with anger, a parent withdrawing affection and feeling unsafe in your own home. This makes us believe that other peoples opinions, values, needs and feelings were more important than our own. We are also likely to fear abandonment, belonging and being enough as we are. So, throughout life, it’s likely that we naturally attracted friends and partner into our world that tested our boundaries and highlighted our inner wounds. Until we deal with our past, it will always feel scary and challenging to lovingly enforce boundaries.
What are the signs I need better boundaries?
The signs of needing better boundaries are usually very clear. We will feel angry, resentful, irritated and under appreciated. It’s likely that when someone oversteps our boundaries our body begins to get tense, tight and we feel constricted; just think about stiff neck, shoulders and back.
How do I set boundaries in a relationship?
The first thing you need to do is get clear on what is and is not okay for you; essentially your rules. This might take some time, especially if you’re not used to having boundaries. I always tell clients that their body will tell them everything they need to know. If someone is doing or saying something that doesn’t feel good for you, then it’s likely that you will feel tense, tight, constricted and agitated. This is a good clue that a boundary has been breached.
Once you have clarity on your boundaries, it’s time to lovingly share and enforce those boundaries. It may be that you choose to pro-actively share (especially in an intimate relationship) and let the other person know that you’ve been reflecting on your boundaries and that you need some things to change. It’s likely that there will be some push back, especially if others have benefited from your loose boundaries, they won’t be keen on the changes. This is normal and you need to stay firm in what you need. Perhaps let them know why these boundaries are important to you.