Do you find it hard to say “no” to close family and friends? Do you feel like people don’t take you seriously? Do you find it hard to stand up for yourself? Are you sick and tired of it? If so, keep reading.
I’m all about living freely and being the authentic you without apology; but living freely doesn’t mean you don’t live by any rules. If you want to experience the feeling of waking up every morning content with who you are, you must have standards for yourself; you must have healthy rules to live by, and you must have boundaries.
What You’ll Get Out of this Post:
- What are Boundaries & Why it is important to have them
- Why it’s challenging for you to enforce your boundaries
- How to Set and enforce your boundaries
- A Free downloadable workbook
What Are Boundaries
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Boundary is “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.”
In other words, a boundary is…
- a reflection of how you see yourself
- a deciding factor of how others treat you
- tailored to your own personality
- something that is tested to determine your character
A boundary is a limit. It’s something you decide you aren’t going to tolerate anymore. It’s something you must be ready to defend and stand by. It’s something that’s responsive in that when it’s pushed, touched, or even slightly brushed upon, it sends you a cue. And that cue is for you to hold your hand up and say, “See honey, now you’ve gone too far.”
Why Boundaries Are So Important
- They protect you
Your boundaries will keep you safe. When you have set boundaries, they will notify you when something is not right. They will keep you from entering a house party filled with illegal drugs and force you to stand up to a bully.
- They tell people how to treat you
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything. If you don’t have boundaries and aren’t ready to enforce them, people will have no problem wiping their cruddy feet all over you. When people see you enforcing your boundaries, they gain respect for you because they can clearly see how you value yourself.
- They represent how you treat you
Your boundaries, if you have any, are a reflection of how you see yourself. The fact that I have a set boundary that states that I won’t jump off a cliff is directly related to the fact that I think my life to be valuable and sacred. What are your boundaries, or lack thereof, saying about you?
Why It’s challenging For You To Set Boundaries
I’ll give you five reasons off the top of my head…
- You don’t want to lose or anger your friends/family
If your friends or family members truly love you and care for you, they will not be angry or want to leave your life because you stood up for yourself. A true friend may be surprised that you stood up to them, but would ultimately be proud of you. And they will apologize for crossing your boundaries. So don’t be afraid of angering or losing your peers because if they’re truly your friend, they won’t leave. And if they do, well then you’re one step closer to woman you were always suppose to be.
- You may be a little insecure
Maybe you don’t think someone like you deserves to be respected. Well, allow me to shine some light on that. You have the right to set boundaries and to require that others respect them. You don’t need anyone’s permission to set and enforce boundaries. You can do it right now.
- You’re afraid to stand up for yourself
You feel like you don’t have the courage to say to a close friend, “hey, what you did back there wasn’t cool. Why did you do that?” I know it’s uncomfortable, but it’s also very necessary. If you ignore the small cut on your hand long enough, eventually it will become a huge infected mess.
- You don’t like conflict
So, you downplay the situation in your head so it ends up being not that big of a deal, but again it will only get worse if you keep running from the problem.
How To Make Your Boundaries
I’ll give you two methods…
Try working forward.
Think about how you are treated now. Do you say yes to everything even if you feel uncomfortable doing it? Do your friends respect your “no?” And then, think about how you want the way people treat you to change. Create your boundaries based around that. For instance, if you want people to respect your “no” then set a boundary stating that don’t try and convince me of something I’ve already given a final no. And guess how you can enforce that boundary. By not being pressured into something you already said no to. It’s as simple as that.
Try working backward.
Imagine yourself in 5 years.
Picture your perfect future. Everything you’ve hoped for has finally come to be. Finally, you’re there. See yourself as confident and happy as you once dreamed to be. Picture your fashionable clothes, your lavish home, and your perfect guy. All the work and worry has finally paid off. You’ve done it! You’re finally there! Really take time and picture it. Ravel and smile in your perfect future. See yourself accomplishing your goals left and right, having one-of-a-kind friends and being the top performer at your dream job. Picture it all, smiling as hard as you can, being all that you are without apology. Stay there. Embrace that joy for a moment…..
Now come back.
And ask yourself these questions.
- What boundaries do I need to set to make that a reality?
- What rules do I need to start living by to accomplish that?
- What actions do I need to take right now to achieve that goal?
- What needs to change? Who needs to be let go?
- What needs to be added? Who needs to be added?
Your boundary list can start there.
How to Enforce Your Boundaries
Realize these things.
- You have the right to say NO
That “no” serves as whatever subject and verb it needs to be in order to be a complete sentence. You don’t have to try and figure out how you’re going to explain why you don’t want to get in the car with a total stranger in a way you’re friends will understand. Guess what, Pumpkin. You don’t have to worry about that anymore. No is sufficient.
- Don’t be pressured
What I’ve found is that people will bring up ways that you supposedly owe them to try and get you to move your boundaries for whatever they want you to do. Or maybe they bring up what a true friend is and why you aren’t being one because you refuse to do that thing. Or maybe they will list the reasons why it will be fun or even a smart thing to do to try and get you to do that thing. Again, “no” is known by the FBI to be the deadliest killer.
- Be Brave
When someone crosses your boundary, you have to let them know. That means a not-so-comfortable conversation has to take place. Ya know, talking about each others feelings and what not (something I actually don’t like doing). But, letting that person know how their actions affected you and letting them know that they can’t say/do that to you is mandatory. If you don’t, things will get worse. They won’t respect you, if you don’t require them to respect you.
Don’t forget your workbook! I’ve created some personalized questions just for you to help you on this journey to create and enforce healthy boundaries. I truly believe you will walk away with a fair set of boundaries that will help mold you into the women you were always suppose to be.
Click the picture below to open your own workbook!