I first wrote about creating healthy boundaries in 2015 with my blog Master 5 Powerful Ways to Create Emotional Boundaries. I had such an overwhelming response from women wanting to know more on how to set boundaries that I decided I needed to share this information.
It is a huge topic that many women struggle with(yours truly included!). It affects all aspects of our relationships and our life including our personal and professional life.
I'm passionate about teaching boundaries and I know from personal experience how challenging it can be.
I learned that setting clear boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced and fine tuned.
In this blog, I'm sharing with you some powerful strategies that I have used personally and with my clients.
Many of my clients struggle with stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and chronic physical pain. One of the key contributing factors I find with women(and men) is the inability to set clear boundaries.
What are Boundaries?
“Personal boundaries are guidelines or limits a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for other people to behave towards him/her and how they will respond when someone steps over those limits.”(Wikipedia ).
"The purpose of boundaries is to protect your highest values and allow you to take care of yourself so that you can enjoy good health, fulfilling relationships and live your best life now!"
Does This Sound Familiar?
You are not alone! I've walked in your shoes.
Take a breath here and be gentle with yourself.
One of the most common themes I see among women is that by nature we have a true nurturing intention to give that we tend to overextend ourselves.
We give so much that there is nothing left in the tank. We find ourselves stuck in the black hole of overwhelm and emotional overload. Overtime, this leads to physical pain, illness, and fatigue.
Think about the car you drive. If we drive our cars without filling up the tank or changing the oil eventually the car breaks down or runs out of gas.
The same is true with our bodies!
If we don't take care of ourselves or set healthy boundaries we can break down mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Don't allow your tank to hit empty!
Here are the Top 4 Boundary Blockers that can prevent us from setting healthy boundaries:
The Number One Reason is Guilt.
Guilt prevents us from setting clear boundaries. For example, if you need to set a boundary with your mother, but you experience this thought such as “but she has done so much for me, how could I possibly tell her this is bothering me.” This is guilt.
You have difficulty saying "NO" and ignore your own needs and self-care to please others no matter what the cost.
Do you have the "disease to please" and neglect your own self-care?
You are unable to express your feelings or speak your truth for fear of hurting the other person or upsetting them.
Have you ever had these thoughts: “What if their feelings get hurt”? What if they get mad at me and don’t speak to me ever again”? “What if they don’t love me anymore”?
I love this quote from Oprah:
"The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has power."
Often times we want to control others, situations, or a specific outcome. Worry and anxiety are a form of control. Ask yourself "What am I trying to control?"
For example, you may have fear, worry, or anxiety about how the other person may react when you set a boundary with them. "What if they become angry at me?"
Realize we can't control the other person's behavior, reaction, or a specific outcome. However, you can control your own behavior and stand strong in your core values.
Letting go of control and not taking things personally will ultimately give you peace.
You Feel Selfish When You Try to Set Boundaries
This is a false belief that you have created. It is your birthright to set healthy boundaries!
Where in your life do you want to say "NO" so that you can say "YES" to your own self-care and what matters most?"
What are the Consequences of Not Setting Boundaries:
- 1Nothing will ever change if you allow things to continue and you will stay stuck in the same pattern.
- 2Increased anxiety, stress, poor self-care, weight gain/loss, physical pain, headaches and disease.
- 3Emotional overwhelm, lack of joy, feelings of resentment.
- 4Co-dependent relationships, not having meaningful conversations, people pleasing, and enabling others.
Here are 6 Ways to Master the Art of Creating Healthy boundaries:
- 1Select one area where you want to create a significant change in your life and create a healthy boundary. For example(family, business, relationships, money, health etc).
- 2Discover your Boundary Why. Why is this important to make this change or create this boundary? What have you been tolerating? What do you value about your Boundary Why?
- 3Make the decision: What gets to happen for you when you make a conscious decision to create this boundary? How will you feel once you set this boundary? List out the benefits.
- 4What are the consequences of not setting these specific boundaries? Make a list of the consequences if you don't take any action(example, nothing will ever change)
- 5Discover the Boundary Blocks: List 3 major fears or obstacles that are preventing you from setting personal or professional boundaries. What's stopping you?(example fear, guilt etc)
- 6What Boundary will you put in place and when? Set a date to create this boundary. Write out your boundary statement and what action steps you will take.
Setting boundaries affects all aspects of your life. It is the key to creating a healthy, happy, and joyful life!
If you need support or guidance with creating healthy boundaries in your life, reach out to us for a FREE consultation!
In addition, to our holistic physical therapy services we offer personal life coaching.