Since writing this blog I’ve updated the information to be current with my latest thoughts on the subject – read the new post, Learn to Master the Art of Creating Healthy Boundaries
[Tweet “I choose to nourish my spirit today by creating healthy emotional boundaries.”]
Does this sound familiar?
Is it a challenge for you to set personal/emotional boundaries? Are your buttons getting pushed by someone who constantly violates your boundaries? Do you find yourself angry at yourself for allowing it to continue? Are you feeling emotionally overwhelmed?
You are not alone in this! So take a breath here and be gentle with yourself.
Many of my private coaching clients experience stress, anxiety, and depression. One of the key contributing factors I find in women is the inability to set emotional and personal boundaries. [Tweet “”When you have clear boundaries in place, this allows you to stay grounded”] and centered on your own feelings and emotions, in addition it is healthy for all parties involved.
Let’s clarify first what a boundary is: “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 ).
Personal boundaries involve the emotional, spiritual, physical, and energetic levels.
So why is it that we as women find it a challenge to set boundaries?
1. 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.
2. Fear of hurting the person’s feelings or fear of not being accepted or loved. Fear also prevents us from setting healthy boundaries. 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”?
3. Feeling insignificant or not feeling valued. This is closely connected to fear. Perhaps you are not able to say “NO” because you want to feel needed by the other person. Are you constantly doing for others and feeling energetically depleted?
4. 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!
“Sometimes we need to set boundaries. When we place ourselves first above all others we are not being selfish or inconsiderate. [Tweet “When we nourish and love our own spirit and bodies we are able to be compassionate for others.””]
The above 4 reasons which explain why it may be a challenge to set healthy boundaries are a sure sign you are stuck in your conditioned self.
Signs that you are in your conditioned self: being in a state of stress, anxiety, depression, fear, negative thinking, worry about what other people are thinking, feeling like a victim, self judgment. These are conditioned patterns or false beliefs that we may have witnessed growing up.
The good news is that these beliefs and patterns can be changed!
The opposite of your conditioned self is your authentic self. Signs that you are in your authentic self are being in a state of joy, feeling positive, connected to your spiritual connection, feeling empowered, taking positive action, and taking care of yourself.
Here are 5 ways to master the art of creating healthy boundaries:
1. Connect to your spiritual connection and that loving part of you that knows the truth. Spend some time in meditation asking for guidance. Give yourself permission to be open to receiving any messages regarding your boundaries(or lack of). Allow yourself to come from a place of curiosity and compassion not self judgment.
2. Journal: Create a Boundary Journal.Make a list of the events or people who are violating your boundaries. Ask the question who or what is depleting me? Who pushes your buttons? List how not setting clear boundaries is taking your power away. Remember, what you allow will continue. List what boundaries you would like to put in place. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so first choose one to create and stick to it!
3. Practice acts of self-love and self compassion. [Tweet “Practicing self compassion and self-love are key components in connecting to your authentic self.”] This will also allow you to let go of the conditioned self thoughts and patterns that have been keeping you stuck and preventing you from establishing clear boundaries. What loving actions can you take to nurture and support yourself?
4. Stand up for yourself and speak your truth. Remember you don’t need to debate or justify yourself. If you feel overwhelmed by fear, I always recommend writing a letter to the person you want to set the boundary with(not to be mailed). This allows you an opportunity to heal and get all your emotions out on paper. Acknowledge your feelings, reach out for support and know that by setting these personal boundaries you are giving yourself an opportunity to heal and reclaim your personal freedom. [Tweet “It is your birthright to set emotional boundaries.”]
5. Transform your False Beliefs:
[Tweet “The power and importance of a single charged belief can’t be underestimated. “]
Connect to the false belief you may have about creating a particular boundary. For example, you may have the belief: “If I create this boundary with my mother I know she is going to be mad and put the guilt trip on me.” The good thing is that beliefs and thoughts can be changed! Don’t take things personally!
[Tweet “An important component of creating boundaries is to protect your self energetically. “] Protect yourself from taking on any negative energy or the emotions of the other person. Shield yourself from that person. Visualize a beautiful white light surrounding your entire body or whatever color feels supportive and gives you strength. Stay connected to your spiritual connection and ask for this energetic protection.
The new healthy belief is usually opposite of the false belief. For example, I am a confident woman who creates healthy emotional boundaries with family members so that I can speak my truth and connect to my authentic self at all times.
[Tweet “Becoming masterful at setting boundaries takes courage, commitment, and consistency.”]
What boundary will you put in place today?