4 Steps in Creating Healthy BoundariesNov 13, 2019
Welcome to a new episode of Soulfull Sound Coaching! Each month, l’ll be answering your questions about anything related to healing and transformation, connecting with yourself, discovering your gifts and practical strategies on sharing your gifts with the world, or... any burning question you have and sense that I'm the right person to answer it!
This month’s question comes from Jessica.
I need to take charge of my life and set clear boundaries. What are some ways that I could implement healthy boundaries in my life?
Great question! Here’s my take on creating and implementing healthy boundaries in 4 steps.
Step 1 - Know your parameters
Know your parameters around work, relationships, and other areas of your life.
Let me start by saying here, you are worthy of being treated with respect and that the only way you will teach others how to respect you is to first respect yourself. So when you’re wanting to create a healthy boundary, implement it for yourself. For example, if you have a tendency to let people pressure you into doing things you don’t want to do then look at how you pressure yourself into doing things you don’t want to do and stop! You allowing others to pressure you simply means you are pressuring yourself. This isn’t to say that you will never have to do things you don’t like or want to do, but more so, know your boundaries and choose you! This leads me on to the next step.
Step 2 - Don’t be a people pleaser - it’s ok to say no.
This one I had to learn for myself because I associated yes with be helpful and selfless, but when it got to a point where my well-being was the cost of so many YESes I practiced the NOs more often. It is great to be helpful and serve others, but not so much if the cost is you, because in reality the only way you can truly give to others if you have something to give. It is important to give to yourself first. We hear all the time the example of being in an airplane and the oxygen masks drop down. The first thing you’re told is to put it on yourself first then help others. There’s no point in passing out trying to be of help to someone else! So the same applies here. Fill up your cup to overflow and then you have plenty to share around.
Step 3 ⁃ Take responsibility for your choices.
How others feel about your boundaries is none of your business or concern. This is huge. Not everyone is going to get you and your choices and that’s ok! You’re not asking people to understand or have the same parameters as you. Again, you’re just demanding that they respect your choices and again this must mean that you do. Notice that I used the word demanding not asking! Asking suggests you’re giving them a choice in the matter and in the case of your boundaries- you’re not! Many times, in the building of my business I’ve said no to social events and I remember some of my acquaintances (not so much close friends) saying that I’m working too hard and need to create work life balance. But you see one of the parameters I set myself was to sacrifice some of the social time in order to prioritise business projects. Interestingly, because I so love what I do I had so much fun creating and building my business that it was bringing more joy in my life. So, I could have chosen to go out and socialise, but instead I committed to a boundary I created to help me move forward business wise. Fortunately, I have the greatest friends who are supportive and don’t take these no’s personally.
Step 4 - Practise consistency
"Yay I’ve finally said no to someone or put my foot down where I normally wouldn’t!" Ok that’s great! Now what? Creating healthy boundaries and acting upon them are not a one-time thing. While it’s good to notice and celebrate the small victories, it is vital to be consistent, because if you’re not used to having certain parameters in place, it will take practice to KEEP them in place. Consistency takes awareness and reflection. Be aware of what your parameters are, and when you’re allowing yourself or others to cross them. Notice the times when they remain in place and benefit you. Reflect on what’s working and what’s not in terms of your approach and make the necessary adjustments. Just take it from moment to moment. This isn’t about pressuring yourself, in fact just the opposite – helping you to let go of added pressure that builds up when you have no boundaries in place.
Put these steps in place and explore how things shift in your life.
What are some of the healthy boundaries you need to put in place in your life right now so that you own your worth?
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