When is it time to start setting personal boundaries?
I am sitting at my desk in my bedroom, staring out the window as I try to write this. I hear the cars pass and my eyes fixate on a group of gnats circling a bed of red kangaroo paw plants. The rattling hum of the dryer in the hallway is somewhat soothing, and the scent of coffee is still lingering somewhere in the house. It is all quite calming…yet my mind can’t seem to find a place of comfort. And the blinking stalled cursor on my computer screen just stares back at me.
Truth be told, I have been feeling overwhelmed as of late. Maybe not with anything in particular.. but, also, maybe with everything at once. I’m not quite sure. As I begin to assess the cause, I realize that I have been saying “yes” to everyone and everything around me. I have been adding more and more to my plate, and I’m beginning to lose sight of me. Dinner invitations, running errands, footing the bill, taking on additional work, being emotionally supportive…it’s all there and it’s starting to weigh me down. In the midst of “yes yes yes”, my friendships, relationships and personal boundaries have begun to grow hazy. Today, I am clearing my plate and rebuilding my boundaries with the help of the following 5 tips:
Be self-aware. Notice the people, places and things that drain your energy and cause you to think or feel negatively. Take note of who, what and why.
Know and understand your limits. You must first know where you stand before digging your feet in firmly. It’s hard to set strong boundaries when you are unsure of your limits.
Meditate or say a mantra, prayer or affirmation to center and strengthen yourself. When your limits are being tested, rely on your inner strength and affirmations to refocus.
Tell people that your priorities have changed. Communicate them directly, genuinely and calmly. Stay strong and find support. If the people in your life do not take well to your new boundaries, maybe it’s time to rethink the relationship. There are people out there that will respect you and your limits.
It’s okay to be think about how you will be perceived. When we start to set boundaries and communicate them to the people around us, it can be a scary thing. But that’s ok! Not only are boundaries a sign of a healthy relationship, but also of self-respect.
+Do you have trouble setting boundaries? How do you stay strong?
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