Empathetic souls will find boundary identification an empowering tool.
Treat your time and energy, as you would your home.
Imagine a house, and it's front door.
What is the door's purpose?
A way of keeping you safe? shutting people out? Letting people in?
We do not overthink the perimeters and the boundaries of our home. To give constant access, people must either have a key, or knock the door in order to enter.
Now, Try to imagine a door that our time and energy is locked behind.
-This is your boundary door -
Is your door even there?
Do you freely give away keys?
If you do 'not feel like yourself', it is likely your boundaries are being crossed, whether you are conscious of it or not.
If you don't set your boundaries and perimeters, people will unknowingly walk over your boundaries and be completely unaware.
7 Top tips on setting boundaries.
1 | Understand your priorities Your time is a gift- that's why it's called the present. When you say yes to someone, make sure you’re not saying no to yourself. Task; write a list of priorities- make note of what does and does not make you feel good. Once complete, compare it to where you spend your time and energy.
2: Tuning into your inner self. Our bodies always give us signals when we are approaching our limits. Notice if you feel your shoulders rise, teary eyes, jaw tighten, or your fists clench. Honor what your body tells you and take some time to explore the arising boundary. Journal it and come back to it later to identify the ROOT cause.
3.| Get comfortable with getting out your comfort zone. It takes time to feel O.K with boundaries, at first you may find yourself feeling awkward, judged or nervous when addressing a personal limit. Continue to considerately and calmly stay firm to your boundaries.
Get out your zone-Try taking a cold shower in the mornings, get out your comfort zone in ways you can control. This helps to set into the subconscious that discomfort is temporary (It's also great for you).
4. Clear communication You are allowed to say no. You don’t have to explain yourself or offer an excuse, a simple 'no thankyou' (after practice) goes a long way in protecting your space. Opportunities are abundant, make sure you say your 'oh yeah's' because it aligns with your core values and not because you feel it is something you 'should do'.
5. Be prepared- Get your 5 minute fix.
What ever makes you feel good! Music, 20 push ups, dancing, breathing technique, tapping fingers... whatever works for you. Some people react to your new perimeters. People may be triggered when you set a boundary- IT IS NOT PERSONAL. You can express your limits with compassion, but it’s not your job to make it okay for them. Take a breath in these scenario's and remember we are all searching for happiness and we all have a different tool belt.
6| Create consequences Know yourself and be clear in what actions you will take if someone consistently disrespects your boundaries. Will you be upfront and resolve issues? Will you remove your time and take a step back from the relationship? Be firm and follow through with your own program. Remember nothing has to be permanent, just because you didn't open the door to play out today doesn't mean you won't feel differently next week, you are in control of your time and energy.
7 | Respect other people’s boundaries People often give us cues about their own boundaries. Notice if they change behavior, or seem uncomfortable. If you want respect for your time and energy then you must be aware of others too. We attract what we put out. If your not confident with body language, try the direct approach before entering into a conversation, “Can I ask you a personal question?” or " Can I offer you a solution to this situation" - Sometimes people just want to vent. If you can't handle the vent- return to your consequence tool belt.
What to do in tricky spots
You may find yourself in a conversation that you do not want to give any air time too. Clear communication is key, keep it simple. Write down and practice your pre prepared questions that effectively states that your boundary has been crossed.
" I feel annoyed when you turn your back to me"
“I feel defensive, I want you to speak to me in a respectful and calm way to resolve this"
"I feel uncomfortable with you talking about Sally when she is not here."
"I feel annoyed/upset/angry when I have to remind you about the same thing"
Relate how the action is related to your emotion- Keep it simple.
Persistence pays off with boundaries, It takes a while to establish what they are and how you can use them to enhance your life. It will empower you. Be kind to yourself as grow, you do not have to have it all figured out. Wherever you are on your journey, you are awesome, don't put over complicated expectations on yourself to change, build your path one step at a time.
****It took an original diamond 1 to 3.3 billion years to become a diamond, before that it was just a rock under pressure. We do not have to be perfect, Progress and enjoy the journey.****
If you need a help in hand on a 121 basis, please check my calendar for available dates, I am now running a six session program to help support those wanting to take a deeper dive into empowering themselves. Specifically working on time and energy management, identifying barriers, improving focus and feeling better one day at a time. Taking you from stressed out- to blessed out.
Keep moving, finding Joy and your gratitude.
P.S implement your boundaries for time on news - it's O.K to do this if you feel it's best for you.