What Are Boundaries?

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one that gives, shows up, or organises events in your friendships? Are you sick of saying 'Yes' when inside you want to scream 'NO'? It may be time for you to start implementing boundaries. 

Our personal boundaries aren’t as obvious as a fence or a giant “no entry” sign. In fact, they’re more like invisible bubbles. Even though boundaries can be challenging to navigate, setting and communicating them is essential for our health and well-being.

Boundaries are important to protect yourself, your life, and your own alignment. They are a set of ‘rules’ that we create internally for ourselves, for behaviours we will tolerate, for the standards we implement for those in our lives - to the amount of hours we want to work or the time we spend around others. There are no rules as to where you set boundaries - whether it's personal, financial, or emotional, it’s all about where YOU feel you need to set them in order to keep your personal well-being healthy. Our boundaries will necessarily change depending on the setting, the people with whom we're interacting, and our own comfort. 

So, how do we set boundaries within ourselves?

In order to establish what your boundaries are, you have to answer the right questions. Remember, this is all about setting boundaries for YOU. No one else can do this for you which is what makes this exercise so crucial.

Boundaries are put in place to make sure that your mental health comes first. 

Here are some areas you should analyse about your life and different ways setting boundaries can help change your life positively.

  1. Your daily routine

This is something you must look at closely. Often we build our routine according to what we want for ourselves and not so much around what we can actually stick to. The trick is to go slowly and accomplish a task one step at a time. 

For example, at the beginning of my journey, I built my daily routine around waking up at 5am, going for a run every single day, eating healthy for every meal (even though I’ve never practiced clean eating before), and drinking water all throughout my day. All these changes sounded great in theory, but the moment I tried to execute them all at once, I quickly failed.

Insert a new task one by one in your daily routine. It’s not a race. Creating a boundary within your daily routine would be to know that you have to move slow. Start by adding in a new task one day, and once you have that new routine down - add in another. 

This is a great way to practice keeping promises to yourself. Not overwhelming yourself is the key to productivity. 

  1. Create boundaries in your relationships

It’s crucial to recognise if we are sacrificing our mental health for the happiness of others. Of course, sometimes love means doing things for others you do not want to do. But, if you find yourself often saying “yes” out of guilt or the fear of letting someone else down - you could be doing more harm than good.

Creating boundaries within your relationships means knowing when to honour your emotional needs. Not letting others guilt or manipulate you into doing anything you are uncomfortable with is the first step.

Going from pleasing so many, to perhaps maybe disappointing others can be tough. You have to look at it from a different standpoint. If you don’t set boundaries for yourself and stick up for your inner self, your self-worth will lower. Others will perceive you how you perceive yourself. So, if you don’t value yourself, others won't either.

  1. Create boundaries for yourself

It’s important to note that boundaries are ways for you to make healthier choices for yourself. One way to do this is to allow yourself to become aware of how you are feeling and allow yourself to communicate openly with yourself and with others. 

This could mean : 

  • Asking what you want from other people rather than expecting them to know
  • Putting confidence in yourself and your values
  • Telling others how they can help you
  • Communicate openly with yourself and with others

Sometimes making these small changes can seem tough. It can be a lot at first to ask yourself of these things. But, remember this is about valuing yourself. Small improvements move you towards greater self-worth.

Key takeaways to remember:

At the end of the day, boundaries are necessary in order to build trust within yourself. If you create a strong bond between your core values and what you stand for, you will notice significant change quickly. 

You get to decide what your boundaries are. It’s tough and it does take practice and time - but, stick to them and your mental and physical well-being will reward you

If you’d like to find out more about setting boundaries, I encourage you to join me in my How To Set Boundaries online course. Here, I will teach you how to stand up for yourself in a kind way. It will allow you to figure out what you actually want in life, where you want to go, and be able to direct your focus toward the things you actually want, instead of saying 'Yes' to all the things you actually don’t want to do. Let's create your boundaries >

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