How strong are your personal boundaries?
I’d like you to think back to a time when you felt life was going well but were constantly drained- energetically and emotionally.
Are you able to pinpoint what made you feel that way? It might be hard to do.
I felt drained most of the time recently and had no idea why. I couldn’t find a reasonable cause to my distress until I took some time to reflect. You know what my answer was?
I had not established any personal boundaries.
If you are a people pleaser like I am, then it’s very easy for others to cross our personal boundaries…if we even have any. We are so focused on what others think of us, we don’t realize that we may be spreading ourselves too thin until it’s too late. We may also be coerced into doing things we do not want to do because we are so afraid to let people down.
Unfortunately, keeping everyone happy is a job for no one. Eventually, we will hit breaking point and it won’t be pretty. We lose our happiness and ourselves in the process. We also lose respect from those who take advantage of our generosity (whether consciously or subconsciously) because they will automatically rely on us for everything and take the easy way out.
The key is to set personal boundaries and stick to them, no matter how hard at first. Change is scary, but essential for your well-being. Here are my four tips:
SET YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES
People tend to push each other too far if the opportunity is there. Take a few minutes to assess your life and your expectations. Then think about how far you’re able to go with your daily activities and how much you’re able to help others without losing yourself. Don’t be afraid to set limits in any area of your life.
IF YOU HAVE TO, MAKE THESE PERSONAL BOUNDARIES KNOWN
This especially applies if you’re in a position where you are stuck doing something you are not happy with. There is no rule in life that says you are stuck with what you currently have. Make whoever needs to know aware that the current status of things is just not working for you and there has to be some changes made. If they don’t like it, then so be it. It is probably a toxic relationship anyway…
BE CONSCIOUS OF WHO YOU BEND THEM FOR
Every so often there will probably be a time when someone wants you to help them and you automatically will, no questions asked (because that’s just how you are). Before doing this, analyze who you are helping and why. Does it make sense? Are you agreeing to it because you actually want to help or is it because you feel like you should? Trusting yourself enough to know the difference takes practice, so I recommend asking yourself these questions before you agree to anything.
CHECK IN DAILY
Reflecting back on the day is a highly useful tool. If you need to make adjustments, this will help you do that. Did anything make you angry? Sad? Could those situations have been handled differently? Could you adjust your attitude for a better tomorrow? Knowing what works for you and what doesn’t strengthens your intuition and keeps your personal boundaries in place.
Healthy personal boundaries are essential for a happy life. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of.
Let me know what tips you have down below!
*Image taken by me at Old Newgate Prison in East Granby, CT.