Creating Healthy Boundaries

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”Brene Brown

I’ve recently had a big game-changing A-HA!!! *shiny light bulb over head* moment, where I realized that I need to become better at creating healthy personal boundaries. As a “Giver” (Myers-Briggs type ENFJ), I genuinely love to help people, and to make others happy. However, it’s become evident that I also need to take care of my own needs too– to give to myself as well. After all, I am responsible for my own happiness.

Even the most confident, the most self-assured, and the most self-loving of us can get caught up in trying to please others at the expense of ourselves. In some cases, that could be totally fine, as life is a balance of give and take, and our personal relationships require some sacrifices. One needs to be able to flex and compromise, when and where appropriate. However, it’s also critical to note when that starts to erode your own self-worth. While it appears noble to play hero and pleaser to others, in reality it is a disservice to ignore your own needs and wants. You must remember that you matter too. In establishing healthy boundaries, you can empower yourself to love yourself, and to acknowledge your own worth.
Creating healthy personal boundaries can be applied to various aspects of your life, whether they pertain to situations at work, with your friends, with your family, or with your romantic partner. Personal boundaries could include: physical (your personal space or body), emotional (your feelings), or mental (your thoughts, value, and opinions.)

Benefits of creating healthy personal boundaries:
  • You take responsibility for your own happiness
  • You maintain a positive self-image, self-respect, and self-esteem
  • You nurture better relationships
  • You preserve your integrity
  • You preserve your sanity (you KNOW what I mean here. How many times have we been caught up in negative cyclical thoughts that aren’t even close to what’s really happening in reality? Or said “yes” to too many things and burnt ourselves out?)
Choose love over fear
Sometimes not being able to establish healthy boundaries comes from fear. Those fears may be deep rooted in childhood (abandonment issues, feeling not good enough, fear of rejection, etc), or some recent experiences (heartbreak, getting laid off from work, etc). But no matter the source, it’s important to recognize those fears and overcome them by choosing loving perceptions instead. As explained in this helpful article from http://greatist.com/, relationships become unhealthy when we act from a place of fear, rather than love. By learning to set healthy boundaries, we can let go of some of the ego’s fearful perceptions.

How do we create healthy personal boundaries?

The below tips are from this very useful article from www.essentiallifeskills.net. I strongly suggest reading the full article as it best explains the “How’s”, and signs of unhealthy boundaries.
  • Know that you have a right to personal boundaries, and a right to express them
  • Recognize that other people’s needs and feelings are not more important than your own
  • Learn to say no
  • Identify the actions and behaviors that you find unacceptable
  • Trust and believe in yourself
I believe in you to believe in yourself. Now go on and create some healthy boundaries!
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