Boundaries are essential to a healthy life. Setting and maintaining boundaries is truly a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many either don’t learn or don’t maintain. Learning to build boundaries can be a challenging concept.
Having healthy boundaries means that you know and understand what your limits are. Remember “NO” is a full and complete sentence.
Here are a few tips to building better boundaries and maintaining them.
Tune into your feelings.
When you’re feeling discomfort and resentment, these are two red flags that you are not respecting your own boundaries. If you are experiencing these feelings, think about what is causing it? What is it about this interaction, or this person’s expectation that is bothering me?
Resentment usually comes from feeling taken advantage of or not appreciated. It’s usually a sign that we’re pushing ourselves beyond our limits or someone else is imposing their expectations on us.
Name your limits.
Don’t be afraid! You are not able to set respectable boundaries if you don’t know where you stand. Identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits. Think about what you can tolerate and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed. Those feelings will help you identify what your limits are.
Give yourself permission.
Fear, guilt and self-doubt can knock you off-course. We might be afraid of someone else’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty for speaking up for ourselves or saying NO. Many people feel that they should just cope with a situation, even though it can leave them feeling drained or taken advantage of.
Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. Give yourself permission to set boundaries and strive to maintain them.
While some people may respect and understand your boundaries, others will require you to be more direct. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, you’re the only one who can. And if you don’t, you will end up feeling taken advantage of or unappreciated.
Boundaries are about tuning in to your feelings and respecting them. If you notice yourself slipping and not maintaining your boundaries, ask yourself: What’s changed? What I am doing or what is the other person doing? Then think about your options: What are you going to do about the situation? What do you have control over?
If you’re having a hard time with boundaries, seek support. Counseling, coaching, church, and friends are all good options. You don’t have to go it alone. Find someone who can help hold you accountable for the boundaries you wish to set.
Make self-care a priority.
Give yourself permission to put yourself first. When you do this, your motivation to set boundaries becomes stronger. Self-care also means knowing the importance of your feelings and respecting them. These feelings serve as important cues about your wellbeing and about what makes you happy and unhappy.
Putting yourself first also gives you the energy, peace of mind and positive outlook you need to be more present with other people.
Setting boundaries takes resolution, practice and support but, with practice, it’s a skill you can master. The horses and I can help you achieve this and more. Horses will show you where you are lacking in boundaries and help you set them successfully. Give me a call for a FREE consultation so that we can create success in your life. 970-682-4405 or email us at Andrea@witherswhisper.com. The horses are waiting!