Boundaries

What is a boundary and why should we set them?

Just like we have physical boundaries of our homes (walls, windows, doors, fences, etc.), we also can create emotional boundaries for ourselves and our relationships. Boundaries are something we put in place as a means of protection and empowerment. To set a boundary, you basically use an if/then statement. More to come on shortly. However, first, it’s important to know there are actually two kinds of boundaries at work in our world: non-verbal boundaries and verbal boundaries.

Non-verbal boundaries are…you guessed it, non-verbal and don’t need to be spoken aloud. This is typically something that is based on societal norms. For example, when you meet a new person, you don’t announce to them that if they slap you, then you will slap them back. It’s a societal norm that we don’t slap people. We don’t need to go around saying this to everyone we meet.

Verbal boundaries are boundaries that we need to speak out loud as it may not be obvious to everyone. An example of this would be, “if you come over without calling first, I may not be able to answer the door.” Some people always answer the door when they are home; but some people don’t unless they know someone is coming.

How to set a boundary

I like to teach how to set a boundary in three parts:
Request to change behavior
Boundary – stating what your boundary is
Consequence – what YOU will do or how YOU will react if your boundary is crossed or violated

For example, one of my personal boundaries is to not talk negatively about other people behind their backs. If I’m with a group of friends and they are talking negatively about someone or gossiping, I would say, “Hey, can we change the subject? I don’t want to talk negatively about people. If we don’t change the subject, that’s fine; but then I’ll just head out and do my own thing.”

Let’s break this example down into the three pieces:
Request – “Hey, can we change the subject?”
Boundary – “I don’t want to talk negatively about people.”
Consequence – “If we don’t change the subject…I’ll head out and do my own thing.”
Do you see how that all comes together?

How are boundaries different from manipulation?

I LOVE this question! Boundaries are often misunderstood and misused. One of the main ways to tell whether it’s a boundary or manipulation is the intent. It usually starts with a demand instead of a request. Boundaries come from a place of love and acceptance for yourself and the other person/relationship; whereas manipulation is trying to change someone else’s behavior in order to make you feel better or get something for your personal gain. Manipulation is about the other person doing something rather than YOU doing something.

An example of this would be “if you don’t clean the kitchen, then I won’t go to the party with you later.” It follows the if/then statement; but notice the intent–does this come from a place of love? No, it’s manipulating someone into doing something so you will feel better. It’s basically punishing them if they don’t do it your way. Don’t be this person. It’s not a pretty color on anybody.

How do you know whether it’s appropriate or not to set a boundary?

The following are the four things to observe and discern on whether you should set a boundary:
1. You have a clear and defined boundary for yourself that has been violated/crossed
2. The other person is unaware of your boundary
3. You feel the boundary needs to be restated for emphasis in order to have a better relationship
4. You are in a calm and loving place (never set a boundary from anger–remember, intent is HUGE)

Why is setting boundaries so difficult?

Setting boundaries can be extremely difficult depending on your personality and the value you place on the relationship with the person you want to set a boundary with. The main reason it can be difficult is because we’re afraid of how the other person will feel or interpret our boundary. There is always a possibility of losing the relationship. I understand this can be scary, but at the end of the day, our emotional peace and self-love is what matters most. The main thing to remember is that you are setting the boundary from a place of love–for yourself, the other person, and the relationship.

Setting boundaries gives us the ability to create strong and genuine relationships with others. Boundaries empower us to create the kind of life that sets us up for success. If defining or setting boundaries is an area of your life that you struggle with, I can help. Please reach out or set-up a free call with me through my contact page. You don’t have to go through this journey alone.

How To Build Trust With Yourself

Do you trust yourself? Most people will answer YES to this question (especially when they feel good); however, their behavior tells a different story. Look at the commitments you make to yourself. Do you keep them? I’m not talking about big commitments I’m talking about the little things day-to-day—diet; exercise; getting up when the alarm goes off without snoozing; doing chores; making plans when you feel good but then cancelling them when the time arrives.

Each time we make a commitment, even mentally, and then don’t follow through, we are programming our brain that we cannot trust ourselves/we’re not the kind of person who follows through or commit. Why is this such a problem? If we teach ourselves that we cannot be trusted with our best interests, we start to seek validation and confirmation from outside of ourselves. It may seem innocent enough, but this starts when we are young. We are taught that someone else causes our feelings. We are taught that we cannot be sufficient by ourselves. We are taught that other people know better than we do. We are taught to give our power away to others.

But the reality is, we are responsible for all our thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. We can choose not to take responsibility, but ultimately that just leads to a life of hopelessness and powerlessness. Imagine how your life would be different if you trusted yourself and took full responsibility for everything in your life? If everything was your fault, what would stay the same and what would change? What would you accomplish? What would you cut out?

When we trust ourselves and take full responsibility for our lives, we can literally create a full life where we can make anything we want to happen. I know this may sound too good to be true; but remember, not everyone wants to accomplish the same things. You get to decide for you. Here are a few things you can start doing right now to help you reprogram your brain so you can start trusting yourself again:

1. Make conscious choices
– It can be the smallest or mundane thing, such as brushing your teeth or having a glass of water. When you go to do it, remind yourself that you are making a conscious choice to do so and follow through.

2. Wake up on time
– Don’t hit the snooze button. Set the alarm at the time you want to get up, and then get up.

3. Remind yourself that at one time you wanted to do this
– We make plans and then the time comes, and we don’t want to do what we had planned. It’s totally normal. Sticking with the example of hitting the snooze button, remind yourself the night before that when the alarm goes off, you won’t want to get up but you’re going to anyways. Expect that you won’t want to do it and be okay with feeling that and moving forward anyway.

4. Courtesy of Mel Robbins–The 5 Second Rule
– When you don’t want to do something you have planned, count down from five to one. When you get to one, get up and do it. This psychologically helps the brain prepare for what is coming.

Trusting ourselves is a choice and a skill. It is something we should practice every day. Bettering this skill will literally start to change your life. If you’re ready to start building this skill and take control of your life, schedule your free session with me. I can help you.

Listening to Yourself

Some say people who talk to themselves are crazy. I completely disagree. I think people who talk to themselves are smart. Why? Because this is how you get the opportunity to challenge unhelpful beliefs.

I’m not a huge fan of social media. It takes away time with the endless scroll. I love seeing what people are up to, but most of the time I’m so locked into the scroll of “what’s next” I don’t interact much. And I find myself having less and less desire to post.

But those who know about starting a business, social media networking can be a HUGE component to business strategy in providing value to customers ahead of time. For the last few weeks, I’ve been torn between two opposing concepts—being authentic and doing something even though it doesn’t feel good. I’m a fan of both those concepts, but it led me into a lot of decision fatigue.

I decided to bring the situation to one of my coaches to get coaching. The conversation led me to a few A-HA! moments:
(1) The path looks different for everyone (aka there really isn’t a right way to do something vs a wrong way);
(2) My focus needs to come back to my strengths;
(3) It’s not only important to talk to yourself but take the time to listen;
(4) I’m already doing a lot of things besides social media;
(5) I stopped trusting myself.

Because my focus was on finding the “right way” and how that went against my strengths, I wasn’t open to really listening to my own inner wisdom. Social Media isn’t my only platform to provide value to people—I have my podcast, this blog, one-on-one conversations, group meetups and coffee dates. Sure, there are things I can tweak to make better and ultimately create a bigger impact, but that doesn’t mean all of that work and connection has gone to waste.

After the coaching session, I sat and just listened at the thoughts running through my head. It was amazing to me how much more open my mind was to ideas and solutions. My self-talk became more positive, and I felt a spark reignite within myself as I remembered that I really can trust myself.

The next time you’re having a hard time making a decision or feel torn, I invite you to write out the thoughts going through your mind to get them out, and then taking a few minutes to listen—whether you believe it’s your higher self, Universe, or God(s) of your choosing—just listen. Listen with an open heart and see what thoughts start to run through your mind. Look for trends or patterns as they can give you even more insight as single thoughts turn into ideas, ideas turn into beliefs, and beliefs turn into results.

Do this without asking other people for their opinions or thoughts. Learn to trust yourself before you get results (this is what keeps you going), so that when you do get the desired result it’s just more evidence of that self-trust. It all starts with listening to yourself.