How to Be Courageous Enough to Set Strong Emotional Boundaries
When was the last time you were asked to do something that you didn’t want to do, and you did it anyway? Your intuition or gut screams “no”, but you push ahead, and when you do, what happens? You feel used, unappreciated, undervalued. Your anxiety, frustration and anger rise.
Why do we do that to ourselves? When we do it, we’re not happy. And the people we’re interacting with won’t be happy either, because we begrudge every moment. It doesn’t allow us to be wholeheartedly present and joyful.
This unhappy chain of events begins with not recognizing and honoring emotions. Yes, you felt a push back to the request, but that’s not the emotions I’m referring to. I mean the emotions that made your heart pound and your stomach clench so that you were unable to say “No!”
Why do some people become people-pleasers? Is it because they hate confrontation and they don’t feel strong enough to speak their truth? Is it because they don’t want to let anyone down? Is it that they are afraid they won’t be liked or accepted anymore?
To gain greater awareness of these deeply held emotions, it takes willingness to be present with the pain, the guilt, the shame, the fear, and the discomfort. It means admitting your vulnerability. And it’s scary to dive that deeply into your emotions. But be assured that from such vulnerability arises the internal harmony, strength, conviction, ideals and values you’ll need to set realistic emotional boundaries.
Does the thought of setting emotional boundaries intimidate or scare you? Perhaps you believe that boundaries scare people away. And you’re afraid of being excluded and alone.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Emotional boundaries are a form of empowerment, strength, and a way for you to align with your true self. If you don’t have boundaries, you’re sending the message that you don’t care, that you don’t know what you want, that you’re desperate to take whatever you can get, and that you won’t put up a fight. No one feels good being a doormat like that.
Setting personal boundaries is a form of self-respect and self-love. By respecting yourself enough to set necessary boundaries in your life, you’ll gain the respect of others and discover a unique freedom and peace of mind.
Clearly define your emotional boundaries and stick to them. If you wish to establish more healthy boundaries in your life, here are a few helpful tips for you:
- Acknowledge that you don’t have to be superwoman.
- Recognize your limits: you can’t and shouldn’t do everything.
- Know that your limits don’t define who you are, just what you chose to do.
- Do well what you can, let someone else do the rest.
- Remember that it’s okay to say no.
- Reconnect with or discover what you want out of life.
- Clearly define your ideals and values.
- Reevaluate the list of the things you will or will not tolerate in your life.
- Write a sticky note giving you permission to feel your emotions and say “no”.
- Discuss your intentions with an accountability partner.
- Trust that the right people will stick with you no matter what.
It takes courage and a lot of internal work to set emotional boundaries. If you crave that kind of courage and peace of mind, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to provide guidance and accountability in support of your quest for a more fulfilling life.