Do you ever say YES when you want to say NO?
Do you ever feel like other people are sucking the energy out of you?
Do you people please?
If you answered YES to at least a few of these questions, your boundary-setting “muscles” could use a workout.
Whether you let your mother in-law push your buttons, your boss to scare you, your smartphone to abuse you, or your kid’s school to take advantage of you, you can develop stronger boundaries and feel more in alignment with your personal power and who you really are.
Boundaries define what is you and what is not you, and they lead to a sense of ownership. When you know where you end and someone else begins, you can take responsibility for your actions, feelings, and behaviors, and release responsibility for their actions, feelings, and behaviors.
If this message speaks to you, I want to take you through a process of setting stronger boundaries in an unconventional way.
Should we get started, beloved?
First, choose one boundary-related issue you want to work on first.
Setting boundaries takes practice. You want to start setting boundaries where you need them the most.
Ask yourself: What is the one area or challenge in my life that, once I shift to stronger boundaries, will make me feel much better or will make a big difference in my life?
Here are 5 options of boundary-related issues, to help you choose:
- Setting stronger boundaries with yourself (such as: self-care, boundaries with food, protecting your energy)
- Setting stronger boundaries in relationships
- Setting stronger boundaries with time
- Setting stronger boundaries with technology and the digital world
- Setting stronger boundaries with work
Once you chose one area you want to focus on, start taking the following action.
5 simple actions you can take NOW to create stronger boundaries
- Meet your blocks
The next step is to identify your current beliefs and tendencies that prevent you from setting boundaries with the specific challenge you chose to work on. When triggered, we all drop into our default reactions. For example, when your mother in-law pushes your buttons, you automatically feel not good enough. When you want to go to bed, and anxiety suddenly takes over, you automatically escape to your smartphone and turn to social media. When you feel the pressure of time, procrastinating is second nature to you—even when you know that it’s the opposite of what you need.
Think about the specific situation you chose to work on. When you are triggered and in your absolute worst moment, what would the voice in your head say? What is a past belief that is still present?
Write it down.
- Create a stop/start list to make your boundaries stronger
Ready to shift to a place that feels more in alignment with who you really are? Ready to stop giving away your power? It’s time to come up with more supportive alternatives.
You know that pleasing others all the time is not healthy for you. You know that your phone addiction doesn’t serve you. Remember to focus on one thing. Ask yourself: What is the one thing I can STOP doing and one thing I can START doing right now to shift to stronger boundaries?
Examples: I’m going to STOP people-pleasing all the time and START saying “no,” so I can honor my own needs.
Make it practical:
- I’m going to STOP taking my phone to bed and START reading a book so that I can transition to a better night’s sleep.
- I’m going to STOP doubting myself at work and START trusting my intuition so that I can show up more confident in my conversations with my boss.
- I’m going to STOP taking in the criticism I hear from_____ all the time and START limiting my conversations with him.
- I’m going to STOP taking in the criticism I hear from_____ all the time and START expressing how I feel more.
You eventually might want to add more items to your stop/start list, but for now, just focus on one. One boundary you want to develop. One thing you want to stop doing. One thing you want to start doing.
- Choose your boundary-setting style.
Look at the image of this blog article. Each part of the image represents a different way to create boundaries. Allow your inner wisdom to guide you. Which style resonates with you?
The Fence With a Gate Boundary
You don’t allow anybody to fence you in. You are the one who decides when to get behind the fence, and it is your responsibly to open or close the gate.
The Sidewalk Boundary
Stepping off the sidewalk curb into the street is easy, especially when you are a caring person. With this style of boundary, you ask yourself: How can I stay on my side of the street and take responsibility for how I feel rather than how others feel?
The Hula Hoop Boundary
The hula hoop boundary is a more playful one. There is movement and flexibility. This style fits situations where there is no need to set a firm boundary and lightening up can help you set a boundary with more ease. With the hula hoop around you, you can change everything inside the hula hoop, and release responsibility for whatever is outside it.
The Bubble Boundary
Visualize a vertical connection with the earth and the divine and create a bubble of protection around you to raise your vibration. Allow yourself the mental space you need to get in touch with your best self. When you place yourself in your bubble, it’s easier for you not to take in other people’s pain or negativity and to stay in your own personal power.
- FEEL your strong boundaries
You chose one boundary that you want to make stronger.
You created a stop/start list to start shifting that boundary from weak to strong.
You chose a boundary-setting style.
Now close your eyes.
Take a deep breath.
Imagine yourself in the boundary style you chose. Create a vertical connection with the earth and a bubble. Or visualize yourself standing on the sidewalk curb. Or move your body with the hula hoop around you. Or fence yourself in and close the gate. Bring the situation you chose to work on into your mind but stay strong in your boundary. How does it feel? What does it feel like to stay within your strong boundary?
Are you willing to feel safe? Peaceful? Relaxed? Maybe free? Grounded? Centered? Connected? Allow yourself to feel strong and safe within your boundaries.
Open your eyes.
Once you FEEL your stronger boundaries, it is easier for you to put them to action.
- Seek Wisdom: Collective Wisdom and Inner Wisdom
One of the most important aspects of the Beacons of Change method is having a structure that constantly helps you tap into collective wisdom and connect with your own inner wisdom. You have the answers within you. Higher guidance is always available for you. You simply need to seek it.
It is my passion and mission to create a safe space for women to seek wisdom. If you are interested in joining a sacred tribe who keeps seeking wisdom with me as their mentor, please join the Beacons of Change Online Sisterhood.
Let’s seek wisdom – together!