TIME TO THRIVE BLOG
Set healthy boundaries and take control of your life
Do you mean YES when you say yes? Are you able to say NO when you mean no? A lot of us struggle with setting boundaries, especially when it’s about putting ourselves first and doing what is best for us.
Can you set limits and still be a loving person?
I’m sure many of you recognize this question. We’re brought up believing that we need to think of other peoples needs before our own, no wonder we’re afraid of setting limits and scared of being labeled as selfish.
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.
Boundaries impact all areas of our lives.
“Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances. Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions. Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.” – Boundaries, Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
How to set mental and emotional boundaries.
In most situations when I don’t feel good, it’s about me not setting clear boundaries. I’m often left with a feeling of not being myself and not being seen.
Instead of blaming others for not respecting what I need, I started to practice setting clear boundaries. If you want to live an authentic life and be who you are, setting clear boundaries is a good way to start.
How can we stay away from harmful emotions of others? How can we stay with our own thoughts and opinions?
– Identify your people. Does someone add energy to your life or do you feel drained after meeting her/him?
– Observe your physical reaction when you meet someone. Do you feel relaxed in their presence or are you tensing your body? Do you feel energized or drained?
– If someone wants your time or attention, ask yourself: Do you give because you really want to, or do you give because you’re afraid of the reaction when you would say no?
Practicing setting clear boundaries has been one of my hardest challenges over the last couple of years. I have taken the risk losing friends and clients and I have chocked and irritated some of the members in my family.
When you meet a person for the first time and you’re really showing your true self, saying yes when you mean yes, and saying no when you mean no, means the person gets to know your boundaries. That person might like you or not, but at least you let your true self be seen and he/she can easier respect your boundaries.
What I discovered as the biggest challenge is to express my boundaries to people who I already know.
Most of my friends, my spouse and colleagues, got to know me when I tried to please to be liked and when being liked was more important than being myself.
The people who are triggered by you setting boundaries, are the people who in the past benefited from your having none.
I see a strong connection between people who’re triggered by my setting boundaries and the ones who benefited from my not having any in the past.
The big mis-understanding.
Lately I have been called “cold”, “hard” and “selfish”.
Do you recognize this? When you start caring for yourself and your needs and finally learning to express your authentic self, then people call you selfish?
Setting boundaries means that you love yourself and respect your needs.
I believe that there is one common mis-understanding. A lot of people see loving oneself as selfish or self-centered. On the contrary, loving onerself deepens one’s ability to care for others.
Take the first step.
When you start to set healthy boundaries there will be people who you will trigger and irritate at first. Hopefully they will, with time, be able to learn something new about themselves.
First steps to set healthy boundaries:
– Clearly identify your boundaries.
– Don’t apologize or give long explanations.
– Use a calm tone of voice.
– Be straight forward.
– Don’t make it personal.
– Make sure you have support.
– Start with tighter boundaries, and then loosen up if you need to.
Coaching with me.
If you need help with identifying your boundaries and learning how to express your limits, check out my coaching packages here.
YES to healthy boundaries!
Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.
Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.
I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.
I’m happy you’re here!