personal boundaries


Do you tolerate upsetting comments, back away from conflict or have a difficult time standing up for yourself?


Do you say yes, when you really want to say no?


Or, do you feel pushed and pulled in every direction — and completely consumed by all of the drama?


Is your work-life balance a little…unbalanced? Does it seem like you’re losing your sense of self?


Chances are, you need to get some rock solid personal boundaries in your life!


In essence, personal boundaries set an important space, line or divide between you and another person or situation in order to protect you — your time, energy, body, mind, emotions, privacy, safety and so on.


Boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we set to protect us from being manipulated, mistreated or disrespected and enable us to detach who we are and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others.


When we don’t maintain boundaries — whether it’s in our personal or professional lives — we lose our voice, our sense of identity and risk becoming drained, unfocused and unhappy. We take on too many responsibilities and unnecessary burdens.


Here are some simple steps you can take in order to take back your personal power, set or strengthen boundaries and become deeply grounded in who you are and what you need.


Develop Your Self-Awareness


In order to set healthy, productive personal boundaries, we must first know what we are feeling — and what needs attention. This might seem obvious, but the truth is that people with feeble boundaries can become so engrossed in other lives and situations that they lose touch with their own feelings.


Be curious about what you’re feeling, is it guilt, anger, sadness, overwhelm or loneliness? The more aware you are the easier it will be to identify the boundaries you need to put in place.


Identify When You’re Being Breached


Think about when you get these feelings. Does it happen repeatedly? Is there a pattern? What line has been crossed or blurred?  Where have you been unconsciously denied your needs and wants?


Is your work cutting into family time?


Are you pressured to do things for others?


Do you feel scared to say no to your boss?


Get Clear On Your Boundaries


Now that you’ve identified the problem areas, you can determine what you will no longer tolerate and begin to draw up some boundaries.


What action do you need to take in order to regain your personal power? To demand self-respect, create space or strengthen the buffers you already had in place? 


Do you need to quit working overtime or stop taking on extra clients?


Do you need to practice saying ‘no’?


Communicate Your Boundaries


Depending on the situation, you will either need to declare your boundary to another person or group, or simply take different action.


When communicating your personal boundaries — whether it’s a colleague, family member, friend or yourself — it’s important to be firm and confident.


Use simple, direct language to show your priorities have changed and that you’re taking care of your needs, right now. You may feel a little resistance or guilt, and some people will still continue to push the limits, test the waters and overstep the line — so be unshakeable in who you are and what you need.


Do you need to set or strengthen your personal boundaries?


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