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Learning how to set boundaries is a skill that can profoundly impact our lives. Whether you struggle with saying “no,” you feel overwhelmed by the demands of others, or simply want to enhance your relationships and personal well-being, this episode will empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to set boundaries as an act of self-care.

Boundaries act as protective barriers that guard our precious time, energy, and well-being. In this episode, I share some of the signs of poor boundaries and why a lack of boundaries often leads to stress, burnout and feelings of resentment.

I share some insights on how to establish healthy boundaries with friends, family, and colleagues, as well as boundaries with yourself, which are essential for building self-trust and self-esteem. We’ll explore the nuances of effective boundary communication, emphasising that boundaries are about protecting ourselves, not controlling others. You’ll also learn how to handle potential resistance and discomfort from those around you when you put boundaries in place.

Self-awareness is the first step in any change. We need to become aware of where we’re leaking our time and energy and where we could benefit from firmer boundaries. In this episode, I’ll guide you through a beautiful exercise that you can do at home to help build self-awareness and ensure you have enough time, attention and energy for the things that are important to you.

For those who are sensitive to the emotions of others, maintaining energetic and emotional boundaries is crucial. In this episode, I’ll also guide you through a visualisation technique to protect your emotional energy and shield you against external influences.

So if you feel like you don’t have enough time to fill your own cup, perhaps you’re in need of some firmer boundaries. I hope this episode inspires you to say “yes” to yourself and start living a life that aligns with your values and aspirations.

If you’d like to make a small contribution to the podcast production costs, you can donate here

00:00:00] Monica: Welcome, friend. Today’s episode is all about boundaries and why they’re so important for our self care and the key to avoiding burnout. But before we begin, let’s take a long, slow exhale.

[00:01:22] Now, today’s topic is one that’s close to my heart. I’m a recovering people pleaser, and I only really began learning about boundaries when I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2015.

[00:01:35] And for the first time in my life, I was forced to put myself first and learn how to say no to other people. And I can honestly say that boundaries make life and relationships so much easier.

[00:01:48] Just like we have a fence around our garden to distinguish our property, boundaries establish what we’re responsible for. But rather than a fence to keep people out, think of boundaries as a loving layer of protection for yourself. Boundaries aren’t about controlling other people, they’re about us. And boundaries define what we’re responsible for.

[00:02:14] They also define what behaviours we find acceptable. And boundaries are how we protect our time and energy for the things that are really important to us. So why are boundaries important? We have a finite amount of time and energy each day. And each of us has a unique set of values and activities that are important to us.

[00:02:37] And if we don’t have the time and energy for the things we value, and the things that we consider important, we’ll feel unfulfilled in life. When we lack boundaries, we can have a really hard time prioritising our needs over others. We can get stuck saying yes when we really want to say no, because we don’t want to let other people down, we don’t want to seem selfish, we don’t want to rock the boat or look like a bitch.

[00:03:04] And from time to time this is okay, but if it becomes the norm for us to place others needs ahead of our own,

[00:03:13] We’ll find that we spend our time and energy on things that just aren’t important to us and our values and goals are neglected. Physically, a lack of boundaries can cause exhaustion and burnout. Because we spend our time dealing with other people’s responsibilities, we might lack the time and energy for our own self care.

[00:03:31] So for example, if you’ve had a really busy week at work, you might end up neglecting your exercise, you might eat poorly, you might not get enough sleep. We can end up sacrificing our own health and well being for other people. Now, emotionally, a lack of boundaries can lead to stress and resentment. When we feel resentment, it’s always a sign that we’ve lacked a boundary.

[00:03:56] When we go above and beyond to help other people, we often assume that they’re going to return the favor, and sometimes they don’t. And people without boundaries often find that there’s no one available to help them in their time of need, and this can cause a whole lot of resentment. And when we become over responsible for other people’s lives, we tend to become under responsible.

[00:04:23] We neglect the things that are important to us, such as our health, our goals, our priorities, and our dreams. And left unchecked, a life without boundaries can mean that we end up living other people’s lives, and we never have the time or energy to pursue our goals and dreams. In the short term, this can cause burnout and resentment.

[00:04:45] But in the long term, it can lead to depression. So why do we struggle with boundaries? Well, first of all, there’s no education on mental and emotional health, so we only learn this stuff when we need it. No one taught us this. And usually it’s our parents that role model healthy boundaries, or we learn by observation.

[00:05:06] But not all parents have sound boundaries, and sometimes they can model unhealthy patterns. A deeper reason we may struggle to set boundaries is that It requires a really healthy dose of self esteem. It can be a real challenge to speak up for ourselves and express our needs. And if our self esteem is conditional on other people liking us, we may become people pleasers in order to be liked and consider ourselves worthy.

[00:05:32] If we fall into the category of being a people pleaser, we can often have a hard time saying no to others and speaking up when we disagree. People pleasers often avoid conflict and just do what it takes to fit in. And this can also be the result of past trauma where we learned that in order to protect ourselves from an unsafe environment, it was better to avoid conflict or disagreement.

[00:05:55] Now the really good news is that boundaries are a skill that can be learned. And it’s never too late to practice to protect our time and energy for what’s important. Better boundaries can stop us from over giving, over committing, over working, and being overly responsible for other people. So how do you know if you have poor boundaries?

[00:06:19] Here are some signs, and you might want to count them on your hand as I read them out. First one is you say yes when you want to say no, and you’re constantly doing things that you don’t want to do. You allow other people to take advantage of your time, energy, or money because you can’t say no. You go over and above to help other people at your own inconvenience.

[00:06:42] Often over giving and putting other people’s needs ahead of your own. You’re exhausted from staying late at work, getting up early and spending your free time supporting others. You feel guilty for not doing enough. You feel resentment that other people aren’t respecting your time and energy or returning the favour.

[00:07:01] You take on other people’s problems. You become over responsible. You perform excessive emotional labour. And you do that for a need to feel needed. or a need to feel important. You take responsibility for how other people feel, and you adjust your behavior to make them feel better. You can’t make your own decisions without checking the opinion of somebody else.

[00:07:26] This often means that we end up doing what other people want. You feel hard done by and that people don’t respect or appreciate you. You’re overly concerned with what other people think of you. And your own projects, your own passions and hobbies are neglected because you never have the time or energy for it.

[00:07:44] So they’re just some examples of poor boundaries and it’s okay as I was going through that list if you ticked all of those boxes. I certainly did. There’s no shame in here recognizing that boundaries is something that you lack. But once we learn. The importance of boundaries. Once we know better, we can do better.

[00:08:07] And I had a client who was a busy mum with her own business. She was always being invited to school events. She took on extra work in her business and she tried to help everyone she met. And she would be the first person to volunteer for everything, to raise her hand to help out. But she also suffered from really bad migraines.

[00:08:29] And she would have a couple of days each month where she was bedridden and unable to do anything. And she’d be wracked with guilt about all the people that she’d let down. She really struggled to say no, she never had any time for herself, and she didn’t have the quiet family time that she craved.

[00:08:46] Everything was over scheduled. Everything was hurried. She learned to say no to things she didn’t want to do, but she felt guilty and had to make up really elaborate excuses why she couldn’t do the tuck shop or participate in the school event. And I reminded her that she could just say no, sorry, I’m not available.

[00:09:05] Once she learned to say no, her migraines really reduced. She realized that her body was saying no on her behalf because she couldn’t. And she learned how to check in with her body on which requests to say yes or no to. And now she enjoys more quiet time, more time for her own self care. But really importantly, she has a lot fewer headaches and migraines because she’s learned to say no without feeling guilty.

[00:09:33] And the key lesson here is, if we don’t say no to others, our body will say it for us. We either risk letting someone else down, or we let ourselves down. And I have this problem too, I might agree to do something, but when the time comes to do that thing, my body creates a headache or some other physical sign of resistance.

[00:09:56] If I ever feel resentful for saying yes, or if I say yes and then spend hours trying to figure out how to get out of the commitment, then I know I needed to say no. It’s not easy to say no, but it helps to remember that If we say yes to a request, it often means that we’re saying no to something else.

[00:10:16] And often that thing we’re saying no to is ourselves. I had another client who ran her own business and was exhausted and burnt out. Her business was successful but she was working 7 days a week and never took a holiday. She didn’t have any boundaries with her clients. She let them call her 24 7. She was always on and could never relax.

[00:10:39] And she really resented her clients calling her on weekends, yet she would still answer the phone. She allowed them to interrupt her weekends. And even though she was the boss and she could choose and dictate how and when she was in contact with her clients, she really struggled to put a boundary in place.

[00:10:57] And as a result, she was stressed and burnt out. there are different types of boundaries. So firstly, there’s physical boundaries. And with things like social distancing, people are much less likely to invade our personal space than they used to. If you’ve been to our yoga studio, you’ll see that we have this yellow tape on the floor.

[00:11:18] And even though it looks a bit ugly, clients love it because their space is defined and no one will encroach on their space. Before COVID, we didn’t have the floor marked out like this and some people would be space hogs and just take out five square meters while other people were crammed together. So physical boundaries includes our physical space and physical touch

[00:11:41] When I had breast cancer I had friends and acquaintances and even clients at my yoga studio that wanted to give me a big hug and that was Understandable people wanted to you know offer their support But it was physically painful, so I stepped back, put my hand in front of my chest, and said no. And I continue to do it today, and I’m proud to say that I’m not a hugger, and I know there’s lots of huggers out there, I know there’s lots of benefits from hugging.

[00:12:10] I only hug my family, and I have no qualms about saying no to a hug. But that’s just me, you might be a hugger, in which case go for it. But I stopped hugging clients and acquaintances years ago, and being a highly sensitive person, being someone with a sensitive nervous system, has actually done wonders for my energy.

[00:12:29] So if you’re a highly sensitive person too, or if you’re an empath, you might want to place some limits on physical touch. Now work boundaries are a category of their own, and this is where many of us struggle. And if we lack work boundaries, we might find ourselves working 24 7. really important to separate work time from home time, especially if you work from home.

[00:12:55] I used to do all my work on the kitchen bench until I realized that my computer and papers were always here, which meant I could never relax. Once I set up a separate office, it was so much easier to close the door at the end of the day and create some separation between my work and home life. owning a business, like a lot of jobs, means the work is never done.

[00:13:16] There is always something to do. So I have to be really deliberate about switching off at the end of the day, about switching off on my days off, and not just randomly checking emails on my days off. Now, does your work require you to be on call after hours? If not, you have the right to turn your phone off and ignore emails outside of work hours.

[00:13:39] If you have trouble with unrealistic work deadlines and expectations, A boundary could really help you here. So if we’re conscientious and a people pleaser, managers will often allocate us tasks and projects because we’ve got a reputation for getting things done. The poor performer in the office rarely gets allocated as much work.

[00:14:01] And there’s that old saying that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. So if you realize you have too much work on your plate, it’s up to you to discuss priorities with your boss. If they give you an extra task and you’re already at capacity, it’s your responsibility to communicate that and clarify which work is deprioritized.

[00:14:22] And it’s important to remember, especially at work, that people aren’t mind readers. And if we don’t say anything, people will assume we’re okay with it and it will keep happening. Another work boundary is keeping your personal life private. Now a lot of us make great friends with our work colleagues, but sometimes that can be problematic if our personal challenges interfere with our work.

[00:14:44] So you might decide to set some boundaries with your work colleagues about how much time you spend with them outside of work and how much personal information you share with them. if people ask you personal questions that you’re not comfortable answering, you can always respond with, I keep my personal life private.

[00:15:00] Now perhaps there’s a colleague who demands too much of your time and attention. Maybe you feel over responsible for other people in the workplace, and you help them with their work and their personal problems. And this can become problematic if you’re sacrificing your own work, your own time and energy.

[00:15:18] It’s really important to find a balance, but if we don’t have the time for our work, or the quiet time to do the deep thinking, you might need a boundary. I had a client who was a solicitor, and she was very driven to help others. And as a result, all the junior lawyers in her office would go to her for advice, and she would help them with their legal work.

[00:15:39] And this meant that her own work suffered, and she had to work back till 9pm most nights to get her own work done. She really needed quiet time to think and analyze and couldn’t do it when she was constantly being disrupted. So she put in a request at work to have two half days working in the office with the door shut, where no one could disturb her, so she could get that deep thinking work done.

[00:16:01] A key takeaway is that it’s up to us to set and communicate our boundaries. If we’ve lacked boundaries, other people will feel entitled to our time, our energy, and our personal information. And it’s not their fault. We don’t need to be mad with them. We just need to take responsibility for our side of the fence and learn how to communicate our boundaries.

[00:16:23] Because if we don’t, we’re likely to burn out. Now, boundaries with our friends, family, and partner. So healthy relationships require communication and the occasional compromise. And this can be the area that’s most challenging to set and uphold boundaries. When we express boundaries with our friends and family, we’re really communicating what’s important to us and what we need.

[00:16:50] We’re also communicating what’s acceptable and what’s not. And here’s some examples for you. Importantly they’re not suggestions, this is not advice, you need to find out what’s important to you. So communication, here’s an example. You might find swearing offensive. In which case you ask your friends and family not to swear around you.

[00:17:13] You might have a fear of conflict, so any yelling or people raising their voice freaks you out. It’s important to communicate these things with our loved ones. So for example, my partner and I agree that we don’t swear at each other. Time. You might have people in your life who can call you 24 7, but there might be that old friend who keeps calling you at midnight with their latest drama, whilst you have to get up early for work the next day.

[00:17:38] Other people might expect us to drop everything we’re doing to support them. So it’s important to have some boundaries here about when and how much you’re available for these types of requests. Privacy is a big one. You might need to tell your friends or family that your conversations are private. And if they share your personal problems with others, you’ll stop sharing with them.

[00:18:03] Communicate how you want to be treated. So if your friend is always late or always talks about themselves or always expects you to pay the bill, you might limit how much time you spend with them.

[00:18:15] Conversation topics. You might tell your friends or family that you don’t want to talk about a work or a sensitive issue. And this is okay to let people know what topics are out of bounds. as an example, When my dad died back in 2016, I took a month off work just to grieve, and I just wasn’t in the headspace to deal with people.

[00:18:38] And when I returned to work, I asked my clients and my team not to give me their condolences or ask how I was doing, because it would just make me cry and it would be too hard to focus on work. So I put a request out there, I put a boundary saying, Hey. I’m not available to talk about this and it really helped me to get back to work after such a devastating loss.

[00:19:00] So you might not want to talk about your relationship, your finances, your health, you might want to talk about politics or religion. You can set boundaries about what you’re willing to talk about. And especially around Christmas, when spending time with family, we can get sucked into all sorts of conversations if we lack boundaries.

[00:19:21] And there are some people that really love drama and conflict, it excites them, it energizes them. They may enjoy talking about polarizing or highly charged topics. So notice if you have these people in your life. And remember, you can set boundaries about whether you want to argue or debate certain issues.

[00:19:40] You can choose your battles to protect your time and energy. Another one is unsolicited advice. So it’s up to you whether you take on unsolicited advice. You don’t have to listen to anyone. You can choose whether you take on board their feedback. I had lots of unsolicited advice when I was pregnant, and it was mostly negative, and I just ignored it.

[00:20:03] I consciously chose to block out that negativity, and just said thanks, and ignored it. You might decide to only take health advice from doctors, or only take career or financial advice from experts.

[00:20:16] Thanks for watching! Notice if your friends are giving you unsolicited advice about your relationship, or your health, or your finances, you might want to choose to say no to that.

[00:20:26] Now, self awareness is the first step in any change. We need to become aware of where we’re leaking our time and energy, and where we could benefit from firmer boundaries. So we’re going to do a little exercise now, so if you’re driving you can skip this bit, but if you are at home, if you’re in a relaxed place, just close your eyes and connect to your breath,

[00:20:49] and start making your exhales twice as long as your inhales.

[00:21:03] Now imagine looking down at yourself from above, seeing yourself in a picture,

[00:21:12] and as you look down on yourself from above, imagine playing a movie in your mind of the last week. Imagine watching yourself as you go about your week.

[00:21:27] Watch yourself wake up in the morning, watch as you go about your morning routine, watch as you go about your day,

[00:21:43] notice how you interact with other people,

[00:21:52] notice yourself in the

[00:21:57] And see yourself going to bed.

[00:22:02] And as you look down on your week, notice where you spend your time and energy. Remember we have a finite amount of time and energy.

[00:22:21] And as you look down on your week from above, notice where you’re leaking energy, or spending more energy than you want to.

[00:22:35] Notice who you’re giving your time, energy and attention to.

[00:22:46] Notice where you’re spending more time, energy or awareness than you would like.

[00:22:57] Notice which areas of your life aren’t getting enough time, attention, or energy.

[00:23:10] Notice how it feels to leak energy.

[00:23:21] Notice where you’re being over responsible, or where you might be over giving.

[00:23:32] Notice if you’re getting overly involved in other people’s business.

[00:23:42] Notice if there are people in your life that are draining your energy.

[00:23:52] And notice the people in your life that give you energy.

[00:24:02] Notice how much time in your day you spend thinking about other people’s problems. Or wondering what other people think about you.

[00:24:15] Really getting a sense of where your energy goes, where your attention goes, where your time goes during the week.

[00:24:26] And when you’re ready you can open your eyes. It can be a bit weird or confronting to watch our mental movie and see how we’re spending our time and energy. But, putting boundaries in place with ourselves and other people can plug up those energy leaks and ensure that we have enough time, attention and energy for the things that are important to us.

[00:24:49] And now that we’ve identified the areas in our life which need boundaries, the next step is learning how to communicate our boundaries. Now there are three keys to healthy boundaries, and we must have all three. So firstly, boundaries are established to protect you. Not to hurt other people. Boundaries are about us.

[00:25:10] They’re not about punishing or controlling other people. And this is really important. So if our boundaries are communicated in a way that other people feel punished or controlled they’re likely to feel upset and it might cause an argument. And when you communicate your boundaries Use Language that’s non violent.

[00:25:29] Use language that’s non violent. Use language that is really focused on your needs rather than controlling other people’s behavior. The second key to boundaries is they must be communicated. Often, we have a boundary in our head, but we fail to communicate it to the other person, and when they cross that boundary, we might feel angry or resentful, but it’s our fault if we didn’t communicate it.

[00:25:55] Silent boundaries don’t work. We need to be able to tell other people how to treat us, the type of behavior we find acceptable, and what’s not acceptable. And we need to communicate the consequences. So, for example, if you’ve got a friend who’s always complaining, you can say to them, Look, I’m not available for all of this complaining and if it continues, I’m just going to end the conversation.

[00:26:21] The third key is that we must be willing to uphold or enforce the boundary. Boundaries need consequences. It’s not a boundary if it’s not enforced. Other people need to know that you’re serious and that you won’t flex your boundary at every request. So those three keys are boundaries are established to protect us.

[00:26:42] They’re not about controlling other people Boundaries must be communicated and we must be willing to uphold or enforce the boundary So when you’re thinking about boundaries, we really have two choices We either set a boundary and risk upsetting somebody else Or we don’t set the boundary and we risk upsetting ourselves in terms of stress, burnout, exhaustion, and resentment.

[00:27:09] it’s normal to worry about other people’s reaction to our boundaries. It’s normal to wonder if they think I’ll be a bitch, will they think I’m selfish, will they hate me? But remember this, the people who benefited from you not having any boundaries will be the ones who complain when you set them.

[00:27:27] So, when I first opened the yoga studio, I used to keep the doors unlocked for late comers. And some people would come to class 20 minutes late, they’d be really loud, they’d talk on their phone, and they’d disrupt all the other people in the class. We also used to have people come in from the street and steal stuff from downstairs.

[00:27:45] So when I communicated the studio boundary that the doors would be locked from the start of the class, there was so much pushback from people who were used to showing up late. I got all sorts of nasty messages, and people would even bang on the door really loudly hoping somebody would let them in. But if I flexed my boundaries, it would disturb all the people who did turn up on time.

[00:28:08] It would teach people that I don’t hold my word. And also taught people what to expect when they practice at the studio. We teach people how to treat us, and by upholding the boundary, the people who are always late, they learn to arrive on time.

[00:28:22] So, how to say no to requests for your time, energy, or resources. So while no is a complete sentence, some of us feel guilty for saying no, so having a reason to support our no can make it a little bit easier. So here’s some suggestions for you. I’d love to, but I’m busy. No, I don’t have capacity right now.

[00:28:45] Thanks for inviting me, but I’m not available. Thanks for thinking of me, but it’s not my thing. Thanks for considering me, but I’m over committed right now. I can’t right now, I’m focused on this other thing. I’d love to, but can we arrange for another time? And here’s some suggestions for boundaries at work.

[00:29:07] If I undertake this work, I’ll need to stop something else. Can you let me know what you don’t need? I can do this, but I’ll need to delegate my work to someone else. Can you suggest who can take on my work? Which of my current tasks would you like me to stop so I can do this work? I need some quiet time to concentrate on this important activity.

[00:29:28] Can I request that you don’t disturb me? I need to focus on my work right now, can we talk in our break instead?

[00:29:34] So some of the challenges that we can have with setting boundaries are that we feel guilty for being mean. And if we’ve been a people pleaser and we’ve always said yes, we might feel really guilty or mean when we start communicating our boundaries. Boundaries aren’t easy, that’s why a lot of people don’t have them.

[00:29:54] Setting boundaries can be a really awkward conversation, but life is so much easier with healthy boundaries. You can be a kind person, you can be a good person, and still have boundaries. Saying no doesn’t make you a bitch. The second thing to remember is that boundaries might upset people. The people who’ve benefited the most from our lack of boundaries will be the ones most offended when we set them.

[00:30:21] But remember boundaries are about protecting our time and energy. And there might be an adjustment period as people get used to our new boundaries, but if they continue to cross your boundaries, they’re disrespecting you. Now, sometimes we can be too harsh or strict, so start gently. You can always firm up, but if we go too hard and have to backtrack, it might look like we don’t stick to our word.

[00:30:46] Address one boundary at a time. So if you decide to set boundaries in every area of your life with every friend, you’re gonna make it really hard for yourself and get a lot of pushback. Try to start with just one area or one person in your life that’s leaking the most energy. And practice makes perfect, so start small.

[00:31:05] And as you gain confidence, you can tackle the bigger issues.

[00:31:08] And finally, have compassion for yourself. When we first learn about boundary setting and we realize that we’ve tolerated poor treatment, we can be really hard on ourselves. And that’s just not necessary. When we know better, we do better. And we can’t help the things that we weren’t aware of in our past.

[00:31:28] Now, here’s a topic that might not be relevant to all of you, but I know some of you right now will be really interested in this. And this is energetic or emotional boundaries for sensitive people. So you might be sensitive to the emotions of other people and just know what other people are feeling. And while this sensitivity is a gift, it can also be a burden if we take on other people’s emotions.

[00:31:55] If you identify as an empath, if you’re a highly sensitive person, or if you just tend to feel other people’s emotional states, keep listening. So one way that you can protect your energy so that you’re less affected by others is to work on your energetic boundary or force field. I’m going to guide you through an exercise now, so if you’re able to, close your eyes and relax.

[00:32:22] Take a few long, slow exhales.

[00:32:31] And imagine a beam of light from above, connecting into the top of your head, running all the way down your spine, extending down into the ground and into the earth beneath you. And as you inhale, draw this light and energy into your spine, like you’re charging up with electricity. And as you exhale, expand that light and energy outward into the rest of your body.

[00:33:02] As you inhale, draw light and energy into your spine. And as you exhale, expand that light and energy outward.

[00:33:15] Inhale, draw the energy into your spine like you’re charging up with electricity. And as you exhale, fill your whole body with light and energy.

[00:33:29] And then keep expanding that energy outward. Let it extend beyond the skin. Let it extend about an arm’s length distance around your body, like an egg shape, your energetic force field.

[00:33:47] And imagine that nothing can enter your force field without your permission. Other people’s opinions, criticism, other people’s emotions can stay on the other side of your force field. You choose what you allow in.

[00:34:07] And I recommend feeling into your force field at the start of each day before you leave the house. Really charging up your energy and expanding it outwards. As a way to create an energetic barrier, so you don’t pick up other people’s emotions. Now another important topic is having boundaries with ourself.

[00:34:28] So if we have boundary issues with other people, we’re much more likely to have them with ourselves too. And when we break a promise to ourselves, we erode our self trust and self esteem. Boundaries help us to monitor our own behaviour and create a healthy structure for our lives. We set boundaries because we love and respect ourselves.

[00:34:54] and to keep us safe and healthy. Boundaries keep our lives running smoothly and help us to live in accordance with our values. So here are some examples of self boundaries. They’re not suggestions, it’s not advice, it’s just examples so you know what I’m talking about. Limiting time on social media or unfollowing accounts that don’t feel good.

[00:35:16] Sticking to a bedtime. Honouring the commitments you made to yourself. For example, leaving work on time or not checking work emails on weekends. Protecting your downtime and self care, sticking to your budget,

[00:35:33] and the last one is not following your ex or enemies on social media. So sometimes we bend our own boundaries so that we feel nice, so that we appear nice or likeable. And people pleasing is a form of manipulation, it’s controlling a situation to manipulate how other people perceive us. It’s really not healthy.

[00:35:57] And it can keep us stuck in a state of victimhood. And failing to establish or uphold boundaries is how we abandon ourselves. And we abandon ourselves and our own needs when we put the needs of others ahead of our own. We can get so involved in other people’s business as a way of avoiding our own issues.

[00:36:16] So, boundaries create structure in our lives and support us to live our values. Boundaries are a skill that require practice. And before agreeing to a request, notice how your body feels. Does it clench and tighten? If so, that’s a no.

[00:36:36] So finally, some tips for setting boundaries. Remember that no is a complete sentence. We don’t have to justify why we don’t want to do something, we can just say no, I don’t want to. Our boundaries are designed to protect us. How other people react to our boundaries is their business. It’s normal to experience resistance from other people.

[00:37:00] And setting boundaries will be really uncomfortable at first. That’s probably the reason we’ve avoided setting boundaries and preferred to be passive instead. But when I struggle with boundaries, I ask myself this question. Would I rather risk upsetting them, or would I rather feel tense, resentful and upset myself?

[00:37:19] Now I’ll leave you with a final thought. When you say yes to something, it often means saying no to something else. Make sure you’re not saying no to yourself, your health, your goals and your dreams.