This week on the Show Yourself Some Love (SYSL) Sesh #5 - we are going to talk BOUNDARIES. This year I have been SCHOOLED in this subject and I am excited to share with you some of the things I have learned.
I don't like conflict. No, that's an understatement. I despise conflict and for most of my life have spent most of my time with my mouth shut avoiding confrontation at ALL COSTS. I have been the yes-girl, with no opinion, and never anything to say. Only in the most desperate of moments have I had the courage to stand up for myself and speak my mind. But this is what I have learned...
If you avoid conflict to keep the peace, you start a war inside yourself.
Brene' Brown says, "Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. We can't base our own worthiness on others' approval (and this is coming from someone who spent years trying to please everyone!). Only when we believe, deep down, that we are enough can we say 'Enough!'"
It is deeply engrained in us (especially women) to say yes, yes, yes to everyone and give until we want to rip our hair out from exhaustion and stress. Then we resent the people that are constantly taking and BURN-OUT. Literally. Relationships that could have been saved and feelings that could have been shared are lost when boundaries are not put into place and respected.
Boundaries are not steel walls devised to keep people out. They are the front door that gives you the opportunity to let people know what you expect if they would like to come inside.
When you give someone a boundary you are showing them that you love yourself enough to speak your mind and that you value the relationship enough to let them know how you feel. You are asking for what you need. You are admitting you can't do everything. You are being HONEST.
Being honest and vulnerable are the only ways to have meaningful relationships.
But wait... that sounds scary.... and yeah, there are some risks...
- People might not like us.
- We might be distanced from a group.
- We might lose one or more of our relationships.
- People might say we've changed and get angry.
BUT.... there are SO MANY benefits!
- We let go of the stress that we are not enough.
- We can relax in our private moments and feel at peace with ourselves instead of constantly worrying how we are going to keep up the pretense of something we're not.
- We stop resenting the people around us.
- People will show us respect.
- People who leave our life weren't good for us anyway.
- We make room for the people who will love the real us.
- We form deeper, more authentic and meaningful relationships.
When we show love and compassion to ourselves we can more fully give those things to others. When we set boundaries we can start really believing that people are truly doing the best they can.
HOW do you do this?
1. Make the choice right now. Remember in elementary school when they told us to make the choice now to say no to drugs. The same thing applies here. Make a commitment right now to choose discomfort over resentment. Say yes when it feels good and give yourself permission to say no when you need to.
2. Write it down. When you feel yourself resenting someone or are pacing back and forth holding back the cuss words, stop and write down your feelings. This will help you recognize what you're actually feeling and what caused the anger so you can remember to set the boundary next time.
3. Practice. It might sound silly, but kind of like making the choice now, practice out loud saying no. Form the expression you would like to use so when that uncomfortable moment comes when you have to make a choice you already have the words to express your boundary in a kind, loving way.
It takes some work, but it is SO WORTH IT!