Did you know, the way you behave teaches others how to behave towards you. If you always say yes, more is expected, if you constantly do that one extra thing for that client, that one more request for that family member, that one extra house job your partner hasn’t done. You teach people, more and more that those things are acceptable, ok, or even that you like them.
Healthy boundaries can help you improve your relationship with anything and anyone as well as give you back some vital space and energy,
Why is it like this?
Ages 0-7 years old our impressionable mind is conditioned and we take on stories/beliefs about our value and safety based on our early experiences during this time.
- We learn to judge our own value based on how parents, caregivers and others behave around us. We look to others to keep us safe and to protect us.
- We take on beliefs about how we should behave to have value, to get love and to feel belonging. We do this because we are programmed to feel that belonging in the family system as we link it to survival.
- We naturally disconnect and we look to our environment to dictate if we are safe or not, to check if we are valued.
As we grow, we unconsciously live by these stories of what keeps us safe and how we should behave to be valued and get our needs met.
For instance, if a certain behaviours at school gets you included in a group you get that sense of belonging and want to copy it again.
If you know that people are going to be late for you you learn to wait, accept lateness because you think that is part of the process.
BUT as we grow more and become more consciously aware of our own needs/aware of others’ values, a part of us holds onto these stories. This creates inner conflict- part of us wants to grow or change the old patterns that no longer serve us but we don’t know how, as our feeling of safety, belonging and value are threatened.
So what are boundaries then?
Boundaries are limits. They are us knowing the place for us between too much and not enough and getting that balance can be difficult. But it can also change. Boundaries you have set before may need flexing, changing. But it is all in how we TEACH…
- We teach PEOPLE how to treat us
- We teach MONEY how to treat us
- We teach FOOD/DRINK how to treat us
- We teach OUR BODY how to treat us
We interact with our environment from these childhood stories and create how we then experience all these things. So with any that are negative, no longer serving us or even damaging we need to create healthy boundaries for ourselves. Do this (and sticking to them) helps us experience more inner peace and compassion….
When can I use boundaries?
The short answer is every day, but that makes it sound very basic. You can use them to;
- Protect yourself
- Energize or preserve your energy
- Respect yourself
- Carve the future and day to day life you want for yourself
- Take care of your emotional/ mental/spiritual /physical wellbeing
- Value yourself, your body and your time.
How can that help how others treat me?
Boundaries help you to respect yourself, your values and your time, so you teach your partner and others in your life to treat you in the same way. It shows what you expect, how you need to be treated and how it can make a more positive impact on your life.
You start to show up differently, you have more energy and confidence and people like that, they see that (remember we are all mirrors) and they will reflect that back to you.
Where in our life can we set/implement boundaries?
- Physical – I will workout in a way I enjoy and eat well most days.
- Emotional – I will not stay in a relationship with someone who is romantically involved with someone else
- Sexual– I will have sex only when I want to (not because I think I should, to please somebody else)
- Intellectual – I’m willing to learn things that interest me, that I believe will benefit me. Anything outside of that I will decide how much time and energy I give to it.
- Material– I will have a hotel room to myself, not share with a friend
- Financial– I will save 10% of my income to invest in my future.
- Time– I won’t work on weekends and will take minimum 30mins for myself every day.
Write your boundaries. Think about the areas in your life which cause you stress and make you feel uncomfortable then as I’ve done in the list above- make some small commitments to yourself. Get them on a wall, in your phone even on a note in a place you see every day until they become natural, daily habits and boundaries.
If you like the idea of feeling free from some of the stresses of life and want support with setting those boundaries, let’s jump on a call and see what we come up with. Book now, for free using the link below. I can’t wait to catch up with you.