Boundaries are a way of communicating with ourselves and with others, boundaries express what is ok behaviour and treatment and what is not ok.
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!”
Why Do I Need Boundaries?
Boundaries allow us to say “no” to someone or something so we can say “YES” to something or someone else. We can create boundaries with ourselves to preserve our energy and improve our quality of life boundaries help with anxiety, depression, relationship building, healing from trauma and more.
Examples of Boundaries:
Personal Boundary: “I choose to spend no more than 2 hours a day on social media so I can spend more time with my family”
Boundary with Self and Others: “I respectfully decline any work that would have me at the office later than 8pm as this was not in my contract. I do this so I can preserve my energy that allows me to perform more optimally at work and within my relationships. If this boundary is not respected I will look for other places of employment that honour this boundary.”
How Do I Start Setting Boundaries?
Identifying, creating and communicating boundaries can be a life time of meaningful work. There are many tips that you can help you to develop this skill. One powerful place to start is to identify your rights as a human being and listing your personal bill of rights. This can be a very empowering process. If you need help getting started with a bill of rights you can look at the list below or other examples online:
- I have the right to say no to requests or demands
- I have the right to have my own opinions
- I have the right to be responsible for my own behaviours, actions, feelings and problems and not for others’ behaviours, actions, feelings and problems.
- I have the right to feel and express pain and fear
- I have the right to feel afraid
- I have the right to change my mind
- I have the right to be happy
How Can Boundaries Help Me in Therapy?
In therapy you are often encouraged to look at patterns, communication styles and choices that are effective and not so effective. Developing and strengthening boundaries allow you to make the changes in areas that you do not feel are effective and can improve your quality of life, which is one of the main goals of therapy!