The Importance of Setting Boundaries

 how to set boundaries

There are many times in our lives where we feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities (or perceived responsibilities!), whether it's in regards to relationships with other people, outer expectations in work and life, or the way that we view ourselves. One of the best ways to prepare for when these situations arise is to lay out our boundaries clearly and explicitly.

But how do we go about understanding where our limitations are and what type of boundaries to create? By sitting down and asking ourselves in which areas we feel the most stress, then writing out reminders to provide release for these fears. Here are some questions to ask yourself: What thoughts run through my head when I'm laying awake at night? When I get a pit in my stomach, what am I thinking about in that moment? What am I worrying about? What situations or relationships do I avoid moving forward with, and why?

Once you've pinpointed those moments and situations, try to boil it down to a feeling. Does hanging out with your family frustrate you because they ask too much of your time and energy? Is it hard to interact with one particular coworker because they expect you to do their work for them? Are you struggling with a friendship because they drain your optimism?

Once you realize the exact reason why the moment is hard for you, it'll be easier to answer it and start making your list of boundaries. If someone asks too much of your time, write down an affirmation to remember when you're around them ("It is okay to say no"). If someone drains your optimism, write down what you need to think of at that moment ("It is my job to choose to prioritize my happiness"). Once you get started, creating your list will be that much easier.

Examples of possible boundaries:

- It is not my job to fix others

- It is okay if others get angry

- It is okay to say no

- It is not my job to take responsibility for others

- I don't have to anticipate the needs of others at the cost of my own emotions

- It is my job to choose to prioritize my own happiness

- Nobody has to agree with me

- I have a right to my own feelings

- I am enough

- It is not my job to meet others' expectations

- It is my job to express my feelings as they arise

What boundaries would you add? Share in the comments below or join the party on Instagram for updates and more information: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/

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