6 Steps for Setting and Sticking to Healthy Boundaries

Dear Friends,

This is the final post of our September boundary series. I'm hoping you can now finally imagine living your life on YOUR terms. A balanced life whereby you dictate how and with whom you spend your time and resources.

As I close out this series, I want to ensure that you have the tools you need to set and stick to healthy boundaries -- the invisible lines you draw around yourself to protect you from being used and manipulated by others.

  1. Decide. Sit down and consciously decide that you not only deserve to have boundaries, but you need them for the sake of your future mental and physical health. Making this decision will free you to pursue a life of change and possibilities.
  2. Create. Rewrite the script. Think about the ways you’ve been taken advantage of, and make a concrete list of the ways in which you want to change. What are the new boundaries you’re establishing? What do you hope to accomplish by establishing them? In creating...
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5 Strategies for Protecting Your Personal Boundaries

Hello Friends,

As we continue our personal boundaries series, imagine an invisible fence set around yourself, with a single gate that is shut and locked, and only you possess the key. How does that make you feel?

When you have healthy personal boundaries, you’ve established a space around yourself that YOU control. You've set limits that communicate to others how far they can go when interacting with you. You decide if and when to open the gate, and who you will allow in your personal space.

The problem with personal boundaries is that the world has a way of pushing against them. There will always be people who want more of your time, more of your energy, more of you. When you have set personal boundaries, thankfully, there are things you can do to guard and keep them strong. 

  1. Identify your limits. It’s impossible to guard what you haven’t defined. The goal here is to define your limits clearly and...
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Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries

Hello Friends,

Earlier this month, we began our series on boundaries. Perhaps you have  personal boundaries, but they don’t seem to be working. Maybe you still feel that people are taking unfair advantage of you, and your self-esteem is taking a constant hit.

Chances are you need to take a serious look at your personal boundaries. It's possible that the ones that used to work don’t anymore because you aren’t the same person. Or it’s time for a tune-up, so that you not only strengthen your existing boundaries, but also make them healthier.

Here are some signs that indicate your boundaries need work:

  • You remain silent when being bullied.
  • You agree to things you don’t agree with (such as political opinions) to avoid ‘rocking the boat’.
  • You suffer from guilt whenever you do something good for yourself.
  • You feel invisible most of the time.
  • You say ‘yes’ even when you want to say ‘no’...
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7 Reasons Why We Don't Set Boundaries

Hello Friends,

Welcome to Week 2 of our September series on personal boundaries! This week, we're reviewing seven reasons why people fail to set boundaries.

You know you really need to establish boundaries, but you just can't seem to get there, (which is not as abnormal as you might think). Here are some reasons why we don't set boundaries:

  1. Fear. The number one reason we don’t set boundaries is generally fear. After all, the devil we know is less frightening than the devil we don't know. Yet, there's something inherently self-disrespecting about not setting boundaries because we risk over-extending ourselves, over-sharing and tolerating bad behavior (our own and others).  
  1. It would be selfish. Very often, we're made to feel guilty for drawing personal lines. After all, why should your needs come before anyone else’s? 
  1. Self-care is abnormal. This point is an extension of the last one. Not only is self-care...
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What Are Personal Boundaries and Why We Need Them

Hello Friends,

For the Month of September, I've decided to focus on personal boundaries. You’ve probably heard the phrase before, but may not be sure what it means. Exactly what are personal boundaries, and what difference do they make in our lives?

To understand the importance of setting personal boundaries, you must first know what a boundary is: 

bound·a·ry (noun) -- a dividing line that marks the limits of an area

Most boundaries, as the above graphic illustrates, are relatively easy to see. For example, yellow tape protecting crime scenes, fences, highway dividers, and white lines marking off parking spaces. A personal boundary does the same thing – only on a more invisible and internal level. Let's take a closer look.

What is a boundary?

  1. A boundary delineates your responsibility in a given situation. For example, you likely already operate within certain boundaries at work or school. These...
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How to Get Unstuck and Move Forward

Greetings Friends,

Are you stuck in a rut? Not just a rut, but a completely furnished rut? It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be stuck, but to stay stuck is a problem.

If you're stuck and desperate to find a way out of your rut, I’d like to share with you a few strategies for getting unstuck and moving forward.

Identify root cause. Before you can find a solution for any problem, you must first identify its root cause. A simple way to do this is using the 5 Whys technique where you repeat the question Why? five times, and each answer forms the basis of the next question. This interrogative technique is used to explore the cause-effect relationship underlying the problem. Not all problems have a single root cause, so you would need to repeat this method using a different set of questions each time. Here's an example:

Problem – I got a speeding ticket.

  1. Why? I ran a stop light.
  2. Why? I was late for work.
  3. Why? I woke up late.
  4. ...
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What Are You Tolerating?

Good Day Friends,

To increase self-awareness and inspire change, I often ask my clients “What are you tolerating?”  Since we can’t lead others to places we haven’t been, we must be willing to confront our own demons.  Therefore, after pondering this emotionally-charged question, I’m ready to admit that one of the things I’ve been tolerating for months is procrastination

Time and again, I’ve promised myself that I would reignite my passion for reflective journaling to promote greater self-awareness and understanding.  However, I have repeatedly broken this promise by using my demanding schedule as an excuse for not taking action.  As a result, I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and unfocused.

Now that I’ve come clean and shared with you one of my life’s major frustrations, I’m going to get personal and ask, “What are YOU tolerating?” ...

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