Boundaries are the foundation to building your best-self.
Updated: Apr 5
Boundaries are a fundamental step on your path to communicating with courage, curiosity, and compassion. This path will lead you to live a life of transparency and tenacity.
When pedaling down your path, you will encounter anxiety, frustration, and negativity, you need to build resiliency to it. To do this, you need to understand boundaries.
When people think of boundaries, they think of walls. Walls are solid, nothing gets through them. Walls will keep you safe against fear and anxiety, but they could also be deflecting love, joy, and connection from entering your life.
Think of boundaries as a list, a list of boundary conditions you set for yourself and for other people.
It would be great if we could just have our boundary conditions hovering over our heads for all to see. A list that clearly indicates everything acceptable and not acceptable for us. Then, when someone breaches one of them, we could just point and say, “Can’t you read my list?” or “Why did you do that? It was clearly on my list!” or “I’m sorry, I’m not comfortable with that as you can see from my list.”
That would be a simple solution, conflicts would be less likely, and uncomfortable moments would be minimized. But that can’t happen. We must have this list established in our minds, ready when needed, to properly communicate, with courage, conviction and compassion.
Setting clear boundaries can feel pretty awkward if you’re not used to thinking that way. To make it a little easier to get started, consider these 5 C’s of Boundaries:
Conditions are about creating your boundary stipulations; knowing what you’ll do or how you’ll respond in a given situation, or under certain conditions; they are set to protect us from getting hurt, feeling manipulated, or being taken advantage of.
For example: “If I get passed over for that promotion, (condition) “I will speak up.”; “When I feel unappreciated by my partner, (condition), I will let my partner know.”; “If co-workers persist in inappropriate conversation (condition), I will let them know that is not OK with me.”
“I will be patient and accepting of myself.”; “If I start to judge, criticize or second guess myself. (condition) I will remember to be accepting of my uniqueness, and not compare myself to others.”
It will take courage to communicate your list to others. The courage to be vulnerable, letting people know when you are hurt from a boundary violation. Communicating your boundaries when you feel they are being compromised or uncomfortably close to hurting you. The courage to express your boundaries will grow and stretch, as will you and your boundary list.
We are constantly evolving, and so is our boundary list. Continually check-in with your emotions and thoughts for possible corrections to your list. When you feel mistreated or unheard, when you feel hurt, pain, or when your self-love is depleting. These could all be indicators that a new boundary needs to be set. Your list is not carved in stone, it is editable. You can add, modify, and even change on the fly…just because you can!
Stand by your convictions. There is no need to lie or put up false conditions to protect yourself. Boundaries can only work when created from integrity and authenticity. Feel good about your decisions. Know your worth, know your value, and know that your voice has purpose and merit.
Boundaries help you develop your sense of self. A self-awareness to know your pain points, your breaking points, and your soft spots. It helps you determine if you should say “yes, I’m in!” or “no, not my cup of tea” or “I’m full at the moment”. Be confident in your beliefs and values, they are important.
Communicate your boundary list with confidence and compassion. Many of us are silent when boundaries are crossed, we let people say things and get away with behaviors that are clearly stated in our conditions. We then allow ourselves to become angry, resentful and even hurtful in return. But that just adds more negativity to an already messy situation.
The boundary violations you experience are often not about us. If we had our list hovering over our heads, it would be easy to say “You knew that was on my list, that was done on purpose with the intent to hurt me. Why?” If someone hurts you intentionally by ignoring your boundaries, there are usually some underlying issues that have more to do with the other person than with you. When this happens, try to be curious, compassionate and communicate with safety.
Practice exercising your boundaries, they are essential as you navigate through negative situations, obstacles and setbacks on your path to greatness.
We thank you for listening. (reading)
If you view any of these decisions and thoughts in a different way, we are curious to know more. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org