There’s a lot of conversation around holding boundaries with people in our life. But how about with ourselves? If we are putting an emphasis on something like boundaries in a relationship, we also want to check in on what we are doing around that very same topic in our relationship with ourselves.
Let’s talk about why this is important and then we will get into what that actually looks like.
1 – As within, so without.
Everything begins within. So, if you have expectations of others, it’s important to hold yourself to similar standards. This is part of living with integrity (which means living in alignment with your values).
When you’re not doing with yourself what you expect of others, the fact that they’re not meeting expectations will be amplified. There will be more impatience, irritation and frustration. Those emotions are trying to get your attention so that you will be aware of those areas where you might not be living out those values. This supports your growth and evolution.
You want other people to be loving, but are you loving with yourself?
You want others to communicate, but do you have attunement and communication with your own internal world?
And, of course, you want other people to respect your boundaries, but are you respecting your own boundaries?
These are questions to ask yourself because you may not even realize that you aren’t treating yourself in the same manner that you expect others to treat you. If this is the case, it’s OK! We all have spaces where we can clean this up.
2 – The power of your word is correlated to your personal power.
When someone says, “I give you my word” they are essentially making a promise, and they are putting their own reputation and values on the line because if they don’t follow through it reflects negatively on that person. When they do follow through, that person is considered trustworthy and dependable.
It’s the same concept with your own inner dialogue. Your word is the foundation of self discipline.
When this is solid, you have the power to do anything you set your sights on because you can count on yourself to follow through.
When you promise yourself that you will do something, what happens? Do you feel pretty sure you will follow through? Or does it feel kind of flimsy, like you know it’s probably not going to happen?
It’s normal to have a higher regard for a promise to someone else than ones that you make to yourself. That’s because there’s been a lot of training and conditioning to make sure you meet the expectations of others; unfortunately this sometimes means that what you need to do for yourself falls by the wayside.
The good news is, the tide is turning. We are learning to balance our needs with the needs of others. Mastering this balance is beneficial for everyone, you and the people you interact with. And, it means the space to grow your personal power is more available than ever. (Learn more about self-care in a previous blog post HERE)
Now, how would your life be different if you followed through and held your boundaries with yourself?
3 – Improved life satisfaction and relationships.
If you are able to discern what is truly important to you and hold yourself to those standards, life will feel and look different. You will feel more peace because that’s what comes with living in sync with your values. You’ll also feel a greater sense of empowerment because you are managing your responses to personal situations in a way that shows respect for yourself and what you have identified as important to you.
In addition, the need for relationships to mirror back these places where there is a misalignment will be reduced. And, in cases when relationships do mirror back and reveal the places where boundaries with yourself are not being upheld, it’ll be easier to deal with because you’ll now be aware that it’s a mirror showing you what you need to clear up within yourself.
Boundaries with yourself are essential to both life satisfaction and healthy relationships with others. “When we respect ourselves, we are more worthy of receiving love and, in turn, giving love to others.” (mindbodygreen.com | 12 Ways To Show Yourself Respect (And Teach Others To Do The Same); Danielle Dowling, Psy.D.)
Holding a boundary creates safety and helps you trust yourself. This leads to you feeling confident in the decisions you make for yourself and to be able to connect with others in a positive way.
So what are examples of upholding boundaries with yourself?
Boundaries with yourself can include things such as: saying no to things that drain you, not working on the weekends or during designated family time or taking breaks from social media.
Boundaries with others can include things like: asking them to give you space when you are overwhelmed and need some alone time, letting people know that you have a specific amount of time available for a meeting/other event and not staying past that time frame, speaking up and let them know if you are not comfortable talking about something or answering a question. This can all be communicated and executed with love.
Upholding boundaries with yourself also includes the important work of maintaining the boundaries you put in place with others. Having proper boundaries has to do with follow through, not just communication.
You can tell someone you’re not okay with something, but if you allow it to happen anyway you’re not following through; therefore they’ll likely assume that boundary isn’t important to you. You telegraph to others what you are willing to allow by how you adhere to boundaries. We talked about this previously when we covered ‘How to Make Setting Boundaries Easier and More Effective’.
Setting boundaries for yourself is important and it may take a little practice to learn how to uphold those boundaries. But once you start to see the positive changes that come along with sticking to those boundaries it will become easier.
Need help setting boundaries or learning strategies to uphold them? Contact us, we can help.