Victoria* thinks she struggles to speak up for herself, but what she doesn’t realise is her biggest challenge is really her crappy boundaries.
At work, she says “yes” to more work when her plate is already overflowing. When her colleagues or someone in her family does something she is not comfortable with she bites her tongue. When her partner says something that gives her the irrits, she just pushes her response down because… why cause trouble?
When we took a closer look at the saboteurs Victoria has in her life that are impacting her it wasn’t an enormous surprise to discover she was a Class A “Pleaser.” By the time I began working with Victoria, she felt burned out, undervalued and unsupported.
There are many reasons people to struggle to speak their truth or uphold beautifully strong boundaries. Often, it’s because you imagine that being upfront, direct or assertive will “rock the boat,” or paint you in an unpleasant light and people will find you less likeable.
The desire to please people is stronger than the desire to communicate your own needs.
You violate your own boundaries.
Your boundaries can be classified as simply as that which is ok by you, and as importantly, that which is not. To set a boundary with yourself is to honour your own limits. Until you are able to set healthy boundaries with yourself, you will struggle to set them with others.
Something as straightforward as choosing how many hours you are comfortable working in a day and sticking to that. It can be recognising which behaviour from others is acceptable to you, and behaviours which you will not tolerate. It’s deciding how and with whom you would like to spend your time and energy and not feeling guilty for upholding that.
It’s about choosing you first, something many of us are not conditioned to do.
Setting boundaries can feel like hard work, but it is necessary. Not speaking with (compassionate) honesty about where you are at in work or personal scenarios can mean knitting yourself a suit of resentment that is a couple of sizes too small.
You’ll squeeze into it because you have to, but man, is it uncomfortable.
Author of one of my all-time favourite books The Signature of All Things (she also wrote Big Magic which is most excellent) Elizabeth Gilbert spoke of boundaries on her recent speaking tour in Australia. She explained how your own personal boundaries must be made sacred.
She said that when mythologist Joseph Campbell, who spent his entire life studying the religions of the world, was asked, “What is the definition of sacred?” he responded, “Here’s how humans make something sacred: You draw a circle around it and you say everything inside this circle is holy. It’s sacred because you said so.”
He went on to say a boundary is a golden circle that you draw around the things that matter to you, and you say everything inside this circle is sacred.
Clear personal and professional boundaries may spell the difference between happiness or burn out, between resentment and empowerment. Speaking up may be tough at first, but with practice, you can become a boundary badass and enjoy a more balanced and fulfilling life.
WANT SOME SHIT HOT, UNF*CKWITHABLE BOUNDARIES THAT HELP YOU KICK RESENTMENT ONCE AND FOR ALL SO YOU CAN EMBRACE LIVING IN YOUR FULL POWER?
HOW DELICIOUS DOES THAT SOUND?
LET’S CHAT ABOUT MY EIGHT-WEEK, ONE-ON-ONE, YOUR GOOD LIFE BREAKTHROUGH PROGRAM TODAY.
I WILL HELP YOU BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE CLEARLY, HAVE UNSHAKABLE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU ARE WORTHY OF BEING HEARD AND SEEN SO YOU CAN REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL NOW.