Your boundary is the invisible shield you put up to protect the many demands placed on your time, energy, and resources.
Visualize your boundary as a shield that protects you from energy drainers, time takers and resource stealers. Protect your boundaries by learning to say NO.
Begin setting strong boundaries by using these 3 tips:
Practice – Practice saying NO. You always have the power to say NO to any request just as others have the power to say NO to your requests. When you say NO to a request for money, time, gifts or commitments, you are in essence asserting your power and authenticity. You get to set your own boundaries. You take charge of your time, energy and resources. If you are in the habit of saying YES when you would rather say NO, it may not be easy for you to begin saying NO. But by practicing saying NO you’ll find that you’re relieved from over-commitment, guilt, and frustration and free up time for you to engage in the activities that are meaningful to you. Saying no to things you would rather not do is like giving yourself a high five!
Prioritize – Take charge of your time – when you are asked to run the PTA bake sale and you are already organizing the class reunion, tutoring, and going to school at night, saying NO to those things that will tax your energy, time and resources will give you the freedom to make choices based on what’s most important to you. You might say something like, “Thanks for thinking of me but I have another commitment” or “I won’t be able to do “that” this time.
Taking control of how you spend your time is essential to setting strong boundaries.
Patience – Old habits die hard, especially when you have been mired in the same old pattern for years. Be gentle with yourself and allow for setbacks but keep in mind you’re in charge. Change will be difficult for the people around you too. They want you to keep doing, giving and saying yes. This is how they get their needs met. Look at the changes you are making as if it were a dance: Women are used to following in a dance, right. Just picture yourself as the leader; you’re leading the way to healthy boundary making. So when you change your step in the dance, the other person must change theirs – either they follow your lead or they don’t, but you’re still in charge. So, why not take the lead and show others the way?
And, to stay connected and get more free tips, I would like to invite you to sign up for your copy of Building Strong Boundaries to Create More Breathing Space in Your Hectic Life
Until Next time…
Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, therapists, teachers and other caregivers balance the many demands on their time and energy, create boundaries that shift balance from overwhelm to energized, and live their lives with courage, confidence and clarity.