Saying “no” may feel uncomfortable for you. Agreeing to everything that’s asked of you causes burnout, resentment and cynical thoughts. Saying “yes” when you really mean “no” affects your integrity.  Setting boundaries says “I love me”.

The boundaries you set, whether in your business or your personal life, boost your confidence. Clear boundaries send the message that you are worthy and your time is valuable.

Imagine setting clear boundaries. You are comfortable owning your actions. You’re honest about what the things you’re willing to do. You’ve given yourself permission to take care of yourself.

Setting boundaries says “I love me”

Saying “yes” when you mean “no” causes burnout. Photo via Visual Hunt

Your actions tell the real story

Stating your needs can be uncomfortable. People who’ve known you may not take you seriously at first. They aren’t used to you setting limits. Expect them to disregard your new boundaries.

Testing you, even challenging you when you say “no,” is their way of figuring out whether you really mean what you say. What you say and what you do may be two different things. If so, then your actions will reveal the truth. Your boundaries will be taken seriously when your words and actions are aligned. Are you prepared to consistently follow through?

Don’t throw in the towel

A new response needs time to fully adopt. So if you cave in to pressure and loosen up a boundary don’t be too harsh on yourself. This doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Instead of quitting, learn from the experience. Setting boundaries is a process. Similar to any new activity, you’ll improve with practice.

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Give yourself a pat on the back for taking care of yourself. You may experience guilt at first. It is absolutely okay for you to do things for yourself – without guilt. Self care has a hidden benefit. When you decide to do something, you’ll really mean it.

Distance yourself from the drama

Getting involved in people’s drama is a distraction. It’s possible to support the people you care about, but rescuing someone from their problems never works out well.

Freedom comes with setting boundaries. You’ve spent countless hours and tons of energy helping others. Among the people you’ve helped, note who has willingly supported you or truly appreciated your efforts? No blame is necessary for those who took you for granted.

Setting boundaries says “I love me”

Setting boundaries says “I love me.”
Photo via sciencefreak via VisualHunt.com

Only two things you control

Instead of giving your power away, focus on your actions and your choices. Those are the only two things you possess any real control over.

As you’re confidence grows, you’ll decide to stop associating with people who do not respect you and whom are not supportive of you.

The activities you do and those you don’t do are your choice; your decision is your responsibility. A choice exists in each and every situation. Moments will arise when you face a difficult decision, you won’t know how to decide.

Facing difficult decisions

Author, Suzy Welch, developed the 10-10-10 method for difficult decisions.  Ask yourself three questions:

  1. What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes?
  2. In 10 months?
  3. And in 10 years?

Answering these questions will help you make the best decision possible. This method has you explore choices from various perspectives. You’ll realize which choices are aligned with your priorities and which cause you to stray from them.

The choice is yours

If you’re tired of putting your needs on a backburner, change is possible. The choice is yours. Your needs do matter. Caring for others at the expense of self care leads to burnout.

If you’re trapped by obligations which no longer suit you, then the time has come to alter your response. Don’t immediately say “yes” when asked to do something. The best decisions are made when you’re not under pressure. Pressure causes you to react instead of consciously choose.  A thoughtful choice is aligned with the things you claim you truly care about.

Saying “no” means you’re saying “yes” to you. Setting boundaries says “I love me.” Boundaries conserve your energy so more remains available throughout the day. Listening to your needs increases your self-worth. It’s time you put yourself in charge of your destiny. Where have you previously said “yes” although you really wanted to say “no?” Consider the decisions you’ve postponed. What boundary are you ready to set right now?

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