Most of us have been there – someone in your life asks you for a favor which you simply cannot do. Even if the favor is something you really don’t want to do, what happens? You do it anyway.
When it comes to setting boundaries, it is a widely-known fact that people are viewed as cold or aloof. On the contrary, one can be warm, outgoing, and engaging and still have good boundaries.
I have struggled for many years on this subject, as the fear of not pleasing others, having poor self-esteem and aversion to conflict kept me from being happy and outgoing. One who possesses poor self-esteem may not feel that they are deserving of good treatment. If one is conflict-averse, then asserting a boundary can feel like conflict is inevitable.
While these traits can seem like flaws, there are actually habits that were repeated in times of self-doubt and fear. Once one can find the inner strength to set boundaries, there will be no regret of what is done or undone.
The first time I set boundaries it was awkward and uncomfortable – only for me.
In the summer of 1993 I was asked to host an engagement party for one of my dearest friends. The bridesmaids asked if the party would be hosted at my apartment, and as a people-pleaser at the time I was sick with worry that in saying no I would no longer be viewed as nice or accommodating.
While I wanted so badly to say yes, I had planned a much-needed getaway on the day of the party and just couldn’t cancel my plans. I conveyed this nervously to her friends, who were neither bothered or frustrated at my decision. They even changed the date of the party to accommodate the conflict.
Of course, life doesn’t always work out this smoothly, but this experience helped me realize how most of our worries originate from a disillusioned mind. There I was – frightened to be difficult with anyone, while my anxiety it turned out to be nothing at all.
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” ~ Brene Brown
One of the main reasons why setting boundaries is so difficult to accomplish is from the lack of mindfulness. When one is mindful, there is an inner calmness where fear cannot reside.
Here are some thoughts in which setting good boundaries can bring continual mindfulness to your daily life:
Boundaries are yours to enforce. It is not the other person’s job to guess or try to read your mind as to your needs and desires. Take ownership of the boundaries you set for your time and various areas in your life, and witness the transformation within you.
Boundaries keep drama at bay. When things are left to question, that moment of resentment erupts. The minute you begin to embrace those uneasy emotions, you’ve officially violated your own boundaries. It is not worth it to blame anyone else if you are mindful enough to be accountable for your actions. Drama occurs when you give leeway, but not when you define parameters.
Keep things simple. Be mindful and tend to your boundaries.
It’s your turn. How do you set boundaries in your life? I would love if you shared your comments below.
About Michelle Cruz Rosado
Michelle Cruz Rosado is a professional speaker and bestselling co-author of "Pursuing Your Destiny: How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Dreams." Follow Michelle for inspiring messages and quotes.