So, I am going to come right out with it and admit that I have always been one to struggle with setting healthy boundaries for myself. Growing up, I had super low self-esteem (which is fairly normal) and because of that, I always wanted everybody to like me and approve of me. That said, I would stretch myself thin trying to please anybody and everybody and would cause myself to quite literally feel sick to my stomach if I knew I had to go to school the next day and be around people who didn’t like me and/or were upset with me.
All-in-all, I became programmed, so to speak, to people-please at any and all costs
This programming, or way of coping to survive, rather, slowly started to bleed into my adult life. I found myself staying in toxic relationships, platonic and romantic, just so that I could spare myself heartbreak, feelings of abandonment and rejection, and loneliness. I would see the red flags and inconsistencies in my relationships and instead of setting boundaries, I would put my blinders on and turn a blind eye. I learned to get really comfortable with being in denial.
Super toxic and unhealthy, right? Yeah, I know.
Of course this is all very personal, but I say this to you all so 1. you do not feel alone, 2. you can better understand who I am as a person and 3. I can speak to you all on how I am learning to un-program my learned coping skills and, in turn, set healthy boundaries for myself. I am focused on me, myself, and I. Hopefully this helps you out, too, because having boundaries with people and having boundaries with ourselves is super, super important.
setting boundaries workbook and worksheets
My therapist (who is a total Godsend and blessing in my life) and I have been working on this whole boundary thing for quite some time and I think it’s all finally starting to sink in and make sense to me. You know how you can be told something over and over and hear what they’re saying but only understand what they’re saying once you’re ready to be understanding? Yeah, that is what happened. Anyways, when I finally started warming up to the idea of being willing (and able) to learn about healthy boundaries and doing what is right for me no matter what, I started to come to terms with the fact that changes can only ever be made when a person is ready to be uncomfortable for the time it takes to heal and move forward with life.
Because change is uncomfortable and so is setting boundaries. I knew this all along, which is the precise reason as to why I always put it off. I put off changing (for the better) and setting boundaries in any and all of my relationships — past, present, and future — solely because I didn’t want to have to be uncomfortable. So yes, I preferred being unhappy simply because I didn’t want to face the music, confront myself, work through the very things, my wounds, that I never wanted to think about, let alone have to work on, and eventually forgive myself.
I knew that if I was going to set boundaries, I was going to have to work on forgiving myself for the very pains that I allowed myself to suffer. It was not going to be easy or comfortable, but I decided it was necessary in order for me to grow and be the best version of myself!
So, what do boundaries look like to me? Good question!
I knew that in doing all of this, I was going to have to be ok with —
- not pleasing everybody just to keep them in my life
- letting people go (especially if they’re the ones initiating the split)
- following through on everything even when it’s uncomfortable, draining, and/or awkward
- being uncomfortable for awhile
- saying “no” and not be swayed otherwise
- allowing myself to actually be pickier
- not ever lowering my standards (again)
- being ok with being alone
- doing what is best for me even if it’s not what everybody else wants
- leaving relationships that no longer serve me
- not turning a blind eye to red flags, negativity, toxicity, etc.
- not apologizing for how I feel
- forgiving myself for all of the pain I have allowed willingly myself to endure
- taking time to figure out me; who I am, what I like, what I want out of life, etc.
- being single until I love myself unconditionally
That is a lot to come to terms with and accept, I know. And yes, it was uncomfortable to accept those things but I know the reward is totally going to be worth it — genuine happiness and sense of self.
Because let’s face it – I do not know myself as well as I should. Please don’t take that to mean that I am not a genuine person. Because I am. I simply mean that through all of the hurt and pain I have endured throughout the years and the refusal to make the proper changes to get better, I have lost sight of who I really am. All of the downplaying of my feelings and the denial of blatantly obvious issues have resulted in me not even knowing where I stand with myself.
It sucks. It really, really does!
But, this isn’t a sob story. It’s not a sob story because I am ok with where I currently stand. I am ok with knowing and understanding that I have a lot of growing to do, as well as forgiving and healing. And while it isn’t convenient, I am ok because I am so seriously ready to start living my best life that I truly do not care how long it takes. Because knowing that someday I will be able to love myself the way that I should have been is so exciting. I can’t wait!
This is going to be an uncomfortable journey, to say the least. But, I am so proud to finally be in a place that allows me to be able to set boundaries for myself so that I can attract only the best things for me!
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Have you gone through something similar? Or, better yet, are you currently learning how to set healthy boundaries? Let me know in the comment section below, lovelies.
Thanks for reading and love to you all! And always remember that you are not alone! Please feel free to contact me on any of my social media platforms (floating on the left side of this screen!) or email me.