setting boundaries

How To Set Personal Boundaries and Protect Your Positive Energy

Once upon a time, I was a goody-two-shoes who didn’t know the meaning of setting personal boundaries. I’d give away my time and energy like I was doing the world this gigantic favour, because… all I wanted to do was help people.

Oh, the joys of being an empath / (recovering) people pleaser.

I’d work like a crazy person and forget that I had a personal life outside of work. I’d get drained trying to find solutions for people with problems who didn’t actually want help. And, I’d say YES to things I really didn’t want to do so that I didn’t come across as rude or cause a scene.

 

But, here’s a little reality check…

We choose how we spend our days – no one is pointing a gun at us forcing us to do things a certain way. We have the freedom and the luxury to make decisions. Sometimes, I think we just get a little too comfortable and it’s easier to feel like the world is out to get us instead of making a small change here or there.

Hard to hear, I know… I needed that, too. Sometimes, a little real talk is needed – without all the pretty fluff.

I spent so many years burning out from crazy expectations of others – and myself. For fear of upsetting someone close to me or causing unwanted attention. Every introvert’s worst nightmare, urrrrrg.

Walls keep everyone out. Boundaries teach people where the door is Click To Tweet

I’ve become a LOT more selfish about my personal energy and boundaries these days, and you know – I don’t feel bad about it. Because, life has taught me some really hard lessons over the last two years.

Like what happens when you keep giving and giving and trying to be everything to everyone all the time.

Trust me when I say, seeing what that does to someone you love, destroys you and opens your eyes all at once. So I’m selfish and I own it and I want you to be a little more selfish, too. Because, seeing that kind of heartache and pain is almost unbearable. And I see so MANY good people I know exhausting themselves and thinking they don’t deserve happiness. You DO. We all do.

SO MUCH of what we go through in life is brought on by the choices WE make.

And guess what? We can always change them.
We just need to believe in ourselves a little more.

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” ~ Anna Taylor

I want to share a few ways that I’ve set some personal boundaries and how I protect my energy these days.

In this post, I’m sharing 6 ways you can start switching your mindset (yes, a little selfishly… it’s OKAY, you are not a bad person) to protect your boundaries, energy and mental wellbeing.

6 Ways To Set Personal Boundaries & Protect Your Positive Energy Click To Tweet

6 WAYS TO SET BOUNDARIES AND PROTECT YOUR ENERGY

1.  Master the art of saying NO

I know this is a tough one if you’re a bit of a people pleaser, but trust me – the world isn’t going to end if you don’t say yes to something you don’t really want to do. Whether that’s a work thing or a social thing. That feeling of relief after you say no and you’re honest about why, is really pretty amazing. Forget resentment, forget stress. Start saying no here and there and you’ll start feeling a lot more relaxed and happy that you did. Adios tension.

2.  Get honest about your priorities

What’s really important to you in your life right now? What brings you joy? What can’t you imagine living without? When you start looking at things realistically from the bigger picture angle, things become a lot clearer. I don’t know about you, but regret sucks. Priorities.

3.  Learn to relish being unpopular

Listen, people love people pleasers, because they’re easy to walk all over and take advantage of. When you start saying no and setting personal boundaries it’s probably going to come as a bit of a shock to some. Maybe they won’t be too happy about it, but I can assure you – there will be a few silent ones who respect the hell out of it and maybe even thank you for being that “one” who stood up.  Personally, I’ll take unpopular and happy over popular and unhappy any day!

4.  Be selfish with your free time

Weekends, after work, lunch breaks… that’s all free time. Your time. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you spend it. If you want to spend a weekend doing nothing but sitting in your PJ’s watching Netflix, well then, that’s your prerogative! (Helloooo blank space). I once had a friend who got so burnt out seeing friends every weekend. She’d complain all the time, but she never said no or cancelled plans for fear of upsetting them. That’s not healthy. You’ve earned that free time. You’re allowed to ENJOY it, so enjoy it.

5.  Speak kinder… to yourself

Yes, I know this sounds corny, but how many of us beat ourselves up during the day? For all kinds of things, like – what we’re not doing right, what we should’ve done, how we’re failing at xyz. Your body hears that negative talk and reacts to it. So I’m trying to say/think kinder thoughts. Almost like being a mini cheerleader for those small wins. Because, at the end of the day, it’s a damn side more rewarding than waiting for that pat on the back that’s never going to come.

6. CHOOSE happiness

It takes courage to say no to time-wasting events that don’t fuel your soul or offer any kind of purpose. Because society, pressure and all that jazz. Sometimes they can’t be avoided, but a lot of the time, they can. We feel like we have to do all these things, when actually what we really have is a choice. A choice to say no, a choice to be honest and speak up, a choice to choose OUR happiness.

You are worthy of love, time, energy and enjoying as much of life as you possibly can right at this very moment.

#NoteToSelf – A little reminder

I’m lucky that I’ve become very self aware over the last few years. When I feel overwhelmed, I take a break. When I’m struggling to stay positive, I try and change the situation as much as I can – even if that means starting over. (Even if that means being negative at first and owning allll the feels, because bottling things up NEVER works).

But not everyone is like that, I get it. So I thought I’d write a gentle reminder here for those who needed to read it. So here it is:

Remember: You’re not alone. You are totally worth investing in yourself. You’re allowed to say no. You’re allowed to have time to relax. You are allowed to protect your time and energy and personal boundaries.

Give yourself permission to ENJOY life by setting more boundaries, instead of just enduring and focusing on what's not working. Click To Tweet

 

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2 Comments

  1. I’m a recovering people pleaser myself. Though I probably never entirely set out to please them in the way they’d want. I will just do what it takes to avoid conflict.
    Boundaries are so important. I know a lot of people I work with do not have boundaries. Or if they do, they don’t match mine. Because getting a text from someone at work at 10pm absolutely means I won’t respond until business hours the NEXT day. And if I send out a late text (because actually, last night I had to find out if the school was on a delay from all the rain in the hurricane), I don’t expect an answer – just when folks might get around to it to let me know whether to post the announcement on social media. By golly, the three people I had to text – and I apologized for it – all responded within 5 minutes. On the reverse, I would not have responded immediately. Or would have waited until the next day. Someone even texted me about work over the weekend. I didn’t respond until today. Why? Because boundaries. If I respond fast, they just come at me with more. I have learned this and I’m saying NO. lol.
    Great post! Fun and awesome tips. And we don’t have to feel guilty about boundaries, dang it. No siree. Hehe. I hope you have a wonderful week! xo

    1. Oh I HEAR you, my friend! Just like you, I used to spend so much time responding to requests at lightning speed – even if it crept into my personal time. All in an effort to come across as good and helpful. And you know, I’m all for that… if it doesn’t get taken for granted. Which, unfortunately, 90% of the time it does – and like you say, more is expected. So YES to boundaries. Always and forever from here on out. Thanks friend, I hope you’re having an amazing weekend over there and enjoy the crisp beginning of autumn (it’s good and proper spring over here today, yay!). 🙂

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