Have you ever said “Yes” when you wanted to say “No” and then felt totally resentful?
Yep, me too.
That’s the tricky thing about being an empath, healer and nurturer. Not overloading your plate is difficult because of a genuine desire to be of service to others.
Tricky thing is, eventually your cup will run dry. Then you’ll operate from a place of hostility and obligation which feels yucky and has a distinctly negative energy.
In order to keep your vibe high and your interactions healthy, you’ve got to establish healthy boundaries that protect and empower you. The deeper the commitment to your boundaries, the more effective you’ll be with every interaction.
Below is a list of 10 ways to help you on your journey.
1. Learn to Say NO: “NO” is a complete sentence. It requires no further explanation and is an acceptable answer to anything that doesn’t feel right. Trust your instincts. If the answer is “no”, say so. It may take some getting used to but your ability to master this word will change the game for your relationships. Being firm on where you stand teaches others what you will and won’t accept.
2. Start Small: It can feel daunting to establish boundaries. Start with something small and work your way up. Having uncomfortable conversations is a skill to master so get small wins under your belt. Speak with conviction and consideration. When you communicate with integrity, your message will be better received. After you’ve built up your confidence, move on to more daunting conversations.
3. Be Assertive: It can feel tough to find your voice, especially if you’re used to people pleasing. Be assertive and broach tough conversations respectfully and thoughtfully. Listen to understand, not to respond and be firm with your needs. Being true to yourself is empowering and keeping an unyielding position will serve to create deeper, more honest connections.
4. Seek Support: If you’re finding it difficult to cultivate boundaries, reach out for help. Talk to a friend, family member, church/support group or counsellor. Communicate your desires and ask for guidance on best practice to express your needs. We can all use a helping hand so connect with people who build you up and can offer practical advice for conveying your limitations.
5. Prioritize Yourself: You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first. When you honour your needs and prioritize yourself, you generate feelings of love and abundance. Tap into what feels right and what leaves you feeling depleted. By making self-care a priority, you create space to be of service to others. Tune into what your heart is saying. Speak and act from a place of your highest ideals and you will cultivate generative connections with others.
6. Be Direct: Beating around the bush is an exhausting way to operate. When you are concise, you effectively cut out all the bullshit. By being direct, you eliminate much of the misinterpretation and misunderstandings that can accompany evasive communication. Speak your truth and speak it clearly. Not only will it save time, it will also alleviate mixed messages and unclear expectations.
7. Acknowledge your Limits: Before you can effectively communicate your boundaries, you must first know what they are. Go inward. Ask yourself where you stand on a particular topic or situation. Notice how it feels in your body. Does it give you a sinking feeling in your chest? A headache? Nausea? Tune into sensations and tap into your heart. Get clear on where you stand. Perhaps write it down or talk it through. The more concise you are with your limitations, the easier it will be to express them to others.
8. Overcome Guilt: Setting boundaries may make you feel guilty. Being integral and being a martyr feel very different. Operating from integrity results in identifying personal limits and effectively communicating them. Operating from martyrdom results in poor boundaries and guilt sensations when presented with an opportunity to say “no” (despite wanting to.) By recognizing feelings of guilt you can learn to move through them. See it as proof that you’re on the right track.
9. Self Awareness: Get in touch with your triggers, belief system and thought patterns. Identify where you struggle to set limits. Before you can establish boundaries, you must first discern where you struggle to implement them. The more in tune you become, the quicker you will be able to establish and enforce healthy limitations.
10. Core Values: Make your boundaries about you. Decide who you are, what you value, what you believe and what is most important. When you establish clarity around your highest ideals, you will make decisions and communicate from this place. Your conviction leads to authenticity and healthier limitations both personally and in your relationships.
Be mindful and be open while expressing your needs. Boundaries are a muscle that take time to build and grow. Be gentle with yourself as you establish a new framework in your life.
You are a badass.
With Love and Light,