Having boundaries is healthy and appropriate. Sadly, many of us haven’t engaged in enforcing healthy boundaries. It may be due to culturally imposed beliefs or even self-imposed beliefs. For example, you may feel “bad” for saying no. Bad may be a feeling of inadequacy that stems from a belief like “that’s not how you should be” or perhaps it literally feels like being queasy. The important thing here is recognizing that it makes you feel out of sorts. Having that awareness is useful to reframe your experience.
Understand that having boundaries and saying no does not make you a bad person. Not at all. When you enforce your boundaries you are protecting yourself and that is to have self-respect. It takes self-discovery, really knowing yourself, to identify how and why this might happen to you and how you can improve. You can explore this in therapy, coaching, groups, retreats etc. You can also take this journey on your own, but having someone you trust to support you is always the better option.
I’m no stranger to having issues when setting healthy boundaries, especially at work. I had to do a lot of inner work, meditation and even using ascension oils to rise above my imposed belief system. After all, it’s complicated to say NO to your boss. Most people fear they would be let go. When I stood up and said no, it didn’t sit well with my last supervisor.
Eventually, she was able to see my reasoning was rooted in self-care and setting healthy boundaries, but in the beginning, she felt I was not a team player-as I refused to see intakes one day. It took a while for her to understand that I was protecting myself because I’m an empath, but now talking about our self-care is a pivotal part of our team. I changed the dynamics of our practice and it feels awesome. I am a changemaker and you can be too.
When you stand up for what is right. No joke, you may feel a little fear, but you have to feel it to release it and accept whatever outcome. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be in a place where they’re not aligned with your standards and values. So trust that it will all work itself out. Says the voice of experience!
The first step is to recognize that you need to set boundaries to improve your wellbeing, your working conditions or even your family relationships. Remember to make use of other coping skills when you enforce your boundaries. Like last’s blog PAUSE.BREATHE.SHIFT (shift is just to reframe). In time this will become your new reality and you will no longer feel inadequate by setting boundaries or saying no.
Tamara Liz Rivera Hyde, LMHC is a mental health counselor, art therapist and spiritual guide. She loves to inspire people to tap into their innate creative abilities to self-express and self-actualize.