All of us are in the middle of the life story and our life story has been shaped by what we said our yes and no to.
What are boundaries? How do we build them? How do we heal if our boundaries are violated?
Working with women all over the world, I see many of them struggling with these questions, so I chose to write this article.
I watch hundreds of women who are overwhelmed, stressed and burned out and also see them transforming into those who are content, decisive, confident and committed to healthy relationships.
I want to share with you some tools now.
The most essential tool to set your boundaries is our capacity to say ‘yes or no’ – it is your own compass. Use it to make decisions, figure out your relationships. Recognise it is your freedom of choice!
Use this tool to place the boundaries where you need them the most – lower your stress and figure out your life’s purpose.
Have you been in a situation when someone asked you something, you said ‘no’ and people got angry or disappointed? Yes, receiving a ‘no’ sometimes triggers reactions in other people. Boundaries often trigger an emotions. It is important to acknowledge this, that even if we wish to please people as a default, we shouldn’t get our fear or desire to please others determine our boundaries.
Sometimes our ‘compass’ is clouded over and it happens to those of us, who have been ignoring our purpose or arguing with it being confronted. It is very important to listen to our internal ‘no’ and trust our compass, as it is only trying to do one thing and that is to take care of you.
Did you know 50-58 percent of us are experiencing high levels of stress on daily basis? Our compass is highly sensitive to stress and stress itself clouds over our compass.
Funny thing is, that setting up the boundaries is stressful 🙂 But it is a brief stress and what comes afterwards is a great lasting relief.
Ask yourself this question – are there ways how I can improve my self-care?
When I say self-care, what may come to your mind is what you eat and how much you exercise, and even though those are important things, actual self-care is a much bigger landscape. It is how you treat yourself, how you find enjoyment and play. How much energy you have? How much balance and harmony you have in your life? Do you allow yourself to have enough rest, feel free and enjoy to interact in your relationships?
I am first to admit, to look after your health care in the middle of it all can be a hard thing, and it took me a long time to figure it out being a workaholic looking after my people. I used to be on calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year after year. Suddenly, I just broke down and I was crying and crying and in that moment I realised something was trying to reach me. In that moment I was leading a translation team bringing transformation into Slovakia, Czech Republic and central Europe. I understood that even loving what I do as it is fulfilling my purpose, I can not keep on running and need to say no for the sake of my well-being. That was very hard to take! All these people who needed us and wanted our help..
I then learned not everything needs to be on my shoulders. I can let go, trust and delegate. I can create leaders and allow them to fulfill on their own purpose. I started to feel better and then it came – I had to face my workaholic in me! My workaholic never says – you, take a break, you’ve done enough for the day 🙂 My workaholic is crazy and she just keeps on going. I realised I became so numb, so I started to allow myself to feel again. I had to establish some boundaries also for myself in order to improve my well-being and after several burn outs, also in the name of me having a chance to become a mum, it got better and better every year. Step by step.
Now I challenge myself every day to do some work and then do something that I love – I hang out with my friends, I got another help in the household and we now do less chores, spending more quality time as a family together.
I still like to be inspired by other people and am continuously in ongoing conversation about how I can improve the quality of my life and my well-being.
I remember once I drove to the beach to have my 45 minute lunch break and I was just sitting there, enjoying a meal watching an seagulls. Now, that’s life, I said to myself – and its entirely up to me creating such a thing 🙂
There is always going to be something that will challenge your boundaries. There will always going to be some things that will make things extra hard. None of us are immune to health issues, financial crisis or a family member who has an addiction problem, and some of you are dealing with those challenges every day, and some of you are dealing with struggles at work every day.
Things to do to support your ‘compass’ 🙂
1.) Increase Your Self Care
You may already be doing this, but have a look how you can step up in this area. When your loved one has a cancer, it often happen, that the self-care of the carrier goes down. Taking care for yourself may seem ridiculous when we are facing such a big challenge, but I want to see the care for you go up while are you looking after someone else, so you are strong support in a long run for your and for them.
2.) Reach Out and Build Better Resources
Your compass may not have enough support as well as information for the challenge you are dealing with. Find the people who have this expertise, join the support group, see the therapist or someone you trust, take a course, reach out!
3.) Focus on Clarifying Your Responsibilities and Limiting Your Time
We always have tons of responsibilities connected to our daily work and we cant do it all. You have to decide what you will and can go and you have to decide to let go of some of the rest. It is very important to take time for yourself when you’re not doing ongoing problem solving.
So……..all of you are in the middle of your life story and your story is shaped by what you are saying yes to and what you are saying no to 🙂
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