Dare to Set Boundaries
Theresa Polley
February 6, 2023
September 6, 2023
Year of Self Care

I used to be that person with no boundaries. I gave of my time and resources tirelessly, until I was exhausted. Without boundaries, I lost myself. 

Setting boundaries and saying no allow you to break free from patterns and be true to yourself—if that is who you are in this moment or who you want to be.

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

Boundaries are necessary and should be non-negotiable. 

Why Boundaries Are Important

Setting boundaries isn't mean or selfish—it's part of self care and it's one of the ways I practice self love. If we don’t have boundaries how are we able to prioritize what we need? 

I know that if my boundaries are not firmly in place, there is usually that one person who will try to manipulate their wants into my world. And when I double down on my boundaries they will be the one who calls me out for being uncaring and selfish. The irony!

Examples of Not Having Boundaries in Place

  • Taking responsibility for someone else’s behavior or actions
  • Doing more than your share at work or in a relationship ( that usually means you are over functioning while someone else is under functioning)
  • Giving advice and trying to “fix” others
  • Codependent relationships, i.e. being afraid of losing someone if you set a boundary
  • Letting everyone have 24-hour access to you
  • Spending hours at a time on social media

With social media, where seemingly everyone shares every thought and emotion without a filter, it can feel like you need to do the same. But you don't. Having boundaries means you get to decide how much you share or don't share—of your thoughts, your time and your energy. 

Benefits of Boundaries

  • Separate your personal life from your work life.
  • Differentiate your family and friend time from your personal time.
  • Free yourself from taking responsibility for someone else’s actions, emotions or life—that responsibility lies with them.
  • Make yourself and your needs a priority.

How to Set a Boundary

Setting boundaries is definitely not easy. It takes courage, practice and sticking with it, especially when it seems easier to give in. The more you practice, the easier it gets. Give yourself the life you deserve with boundaries—the freedom from being responsible for anybody else but yourself. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Boundaries 

  • Be calm
  • Be clear
  • Be straightforward
  • Be respectful
  • You do not need to justify or rationalize setting a boundary
  • And you definitely don't apologize for setting a boundary

Sometimes a boundary means completely removing someone (a friend or family member even) from your life. Difficult, yes, but it is self preservation—especially when we recognize those individuals who try to make us responsible for their behaviors and feelings while taking no responsibility at all. It's okay to:

  • Set boundaries with your family, your friends, your partner and your job.
  • Say no, with no explanation.
  • Change your mind. 
  • Not answer calls or texts immediately.
  • Completely remove someone (a friend or family member even) from your life.

Examples of Boundaries

  1. Say no to things to don't make sense for you or your life right now.
  2. Be intentional about the time you spend on your phone, computer, and TV.
  3. Leave your work at work. If you're working from home or bring home your work, limit your time and set a designated space.
  4. Don't make excuses for other adults' behavior.
  5. Limit the amount of time you spend with someone.

Realizing not everyone needs 24/7 access to you allows you to make huge changes. By setting boundaries you, and only you, get to decide how much access each person in your life gets so you can focus on what you need.  

If you're looking to take your boundary game to the next level, I highly recommend this 10-Day Boundary Challenge on Insight Timer!

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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