Healthy boundaries = self-respect

Having our own set of personal boundaries influences the quality of our inner life. 

Boundaries solidify the ground we walk on and create a safe place in our internal and external life. No one necessarily needs to know about our personal boundaries. They are not something to be negotiated with others. They don’t require recruiting other people to our viewpoint; someone being right and the other being wrong is not a boundary. Having clear boundaries is at the heart of effective self-care. 

A boundary is set when you decide not to blame or shame another person, or yourself in your internal dialogue. You automatically become more respectful and kinder when you have a strong internal boundary of what you will and won’t do. You have the right to determine when, where, how and with whom you want to do things. When you set boundaries, you demonstrate self-dignity – a powerful message. 

A boundary roadmap consists of the following:

  • Being clear with yourself about what you can and can’t do. 
  • Caring more about yourself than what others think about you. 
  • Trusting your instincts by listening and acting on your feelings. 
  • Not deciding if you’re not sure of it. 
  • Trusting your decisions. 
  • Not be too hard on yourself, treating every experience as learning. 
  • Letting go of people-pleasing. 
  • Finding time and space for yourself.
  • Accepting that you don’t need to share everything by creating more privacy in your life. 

To implement this roadmap, you need to hear your own voice, to be able to shut out the noise and clutter of the world. To go where it’s quiet enough to truly hear your voice above everyone else’s. 

Empower yourself with clear boundaries. Use visualisation to imagine what living with these boundaries will look like; picture yourself as a strong, independent thinker. Make healthy choices that take responsibility for who and what you are and what you want to become.

This excerpt is from The Book of Hope – Antidote for Anxiety by Vicki Bennett.