Making change and setting boundaries can feel scary. So we’re going to take it step by step to ease you into the process to set up for a win, so you feel able to keep moving ahead with this important act of self-care.

The absence of boundaries typically stems from fear: fear of not being enough, fear of not having enough, fear of being alone, fear of being disliked, are the most common. Knowledge around boundaries and normalisation of holding and having boundaries also impacts your implementation of boundaries. If there was a lack of boundaries when you were growing up as a child, it is likely that this concept will feel alien and scary.

To combat this, let’s create a positive affirmation,

Though I may be afraid, and I have the capacity to take this next step to a life that I deserve. I chose love over fear.

Notice how this affirmation compassionately acknowledges how you feel, like your ideal parent would. It acknowledges the feeling and the reality that you, as a competent adult have the capacity to take this next step. It also names your ‘why’ which gives you motivation and purpose and affirms the direction you are taking, choosing love over fear.

Feel free to rewrite this to whatever feels right for you. Ensure you connect with your loving inner parent and source of wisdom to ensure it is balanced, loving, supportive but firm.

Now we need to work out what boundaries you need to implement.

Action Step

Journal on the following:

  • Where do you feel that others are taking advantage of you in your life?
  • In what situations are you suppressing or avoiding your feelings and not being honest? Where are you playing small?
  • Are there areas of your life that you’re tolerating something that you know isn’t right for you?
  • Where do you find yourself being most inflexible? In what areas do you not compromise?
  • Where are you overly understanding of others’ behaviour and feel taken advantage of?
  • What is preventing you from establishing healthy boundaries in these situations?

 

Think of a time when you felt your boundaries were unhealthy and wish you done things differently:

  • What actions do you wish you had taken?
  • How could you have protected yourself while staying connected to your true self?
  • How might you approach similar situation in the future?
  • What will help you to approach a similar situation, differently in the future?

Look over the answers you have given for the questions above. What three boundaries are you going to implement from now on, to support you to have your needs met so you no longer feel anxious?

Example:

  • I will not engage in heated arguments or discussions past 9 p.m. to prioritise my mental well-being and ensure quality sleep.
  • Because I get quite low and anxious when I don’t have any time to relax and rest each day, the latest time I will finish work is 8pm/ the maximum amount of time I am willing to work is 9 hours per day.

It’s time to start implementing your new boundaries. To make this process of implementing boundaries feel more manageable we are going to start with the low-risk situations first.

  • Make a list of high-risk and low-risk situations in your life where you feel you lack healthy boundaries?

We’re going to start with the low risk situations first. It’s often easier to assert boundaries with less emotionally charged individuals, such as a waiter, before addressing more significant relationships like with family, bosses, or close friends