Have you established boundaries?

Boundary fence
Photo by Erin Larson on Unsplash

I grew up as a “people pleaser.” I’m the first-born child and an overachiever. I did well in school and that carried forward into overworking myself during my corporate career to make my employers happy.

How does this happen? How does one fall into a boundary-free trap? Well, we often want to:

  • Avoid rejection

  • Avoid conflict

  • Make people happy

  • Receive praise

  • Avoid punishment

  • Make others proud

  • Avoid saying “No”

  • Feel worthy

  • Be liked

  • Be giving

However, in this attempt to always be liked and valued, we destroy one person’s happiness, well-being, and sense of self:

Ourselves

I broke out of this pattern of behavior when I finally realized how short my life really is. If I’m not happy now, when will I be?

I decided that I deserve happiness.

I deserve to feel worthy no matter what I do.

I deserve to get what I want out of life.

So, I started establishing boundaries:

  • I started saying “No” more often.

  • I took ownership of my time and fiercely protected my daily calendar.

  • I demanded some degree of reciprocity in my relationships.

  • I stopped doing things I didn’t want to do.

  • I began doing more of what fulfills me and makes me happy.

  • I became financially self-sufficient so I no longer had a boss or had to worry about making a manager happy.

  • I made time for self-care every day.

  • I cut people out of my life who don’t respect my boundaries.

  • I’m careful about the people I do let into my personal life.

How about you? What are your boundaries? What boundaries have you established in your life?