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:
Make people happy
Make others proud
Avoid saying “No”
However, in this attempt to always be liked and valued, we destroy one person’s happiness, well-being, and sense of self:
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?
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