This is the second instalment in the Boundaries versus Barriers collaboration with Rachel Freemon Sowers. If you didn't catch lasts week's post with the introduction to this series you can check it out here: Boundaries versus Barriers (Part I).
The first step in developing boundaries and freeing yourself from repressive barriers is developing deep self-awareness and self-love. This is a vital ingredient to creating a life of Fierce Confidence, Laser Clarity and Passionate Purpose.
Developing Fierce Confidence while living your life surrounded by defensive barriers is an uphill battle. Remember Danielle LaPorte’s analogy of “barriers are like a shield you drag around - ready to defend yourself from attacks”? Living that way tends to create anxiety and stress and destroy confidence.
You may be intimidated at the thought of setting boundaries. Creating healthy boundaries can feel like a risk – the risk of hurting or offending people. Often what stops us from setting or honouring our boundaries is a desire to protect others. We put our needs second to try and make things easier or better for someone else. It’s important to remember that not having healthy boundaries also exposes you to risk of hurting or offending people. Without boundaries you face an increased chance of situations arising that cause you to feel overwhelmed and defensive and as a result to react in a way that isn’t aligned with your authentic values. Boundaries are about creating freedom. When you don’t have empowering boundaries established you prevent yourself from reaching your true potential and living your authentic life and that serves no one.
If the thought of creating boundaries with others is still too overwhelming try starting with internal boundaries. Some of the most effective and empowering boundaries can be about managing your own thoughts and behaviours. So if someone is upsetting you with the things they say to you, instead of trying to change how they speak to you, take responsibility for changing how you let their words affect you. Their words only have the power over you that you chose to give them, so create your boundary to say something like ‘how people speak to me is a reflection of them, not of me, their words don’t have any power over me’. Through practise and consistency of honouring internal boundaries you can build your confidence to create the interactions with others that you desire.
This is an expansive process; it takes practise, consistency, awareness and self-love. Remember that we at The Upward Spiral Project and This Authentic Feminine Life are here to support you.
Be gentle with yourself, and remember this is not a one-off ‘set it and forget it’ exercise. Things change every day. You change every day. Your environment changes every day. The experiences that you have and challenges that you face as you journey through life are constantly shaping and shifting who you are and what matters to you. As we talked about in the second Truth Serum Tuesday of this series, a barrier that is currently holding you back may once have been a healthy boundary that supported you and allowed you to grow.
When you identify something that needs to change it can sometimes be tempting to get sidetracked into feeling bad that you shouldn’t have allowed things to get to this point, or should have done something sooner. Don’t waste time on judgement or blame, just focus on taking positive steps right now towards the outcome you want.
How is the process of creating boundaries and releasing repressive barriers going for you? We'd love to here your stories in the comments below!
PS Remember that you can access loads more valuable free resources at any time from both our website and Rachel's.