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Creating Boundaries...and Sticking To Them

Boundaries. We all need them, but how many of us actually have them? Take it from me, it can be hard to discover what your boundaries are, especially if you aren’t used to having any. I’ve decided to share with you a little of my boundary journey and how I’m choosing to stick with them!

Think about your needs and wants. I, Shauntia Dyson, am a recovering people pleaser. I pretty much lived my whole life putting the wants and needs of others before my own. Therapy has helped me learn that my needs and wants are just as important as those of others and it doesn’t make me selfish or a terrible person for thinking about myself. It’s not fair to put myself at a disadvantage to please others. There comes a time to put me first, and that time is now.

Write them down. I realized that I would oftentimes become frustrated when I felt like a boundary was crossed. The issue was the fact that I knew I wanted them, needed them, and actually had them but I couldn’t clarify what the boundary was. It sometimes even felt like I needed something, but couldn’t pinpoint what that something was. I had to really sit down one day and write them out. Not only did it help me get clarification on what I truly needed, but having a clear picture of that need will help me identify when a boundary is potentially being crossed, but it’ll also help me communicate my boundaries to others in a healthy way.

Be intentional. As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”. I have to choose to be assertive and express what I will and will not accept on a consistent basis. The times that I have expressed my assertiveness, anxiety, fear, and even defensiveness has tried to show up and become the star of the show. Even in those moments, I’ve had to remind myself of the reason I’m saying no or expressing my concern. I’ve had this same habit for the past 20+ years and I realize that it’s not going to change overnight. I won’t get it right every day, but I’m doing my best to do a little better each time.

Do you have personal boundaries? How were you able to create them and stick to them? Let me know in the comments below!