Boundaries are the lines that separate you from another. They are the traits and preferences that make you, you. Setting and communicating boundaries are rewarding interpersonal skills you can develop. They will serve you well in both your personal and professional relationships. Setting boundaries can be challenging, especially at first. But don’t let this deter you! Boundaries are necessary for authentic relationships to flourish. Without authenticity there is no genuine connection. Without genuine connection, it is next to impossible for a relationship to grow. Even with that knowledge, it can be hard to stick to your boundaries. Especially when people you love and want relationships with are questioning, or worse yet, hurt by your decisions. When setting new boundaries, frequent commentary you may hear are statements like “you’ve changed.” This may be true, but who said change was a bad thing? Change is necessary for growth. When you do anything new, you will often be met with feelings of discomfort. Your brain wants you to keep doing what’s familiar. Even if what’s familiar hasn’t been working. To keep yourself going in the direction that is true to your individuality, it’s important to remember your why. A strong why is what keeps you going when things get tough, when your brain tries to tell you to stop, that it’s hopeless, or that there is no use in even trying. Your why will keep you going when people you want relationships with try to keep the status quo. Your why is what will guide you through. Having a strong why when setting boundaries is like a lighthouse guiding ships to safe harbor on a cloudy day. When you start to lose sight of the shore, it’ll keep you on course. It’s your light of truth that will help you keep your boundaries strong once you’ve set them. Your why is your truth. It’s the reason you are implementing changes in the first place. Identify your why before setting and communicating your boundary. It may be so you can have genuine connection with others. Or so you feel free to be yourself. Or so you feel free to say no. Or, so you feel safe to be true to you. When others express discomfort with your decision, it’s easy to forget your boundaries are to keep you feeling and running your best. If you are met with resistance from people around you, remember this fact. They are not to hurt anyone else around you. It can be easy to fall back into old habits and please others instead of yourself. It’s okay to consider others’ concerns but don’t let it trump your truth. Whatever your “why” is for setting a certain boundary, get clear on it. Write it down on a piece of paper or save it on your phone so that when you feel like you’re going to let your boundaries slip, you can be reminded of them. Remember you’re doing it for you. And true relationships that are genuinely for you, will be better for it. Let your truth be your light house through the discomfort of growth.
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