When I reflect on my personal development in the last few years, the most significant area of growth has been around my boundaries. I used to be a person that flipped between incredibly rigid boundaries and disgracefully porous ones.
I had very few close relationships, and virtually none at all with work colleagues because I was so hung up on being professional that I never shared anything about myself and I certainly didn’t ask for help. I kept everyone at a distance, and even though i desperately wanted to, I didn’t know how to let my guard down to let other people into my life.
On the other hand when it came to helping others and fulfilling work requests, my boundaries were almost non-existent. I would say yes to every request that came across my desk and I would always over extend myself to help someone else, even if it was at the detriment to my own wellbeing.
In a nutshell my boundaries were very unhealthy and the end result was that I was tragically lonely, burned out, frustrated and resentful. I felt like I was constantly giving but not getting anything in return, and this was no one else’s fault but my own.
I only became aware that the cause of many of the perceived challenges I faced was due to my lack of boundaries during a session with my coach in 2019. It was one of those life changing moments where you almost feel the ground moving beneath your feet.
I realised in that moment that I had been resenting others for taking up my time, or sharing their emotional baggage with me. I’d been blaming myself for being awkward in social situations and my confidence had taken a serious beating because of it.
And then I realised that it was in my control to do something about it. I was capable of saying no to things, I was capable of pushing back, disagreeing, putting my own needs first. It was no one else’s responsibility but my own, and that was empowering.
Learning to identify, set and uphold my personal boundaries has been the single most life changing thing I’ve ever done. It has transformed my outlook, my relationships and the way I work. And before I made this discovery I didn’t even realise it was an issue!
If you have ever felt the way I did, and wondered why relationships, communication and having a good life balance has felt difficult, then I invite you to join my FREE Boundary Setting Course running from from 31st January- 4th February.
I will be sharing what I have learned through both my personal experiences, and my experience as a coach helping other women to establish healthy boundaries so that they can lead happier lives.
You have the power to change, so use that power!