♥ Taking control back of your life and set boundaries:
Do you automatically focus on other peoples needs? Are you always the friend or person that helps everyone out and yet feel somewhat exhausted and drained on a day to day basis? Overgiving to others is often a sign that we are not meeting our own needs and staying true to ourselves.
The first step is beginning to be more aware of our own feelings and realising that you have the power to change things if you are feeling deprived in life. Your choices in life either are made with your own self care as highest priority or putting others before YOU.
Society makes us believe as women that we should put ourselves last, and our children, partner, friends before ourselves……but in reality who is this really helping? We have to stop this cycle of deprivation as we end up feeling tired, resentful and drained. Its natural to want to give to those we care about but the more we look after our needs, the more we can give from a real place of wanting too rather than resentment.
As Mandy Hale says – ‘Its not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and make your happiness a priority, Its essential’.
Begin initially by identifying areas in your life that you are currently feeling deprived. Journaling our answers to questions like can really help –
Where in life am I feeling deprived?
What would I love more of right now?
Who or what is causing me to feel resentment?
We have to start to become aware of where we feel deprived before we can start to change our life to increase our happiness. If we begin to say No to things and people that stress us out as much as we possibly can, we can develop real happiness.
Its hard initially to start to change our conditioned behaviour especially when we care about others and don’t like to hurt, upset or disappoint people. We don’t like feeling guilty, we don’t like conflict, we want people to like us but boundaries are essential to really love our life. As you begin to say No to others and set limits, you also have to get comfortable with upsetting people. If we have always given too much to others, they naturally expect it from you and possibly wont like the changes initially.
Keep focused on YOUR needs first and then give to others. Don’t back down on your decisions as we then give out mixed messages. Start to become clear on where you need to set boundaries and who with and don’t explain or defend your reasons to anyone.
♥ Top tips on setting boundaries:
Cheryl Richardson in her fantastic book – The Art of Extreme Self Care gives some guidelines:
Buy yourself some time – Never respond to a request immediately, say you need to sleep on it, or check a few things before you commit. Make them aware that you are making a decision to limit your commitments so you might not be able to do whatever it is they are asking.
Do a Gut check – Always ask yourself on a scale of one to ten, how much do I really want to do this? The nearer to 10 you are, the more you should do it 🙂 If you are still not sure, ask yourself – ‘If I knew this person wouldnt be angry, disappointed or upset, would I still do it?’
Tell the truth with grace and love – Be honest about how you feel without over explaining. Two or three sentences said directly and tactfully. Say something like – ‘I feel bad about letting you down but I need to……’ not what we tend to say which is more ‘I don’t think I can, but if something changes, I will let you know’
Your own self care and energy levels are priority and in time people will begin to understand, accept and respect this if they really love you. ‘I’m taking care of my needs at the moment as its important for me to get some real quality time on my own’ is something I sometimes have said if asked to do something that I either don’t have time or inclination to do.
We cannot manage other peoples emotions or reactions and provided you know you have been respectful and tactful you have done the right thing. Stay true to what feels right for you always, you will know if it was the right decision as you will feel relieved and lighter within yourself.
♥ Its YOUR life, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for living it your way:
The more we feel at ease with disappointing others, facing conflict and understanding we will never please everyone, the more confident you will feel, the happier you will be and the more you will love your life.
Boundaries should be in place with anyone that affects your energy levels, including our own children, family members and friends and the more we get comfortable with it, the more they begin to accept it. A lack of boundaries in life invites a lack of respect. Begin to become aware who you give out your energy too, become protective over your time and who you allow in your life.
If you would like further help at addressing this issue of people pleasing and boundary setting, I can offer a coaching session specifically to help you with this either one to one or via Skype. http://sarahseed.namaranet.com/coaching-for-you/
Remember ultimately self care leads to a more honest authentic life, a life you love to live.