A few months ago I was asked to do something that I really didn’t want to do. My intuition said no, my heart pulled back, and deep down I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me. I have a history of being a people pleaser and a pushover, and so, despite all my internal warnings, I said yes.
I fell back into the part of me that wants to always be liked, and who doesn’t want to disappoint. As you can imagine, I begrudgingly endured the entire situation. And guess what? I felt stressed, anxious, angry, frustrated, out of alignment, distracted, whiny, negative, and out of sorts (amongst many other crazy feelings).
Can any of you relate to this?
I think many of us inflict upon ourselves so much stress and anxiety because we think we have to, in order to be liked, accepted, welcomed, or included. The truth is, being a people pleaser and a pushover doesn’t really do anyone any good. People don’t really like you more this way, and ultimately you hurt yourself each and every time you participate in this habit.
Luckily, we can break the habit of people pleasing by cultivating one simple practice into our lives: setting boundaries.
Honestly, I really resisted the idea of setting boundaries for a long, long time, even though many therapists, coaches, and teachers instilled in me the importance of them. In my mind, I believed that the boundaries would scare people away, shut people out, and make me feel more alone.
It’s simply not true.
Boundaries are a form of empowerment, strength, and a way for us to align with our identity, our desires, and where we stand in the world. When you don’t have boundaries, you are sending out a signal that you don’t know what you want, that you’ll take whatever you can get, and that you won’t put up a fight along the way.
When you don’t have boundaries, you feel like you are constantly living in a “doormat” mentality. Setting boundaries is a form of self-respect and self-love. By respecting yourself enough to set the necessary boundaries in your life, you’ll discover a unique sense of freedom and peace of mind.
Right after that situation I mentioned above, I made a promise to myself to get in touch with my boundaries and practice enforcing them. The relief I felt was immediate.
If you are looking to start establishing more healthy boundaries in your life, here are a few helpful tips for you:
– Connect with yourself to uncover your desires and values.
– Make a list of the things that you will and will not tolerate in your life.
– Tell a trustworthy friend about your intention to stick to your boundaries, so they can help you stay accountable!
– Remember that it’s ok to say no.
– Trust that the right people will stick around when you have the courage to stick up for yourself.
I hope this is helpful for you. I know it can be hard, but trust me it is worth it!
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Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at email@example.com