Boundaries are an act of self-care. They’re essential to a healthy relationship with yourself and with others. Over the years, boundaries can shift and change, and that’s okay and a natural part of evolving and growing as a human.
Recently I did some reflecting on my own personal values and identified a few new ones I’ve adopted in the past 2 years that have been very helpful for me. Hopefully, they will be for you too.
I have the right to change my mind
This is a tough one for me because I don’t want to disappoint someone. I was brought up to honor your word, if you said you were going to do something, you’d do it. However, once I realized that I have the right to change my mind, I felt a lot less trapped. Changing your mind doesn’t mean you’re a flaky person. It actually means that you’re a thoughtful person who is trying to live in alignment with your own truth, which is something to be valued. And if someone DOES get mad because I changed my mind, that’s okay because my worth is not conditional on their approval.
I won’t abandon myself to prevent disappointing others
This is another hard one. I grew up with the old adage that you’re to put others before yourself. However, that’s led to self-abandonment more than I can count. Who I am matters. What I want matters. What I need matters. No longer will I sacrifice what I need to make someone else happy. It’s okay if others are disappointed in me; my purpose is not to please everyone.
Understanding My Limits
This past year I’ve started to understand better how social events affect me and how I need time to decompress and reset my nervous system after being in a social setting. Regulating my emotions and nervous system is important for me to do after I’m in heightened situations. If I don’t take the time to decompress, I’ll likely use an unhealthy coping strategy to bring me back to center. I’d rather be aware of what’s going on in my body and give it what it needs instead of reaching for a glass of wine.
Rest is Nonnegotiable, Not Shameful
Rest is absolutely essential to my life if I want to show up and do well at work and in my personal life. Taking breaks throughout the day to simply rest my mind helps me stay consistent and produce quality work throughout the day. I no longer subscribe to the belief that needing rest is weak or a failure of will. Getting adequate rest amplifies everything I do.
I’m aware and accepting that boundaries may change as I change. As I grow and learn knew things about myself and how to care for myself and others, boundaries may shift. And I’m thankful for that. Because that means I’m evolving and adapting and growing as a person. If you struggle with boundaries, I recommend checking out this book. It’s a great primer for understanding what boundaries are and how to honor them for yourself and in others.