Setting boundaries for yourself is essential for self-love. That’s because boundaries allow us to draw a clear line in the sand that says, “Respect my space and time. Or else!”
This isn’t always easy, I know! There was a time where I set clear boundaries…in my head. I’d come in all hot, thinking, “I’m going to tell them! They’re going to hear me when I speak up!” But as soon as I opened my mouth, I’d cower. I’d hear myself speaking shyly, backpedaling from my point and brushing away the line in the sand that would lead to my freedom and Queendom (ahum, sandcastle). Afterward, I’d beat myself up for chickening out and wondered, why can’t I get my shit together?
I’ll tell you why: fear. I feared that I would push the people that I loved away.
What if they got upset? What if they didn’t respect my boundaries, would I have to cut them off? What if they didn’t like me anymore? What if they didn’t want to be my friend/lover/relative anymore?
Fear is a bitch, it ruins everything! This is why it’s essential to pinpoint your fears before setting boundaries for yourself. And you can start the process by asking yourself a few questions.
- What am I afraid to lose if I speak up?
- What do I think is going to happen if I speak up and set clear boundaries?
- What reaction or actions do I fear?
- Where do those fears stem from?
Think about the last time you set boundaries for yourself. Ask yourself…
- What was the result and how did it make me feel?
If this experience caused anxiety, depression, or any harm, this is why you’re triggered when setting boundaries. I suggest seeking professional help to work through this or you’ll fear standing up for yourself and your needs in all relationships.
If the result was something you didn’t want or made you uncomfortable (perhaps you lost a friendship or relationship because they didn’t respect your stance), ask yourself: is that relationship worth more than my self-worth and self-respect? The answer here, amiga, is no.
If someone can’t respect your line in the sand, they don’t deserve an invitation to your sandcastle.