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In this episode, you’ll discover…

  • The most difficult, yet effective form of self-care that prevents others from taking advantage of you (4:38)
  • How to tune into the cues from your body about where to set your personal boundaries (especially if you’ve struggled with sticking to them in the past) (8:19)
  • Why justifying your boundaries to other people waters down your message and fills you with unnecessary guilt (9:44)
  • The counterintuitive way keeping the peace forces you to sacrifice your own needs (13:26)
  • The “Parenting Rules Method” for setting healthy boundaries that actually improves all of your relationships (especially your relationship with yourself) (16:50)

If you’re ready to rise up and become the best version of yourself, check out the 12-month mindset and accountability experience that will help you rise up here: https://befitandfierce.com/justbreath

If you have zero energy to focus on yourself and need extra support and accountability from women who know what it’s like to juggle a crazy busy life, then go to https://befitandfierce.com and become unstoppable with us.

Or, if you want to join a sisterhood dedicated to growing our faith, join our Just Breathe Facebook Group.

Read Full Transcript

Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.

(00:35): Hey there, gang. Welcome to find your fierce. So glad that you're here today with me, today's chat was actually requested by one of you guys. I love it when you reach out and let me know what you want to hear. I love it when you leave feedback and a review, because your reviews and comments allow each episode to get out and help more women just like you, who want to add some fire to their day. So thank you for your feedback. Thank you for your re your reviews and for always reaching out. And it's crazy. What we are talking about has also been a topic these last few weeks with a few women that I personally coach one-on-one. So it's perfect timing. It's good stuff. And it's about boundaries. What they are, why we need them, how to set them, how to follow through with them all without sabotaging relationships and feeling guilty.

(01:22): So it's going to be a good one again. I'm so glad that you guys are plugging in and I want to start with the definition of boundary. Of course, I looked it up and it States that a boundary is a line that marks the limits of an area, a dividing line. And when we take it a few steps further, it's a border, a perimeter, an edge. It's like a partition, a starting and stopping point. Boundaries help define us. They define what is me and what is not me. Abounds shows us where we end and someone else begins leading us to a sense of ownership. And yet oftentimes as we go through life, as we show up through our days, right? Things can get blurred. Everything seems to run together. You know, we get sucked into going in every direction. And we hop on this fast track where boundaries become almost non-existent.

(02:16): We don't want to rock the boat. We don't want to say no, we don't want to hurt someone's feelings or feel like we're not doing our share or our part. And what happens is it gets us on a one-way ticket to burn out Ville resentment though. Either one, probably both. Okay. So I want to ask you, do you struggle with setting boundaries? Is that something that you wrestle with, or maybe you set them yet struggle to follow through with them? And if not ladies, I'm telling ya good for you, truly. I applaud your boldness and encourage to have that voice and to speak up for yourself. It's essential. And I found when we draw that line, the sand, it can be uncomfortable. It can be awkward if we let it. Other people may not like them. If this is something that you guys are struggling with, this is exactly what today's going to be all about.

(03:11): Setting healthy boundaries, whether it be with your family, kids, any relationship for that matter within your career, your friends circle at home with whatever, whoever it may be. It's for your sanity, it's for your peace. And I'm going to share with you how to create that starting and stopping point all without the guilt. Okay? Now, with that being said, I want to be completely transparent with you. I'm still figuring out how to do boundaries. Well, myself, like many people, I'm pretty good at setting a boundary, but once that boundary is crossed because I am human, I can get sucked back into that trap. Okay. And I usually resent it when someone steps on my boundaries, because they're putting me in a position where I have to speak up for myself and that's uncomfortable. Sometimes that's uncomfortable. We don't get a Pat on the back or a reward for doing a good job, holding the line or creating and sticking to our boundaries.

(04:07): Am I right? We were more likely to get a sour look than a high five for holding our line, holding our boundaries. That is why boundaries are so difficult and what it comes down to though. It is a hard decision, but I have to ask myself this, do I want to tolerate potential conflict by defending my boundaries? Or do I want to feel resentful every time I let someone cross them. But here's what I've learned about boundaries and trying to get the hang of it. Okay? Boundaries are for our own wellbeing. It's not to control others. They should never be an attempt to control or punish other people. I want to flip that script, look at it as actually a form of self care and something you do to love yourself and others because boundaries protect us from being taken advantage of over committing overworking, feeling overwhelmed and any physical and emotional abuse or harm.

(05:05): Okay? And so when we practice boundaries, we can take ownership of four things. We take ownership of our thoughts, our feelings, our bodies, our decisions. And likewise are on the other side of that. We let other people take ownership of their thoughts, their feelings, their bodies, and decisions, rather than taking responsibility for what really isn't ours. It's like a form of letting go. And it's so freeing. It's so good. And of course, we all want people to respect our boundaries, but we have to accept that we can't make them. We should set boundaries as a statement of who we are and what it is that we need, but your boundary say, I matter my feelings matter. My ideas matter. My health matters. My dreams matter, my needs matter. And some may not like that. You may ruffle some feathers, but no, and more importantly, believe that boundaries are about doing what's right for you, not about forcing others to do what you want.

(06:03): And it's a skill. It's a skill that takes practice. And I hope with what I share with you, it will help you begin to create some healthy boundaries that work best for you, that aligned with who you are and who you've been created to be. Okay. So let's dive in first. We need to be super clear about what it is that you want before you set any boundary. You need to get really specific about what it is that you want, why it's important. And this is going to be able to help us communicate your needs clearly and stay the course when it gets tough. When you're preparing to set a difficult boundary, you may find it helpful to write down exactly what it is that you want and why I'm really big on the why part, right? Some people find that, you know, writing that little script and rehearsing, you know what they're going to say and do actually helps reduce their anxiety.

(06:56): The kids are like to me all the time, who are you talking to mom? Oh, I'm just practicing. I'm just practicing. You know, and I know some of you guys totally, totally get that, but I want you guys to get clear on exactly what that boundary is. Where are you going to draw the line? You know, just for a light example. I mean, is it okay for your dog to get up on the couch? As long as your dog doesn't scratch it or is it simply not okay for your dog to get up on the furniture at all? Right. I know this is just a silly example, but if you're not clear on what your boundaries are, others won't be either. And so being wishy-washy doesn't work, it confuses everyone. So when you're trying to get clear on what it is that you want, of course, you know, the first thing you're going to want to do is pray about it.

(07:41): You know, I've caught myself gossiping or venting my frustration to others, you know, trying to get others to see my side. When you know, I was feeling that resentment and it's not good. It's not a good place to be in. It's not, it's not good at all. So first I, now I now go to him versus others to gain clarity about the situation or where the boundary needs to be set. How are you feeling about the situation and why, what do you wish could be different? Is the other person hurting you? How, how is not creating a line impacting me? Some of that, those are the questions that you can ask yourself and begin to, to journal and jot down and really listen to where it is that you currently are. But we have to tune in, right? Our bodies always give us signals includes when we are near that personal limit.

(08:28): Think about it. Notice if you feel like your jaw tightened or your fist clench, maybe you start to squirm or you break into a sweat, you know, maybe you feel it in your throat or your stomach, whatever the cue is, you know, listen to what your body tells you and take some time to dive into that discomfort and understand that boundary is probably a rising, right? And then go back to prayer and ask, what is it that you clearly want and why? Okay. So number two, we're going to define our boundaries. But so once we've gotten honest about the situation, clarity on what it is that we want and why it's time to take ownership of what's yours and let go of what's not. And this way you'll define your boundaries. Remember you're not responsible or you are responsible. I should say you're responsible for your thoughts, your feelings, body, and decisions.

(09:20): No one else's. And if you're not sure what limits you should set, think about, think about these questions. Is someone blaming you for something that's their responsibility or vice versa. What is reasonable for someone to ask of me and what is not, what are my expectations from this person? Are those reasonable? What do I need to communicate so that my limits are understood. And the key here is to be super direct and don't apologize for your needs when communicating your boundaries, it's most effective to be direct and super clear. And so if you keep explaining your boundary with excessive explanations or justifications or apologies you water down your message. Let me give you a couple examples here. Okay. Notice the difference between these two statements. Okay. Hey girl. Hey. Well, okay. That's what my kids say. That's what my girls do. Your kids say that.

(10:14): Hey girl. Hey. Okay. So, Hey girl, I'm sorry, but it turns out that I'm not going to be able to cover that shift for you next Saturday. Or you can say, Hey girl, I'm really sorry, but I can't cover your shift on Saturday. I really want to, but you know, my son has his last baseball game. I feel like I should be there for him. I know I told you I could work, but I forgot about the game. I hope you're not mad at me. I know I need to put things on my calendar. I'm so forgetful. Right? That second example reinforces the fact that the notion that is wrong for you to say no, instead, just keep it simple. And remember that you have the right to ask for what you want need, and you don't have to justify it with a, with a good reason.

(10:56): Okay. Which kind of leads me to the third thing. Practice saying no things without giving a reason. Right? It's, it's common to feel like you need to explain your boundaries to others, but you don't. And sometimes the simplest, most honest response, like no, thanks is perfect. Giving an excuse or falsifying. Your reasoning can ultimately leave you feeling guilty or out of alignment with the Lord. Okay. So just practice saying no, thanks. Nothing more. And you can even start small, like say no, thanks. You know, maybe when your husband asks, if you want to watch a TV show, my husband always wants to watch gold rush. And I'm like, ah, no, thanks. I'll pass or no, thanks to the person who wants to take you out to lunch when you have a deadline to meet that day, or if you've, you know, been asked to, you know, be on a volunteer committee and it's not lined up with what's going on in your life at the moment, or, you know, guys, seriously, no pressure.

(11:46): Just say, no thanks. And so how do we kindly get our message across, right? It's not an easy task. And oftentimes it can be intimidating telling people what you need might seem selfish or aggressive and it can come across as rude to some. But again, let's flip that script. It's important boundaries allow us to feel safe and respected, not just physically, but emotionally honoring our limits, help us to take better care of ourselves, builds trust, prevents burnout, and infuses more meaning and truth into our relationships. So it's good for everyone around. So I just want you to practice communicating clarity, practicing. No, when you don't want to do something, you don't have to explain yourself or offer an excuse. You can just say no thanks. No thank you. I can't. And just leave it at that. It's so good. Number four, expect resistance and don't let it take you out of the game.

(12:46): Okay? When you start setting boundaries, some people are going to respond poorly. I mean, this is especially common. If they're usually the people who have been benefiting from your lack of boundaries. So they don't want you to change people who are controlling or manipulative or abusive, or who have unhealthy boundaries themselves may be triggered when you set a new boundary. But no, some people may just need time to adjust to your new behavior while others will use. I don't know, anger to try to manipulate and course you away from setting boundaries. I don't want that to deter. You do not let that deter you. And one of the most common reasons, common reasons for not setting boundaries that I found in the past is, is a fear of conflict, right? You don't want to upset or anger people. So what happens is you sacrifice your own needs.

(13:40): And once just to keep the peace it's tempting, I totally get it to return to your old ways when others don't like your boundaries. However, even when your boundaries might provoke some anger or resistance, it doesn't mean you shouldn't set them. It actually means that you need to ask for help, make sure that you're, you know, that you're safe, especially if you're in danger, you don't be alone with that person. If you know, if that person is threatening or aggressive, but sometimes it helps to remember that when people resist your boundaries, it's just confirmation that the boundaries are needed. No, that, you know, you aren't responsible for how others react to your boundaries. You don't have to make them feel better or take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. You are only responsible for your own feelings, your own actions. So expect the pushback.

(14:35): You can be absolutely certain that if you set that new boundary with people who already know you, right, that boundary is going to be tested. Just think about it. When it comes to your kids on this one, that means repeated pushbacks and tests. What are you going to do about it? The results of this testing and this pushback will be one of two outcomes either. You're going to prove that you really don't mean it, or you're going to demonstrate that you do okay. Five establish consequences. Once you you've defined your limits, you will also want to define consequences for when those limits are broken. Right? So if the other person continues to violate your boundaries. So the question is like, what then? What do you want to do about it? And you may have to re remove yourself from maybe in an emotionally harmful situation.

(15:19): And I get it. It can be tricky. It's a, it's a tricky line to walk, but I like to think of Jesus on this one, right? He said to turn the other cheek, but he also stood up to those who opposed him and walked away when he wanted to. Okay. So consequences should be determined from prayer ahead of time so that you're not making a decision in the heat of the moment and responding to our feelings at that moment at that time. So it's going to require some courage to follow through in a calm and respectful way. I hope you guys caught that. Did you catch it in order for consequences to work? You actually have to follow through with them once you've made a decision, stick to it, right? Decide on the consequences ahead of time. What will happen if someone crosses a boundary, if there's zero consequences, there, there might as well be no map boundaries.

(16:08): Will you stop talking to them? Will you remove privileges? Will you go home? Maybe we'll will you withdraw financial support or simply call out their behavior. Something needs to happen when others step on your toes and I'm not talking about revenge, okay, what I'm talking about is what's going to happen? What will it be when someone consistently disrespects your boundaries, will you, will you take a break from the relationship? Will you stop working with them? Will you draw the line in the sand? Will you choose something that you are willing and ready to do and stay firm? Okay. Six be consistent. This is pretty simple, right? Testing. And push-backs, they're going to take place over time. If it's not okay to call you names today, it shouldn't be okay tomorrow. And your boundaries, they can't change with your mood or what you're feeling at that moment.

(17:01): You, you can't blame others for being confused about what's acceptable. If they change with the way you feel that day, right? Just as with parenting rules, which you know, need to be, they need to be consistent to be taken seriously. Every time you allow a boundary to be crossed without consequences or back to square one. So we just want to be really super consistent. Okay. Seven, remember the high five, right? And how often we don't get one. When we set those boundaries and we follow through with those boundaries, but we now know, and respect boundaries and others decisions. So I want you to want to cheer you on and express some gratitude when others set boundaries, give them the high five. And as I began to understand that people set boundaries to protect their own wellbeing. I totally love it. I love it. I get fired up when other set them, right.

(17:53): And we can respond to our friends and our coworkers, or whoever's drawn that line. You know? Hey, I value your honesty. I so appreciate you sharing that with me. Even if that boundary was hard to hear, okay, I love it. When I see other set boundaries, because it inspires me for sure to do the same. And again, guys, there's more freedom and all of that. Number eight, this is the last one. Guys. It's not a single shot deal. Get used to the ongoing journey. Once you set a boundary, the longterm work of defending that boundary begins. It is an ongoing process and we have to constantly reassess. So we accept our responsibility for speaking up and making sure that there are consequences. Every single time a boundary boundaries crossed. Some people will get it right away while others will take longer. And you know, maybe one or two may decide never to respect a particular boundary.

(18:46): And that's okay. They'll just have to get used to the consequences, right? But you're going to be surprised how often old dogs can learn new tricks with consistent training. And you know, if you're a parent, you know, that you have to repeatedly set rules, the form of boundaries and tell your kids what you expect from them. And it's the same thing. Setting boundaries with adults is the same. We need to continuously set boundaries. We can't just set a boundary and be done with it. You may need to set the same boundary repeatedly with the same person and as your needs change, you're going to need to set different boundaries. And I heard this the other day, a friend wants shared, you know, that that boundaries are like fences, not brick walls. So it's very important to stick to the boundaries we decided upon. You may not need to stick with them for ever that there may be some exceptions.

(19:36): And once people start seeing that you're serious, they're going to start changing their behaviors and things can be modified that figuring out boundaries. I totally get it. It's hard. And you're never really done with this process. As you know, think about it. As long as you have conflict with other people, we're going to be dealing with boundaries. So I totally get it. I could go on and on with this. And we dive into this on a more personal level with the women. I personally coach, but I want you to imagine how your life will be different when you implement what I just shared with you. Instead of people pleasing and feeling guilty. When you draw a line or, you know, get into prayer and imagine the, the, the ways that you will benefit from setting boundaries, how others will benefit, allow yourself to imagine how your life will be different.

(20:22): When you begin to speak your truth, how things will change, how will your daily life become fire? How might you feel more authentic in your relationships? Guys, get clear on what you want, define your boundaries. Say no, expect resistance, establish the consequences, be consistent, respect others, right? When they set their boundaries, give them a high-five reassess and adjust. I know I'm still working on this myself, but learning and growing each day. If you want to learn with us, you're being called arise. I want to invite you to the Jesper sisterhood, a 12 month mindset and accountability experience rooted in biblical truth for Christian women, like you, who are ready to rise up, head on over to be fit and fierce.com forward slash just breed. Or you can check it out on the, just breathe. Facebook group heads up on the next episode. Nikki cozy ours is back with us. She is always fire and has such a pure heart. I'm so excited that she's going to be with us. So be sure to come back and hang with us next week. Thanks so much for joining us today. Please subscribe, share this episode, link on your social media. If you've felt encouraged or inspired, as we all know, someone that can benefit. And I would love it. If you would give some feedback and a review as well, talk to you next time. If it beat there's the unstoppable,

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