Boundaries are good for our sense of Empowerment and Well Being, they set us free. They form part of our own self care package and they are an operating system that allows us to let others know what works and what does not work for us. They are all about being honest and clear about our limits that we tell other people.
Saying No Builds - Empowerment, Respect, Self Esteem and Confidence.
Does the thought of doing this feel scary? Read on....
First thing we need to ask is; why do we fear putting Boundaries into both our Personal and Work Lives?
It's all to do with our upbringing, how we were conditioned. Many of us can feel that it's mean, impolite or even selfish to be clear about our needs, and to stop pleasing others. Others of us may fear loosing friends or even a job if we express ourselves in a clear and firm way. We learn all of this from our Family System and from our Social Culture. So, if you want to become a Boundary Expert it's important to explore how boundaries were viewed and responded to when you were growing up. This will give you clear information that will help you to understand what is impacting on your ability to draw healthy boundaries for yourself. Ask your self, Why is it hard to say no? You will be very interested in that answer as you look back in time. You will hear sentences like, " be polite", " don't say that, it's rude ", or " maybe good girls/boys always do as they are told ". It will all be there right in your past. Old Habits Die Hard, but once you get a clear understanding you can then set about unpicking the belief system that has you held in fear of Putting Yourself First.
Examine and explore some areas in your life that you might feel that could do with you beginning to be more empowered.. Pick one particurlar place to start.. ( You might find it easiest to begin with loved and trusted friends) and begin to put to put in these steps to saying no.
1/ Awareness - Understand your background to saying no. Look at your family of origin and understand what saying no meant in your home as a child. Really go into this as the more you understand the easier it becomes to makes changes in the here and now.
2/ Buy Time - In the beginning you can begin to say no by not immediately giving an answer. You can say things like " I need some time to think about this" or "I'll give you a maybe for now as I need to check with my partner/diary" or you could try "I need some time to think about this to make it happen". Get some stock phrases under your belt that you feel confortable using.
3/ Trust your gut- listen to your body. If it doesn't feel right from the start then it's not right for you.
4/ Breath - Always take a deep breathe before you respond to anything. It gives you time to check in with yourself and to form a response that you want to make.
Learn to say no with ease, this comes with practice. Practice saying no at home, in your car and get good at popping out those buying time phrases until you get to the stage where you can, with complete ease and a smile, say, "I'm sorry that doesn't work for me". It will feel great!