Most of us blindly agree on decisions, conversations and plans that ultimately don’t feel good or serve us – usually fulfilling the needs of others at the expense of our own happiness and self-love.
To extract ourselves requires a super conscious mindset that puts us front and center rather than the lives of others. Making a change can sometimes seem far-fetched, difficult, overwhelming and even debilitating, but in reality, it's really about setting mindful boundaries so that you protect your happiness, spirit and self-worth in the long run (and still have friends!).
Also, it's important to be mindful of willingly getting involved in other people's hang-ups, short-sighted views, negative opinions, time-wasting tendencies and on and on. Despite the fact you’re invited to get in, you want to be nice. Here are some familiar scenarios that can throw your confidence, happiness and mindfulness off balance:
• The fact you and your work mate can talk crap about your boss all day, keeps you in a negative loop.
• Buying into your parent’s negative attitudes about money, keeps you in a negative loop.
• Your friend’s constant complaining about how you can’t trust anyone, when you really want to find that long-term love, keeps you in a negative loop.
• Going to that meeting across town that should have been a simple phone call, keeps you in a negative loop.
Participating, remember, is a choice.
How to set boundaries
There are a million things to say on the topic of boundaries, but a crucial thing to know in your bones, to your core, is that it starts with you. Here are some self-awareness questions for you to ask yourself to help you understand whether you do put others before you:
• Are you a ‘yes’ person? No matter what the occasion, are you afraid or not bothered to disappoint somebody in your life so you agree to everything and anything?
• Do you say self-deprecating words to yourself?
• Do you minimise yourself so you don’t intimidate others or so they don’t even notice you?
• Do you speak about yourself as ‘less than’?
• Are you always available?
These are all low boundaries setters.
Examples of healthy boundaries
Want to set higher ones? It all starts with going for an alternative choice each time you're about to dip your toe in that warm and cozy comfort zone:
• Say, ‘I’ll think about it and come back to you with an answer’, instead of the immediate, ‘yes’.
• Offer a ‘thank you’ to a compliment aimed your way or when given positive feedback or recognition (whether that’s in a text message or in a work meeting).
• Agree to meetings – time, dates and locations – that work for you. They want to meet on Tuesday but you're packed up with deadlines? It will have to be Friday, half-way between you both. Or, a Skype date the following week.
When you're dealing with issues of low confidence, it's especially important to meet every occasion with a boundary-defining-response – not only is this an active way of improving your relationships, it will help you feel empowered and naturally gift you with so much more time, space and positive energy into your every day and life in general.
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