What are the first things that come to mind when you think of self-care? Is it a luxurious spa treatment or getting a manicure? Yes, pampering is one form of self-care, however establishing personal boundaries is also one way to enhance your well-being and bring balance to your life.
There were times in my personal life and career where I did not maintain healthy personal boundaries. I am someone who is very supportive by nature and enjoys helping others. There were times when I over extended myself in attempt to people please. This was further complicated by my reluctance to say "no." As a result, I would burn out and put myself last. I realized by having experiences I did not want helped me to better understand the type of situations I wanted to have moving forward. This prompted me to begin to be more eliberate in establishing limits for the behaviors I would accept from other people.
Taking steps to set clear boundaries
One of the things I started to do in an effort to establish personal boundaries for myeslf is level set expectations with other people. For instance, if I am not in a position to do something that is asked of me I make it known. I no longer feel guilty for putting myself first or feel a need to provide a detailed explaination as to why. This was illustrated not too long ago when an aquaintenance of mine invited me to attend an educational event she was hosting to provide helpful tips to pet owners. On the same day, I already planned to spend time with my family and I informed her I would not be able to attend.
Another thing I started to do is to ask questions that align with my personal values. There were times in my career when I accepted certain assignments because I genuinely wanted to be part of making a meaningful difference. Rather than feel pressured to work on an effort because someone else wants me to, I now do things because I genuinely have an interest in doing them. Before diving in and accepting a request for an engagement right away I inquire about to the point of where I am comfortable taking it on. In doing so enhances my ability to make decisions that are right for me and allow me the opportunity to have a greater piece of mind.
Although it is not always easy to establish personal boundaries, I have noticed a positive shift when I started doing more of this. I’m not perfect and this is something I continue to work on. What has helped me is being more deliberate about maintaining a level of self-awareness and doing a pulse check from time to time to see if I need to do something differently.
How do you set personal boundaries for yourself? Let me know in the comments below.