How many times have you said yes to doing something you didn’t want to do because you were too scared to say no? How many times have you accepted being treated with less respect than you deserved because you were afraid of confrontation? How many times did you put someone else’s needs first because you didn’t want to upset them by simply being honest about what you really wanted?
An important part of self-love, self-development, and inner growth is being able to set clear boundaries with the people around us. It’s integral for our own self-preservation so that we can make sure our energy and time are being invested in the right places. Setting healthy boundaries is also key for manifesting because it directly impacts our self-worth (the driving force behind manifesting).
Setting clear boundaries can look like this:
• Letting go of people in your life who drain your energy or who always make you feel disrespected or unworthy
• Saying no to a dinner or a party that you just don’t want to go to
• Making it clear to your boss that you won’t be able to work overtime for free anymore
• Letting your partner know what behavior you will and won’t accept in a relationship
• Making the decision to not always drop everything you are doing and give advice to your friend the second they call you with a dilemma
For most people, the idea of setting boundaries like this can trigger a fear of coming off as mean or rude, and that fear perpetuates the cycle that so many people find themselves in—ignoring their own boundaries and never putting themselves first.
But I am here to tell you that saying no is not mean and, no, it really does not make you a b*tch. Being mean needs an intention that is directed toward hurting, humiliating, or deliberately offending another person. And the intention is everything. When you set clear boundaries, your intention isn’t to do those things, it’s simply to enable you to become the best version of yourself, to live your best life, and to honor yourself. As long as you know your intention, you can be sure that you are doing the right thing.
When you set boundaries, remember that delivery is everything. I think the sweet spot is to be gentle enough that you avoid the other person becoming defensive, but assertive enough that you can feel like your message is being heard. But ultimately, the way that anyone responds to a boundary you set says more about them than it does about you. In most circumstances, people will understand and respect them and it will be a seamless transition, but if anyone does try to make it difficult for you, know that is simply a reflection of their own internal world and not a reflection of you.
You have one life, your life, and you owe it to yourself to make it the best that it can be. Commit to healthy boundaries, be clear in your intention, and give yourself the respect you deserve. That is not mean, that is simply self-love in action.
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