Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you don’t really want to be in just because you said yes when you really meant NO?
If you are anything like me you have lived your life in fear of hurting someone’s feelings, or not being helpful enough or kind enough or liked enough.
WELL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
I have made this year a year for setting healthy boundaries and learning to say NO when I mean NO!
I started off the year with a new phone number. Instead of texting all my contacts right away, I went through my contacts and chose to give my new number only to the people in my life that are positive and healthy for me (and my family of course).
I didn’t change my phone number solely for this purpose, but when I found out my number would be changing, it got me thinking about the freedom I was suddenly given. This is what began my journey in learning to set healthy boundaries.
Right away I began feeling guilt and worry that I might hurt someone’s feelings. This brings us to the first step:
1- You can choose to change your thought patterns.
I began letting the habitual feelings of guilt and worry overcome me as the thoughts played on repeat in my head.
Then I was reminded of a book I read by Gail Brenner called The End of Self-Help:Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life. She says that;
“We get used to our usual thought patterns and feelings, but it’s important to understand that staying in them is a choice.”
I realized I could change my thought patterns as soon as I became aware of them. When you look at your thoughts and put attention to the feelings those thoughts provoke, you are able to see the limits and stress they are creating in your body.
Knowing that I could change my own thoughts right away started me on a path of self care and gave me a sense of power.
2- Learn to Sit with Yourself
When I found myself falling back into my old habitual patterns I had to slow down in order to stop myself from making amends or apologizing just to make others happy.
When you are making a big change to any habitual pattern it’s important to make time for quiet reflection. This could be in a meditation practice or just sitting with a cup of tea in relative silence.
Quiet reflection helps you see your habitual thought patterns as well as bring clarity to new feelings both positive and negative.
When experiencing a change, bringing this quiet self care practice into your life helps to create balance. It will assist you in making more positive choices and help you remember your initial goal and why you are making the change in the first place.
3- Get Comfortable in the Discomfort
Part of the work of shedding old habits and thought patterns is embracing that feeling of awkward or unfamiliar.
I was in the habit of right away dismissing my own feelings just so everyone around me would be happy and comfortable, even if that meant allowing them to walk all over me.
I had to learn to allow myself to feel the discomfort of not being responsible for everyone else’s happiness.
With this feeling of discomfort I learned to remind myself that I was making positive changes. The feeling of discomfort was normal and Ok. Just like anything new it began getting easier and more comfortable with practice.
Me Flying off the Mountain in Machu Picchu, Peru
If you are anything like me and are putting all your energy and love into making everyone else happy, it’s time to make a New Agreement. An Agreement to start setting healthy boundaries.
Learn to Say No.
Listen to Your Body.
Learn to Honor Yourself.
If you don’t make yourself happy no one else will. When you become responsible for your own happiness you gain a true sense of FREEDOM and JOY!
Loves and Kisses
The Agreement Coach
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