Being a Passionate Rebel to the core, I’ve never liked the sound of “setting boundaries.” To me, the phrase itself sounds so confining, as if I’d be building a fence around myself to keep me safely isolated from all the fun things in life I want to experience. Who wants that kind of limitation? In fact, if I think I’m not supposed to do something, I want to go and do it more!
And, yet, I learned the hard way that living without boundaries can be painful, sometimes even dangerous. In my misguided youth, I wanted nothing more than to be “free.”
The problem was that I thought “free” meant “no boundaries.”
“Carpe Diem!” “Life is short!” “I’ll try anything once!” I’d blithely chant as I popped took a shot and jumped on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle wearing flip-flops and no helmet. <Shaking my head>
Consequently, I frequently wound up in situations and with people that didn’t serve my higher self. Feeling stuck in environments that didn’t stimulate me mentally, strengthen me physically, or nurture me emotionally, I realized, ironically, that the results of living what I thought was a life “without limits” weren’t what I bargained for at all. In fact, I actually lacked the freedom to thrive, and that’s what true freedom is about, right?
Do you struggle finding the balance between boundaries and freedom?
Does it seem like as soon as you swear off giving out your phone number to strangers or kissing on the first date, you find yourself making out with a really fun guy at the local pub? Or, you tell yourself that you will no longer sacrifice your personal wellbeing by over-committing and spreading yourself too thin, and then you agree to stay late and help your boss with her year-end project through the holidays.
Relax. This schizophrenic boundary making and breaking is common for the Passionate Rebel who wants to get the most out of life. Still, this wavering makes us not trust ourselves to make choices (and stick to them) that are in our own best interest. It creates anxiety, undermines our confidence, and makes us feel unsafe.
Today, I still want to live free; it’s just my definition of freedom has changed.
“Free” doesn’t mean that people can treat me however they want, even if it’s disrespectful, unkind, or dismissive. “Free” doesn’t mean that it’s okay to disregard the needs of my body and run it into the ground for the sake of fun, money, success, or pleasing others.
To be “free” means “to thrive.” It means taking care of our body, mind and spirit so we can be the best person we can be.
So how do we solve the riddle off setting boundaries to live free?
Okay, here comes the mind-bender: We set boundaries by NOT setting boundaries. Yup! Instead, we break down the barriers that get in our way!
Let’s go back to the two previous examples:
1) Despite what the rulebooks say about finding a mate, the problem isn’t giving our number to strangers or kissing on the first date; in fact, I have plenty of friends that did both and are happily married today. The problem is when we don’t realize our own worth, the people we’re attracted to don’t either.
2) There’s also nothing wrong with working overtime or helping others. The problem is when our desire to please others, be accepted, or ‘get ahead’ compromises our values, intimate relationships, or physical health and psychic wellbeing.
So, the most important barrier to break down is the one that stands between you and your self-worth. Remember, you are ROYAL. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect by everyone, including you.
Here are some tried and true methods to breaking down the barrier:
1) Dig deep to find self-limiting thoughts.
Many of us carry around antiquated, false beliefs that we don’t even realize are hampering self-esteem and hindering our success. For example, I had a very intelligent and compassionate client who wanted to be a Physician’s Assistant (perfect job for her!) but she told me she would never make it through the arduous program because she was bad at math. When I asked her the last time she tried “doing math”, she said “twenty years ago.” After some gentle prodding and lots of encouragement, she hired a math tutor and made it through the program, top of her class. Today, she is a successful PA, and she and the world are better for it!
2) Turn lemons into lemonade: Say Affirmations. Once you uncover those limiting beliefs, turn them upside down. For instance, I told my client who wanted to be a Physician’s Assistant to look herself in the mirror every morning and say, “I am bright, capable, and able to learn. I am good at math. I will be a rock star PA!”
3) Listen to your inner voice. When you are in touch with your source, you KNOW what is best for you in each, unique situation. The only rule to follow is your intuitive wisdom.
Congrats! You are on the road to having an Internal Revolution. Welcome to the Passionate Rebel Lifestyle, a place to build a life of freedom and adventure on your terms. The proof is in the pudding, take action now! Leave a comment down below on where you break down barriers or click here to join me for weekly Tips, Clips and Tricks.