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  • Lawunmi A. Nwaiwu

What do healthy boundaries really mean?

Setting healthy boundaries are supposed to help us achieve work/life balance, to speak up for what we need and enjoy the rewarding relationships. But what do 'healthy boundaries' really mean and how can you start building yours?

If you're like me, you've probably lived the majority of your life without boundaries.

Over the recent years, growing up and discovering ways to create new ones, clear enough and strong enough to be able to stay off negative influences and connect with my best self required practising. At a point, I felt I was distancing myself from others, but I started to think of boundaries as neutral, of what I needed to be my best self. You probably have questions right now on how to avoid guilt when setting a boundary, how to preserve your individuality and unique expression without caging yourself etc. I can say that after rediscovering those boundaries again, here's what I've learned.


Section #1: Understand that setting boundaries can hurt

Section #2: Be intentional setting boundaries

Section #3: Establish what you want to let in and keep out


 

Section #1: Understand that setting boundaries can hurt at first and then they don't anymore.


Setting clear and healthy boundaries doesn't mean that you are limiting yourself to others. Think of it this way. You know what is right for you, what works for you, and how you deliver high performance. Some may not understand your boundaries and make comments that may cause discomfort. But with time, as you continue to take responsibility of your own actions and emotions, while not taking responsibility of the actions and emotions of others - you can enjoy life once again.


Section #2: Be intentional setting boundaries


Honestly, I reminisce on this all the time. I catch myself thinking back to the memories of University days and I think "WOW, I have come so far". It's important to look back and pat yourself on the back, acknowledge the hurdles you have overcome, identify the hurdles infront of you and reflect on how your past will help you handle the future. Practising self-care has always been an important factor in my life growing up. Setting boundaries was crucial for my self-care, success, business relationships and really everything in life. Boundaries will help you define your legacy. If not communicated properly, it could hinder your success. So today, choose one boundary you realise you haven't set, and be intentional about how you are going to sustain it.


Section #3: Establish what you want to let in and what you want to keep out.


You can't give yourself to everyone. It isn't healthy and sustainable. Setting boundaries comes down to communication. Communicating your needs and desires. While it may feel like you are repeating yourself a few times, don't feel the need to apologise because healthy boundaries empower you to take charge of your life. You take care of your own problems and understand that you cannot heal other people's issues for them. I always say that by visualisiing your boundaries and writing them down, it will give you much clarity on where to draw the line between you and others. You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is giving me unnecessary stress and discomfort?