Setting Boundaries – Part 4 of 4

Now that we have defined boundaries, understand where they come from, and know how to set them, we will address how to keep boundaries. Whenever we make a change in our lives, it can be difficult at first to maintain that change. Think of when you try to stop a bad habit. You often begin with a plan and are motivated, but after a few weeks you may find yourself right back in your negative patterns. The same is true for setting boundaries. This time, however, will be different. We are here to help give you guidance in sticking with your boundaries.

Most people are resistant to change. People want to maintain the status quo and resort to old behaviors. When you begin setting boundaries in your life, you will most definitely find resistance from others. People may not understand or may not want to understand this change in your life. Therefore, you will need to have a plan of action to help you remain strong in your choices. Here are practical steps to help you maintain your healthy boundaries.

  1. Stand your Ground
    When other people are upset with your new lifestyle, do not let their emotions and words deter you. Remember the reason you set the boundaries. In fact, when people try to throw their discomfort and anger back on you, it is the perfect reminder as to why you set the boundary in the first place.  It takes time to form a new normal. By sticking with your choices over and over again, other people will begin to also create a new normal in their relationship with you. Consistency is vital to getting long-term results.
  2. Accountability
    Anytime we make a change in our lives, we need to share it with someone who is
    supportive and helpful. By verbalizing your changes to another person, you will be held accountable to your words. Make sure you share with someone who is understanding and safe. You do not want to tell someone about your new boundaries and have them discredit you and discount your needs. Ask others to check-in on you regularly to make sure you are maintaining your new lifestyle.
  3. Acceptance
    When you set boundaries, you may have a lot of emotions that come along with it. Some people report feeling guilty about cutting people off. Others feel lonely because they have more free time in their lives. You may start to judge yourself for your choices. This is normal. You will not only have to change your relationships, but also your mindset about your new decisions. During this time, it is important that you offer yourself acceptance. Instead of judging your thoughts and feelings, embrace them and explore their origins. Give yourself the gift of acceptance as you create a new life for yourself.

Following these steps is not easy. It takes strength and support to maintain healthy boundaries. If you are finding it difficult to start and keep up with your new choices, please contact us. We enjoy helping our clients identify and create boundaries. We know that it is the start to positive changes. We want to walk beside you and help you get there. Give us a call.