Choose You First Course – Day 1 Lesson

Day 1: Healthy Personal Boundaries

We spend our days rushing from one task to another at work and home only to drop into our beds at midnight, completely exhausted. Our society has changed a great deal since our parents were in their prime. Today we are addicted to speed, see busyness as a status symbol, take care of not only our children, but also our aging parent, and work as many hours as possible to keep ahead of the Jones’. It’s no wonder most of us ignore ourselves and our needs. It seems like there’s simply not the time to do more than grab food on the go and snag a few hours of sleep before starting it all again.

Have you ever stopped to wonder if this is the way you want to live? We somehow find it easier to make time for other people’s needs than we do our own. And, those who do make it a priority to find time for themselves, are considered selfish and self-centered. Since we certainly don’t want others to view us in that way, we soldier on, pushing through instead. Whereas what we need to do is to take a break so that we can take care of ourselves and our energy. Everyone deserves to thrive in life, not just survive one day to the next! That’s why we created this mini course, so that we can help everyone to get the proper amount of self care.

Day 1:

In today’s lesson, we’ll be looking at what healthy personal boundaries are, and what they can mean to each person.

Setting Boundaries

If you have difficulty putting your own needs above those of others, you no doubt have issues with setting personal boundaries. Many of us struggle with this today.

It seems more than ever before that people seem to be happy to let others pick up their slack or avoid taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.

What this means, to those of us who lack firm boundaries, is that we are the ones who take responsibility for others and pick up the slack. If we have weak personal limits, other people know this and take advantage of our desire to feel needed and of our over-developed responsibility muscle. They continue to expect us to put them and their needs first. It is up to each of us to determine what we are comfortable doing in any relationship so that we stop feeling manipulated and so can enjoy our lives.

Do You Need Stronger Personal Boundaries?

How do you know if you could use a shoring up of your boundaries? Answer these questions to find out:

  • Do you believe your happiness depends on others?
  • Are you unable to say no, even when you want to?
  • Do you feel responsible for other people’s feelings?
  • Are you more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of yourself?
  • Do you feel constantly drained by all you have to do?
  • Do you neglect your own needs, even basic care, such as eating and sleeping?
  • Would others say you are a people-pleaser?
  • Do you often feel resentful or taken advantage of, though you’d never admit it?
  • Do you find time to take care of others, but never find time to take care of yourself?
  • Do you find it hard to make decisions, and let others make them for you?
  • Do you consistently ask for others’ opinions before you take action?
  • Do you tend to take on the emotions or moods of others in your environment?
  • Do you find it nearly impossible to ask for help, even when you are struggling?
  • Do you feel others’ opinions are more valid than your own?
  • Are you frequently unaware of how you feel or what you want?
  • Do you often feel anxious or afraid, though you aren’t sure of what?
  • Are you overly sensitive to criticism and so try to please everyone all the time?
  • Do you always go only with what other people want instead of voicing your desires? Maybe because it’s simpler like that or because you are afraid of making someone angry?

If you recognize yourself in many of these questions, fear not! Next, we are going to discover how to set healthy personal boundaries and, in the next lesson, provide ways you can get started creating your own.

Healthy Personal Boundaries

What is a healthy personal boundary? If no one ever taught you how people should treat you, or you were never encouraged to determine what you are willing to put up with, you may believe that setting boundaries only leads to becoming hard and uncaring. But nothing could be further from the truth. You deserve to be treated fairly and kindly, just like others do. You deserve to choose to say no to taking on others’ responsibilities and choosing how you spend your time.

Setting healthy personal boundaries isn’t about barricading yourself behind a wall, so you don’t get hurt. It’s about respecting yourself enough to admit what you want and demand it from others in your life.

Setting strong personal boundaries is an absolute must on your journey to making yourself a priority in your own life. It’s a foundational part of the process, and without them, you’ll soon be back to saying yes to everyone’s needs and wants except your own. Building healthy boundaries is one of the best ways you can put yourself and your needs first. They protect you from being taken advantage of, of being a doormat. They define who you are in each of your relationships and help you be more fully aware of who you are and what you want and deserve.

Personal boundaries also teach others how to treat you—with respect and care. They encompass your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, choices, intuition, needs and wants. Your boundaries should stay firm and clear, though you can choose in what situations to allow them to be flexible. They aid you in discovering your true self and making sure you live life on your terms. They develop your self-awareness and self-respect.

Now, let’s take some time to see if you need to set better boundaries, and to see how you can do so.

Please proceed to Exercise 1