Today as I was visiting a close friend, a discussion about boundaries came up and how important they can be. For me creating boundaries is one of the main reasons I’ve been able to hear and follow my soul. With out it I was a person that went with whatever presented it self, even though it may not of been what I wanted to do. Being a people pleaser and a say yes person really prevented me from ME!
I hated the thought of dissapointng anyone for not showing up or doing what they asked of me. So my auto pilot response was Yes. I was so busy for so long that I didn’t know what day it was! Did I want to do some of it? Yes I did. But at the same time it was preventing me from moving forward in MY life.
In order to know what kind of boundaries I needed to create I had to first learn what they were for. I needed to allow myself the space to be able to figure out what I wanted. For a long time I had no clue what that looked like because I played such a part in everyone else’s life and not my own.
I absolutely understand I did this as a way to distract myself so I didnt have to go there, I take full responsibility for that. Nobody was forcing me to do anything I didn’t want to. That is all on me. But deep down I knew that I was heading down the wrong path. I had let this lifestyle of people pleasing go on so long I didn’t know which way to turn to get myself out of it! And that’s when therapy happened. Yup I said the T word. THERAPY!!!!
I hit a point when I was trying to create boundaries by saying no to requests and invitations that I was starting to have panic attacks. So instead of enjoying my time to reflect as I planned, I was spinning in my mind how I was totally dissapointng people. Worrying and creating scenarios that may or may not of existed. It was horrible! I knew this was something deeply woven in me and if I didn’t get a grip on it with some professional help I would slip back into old patterns and I may never get away from it. So I called a highly recommended therapist and set up an appointment.
And let me tell you, IT WAS THE BEST THING I EVER DID! I know so many people that believe seeking out a therapist means you are weak and is looked down upon. It is so not true. Anyone taking their life seriously and admitting when the need guidance is amazing and shows STRENGTH! It’s 100% why I am not afraid to admit this. I talk about it openly and freely to anyone.
After even one session of therapy I learned that my people pleasing skills are something I carried on from childhood and that it was ok to let that part of me go. Sounds like an easy solution but until I talked it out with my therapist I honestly didn’t know the way I had been living wasn’t necessary.
She also recommended me to read the book “When I say no, I feel guilty” and it changed my life. It described everything I felt and struggled with and how to understand where it comes from and manage the guilt that would overtake me after setting a boundary.
It taught me about what manipulation looks like and that I don’t have to put up with that. I realized for a long time that I had been taken advantage of because of my people pleasing persona. Now thanks to therapy I am confident to notice when manipulation is taking place and not cave into it. I have a voice and it is stronger now than it ever has been…
This all didn’t happen over night but the exhaustion and pain of going and going like an energizer bunny became more unbearable than it was to ask for help and feel my way through it.
Am I still learning, yes. Have I figured out what my day to days look like, yes, for the most part. What I have learned is that what I was living 3 years ago compared to now is totally different and OMG was I not listening to my soul. I used to say that I was an extrovert through and through… Well turns out I am also quite a bit introverted. I LOVE ALONE TIME!!! I LOVE READING! I LOVE WRiTiNG! I NEED TO RECHARGE EVERYDAY FROM THE BUSINESS OF THE WORLD!!! And it is ok to finally let that girl come out. I’ve never been so content and happy with spending time with myself. Turns out I kinda like that girl… 😉
If I hadn’t taken the leap and made that phone call to get help with setting boundaries I have no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am now. I freed myself the day I made that call, I freed myself by letting myself find me.
I can’t scream loud enough to all the people pleasers out there to learn how to create your boundaries. Turns out you can still be a nice person and say no at the same time. You don’t need to comprise the caring compassionate person you are. You just need to know your limits and confidently stand by them.
It is ok to say no so you can find yourself and have a second to breathe. IT IS NOT WRONG TO DO THAT!! Live for you and the world will benefit even more for it than if you stretch yourself so thin to make everyone else happy. You will be surprised how differently you see the world once you make time for yourself. Take this leap for you!!! I know it can be scary but the outcome is absolutely worth it…
(If you can relate to this and would like someone to talk to that’s lived it, please message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to lend an ear….)