Empowered To Thrive

Module 8 -
Rediscovering the TRUE YOU

Boundaries are necessary! Know when and where to draw the line.

(Karlene Millwood)

Step 3 - Setting Healthy Boundaries

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

(Prov.4:23).

Setting healthy personal boundaries is important for you to live a balanced and fulfilled life. Your boundaries are a way of exercising self-control. Self-control is mastery of your thoughts, attitudes and actions. Your personal boundaries define your identity, sets expectations and shows respect for others.

Many people struggle with this important aspect of their lives because they are afraid of being misunderstood or labelled as selfish. The result is that they never take a break and end up feeling overworked, stressed or burnt out trying to please everyone else. It would be best to regularly take time for yourself regardless of what anyone else may say or think. Doing so does not mean you are selfish or self-centred, so no need to feel guilty about it. You are responsible for yourself, not the emotions, beliefs and actions of others.

When you begin to become the true version of yourself, i.e. learning to live in your TRUE YOU authentically, you will lose some friends and even family. As you begin to embrace your TRUE YOU, it reduces opportunities for others to control and manipulate you. You are learning to define your own identity and stand apart from the crowd. This makes some people angry and others uncomfortable because they feel that they can no longer relate to you.

Do not allow these attitudes to keep you trapped in an unhealthy cycle of people-pleasing because you feel guilty. If you feel guilt, it’s a sign that you have stepped out of your true you and are no longer in the love zone. You do not love yourself when you operate outside of your truth. You exercise self-acceptance when you own your truth and operate in it. Emotional discomfort is a sign that you are violating your true you, so do what is necessary to correct it immediately.

Be comfortable setting your boundaries otherwise, you will experience unnecessary emotional suffering. Your relationships will lack harmony, and you will be unhappy at best, or worse, you may develop mental illnesses like depression, anxiety or panic disorders. Setting boundaries establish parameters for yourself and others. It clearly delineates where you end and where they begin.

Another area where many people struggle with boundary setting is using the word ‘NO.’ This is a real fear that so many people continue to tolerate for several reasons. The inability to, or discomfort with, saying no begins in our formative years where we were taught to be ‘nice.’ Our parents thought they were doing something good, but in actuality, they took away our boundary-setting ability in the process. As adults, we now have to learn and implement this important skill. Getting rid of those old people-pleasing scripts can be difficult, but we have to decide what’s important to us.​​

Exercise 8

  • Think about your relationships (personal, family, professional etc.)

  • Where do you need to set or strengthen your personal boundaries?

  • Why were your boundaries out of alignment in these areas?

  • What do you need to change about yourself to strengthen those boundaries?

  • Do you have difficulty saying NO? If so, why?

  • Is there anyone you need to say NO to right now? Who? Why?

  • Do you need to schedule some personal time alone?

  • Where do you need to practice self-acceptance more?

  • Write down some steps to describe how you will practice self-acceptance daily.

  • Make a note of every time that you notice yourself setting boundaries during the week.

    1. How did it make you feel?

    2. Where was it easy or difficult?

    3. Is it easy for you to say no to things that you don’t want to do?

    4. Where do you need to make adjustments?

    5. How often did you schedule alone time this week?