It seems like it should be so easy to maintain healthy boundaries in relationships. But, not so much, it’s a lot trickier than it looks, especially for me. I think a lot of the time, I’m have an internal fear that doing so will cause rejection – and goodness knows I would do anything to avoid that. The trouble is, not speaking up, not setting or maintaining boundaries, leaves me cranky…with others and myself. With others because I resent feeling pushed to do or accept something I don’t want to do. With myself, because I didn’t express how I really felt about the matter.
I think part of this too is because I tend to be a people pleaser, yeah, I’m admitting that. It’s that wanting to be a good girl thing. Now, I can guarantee you, I don’t please all the people all the time, but if I can, I usually do. What I’m learning is that when I’m trying to please others – or live to their expectations – I usually fail. I sell myself short and in the process don’t live true to myself. Not my greatest strategy. I’ve read a couple books on the word YES. One by Lysa Terkhurst “The Best Yes” and one by Shonda Rhimes (creator of my favorite guilty pleasure, Grey’s Anatomy – yes I still watch it) “My Year of Yes.” Both spoke about saying yes to the right things, not everything. That takes a lot of practice for someone like me so that I don’t feel guilty.
How does it show up with boundaries? Hard to keep boundaries when you say yes to everything. I say yes to people, I say yes to adventures, I say yes to half marathons, big swims, half ironmans, without always thinking it through. Sounds fun? Heck yes – I’m in! Oh wait…busy…expensive…not trained…well I’m not backing out soooo…not always my best yes. Doesn’t mean I don’t usually have fun, but it comes with angst and anxiety.
What am I learning? I can’t always say yes, I will disappoint people in the quest to be the best version of me. And sometimes I might initially feel like I’m disappointing or letting myself down. But the truth is if I’m the best version of me, I’ll be the best for me and the best for others. It’s a journey, one that will force me to slow down, to consider boundaries, consider if my yes is a good one, and then? Well then I’m the person I’m really meant to be…the happy girl.