Five Wellbeing Truths to Help You Create Healthy Boundaries in 2021!

2021-06-08
Creating healthy boundaries now is more important than ever before. It's an essential part of your wellbeing. Below are 5 truths that I learnt in 2020 and I wanted to share them with you.
 
brene brown1

Twelve years ago I made myself a sacred promise to not live in fear. This started my journey of learning to love myself, to forgive myself and others, and to treat everyone the best I could because up until that point I wasn’t doing any of these things. I also promised myself to be kind, respectful and to focus on cultivating quality relationships. To give the best of me to my loved ones, not my leftovers.

On that life changing day – 17th February 2009, an internal shift occurred, and my life would never be the same. I was ready to step into my true self regardless of what others thought and most of all I knew I’d live my best life surrounded by those who had an enthusiastic nature, who saw the glass half full, who looked for the good in others and who valued compassion, kindness, authenticity and living courageously. It was what I deserved, and I was never going to let myself down again.

Last year, my promise was put to the test and consequently, boundaries became top priority for me. Prior to 2020 I knew the value of boundaries, however, last year I discovered just how important setting strong, healthy boundaries can be in the pursuit of living a wellbeing-focused and happy life.

Life is a teacher and when I noticed that my wellbeing was being negatively impacted due to another’s behaviour, I had little choice but to take positive action.

Before I share my five wellbeing truths to help create healthy boundaries, I’ve included a snapshot of two experiences that helped me appreciate the true value of healthy boundaries. I chose to do this because many of you shared how you loved the personal stories and examples I included in my book, ‘Everyday Wellbeing for Mums…Thirty Life-Changing Tools to Help You Feel Successful as You Raise Your Children’  as they helped the wellbeing tools to be more relatable.


The first firm boundary I set was after someone expressed their unhappiness with me for not making enough effort with them and their family. We were four weeks into our Melbourne lockdown and my focus was on my family bubble, home learning, my work, and my self-care. I was stretched and just keeping my head above the water. (However, they didn’t know this and therefore took it personally). When I shared how I’d been feeling and what my current focus was, they didn’t seem to care and replied with negative comments. I already had a soft boundary in place with this person because I found it challenging to listen to their complaining and negative comments about others I cared about, however, when they disrespected my choice to focus on my family’s wellbeing, their lack of compassion told me that I needed to speak up with kindness and implement a firm boundary.


HARD TRUTH – When someone is unhappy with you for doing what you feel is best for you and your family, they may not have your best interests at heart. This is their issue – not yours!


The second firm boundary came three months later when a friend I cared about broke my trust. It took me two weeks of contemplation to kindly express how I felt and share with her what I’d noticed that didn’t feel right. When I finally mustered the courage, they became defensive, told me how I was wrong and attempted to gaslight me about the situation. This was really tough because I thought we were friends and to witness such disrespect, dishonesty and inauthenticity was truly upsetting. I place a lot of importance on trust and find it disappointing when others refuse to take accountability for their actions and opt for blame rather than owning the truth.


HARD TRUTH – Some people don’t have your best interests at heart but are good at pretending they do. It’s a sign that someone is ego-driven when they dispose of you when you ask them to be accountable for their actions.  


It can be challenging to create and maintain boundaries, however, a little support and practice will allow you to implement soft and firm boundaries into your life. Healthy boundaries stem from a strong sense of self-worth. The two simply go hand in hand. The two women I was compelled to set firm boundaries with are outwardly strong women but some people are afraid to stand up to them. I’ve owned my part of these experiences; I have forgiven them, and I feel only compassion for them because the truth is, I see my old self in them. The way they behaved reminded me of my ‘old’ pre 2009 self. These situations were a beautiful reminder of how far I’ve come since those days and a place where I wish never to return.
 


Truth 1: Healthy boundaries are an essential element of holistic wellbeing

Boundaries are an effective way to take your wellbeing from non-existent to making self-care a priority or from great wellbeing to brilliant wellbeing! Setting healthy boundaries around your time, your energy, your needs as well as your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing is about taking care of your whole self. What these boundaries all have in common is the ability to keep you safe and feeling your best. You can be both strong and soft-hearted simultaneously and a balance is required. Too much of either can negatively impact your wellbeing. Setting healthy boundaries helps you to keep well and in alignment. Whether you’ve never set a boundary, or you’re experienced at setting them, you can begin today.

Remember – Excellent boundaries equals excellent wellbeing!


Truth 2: Your wellbeing impacts your family’s wellbeing

If you’re anything like me, you want to show up as your best self as much as possible and be the wellbeing leader that your family truly deserves. By prioritising your wellbeing and in this case clarifying, implementing and maintaining healthy boundaries, you become more focused. Doing so enables you to interact more consciously and feel calmer throughout your day. This is priceless because your wellbeing not only impacts how you feel and how you show up each day, it also impacts all those in your home. When challenges arise, you’ll feel better equipped to manage them with grace, poise and with your best mindset. This is possible because you did the work to create the conditions that help you thrive.

Remember – When a mum thrives her family bubble often thrives too!

 


Truth 3: Knowing your triggers helps you prepare a plan

Emotional resilience is a key element in creating healthy boundaries. Knowing the things that trigger you and negatively impact your sense of self or disrupt your calm state, such as stress, workload, toxic relationships, self-sabotaging habits, other peoples’ emotions, media, fear of change or uncertainty, is brilliant self-awareness. Awareness of your triggers is empowering because you can prepare a plan to manage them when they arise. This is self-efficacy in action. You (and those in your home) will experience a myriad of emotions over the course of a year. This is normal but when you support yourself to create a plan around what to do when feeling triggered not only are you empowering yourself but you’re also being a wellbeing leader for your family too!

Remember – Shining a light on your triggers and creating a wellbeing plan is wellbeing success in action.  


Truth 4: Living courageously sometimes means having tough conversations

Showing up with vulnerability and courage in your daily life isn’t always easy, however, it is possible. Growing up you may not have witnessed adults in your life demonstrating courage and instead people-pleasing behaviour was the norm. Don’t worry I’ve got great news – courage is a habit that you can cultivate, and it begins with micro moments of courage, such as saying ‘no thanks’ or choosing silence rather than joining in a gossip session. Sometimes when you demonstrate courage by kindly standing up for yourself or speaking your truth, others around you may push back on you. This resistance often arises from those who benefit from you staying quiet or prefer you to not rock the boat! Managing this resistance requires your courage and emotional resilience. Occasionally it means having to summon the courage to ‘speak even when your voice shakes’ or seeking support from a trusted friend or professional because staying quiet can be more harmful to your wellbeing. You're not alone and speaking up can be life-saving.

Remember – You’re stronger than you think, your feelings are valid and you don’t deserve to be bullied into silence.


Truth 5: Your life is yours and you’re in charge of you and your happiness

I truly appreciate the life lessons that I experienced last year because they’ve helped me evolve into a happier and more confident version of myself. The messy middle can be painful. It can be tough when a friendship dissipates or when someone doesn’t respect your choices (there’s a grieving period) but knowing it will pass and that there’s a wellbeing takeaway waiting for you on the other side, makes it a little easier to bear.  Momentarily acknowledging this whilst you’re in the middle of this storm can make the world of difference. You are strong and you'll get through it. You’re the wellbeing leader of your life and challenges, tests and lessons are all part of the journey. Your happiness is in your hands and when you’re in your last days on this earth, you’ll reflect on your life knowing you’ve lived your life with your happiness in mind, surrounded by those you love, spreading as much joy and kindness as possible. This is a regret-free, fearless life. Don’t wait to live it, take your happiness into your hands now and be proud of the life you live today and forever.

Remember – You don’t owe anyone anything and you owe yourself everything.


It's a new year and you can create it the way that feels best for you. Create the conditions that help you thrive. Take positive action, such as setting boundaries and making time for what’s important to you. The boundaries that you create will help you feel good and elevate your wellbeing. Implementing firm boundaries sends a clear message to the world – I won’t be treated like that, I deserve respect and I've enough self-worth to surround myself with those who prioritise kindness, emotional resilience and authenticity too. Remember last year may have been tough but you are tougher! Implement the boundaries you need and create a wellbeing-strong year!




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