EP11 Boundaries

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00:20

Hey everybody, how’s it going? So this week I wanna tell you about boundaries. I wanna talk about why we need them, what they are, what they aren’t, how to set them, and what to avoid when you’re setting them. Whether you have a child that’s struggling with addiction or not, understanding and implementing boundaries is life-changing.

 

00:49

It makes you the CEO of every area of your life. You have to create your equality in your life because nobody will do it for you. I use the word equality because if you don’t have boundaries, you are putting everybody’s needs and wants above your own. I value boundaries so much that it’s a part of the program I give my one-on-one clients.

 

01:16

And we spend a lot of time talking about it on coaching calls because properly handled boundaries can transform your life and relationships. I chose the word transform intentionally because boundaries can create way more than just change. Change is subjective. Transformation is dramatic and noticeable.

 

01:40

After working with someone for a few weeks, I see my clients start making healthy boundaries in their life, even if they aren’t thinking of them as boundaries. As they work through my program and have calls with me, they naturally get focused on living a healthier life, respecting themselves, and caring for themselves in a way that they never thought of before.

 

02:06

They stop people pleasing and doing things that they don’t want to do. And of course they treat themselves better. So they start seeing that reflected back to them in their outer world as well. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. We’re always getting our relationship with ourselves reflected back to us. So when you start loving and respecting yourself and using boundaries,

 

02:36

Then you start seeing that love and respect come back to you and suddenly you realize that you’ve changed and that you created that change. And then you see how much more personal power you have than you ever realized. And I love watching that happen in my clients. And that’s why I believe boundaries are so powerful and necessary and why I wanted to share them with you today. So let’s talk about why we need boundaries.

 

03:07

Before I started trying to learn about boundaries, mine were pretty much non-existent. I was born a people pleaser. I wasn’t comfortable saying no. I preferred peace at any price. And of course the price was always me. Because when I didn’t have good boundaries, I wasn’t valuing or caring for myself. I was always last on my list or not even on the list at all.

 

03:36

I didn’t know what I wanted other than for everyone to be happy and nobody to be mad at me. I strongly believe that not knowing yourself and undervaluing yourself go hand in hand with a lack of boundaries. Brene Brown talks about how people who are natural at setting boundaries are also very compassionate because they never feel taken advantage of. They don’t.

 

04:05

do things that they don’t want to do. They see their power and control in situations and act on it rather than saying yes when they mean no. But what she doesn’t say, but I saw in myself and I see in others, is that people with naturally strong boundaries have more confidence and value themselves more. Those of us who don’t have boundaries don’t have the same confidence, but that can be fixed.

 

04:34

I changed that for myself and so can you. And there’s nothing wrong with you because you lack boundaries in your life. It’s just where you are. And your child’s addiction is mirroring to you that you need those boundaries to move forward in a healthy way. And I’m still learning as I go. I keep leveling up and seeing new areas of my life that need boundaries, but it’s a process of growth.

 

05:02

I didn’t even understand boundaries until I was in my early 40s, which that’s just mind blowing for me to say, but I own it, that’s my life. And there wasn’t a boundaries or emotional intelligence class in my high school. I learned about polynomials and how to ask where the bathroom was in French, but nobody taught me what a boundary was or how to set one. And I point that out because

 

05:30

it’s important to think about why we don’t know these life skills and have compassion for ourselves that we don’t know them instead of harsh judgment. Judgment is just a roadblock. Compassion keeps you moving forward and learning new things. So here’s what boundaries are not, and this is really important because if you don’t understand this, then your boundaries will backfire. So this is really important to get.

 

05:59

Boundaries get a bad rap because sometimes they’re misunderstood. And because of that, I had a negative perception of boundaries before I understood them. And that’s a big part of the reason that I never set any boundaries. They are not punishment, weapons, threats, emotional blackmail, revenge, or control of another person.

 

06:28

So as I’ll talk about later, you need to be very clear about why you’re setting the boundary and do the work on yourself and understand your motives before you set a boundary or you will damage your relationships and damage your belief in yourself. So let’s talk about what boundaries are. They’re a form of self love and care and they are compassionate.

 

06:57

Boundaries are where I end and the rest of the world begins. Think about a property line. Property lines are clearly mapped because it’s important to know where they are so you can stay on your own property and off of property that doesn’t belong to you. I think it’s interesting how we protect our property boundaries but not our emotional boundaries. We wouldn’t hesitate to sell.

 

07:27

someone to get out of our backyard, but yet we let people walk all over our self-worth, our values, and our emotions. And this is a really important distinction because when we people please for love, the lines that separate us totally disappear. And I want you to picture those property boundaries in your mind and feel how it feels to protect your land.

 

07:55

and start protecting yourself in that way too. Setting boundaries will help you start to define who you are and what you value. You will detangle the enmeshment from unhealthy relationships. You start to stand in the world as an individual. You learn what you need because you have to know that in order to set a boundary. You become more emotionally responsible for creating your own happiness.

 

08:25

That separateness is healthy and good and necessary. And the amazing thing is the amount of intimacy it creates in a relationship. That separateness and truthfulness of boundaries creates closeness. You can’t create closeness when you’re mad at someone because you always say yes when you mean no. You have to own responsibility for saying no and tell the truth about

 

08:53

what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. It’s so freeing. Boundaries aren’t restrictive, they’re expansive. There’s room for growth and love in a safe environment. They create consistent, balanced relationships because everybody knows where they stand and what’s expected. They foster respect from both sides.

 

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Think about how confusing it is when you don’t have clear boundaries in a situation. When I used to live in Oklahoma and I commuted to and from an office every day, I spent 20 to 60 minutes on the interstate, depending on the traffic. I knew how long it would take me to get to and from work based on the time of day and how fast I could drive. The speed limit was the same every day.

 

09:51

always 75. What if the speed limit changed every day? Some days it was 75, other days it was 45, and some days as low as 25. Can you imagine? Road rage would be taken to a whole new level. Everyone would be frustrated. You wouldn’t know how long it would take to get to work because you wouldn’t know the speed limit. It would create chaos and confusion.

 

10:21

over and over. And I’m sure you’re picturing the same thing I am in my head right now, like just mass hysteria on the interstate. That’s an example of life without boundaries in the chaos it creates. The speed limit is a boundary set by the state. If you don’t follow it, you get a ticket. Since the speed limit is the same every day, you know what to expect.

 

10:49

You know what the consequences are if you choose not to follow the boundary. That’s why boundaries have to be consistent and clear. Our kids need to know what to expect from us. Think about it. If you aren’t clear, how are they supposed to be clear? You can’t blame them for asking or begging or trying to manipulate you. It’s your responsibility to regulate your experience.

 

11:18

by deciding ahead of time how you will handle the situation. Think about boundaries as the thermostat for your life. That’s how you control the temperature. The right temperature is much more pleasant than too hot or too cold. If the temperature is out of control, then you lack boundaries and need to change the thermostat. You are in charge of your life. You can set the tone for your life and your whole family. Your clarity

 

11:48

and consistency will change the dynamic of your family and all your other relationships. Can you feel what I’m saying and how right it is? What I’m saying is a truth that you probably feel the potential of as you hear me talking about it. You know it will change your life if you do it. So let’s talk about how to set a boundary. This is not the only way

 

12:16

but I think it’s a perfect place to get started and build your skills because it’s so simple and easy. The way I set a boundary, it has two parts, a request and a consequence. The request, you ask the person to stop doing the thing that infringes on you or your property. The consequence, tell the person what you will do if they don’t comply with your request.

 

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So here’s some examples. The request is, if you bring drugs into my home, the consequence is I will ask you to leave.

 

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Another one, the request is, if you get drunk and have a hangover, the consequence is I will not call into work sick for you.

 

13:08

The next one, the request, if you come home late, the consequence, I will take away the car. Notice how the boundary allows the other person to make a choice. You aren’t telling them they have to do anything. You’re just telling them what you will do if they choose not to do what you asked. You don’t have to react in any way when they violate the boundary, other than…

 

13:38

to follow through on the consequence. No yelling, no taking it personal, no doors slamming, just matter of fact, follow through on the consequence. Also, use discernment about what boundaries you announce upfront versus which ones don’t need to be shared. I would never allow anybody to hit me.

 

14:03

but I don’t walk into rooms and announce, if you hit me, I’ll call the police. I just don’t have to share that, that can be left unsaid. But if you’re going to start following through on boundary violations with consequences for things you would normally just get mad about, but not follow through on with consequences, then you need to tell your child about the boundary and consequence upfront.

 

14:31

because if you don’t, it’s like the speed limit example I used earlier. It needs to be communicated if you’re changing the speed limit. All right, so things to avoid. First, don’t start with a boundary that you’re afraid to set, and you dread setting like such a big boundary that it’s just a setup for disaster. And when you don’t follow through on the consequence,

 

15:00

It’s just a threat. Follow through is crucial because if you don’t, it will diminish your self-confidence and your child’s respect for you. The other part about setting too big of a boundary at first is if you are in too much fear, you won’t set any boundaries at all. And if you’re tempted to do this, just know it’s a diversion tactic from your brain.

 

15:28

You don’t want to face the discomfort of boundaries, so your brain is looking for a great excuse. And if we don’t think success is guaranteed, our brain just says, no, don’t do it. So start small and build your confidence, just like building muscles. You have to keep working a muscle to build it. And it’s the same thing with a new skill, like setting boundaries. Start small and follow through.

 

15:59

Second, don’t set boundaries when you’re angry or upset. It’s worth waiting until you’re calm and clear. If you set a boundary out of anger that isn’t well thought out, then it will probably backfire and create the opposite result of what you desire. Third, don’t over explain. There’s no reason for it.

 

16:23

If you find yourself over explaining, it’s because you’re nervous and hoping to convince your child that the boundary is okay. Keep the explanations to a minimum. It never works out like you want it to, just don’t do it. Fourth, and the final thing to avoid is try not to violate your own boundaries. If I set a boundary and then I violate it,

 

16:50

I own responsibility for the consequences of that. So for example, if my boundary is, I don’t give my daughter any money as she’s using and I stick to that boundary for a year and then suddenly I give her money in a moment of weakness even though she’s using, it’s not her fault for asking. It’s my fault for violating my own boundary and giving her the money. So I should expect.

 

17:17

to be asked for money a lot again until I reestablish the boundary with consistency. I’m the only person that I have to be mad at in this situation. I have to own it. So I wanna end with a story about when all of my work on boundaries came together because when all that work came together,

 

17:47

for me for the first time, I felt this life-changing shift. And that’s why I can still remember the energy and the feeling of that moment. Because it was the first time that I said no with love because of a boundary and I felt no guilt. Just love and clarity.

 

18:13

Setting boundaries did not feel that way at first though. I had to find my own way by trying and failing a lot. I had to tolerate the discomfort of my fear that my daughter would be mad at me and it would push her away if I said no. I had to sit with the urge to reach out to her for reassurance that the boundary was okay after I said it. And you’ll know you want reassurance from them

 

18:41

when you keep thinking about reaching out to them and you aren’t even sure why. Or you have the urge to say or do something nice, like, oh, I’ll just send this picture of the family pet or this funny meme. I was never thinking I want her to reassure me that wasn’t a conscious thought. It was nicely disguised. So I wanted to describe that to you so you can identify it and not act on it when you start setting boundaries and it comes up for you.

 

19:12

It’s not their job to make you feel better. They can’t even make themselves feel better. Think about that. It’s your job to tolerate the discomfort and become a ninja at it, just like I talk about in episode four. And since I did the work to be crystal clear about my boundary and liking my reason for it, and I stopped resisting and hating that I had to make the boundary in the first place,

 

19:39

It was a very emotionally clean moment. We were in my car and my daughter asked me for money. I felt no judgment for her when she asked. I said, no, because if I give you money right now and you overdose and die tonight, I will have to live with that for the rest of my life, wondering if it was my money that bought the drugs that killed you.

 

20:08

I didn’t feel guilty because what I was saying was 100% true. I wasn’t lying, wasn’t making up a reason that I couldn’t give her the money. I took full responsibility for why I said no. I wasn’t feeling defensive about saying no. And I also didn’t say yes and then resent her for asking me or blame her for asking me.

 

20:35

I believe that I was doing the most loving thing for both of us by saying no. And here’s what’s really important. My energy backed that up and my daughter received it that way. She just said, okay, mom, I understand. And there was nothing but love between us in that moment. But getting there was a process. I had to do the work to get the gift of that moment. And it was so worth it.

 

21:05

If I didn’t do the work, I wouldn’t be able to totally own the boundary. I would be doing it because I read somewhere that I should do it. Doing something because I should do it makes me powerless and defeated. And that’s the energy that I would have brought to the relationship. Owning it and doing it out of the belief that I created brought much needed stability to our relationship.

 

21:34

Our relationship needed stability and I was the person who needed to bring it. I needed to bring clear, loving boundaries and stable adult energy into the relationship and from that moment on, it all clicked. I leveled up as a mom and as a woman. I was becoming the best version of myself just because I set boundaries, learned what I wanted and needed, and I stood up for that.

 

22:04

Remember at the beginning of this podcast, I said that boundaries don’t just create change, they create transformation? Well, the story I just told you is one of the reasons why I believe that. Seeing yourself in that transformation moment is an amazing feeling. And I hope that you start working toward that because I want everyone to get that experience. I want you to get to experience that kind of confidence in yourself.

 

22:35

And here’s why beliefs and the work on them is so important. Like I said earlier, when I said no to my daughter and felt no guilt that the energy matched the situation, energy can’t be faked. That’s why I have a whole module about beliefs in my program too. If you aren’t firm in your beliefs and you don’t believe in what you’re doing, then why the hell are you doing it? You have to do…

 

23:05

the belief work so you know what you believe, what you value and what you desire in life so you can go after it. I can give you all the world’s, all the actions in the world to take. I can tell you exactly what to do. But if you take those actions from fear, or you’re taking them just from my authority because you know it worked for me and you never established your own beliefs and your own authority,

 

23:33

then you won’t get the same results as me. That’s why beliefs come up in every coaching session at some point.

 

23:45

Beliefs, which is knowing yourself and your values and backing it up, plus confidence, plus boundaries, equals you being the CEO of every area of your life. I hope this perspective of boundaries I’m sharing with you helps you decide to go for it and take charge of your life in this way. Because I promise you that if you do it,

 

24:13

and follow through on it, your future self will be so grateful that you did. And if you want help setting healthy boundaries and you’re ready to create your own peace of mind and happiness, then email me, Heather at Heat Or you can also message me on Instagram or Facebook and I’m at Heather Ross Coaching on both of those.

 

24:42

And that’s all I have for you this week and I’ll be back next week with another episode.