The one element in your life that can increase your self-confidence is the ability to set boundaries and implement healthy relationships. Boundaries are the imaginary lines that we put in place to protect our minds, emotions and bodies. They keep us from being manipulated or controlled by others and to enjoy our lives more.
Personal boundaries enable us to take control of our own lives and build healthy relationships with others. Without them, it’s unlikely that you will live a happy life because you’re sacrificing parts of yourself to please others.
Weak or no personal boundaries can chip away at your self-confidence because you feel helpless to speak up and do something about the situations and relationships you’ve gotten yourself into. Some ways to know if your personal boundaries are weak include:
- Can’t say “No.” You may get trapped into situations that you don’t want to be in simply because you want to be accepted or because you feel obligated.
- Can’t stand up for yourself. When someone is mistreating or disrespecting you, it’s your right and duty to stand up and object – and demand better treatment.
- Going against your values. One way of pleasing others is to do their bidding. If you go against your own values to please others, your self-esteem becomes eroded.
- Taking on too much responsibility. In order to be thought of as important or useful, we sometimes take on responsibilities that become a drain on our time and energy.
- Accommodating others too much. When you let your own responsibilities go so that you can take care of others’ needs, you may begin to feel resentful.
- Unable to communicate your wants and needs. When you lack self-confidence to open up to those in your closest relationships, it’s a sign that you need more personal boundaries.
Weak or non-existent personal boundaries erode your self-respect both for yourself and from others. You may seem needy and easily taken advantage of because you’re insecure in everything you do.
Ironically, when you do begin to set boundaries and stand up for yourself, you’ll gain the respect and love that you always wanted from others. People admire strength and determination and taking care of your needs first can foster that admiration.
Setting boundaries and actually standing up for what you believe and want may seem very unnatural at first and you may worry about losing relationships in the process – but as you continue to develop and implement the boundaries, you’ll feel more empowered.
Keep in mind that you’re not being unloving or difficult to get along with when you enforce your own personal boundaries. You’re taking care of you.