5 Signs of Weak Boundaries

5 Signs of Weak Boundaries

When you come in contact with people who disregard your boundaries, it’s like inviting unwelcome guests into your home. These are the people who don’t stop their children from using your sofa as their personal trampoline. They ignore your house rules, disrespect you and leave a trail of negativity behind. Of course, you don’t entertain people like that! Or do you?

Allowing other people to disregard your boundaries is no different than allowing unwanted guests to disrespect your home. Just as you would use any other tool to keep you on track, think of boundary making as your invisible self-monitoring tool.

5 Signs Your Boundaries are Weak

Pay attention to some these obvious signals:

1) Someone who does not listen to you or value your opinions

2) People who don’t respect your time limits

3) Anyone who you frequently refuses to accept “no” as your final answer

4) People who direct their erratic behavior directly at you

5) You hold on to relationships and behaviors you find intolerable or offensive

Any of the above signs indicate you need to set stronger boundaries around what you are willing to accept.

For years I’ve used lists and various personal digital assistants (PDA) to keep track of my activities, schedules, contacts and notes. My PDA was my boundary-making tool. With her help, I managed my time effectively; I knew exactly what I need to get done each day and easily kept track of the things that were important to me. Of course, everything changed when one day my trusted PDA went belly-up and was no longer being manufactured. I no longer could depend on her to help me manage my schedule and set limits on my time. I often wonder how any of us ever manage our lives without a system to keep things running smoothly and strong boundaries in place to keep us on track. Hmmm…

Making the decision to give up my PDA and finally getting a smartphone reminds me of the struggle a lot of us have when it’s time to let go, move on and set some strong boundaries. I held on to my PDA way past its usefulness even when I found her behavior intolerable and undependable. She no longer valued my time and was often uncooperative. Her behavior was erratic at best.

My PDA had fallen out of love with me. She didn’t respect or appreciate my time, and was unwilling to support me in the ways that mattered to me. As the great poet, Maya Angelou says, “when people (or things) show you who they are – believe them”.

Every person or thing and every experience that comes into your life if for a purpose. It’s up to us to decide when that purpose no longer serves us.  We must know when it’s time to let go.

There are life lessons to be learned from my PDA experience and every other experience if we are open and honest with ourselves. This is what I leaned from the experience of letting go of my PDA:

1. Know when to let go. Be willing to let go of things in your life that don’t honor your boundaries, are no longer useful or no longer serve a meaningful purpose. Holding on to things that no longer serve a useful purpose takes up precious space that could better be used for something that works for you. You never know what doors will open with just the right opportunity when you have made space for it.

2. Exercise your right to choose. Make a choice about how, when and what you spend your time and energy on. This creates strong time and space boundaries to do the things that are really important to you. Be clear in what you are willing to do, be or accept in your life. If your boundaries are unclear, you leave the door open for others to walk in and set boundaries for you.

3. Accept change. Giving up my PDA meant accepting the fact that it was time to move on to a smartphone. Accept that new technologies emerge every day, relationships change, and people relocate or leave us in other ways. Change is inevitable…nothing stays the same. Accept change as a vehicle for growth and an opportunity to experience something new and exciting. Don’t allow fear of change to prevent you from taking a risk.

And, to get more boundary making tips, tools and resources to renovate your relationships with partners, family members, co-workers and friends, I invite you to get my book, Master the Genie Within to renovate your relationships with partners, family members, co-workers and friends.

Gladys Anderson helps individuals and couples to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, friends and co-workers.

 

5 Audacious Agreements that Empower

5 Audacious Agreements That EmpowerUnlike written or verbal contracts we make to provide a service or product, sometimes we make agreements with ourselves and other people that we are not even aware we made. And, when our expectations fall short of our desired outcome, we become angry, disillusioned, frustrated and confused.

For example, you may live with an unspoken agreement that conflict is to be avoided at all cost by not speaking up when there is a disagreement or difference of opinion. You may soon discover that avoiding conflict never gets anything resolved – just shoved under the proverbial rug.

Instead of going with the flow and operating from agreements that limit, define and get in the way of being your true self, here are 5 audacious agreements that empower so that the real you shines through:

Agree to ditch the labels – Mom, daughter, sister, wife or girlfriend is merely a label assigned to women by society. You are much more than a label. Labels don’t define who you really are anymore than tags in designer clothes tell you anything about the designer. Who you really are goes much deeper than any of the labels that you wear.

Agree to squash relationship drama – All relationships (marital, family, friends, co-workers and neighbors an even the relationship you have with yourself) will eventually hit a bump in the road. Are you clear about the kind of relationships you want to have in your life? Do you have relationships filled with confusion, temper tantrums, manipulation or deception? I hope not. But if you’ve ever experienced such behavior in a relationship, it may be time to assess how clear you are about who YOU are. Attracting drama into your life is usually an indication that you are giving others permission to set the tone of the relationship. You can change the dynamics of any relationship if you set clear boundaries about what you will accept and how you want to be treated.

Agree to say “no” like a 2 year old –One of the first words a toddler learns is the word “no”. That’s because she wants to be heard and express their assertiveness. Toddlers already have this down pat. She says “no” loud, clear and with conviction. Of course you don’t have to yell but certainly speak loud enough to be heard.

What happens to that conviction and assertiveness when we reach adulthood?

Unfortunately, once we leave toddlerhood, we seem to forget how to be assertive, express our wishes and think independently. Saying “no” is not meant to be antagonistic, difficult or mean spirited.

Saying “no” means that you set limits on what you are willing to do or give, what you’re capable of and how you desire to spend your time and energy.

Make an agreement to set realistic expectations – I agree with Dr. Phil when he says, “what upsets people is not what happens. What upsets people is if what happens violates their expectation of what was going to happen!”

Examine the expectations you have for yourself and others. Make sure they are realistic so as not to end up frustrated, angry or disappointed when things don’t turn out the way you hoped.

Agree to show more gratitude – When you consistently show gratitude for the things you already have, you open the window to receive more. An easy way to begin the practice of gratitude is to write down the things you are grateful for. You can use a journal to record your gratitude or write what you are grateful for each day and place it in a jar or other container. When you need a boost, go to your gratitude journal or jar for added inspiration.

And, to learn more about empowerment and being your true self, I invite you to get my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Put Multitasking on Hold

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can put multitasking on hold mostly when I’m on a call and another is waiting or I glance at my computer screen and see I am working in several windows simultaneously.

Multitasking can easily become a big part of our lives especially now with the busy holiday season fast approaching.  And, all of this multitasking starts to make me feel like I’m on an out of control roller coaster wishing someone would put on the brakes.  Like most women, I find myself occasionally deep in the throes of multitasking and busyness. But, when I can slow down long enough to allow myself some breathing space, I realize that in addition to all the appointments, household chores, social commitments, and other demands on my time, I do have a choice.

Put multitasking on hold and avoid overwhelm by using these suggestions:

  • Make a commitment to carve out self-care daily.  Start small with something you enjoy and build on that.  Take 5 or 10 minutes to quietly enjoy a soothing cup of tea.  Tea is a natural relaxant and while sipping tea, you can begin to refocus.  Maybe coffee, or another soothing drink may be for you.  It doesn’t matter if you have something to drink or not.  The important thing is to commit to carving out self-time on a daily basis.
  • Let go of the guilt. Reduce the overwhelm. Hold others accountable for the things they are responsible for.  Don’t stress over what others are doing or not doing.  You have no control over others and their actions. Keep in mind that you can only be responsible for the things that you are responsible for.
  • Prioritize – For the most part, women tend to prioritize according to the needs of others – not yourselves. To put your needs first is not a selfish act but rather a selfless one.  For the same reason we are told to don our masks if there is an emergency on a flight, is the same reason you must nurture and take good care of yourself so that you are ready to take care of others in your lives with energy and willingness.
  • Allow friends to support and encourage you. Most of you can easily and willingly grumble to friends about how busy you are and how little time you have for yourself.  This is not support.  You want to surround yourself with people who will offer suggestions, give of themselves if need be, encourage and uplift you.

Set clear boundaries around how many commitments you agree to, how you want to spend your time and energy and with whom you spend your time. Having strong boundaries means that you make responsible choices based on your ability to give, do and be – not choices made out of guilt or a desire to avoid conflict or please someone else.

  • Make an appointment with YOU.  When you are keeping track of all the other appointments and to do lists on your schedule, put in your planner or calendar an appointment for YOU. Use the time to refresh and re-energize so that you will have a power source from which to give to others.

And, to get other self-care tips, tools and resources to stay focused and motivated to attract more joy, more time and more energy in your life, start by getting your copy of Building Strong Boundaries to Create More Breathing Space in Your Hectic Life

Gladys Anderson – Life Coach, Therapist, Author

Certified Life Coach, Family therapist and Group Coaching Specialist, Gladys M. Anderson, helps nurses, teachers, social workers, therapists and other care-giving women to set limits so they have more time, more joy and more energy for self-care.

Do You Make These Deadly Mistakes When Carving Out Time for Self-Care?

I know how difficult it is to carve out space for self-care when you are inundated with the ironing, cooking, cleaning and trying to balance your personal and professional life. It  may seem like all the demands made on you are draining you of precious energy and you’re so tired you could sleep for a week,  yet you might not sleep well even if you have time.

It’s hard to believe,  but we are just a few weeks away from the busy holiday season. The struggle for self-care will be even more evident when we take on the added stress of shopping for gifts, entertaining and trying to fit self-care into our busy schedules.

Do you make these deadly mistakes when carving out time for self care?

  • Saying “yes” when you really want to say no – Agreeing to do things under pressure, out of guilt, or just because it’s easier leads to frustration and violates your personal boundaries.
  • Engaging in unnecessary distractions – Your time may be consumed by “fillers” – i.e., TV, Internet, texting and the constant demand to be in touch with everything and everyone.  All of this connection takes precious time away from the most important connection of all – the connection with self.
  • Lacking a morning ritual – Wake up earlier than usual and squeeze in an extra half- hour to pray, meditate or sit quietly. This is time to focus on yourself before beginning your day.
  • Disregarding your boundaries – Your boundaries reflect what is or is not acceptable for you as an individual. They mark out the things that are important to you and how you expect to be treated by others. It is your responsibility to guard these boundaries carefully because they represent your authentic self and your life goals. You must be prepared to say “no” to requests or demands that cross your boundary lines and demand treatment from others that is consistent with the limits you’ve set for yourself.

If any of the above sounds familiar, it may be time to carve out time for self-care.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Learn to say no  – Only agree to do those things that you have the time, energy and resources to do. Doing so builds self-confidence and frees up time for you to do the things you enjoy most.
  • Reserve space for YOU – Taking care of everyone and everything drains your energy pool.   Reserving special time for yourself is crucial and ensures that you are replenished and ready to face the tasks ahead with energy and enthusiasm.
  • Set strong, healthy boundaries – Only by setting limits on your time and energy will you effectively manage self-care.  Make sure you set aside time,  at the least once a week, to rejuvenate your energy pool.

To get more tips, tools and ideas for self-care, start by getting your copy of Building Strong Boundaries to Create More Breathing Space in Your Hectic Life

Gladys Anderson – Life Coach, Therapist, Author

Certified Life Coach, Family therapist and Group Coaching Specialist, Gladys M. Anderson, helps nurses, teachers, social workers, therapists and other caregiving women to set limits so they have more time, more joy and more energy for self-care.

Self-Care Can Sneak Its Way Into Your Daily Routine

 

Self-care can sneak its way into your daily routine even when you’re so exhausted you hardly have enough energy to crawl out of bed.

But, if you don’t make space daily for self-care you end up often feeling irritable, anxious, depressed or bored.  And all of that negative energy further depletes you and pushes self-care even farther into the background.

According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, a women’s health expert, the key to self-care is knowing in your heart that the best way you can care for others is by caring for yourself.  It’s not selfish or to take care of yourself first.  By doing so, you are assured that you have enough energy to take care of the other people in your life.

Here are some easy ways you can let self care sneak its way into your daily routine:

  • Avoid unnecessary distractions – “fillers” – i.e., TV, Internet, texts and the constant demand to be in touch with everything and everyone, consume our time.  All of this connection takes precious time away from the most important connection of all – the connection with self. Reduce the amount of negative energy coming at you from the media, and social connections.
  • Start a Morning Ritual – Wake up earlier than usual and squeeze in an extra half- hour to pray, meditate, read motivational quotes or sit quietly breathing deeply. This is your time to focus on yourself before starting your day.
  • Protect Your Boundaries – Boundaries are the invisible lines you place around you to protect your time, energy and resources. Your boundaries establish how you expect to be treated and what’s acceptable and what’s not.  Guard your boundaries with care because strong boundaries make it easier to say “no” to requests and demands that eat away at your time, energy, confidence and self-worth.
  • Treat yourself kindly – Taking time to wind down, reflect and feel in control of your life is likely to create better feelings about yourself.  And the benefits extend to your family, friends, and co-workers.  Treating yourself well is a powerful way to feel calmer, loving, generous, patient and relaxed.
  • Fine-tune your schedule so that you leave space for some “me time”.  When you are planning your daily activities, put YOU as a priority so that you have a visual reminder to take some time for yourself, even if it’s only 15 minutes to sit with your eyes closed.

Adding self-care to your daily routine shows that you place value on yourself and love yourself enough to take the very best care of yourself.

What’s your self-care routine?

Gladys Anderson – Life Coach, Therapist, Author

Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, teachers, therapists and other care giving women to set limits so they have more time, and energy to devote to self-care.

3 Tips to Set Strong Boundaries

Your boundary is the invisible shield you put up to protect the many demands placed on your time, energy, and resources.

Visualize your boundary as a shield that protects you from energy drainers, time takers and resource stealers. Protect your boundaries by learning to say NO.

Begin setting strong boundaries by using these 3 tips:

Practice – Practice saying NO.  You always have the power to say NO to any request just as others have the power to say NO to your requests. When you say NO to a request for money, time, gifts or commitments, you are in essence asserting your power and authenticity.  You get to set your own boundaries. You take charge of your time, energy and resources. If you are in the habit of saying YES when you would rather say NO, it may not be easy for you to begin saying NO. But by practicing saying NO you’ll find that you’re relieved from over-commitment, guilt, and frustration and free up time for you to engage in the activities that are meaningful to you. Saying no to things you would rather not do is like giving yourself a high five!

Prioritize – Take charge of your time – when you are asked to run the PTA bake sale and you are already organizing the class reunion, tutoring, and going to school at night, saying NO to those things that will tax your energy, time and resources will give you the freedom to make choices based on what’s most important to you. You might say something like, “Thanks for thinking of me but I have another commitment” or “I won’t be able to do “that” this time.

Taking control of how you spend your time is essential to setting strong boundaries.

Patience – Old habits die hard, especially when you have been mired in the same old pattern for years. Be gentle with yourself and allow for setbacks but keep in mind you’re in charge. Change will be difficult for the people around you too. They want you to keep doing, giving and saying yes.  This is how they get their needs met. Look at the changes you are making as if it were a dance: Women are used to following in a dance, right.  Just picture yourself as the leader; you’re leading the way to healthy boundary making.  So when you change your step in the dance, the other person must change theirs – either they follow your lead or they don’t, but you’re still in charge. So, why not take the lead and show others the way?

And, to get more tips and life enrichment, tools and resources to renovate your relationships with partners, family members, co-workers and friends, I invite you to get my latest book, Master the Genie Within

Until Next time

Gladys Anderson helps individuals and couples to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, friends and co-workers

5 Essential Boundary Making Tips

How are you allowing others to set limits on your time and resources? Are you still taking on more and more tasks when your plate is already running over?

To keep from rocking the boat, what things are you doing that you would rather not?  Taking your precious time to run an errand for someone just because they asked is not a way to show you have strong boundaries around YOUR time.

How jam packed is your schedule with the many things you “have to” do for your friends and family that don’t leave  time for YOU?  There are very few things you “have” to do.  Replace “I have to” with “I choose to”…You always have the choice to determine how you spend your time, energy and resources.

What stories do you tell yourself supporting the hamster wheel life (running and running but getting nowhere fast)? Is your story one of  scarcity, limits and procrastination?

If you are like most women, you can identify with at least some of the above statements.  Most of us are adept at giving and doing for others but fall short when it comes to ourselves.

Use the following tips to start doing the things you love, setting healthy boundaries and creating the balance to enjoy your life:

  • Relinquish the notion that you can do all, be all to everyone in your life.  You are not superwoman.  When you don’t set your own boundaries, you open the floodgates to more stress, anxiety and frustration by letting others set limits on your time and resources.  Instead of keeping the peace, you’re really teaching other people that they have the power to determine how, when and what you spend your time doing.
  • Revise the expectations you place on yourself – Look at where the expectations come from.  Are they cultural, family defined or self imposed?  For example, maybe you grew up believing that it’s better to give than receive and consequently, you give, give and give yet have difficulty receiving (i.e., compliments, gifts).  Don’t let someone else’s expectations become your reality.
  • Be spontaneous – You don’t have to know every detail before taking action.  When you spend precious time trying to figure out every possible outcome to the decisions you make, you are actually agonizing over things you have no control of. Sometimes, you just have to make a decision and just go with it.  If it turns out you could have made a better choice, revise or change your approach.
  • If you are trying to find ways to avoid some people in your life or you are constantly complaining about them, then it may be time to revisit the virtues of that relationship. Sometimes people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Re-evaluate your relationships with these people and set some firm boundaries about how and when you want them to participate in your life.
  • Get off the back burner – Putting your needs and desires on the back burner while everyone else gets front and center, sends the message that your needs are not as important. Making yourself a priority lets other people know you value yourself, your time and your resources.

 

 

Gladys Anderson – Life Coach, Therapist, Author

About the Author:

Gladys Anderson is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, author, consultant and workshop facilitator.

She helps individuals and couples to receive and revive the love, passion, respect and fun that’s been missing from their relationships