Learn More

"/>A Secret to Boundary-setting - Ann McMaster M.A., L.P.C.

A Secret to Boundary-setting

A Secret to Boundary-setting

Last Saturday, I led a Boundaries Workshop online for 50 people in the UK. Feedback about “what worked, what could improve the workshop” was asked for and answered by many.

What surprised me was the number of times that, what I considered a “throw-away” line, was mentioned as having made an impact on them. So here’s the expansion on that “throw away” line.

Fundamentally, Brene Brown defines a boundary simply as – what’s OK and what’s not OK. And how do we tell what’s OK and what’s not OK? – mostly by trial and error, till we get it right. Then we change, or the circumstances change, and our boundaries adjust to accommodate the new normal. Life’s that way.

How I know when the boundary is “right” is when the words I say, the things I do, and how I feel are in sync. If I say yes, when I don’t want to, my boundaries blur. When I say I will, and then I don’t, my boundaries are confounding. When any one of my “say-do-feel” is out of sync, it’s a way of betraying myself/my boundaries.

Who I am is crystal clear to myself and to everyone around me when I say yes, follow through, and I really Want to do it. Or when I say no, I don’t do it, and I really don’t Want to do it. At first, I may feel a little guilty, until I get used to knowing that I have the right to say yes, and I have the right to say no – to say what I mean and mean what I say. I believe it is our most important (and sacred) responsibility – to show up, BE the gift we ARE.

9 Responses

  1. Sue Garland

    I love that she included the word “sacred”. God created us to be who we are and “in His image and likeness” , and it is our sacred assignment to do our best to live up to His design for us.

  2. Penny Dressor

    Living in me, being me allows more me for others to see the real me…..never easily accessed but working through it and on it.

  3. Mary Reynolds

    Hi Ann

    I THINK that the Say/Do/Feel Life talk was the one at which I signed up in October 1993. I NEVER get tired of being reminded and I love this extra bit:

    I believe it is our most important (and sacred) responsibility – to show up, BE the gift we ARE.

    Also and important reminder for me.

    Thank you again for reminding me.

Leave a Reply