We women often fail to put boundaries in place to protect ourselves from stress, anxiety, overwork and other situations that drain the energy from us. Whether this be not saying no when deep down we know we should, or whether it be not setting personal boundaries around what we will and will not do for ourselves.
Because we let situations continue, it makes it harder to put our foot down and say enough is enough. But unless you put boundaries in place you will continue to run yourself ragged. If you identify with any of the following 5 situations and you're tired of a life without boundaries, you may want to put some in place.
The People Pleaser
She doesn't want to upset anyone so she goes along doing things for other people which she doesn't have the capacity to do. Friends constantly phone her to offload their problems or ask for help and she doesn't have the heart to say no. She doesn't want to let people down.
At work she's told she's reliable and dependable and whilst these are good traits to have, when you are constantly being put upon because you never say no, it can start to wear you down. Yes, it is good to put others before yourself and to do what you can to help, but when it is to the extent that you are being taken advantage of, put your foot down and put some boundaries in place.
The Mollycoddling Mum
She overcompensates and constantly gives in to her kids because she feels guilty about having to work such long hours. They always have the latest toys and if they ask for it, they get it. She fails to set boundaries and as a result finds it difficult to keep the kids under control. Temper tantrums are rife when she does try to discipline and because she doesn't stick to her guns, they know they can push and push.
You don't have to bombard your kids with the latest gadgets and designer clothes because you have to go to work. If you choose to build a career and work long hours, this comes at a cost. And if this is your choice, don't feel guilty about it.
Don't worry if the house isn't spotless if it means you get to read them a bedtime story or play a game or two with them. Make sure that the time you spend with your kids is quality time and make sure that you put boundaries in place.
The Hardworking Heroine
The hardworking heroine thinks that she can do it all, keeping all balls in the air, scared to take her eyes off them in case one drops. She's trying to do it all because she doesn't want people to see that she's not really good enough.
To outsiders she looks as if she is in control and that she has got it all together which makes her feel even more like a phoney.
She's trying to prove something, trying to prove that she can cope but deep down inside life is very frantic. Not wanting to ask for help because she fears people will see it as a sign of weakness. But if this is you, you know what, you are not superwoman and it is OK to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
The Purposeful Procrastinator
Busying herself doing 101 things, she has a never ending to do list but the list never goes down. She starts things but never finishes them, constantly chasing shiny object after shiny object. Social media is her best friend, distracting her from what is really going on.
She doesn't want to be alone with what is really going on because it means that she will have to face an uncomfortable truth. It could be that she's unhappy and unfulfilled in her job; or her relationship has come to the end of its road; or maybe, what she needs to do is too overwhelming.
Procrastinating won't get rid of the problem, it will only mask it and it will catch up with you sooner or later so if this is you, stop the procrastinating and deal with it.
The Docile Doormat
People use and abuse her good nature because she never says no. Different to the people pleaser, she doesn't easily recognise that she is being taken for granted.
Because she is overly committed to her work, she gets more and more put on her. She is unable to stand up for herself and say what is really on her mind. She needs to be assertive but lacks the confidence to do this.
People often make inappropriate jokes at her expense and although it makes her feel uncomfortable, by not tackling it as and when it happens, they continue to get away with it.
By not addressing this, she is giving people permission to continue using her in this way. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be for her to stand up for herself.
If this is you, what will happen if you allow this to continue and don't put boundaries in place?
Do you see yourself in any of these characters? If so, what boundaries do you need to put in place, either with other people or with yourself?