It is easy to spot how and when we make ourselves smaller – it occurs every time we say yes to something we really do not honestly subscribe to or believe in or want to participate in, but do it anyway? That’s when we break our own invisible boundaries and sign up to make ourselves smaller. That is how we let ourselves down and work against ourselves.
Selflove starts with setting boundaries. There is no way you can practise selflove if you can’t stop yourself from pleasing others. It is an awful habit that many grow up to – to be polite and not be able to say no. But every time we say yes to something which we really do not honestly want to, we make ourselves a little bit smaller and that is exactly the opposite of what selflove is. Learn to say ‘No’.
Learning to say no is brilliant for your own self and for the other person. Sometimes there are factors at play when people swallow pride and compromise boundaries – ‘for the larger good,’ ‘to fit in’ etc. But really, where you need to compromise for acceptance is always a losing game anyway.
‘No’ is a magic word. Start by saying ‘No’ to people, offers, plans, proposals, ventures or just about anything for which you have no passion for or which doesn’t really appeal to you.
This is also the only way that you get to carve out time and space to chase your own loves and interests.
Stretching your time, space and energy is great when it comes to growth. But there is a fine difference between a stretch and over-extending – you know the difference when a stretch leads to stress.
Set healthy limits on your routine, time, phone, food habits, time with children, friends, work and even family. Make wholesome personal time to reflect, process and plan and tend to your own dreams. The decision to love yourself starts with the decision to protect your space, time, energy, resources and whatever you think is vital. Setting boundaries is a big sign of selflove. What do boundaries mean for you?
How to set healthy boundaries?
Identify your boundaries
What makes you feel good and comfortable and which point is the dealbreaker for you? When you know both, you know your boundaries. How high are your boundaries are for you to decide, but a good way to preserve compassion for yourself is to keep your limits strong and well defined for others in any kind of relationship.
A lot of times, friends, partners or colleagues intend to judge your boundaries or lack of them by their own standards. For instance, if someone is okay with a lot of personal prying may feel that you are okay with it too. While, most do not like intrusion, many obviously do not understand where the line is drawn – and that is where communication plays a role. Usually rudeness, defensiveness and even anger is the result of a violation of a limit – which can all be avoided if it can be easily shown the invisible line.
Guard your time
The biggest boundary that however you need to set is with yourself, with the help of your own will – on the time you spend on your screens, the amount of sleep you get, the kind of food you eat and the sort of reaction you give to external stimulus. The biggest reward that you get for sticking to your own boundaries is huge volumes of respect that you build for yourself. But protecting your boundaries you feed your self-esteem. And when your self esteem sparkles and shines, it pours over and reflects in everything you do. Your relationship with your own self becomes smoother, you create realistic expectations and fulfil them and eventually you create balance and flow in your life. Practise non-negotiable boundaries as a selflove exercise. Stick by them. Others treat you, the way you treat yourself.