2019: The Year of healthy boundaries.
2019 is the year of healthy boundaries. The year of healthy no’s. Saying no when you don't want to do something. No, I don’t want to meet up this week. No, I don’t deserve this. No, I don’t like that. No, this is not worth my time. No, i cannot take this new thing on. No, i will not accept this treatment. No, i will not lower my boundaries. And it is a time to say no with your chest too! I am the QUEEN of sugar coating and I am working on bettering that. I often allow my politeness to take precedence over my own feelings. I would rather say something as politely as possible to make sure that the other person doesn’t get hurt, instead of saying things a bit more straight forward. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not promoting rudeness. I just think having such characteristics means that you are most likely not able to say no. You’ll instead say every word in the English dictionary that implies that your answer is no, without actually saying no. Why is this a problem? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is a problem because it backfires. Either you end up over committing, because you can’t just say no, or you end up not having boundaries for those around you.
Why is over committing bad?
Over committing is bad because you end up spreading yourself very thin which means that nothing that you're doing is actually getting the input needed to make it of a good quality. This can then lead to a disappointing / sub-par result.
Over commitment is often a consequence of poor boundaries . Poor boundaries, in short, can mean you have trouble saying no. A colleague asks you for a favour, you do it even if you don’t have the time or don't want to. Your boss asks you to accept a new assignment, you accept it even though you have no time in your schedule to devote to a new project. For most people, the problem can go back to childhood and I think this is a problem that a lot of women face. When young, most girls are socialised to be helpful, accommodating, and polite in groups or towards others. If they can help out, they are taught that they should, even if it pulls them away from something they’re already doing or something they really wanted to do. And if they don’t pull away to help, they’re called selfish, uncaring, or self-centered, which usually leads to feelings of guilt for not being helpful.
While i was at work the other day, stumbled across a sermon titled The Stress We Bring on Ourselves by Sheryl Brady and boy, my wig was snatched, OK? In that moment, I honestly felt like God was delivering that message directly to me because over committing and not being able to say no is something that I have struggled with throughout my life. From last year, God has been growing me. It has been painful but I am finally at the point where I am beginning to see what He has been doing and it is through Him that this whole issue of not being able to say no was brought to my attention. Without going into too much details, one after the other, i started to lose friends this past year. Friendships that I thought would be forever, finished. For reasons which aren't clear to me till this day. But a year on, I am thankful to God almighty for his omnipotence. God was showing me how my over commitment in friendships was causing me to stray further from Him. I prioritised my friendships and wanted to help each and every single friend the best i could. I poured and poured and poured into every single friendship but neglected myself. Neglected God. I don't blame my friends at all. If someone is willing to make their lives easier all the time and went above and beyond to do so, why would they say no to my help? I fed into their expectations of me and when I started to burn out, they grew angry. Took my absence as a sign of me "changing" on them. I got a lot of "why you acting different?", "you don't care no more?". When the reality was that I was so emotionally and mentally empty that I could barely lift my phone to respond to messages. I spent weeks going to work and coming back only to stare at my ceiling until I fell asleep. Self neglect is a big factor in over committing and not having boundaries, so you have to be careful to not neglect yourself. Neglect your time with Him.
Boundaries allow you and those around to understand what is and isn't acceptable. Boundaries allow you to have a healthy relationship with yourself and with God. Boundaries help you go from spreading yourself too thin to living life purposefully and completing tasks / living life wholesomely. Boundaries can help to keep you safe and within a healthy space that can allow you to grow.
The purpose of this blog is to help you identify if saying no is a difficulty for you. My next blog will dive into practical things that I have been doing / want to do to help myself heal from this. If you can relate, drop @puritytalksonline (on instagram) a dm and let's talk! In the mean time, take this time to see if you relate and try to identity areas in your life that you struggle to set boundaries in.
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