Boundaries are a powerful tool that help us to care and protect ourselves. Do you ever feel walked all over? You set a boundary and then friends, family, or a love interest walk past it and through it as though you had said nothing? Did you speak up in the moment, calling them out on the boundary and reestablishing the boundary.
I personally had very porous boundaries. I was a people pleaser and every opportunity that seemed interesting, I would say yes to. I would tell myself, I'll find the time. Other projects would be put on the back burner or not get the attention required. I had to learn to say No!
Those with high self worth also have boundaries. Some people have hard boundaries, others have porous boundaries. You need to find what is right for you for each of your boundaries.
I had never really set boundaries before when I realized I had low self worth and began working on it. In my journey to high self worth, I jumped in with both feet on setting boundaries. In my wholehearted attempt to set boundaries, I pulled out my MBA and Project Management intellect and started with a spreadsheet.
For every boundary I created a row. In each column I had a title, description, signals when it was being passed, what I would say or do to bring it back into alignment, and date tracking when it last came into effect (either held or violated).
It was a good tracking tool and effective at helping me recognize and begin the journey of controlling my boundaries.
I also came to understand that as my self worth began to increase, so did my ability to set boundaries that stuck. My voice had more confidence and power to set a boundary. My actions conveyed a stronger intention and expectation that the boundary would stick. Maybe it was something about my energy that made it more powerful in establishing expectations.
A great book on boundaries is called, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, and How to Say No to Take Back Your Life, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It went into detail about the importance of boundaries, especially with children and how it will help them over their life. It also covered the importance for ourselves.