When Setting Boundaries Makes You Feel Anxious

When Setting Boundaries Makes You Feel Anxious

Does setting boundaries cause some anxious feelings for you? You are definitely not alone!! It is by far one of the hardest things that we have had to learn, practice and grow with.  

Many people feel a natural sense of obligation to please others, sacrificing their own needs and preferences in the process. This is especially true for those of us who identify as people pleasers - those of us who go above and beyond to keep the peace and make sure our needs are last on the list.

Unfortunately, the idea of setting clear boundaries can be intimidating. We often make excuses, thinking that if we don't give in to someone else's demands, they won't love us anymore. On the contrary, boundaries are essential to our mental health and our overall sense of worth.

The truth is, we need to set boundaries so that we can protect our health and happiness. It can be tempting to let someone else dictate what’s important for us, but ultimately, our self-respect should come first.

If you’re finding it hard to set boundaries, there are a few tips you can use to get started.

  1. Take time to identify what’s important to you and make time for yourself. That pit in your stomach when you really don't want to do something or agree but you do it anyway...pay attention to these moments. Start reflecting on why you are putting yourself last. 
  2. Who in your life are you having a hard time setting boundaries with? Take some time and think about when this started and why you feel the need to "please" this person. 
  3. Practice clear communication by saying ‘no’ politely but firmly and not over-explaining yourself. You do not have to apologize or give long explanation as to why you are setting a boundary for yourself. If you are not ready to say "no" in that moment, you could say things like "Let me get back to you." 
  4. Lastly, recognize that you don’t need to make everyone happy - focus on doing what’s right for you. You are not responsible for the feelings of others. 

It may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but setting boundaries is an important part of self-care. Remember that your worth isn’t determined by other people’s opinion - it’s up to you to prioritize your own happiness and health.

If you read all of this and know you want to start this journey but still feel anxious, we have got you covered. As current recovering people pleasers, we worked hard on creating a workbook based off of our experiences and what has worked for us. Using Kelly's counseling background, we applied techniques that will be sure to help you gain back your power and feel more comfortable with putting yourself FIRST!! You deserve it.

Interested in the "People Pleaser" workbook? Check it out here

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