Personal boundaries are like our personal rules and regulations that we set for ourselves. These can be boundaries around our relationships, our working hours, or how we want to spend our precious time.

Setting and holding boundaries can significantly improve your mental health and confidence – you can build trust with yourself and avoid burnout and resentment. And if these can be avoided, what’s not to lose?! It can feel really empowering when you learn how to prioritise your own needs instead of others.

Identifying your boundaries

If you’re someone who is prone to people-please (don’t worry – I think everyone goes through this at some time in their life), it can be really useful to take some time out, and have a think about the different areas in your life where you feel you might be over-giving. Recognising when you’re feeling burnt out, resentful or angry can also be an indicator that you may need to introduce some boundaries.

You might want to get cosy with a cuppa, grab a pen and paper and give yourself some time to explore where in your life you need to implement some boundaries, or even loosen some!

Setting healthy boundaries

I have two words for you: “assertive communication”

Now – being assertive used to be really tricky for me, and is something that took me a long time to get the hang of. Assertive communication is when you’re honest with those around you about your beliefs, needs and emotions – it’s really important to communicate these using “I” statements. I used to really struggle with this, particularly asking for my needs to be met, but I do believe ‘they’ are right in saying “Practise makes perfect!”.

The more you understand your needs and wants, the better you’ll be able to ask for them to be met.

Saying ‘No’ Without Guilt

Learning to say ‘no’ without guilt is a liberating and empowering skill on the path of self-care and boundary setting. It’s a journey I’ve personally travelled, and let me tell you, it’s transformative.

Initially, it might feel uncomfortable. You might worry about disappointing others or fear being seen as selfish. However, as you embrace this art, you begin to understand that saying ‘no’ is not a rejection of others; it’s a declaration of self-worth and self-respect.

Reflect on your boundaries and your priorities. When you say ‘no,’ you’re not just preserving your time and energy; you’re also ensuring that you can show up fully and authentically when you say ‘yes.’ It’s a profound act of self-love.

Over time, as you practice this, the guilt begins to fade, making way for a sense of empowerment. Saying ‘no’ without guilt becomes an act of self-care that allows you to align your actions with your true desires, fostering healthier relationships and a more balanced life.

The Journey to Self-Discovery

Embarking on the journey of self-discovery is a remarkable adventure that continually unfolds with surprises and self-revelations. I’ve found it to be an exhilarating and, at times, a challenging path worth every step.

As we delve deeper into understanding ourselves, we unearth hidden strengths, passions, and dreams. It’s like discovering treasure within our own souls. And when we recognise these gems, its cause for celebration. Every moment of progress is a triumph, whether it’s a small step or a giant leap.

Take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come. Celebrate the battles you’ve won, the fears you’ve conquered, and the boundaries you’ve set. Each accomplishment, no matter how seemingly insignificant, contributes to your growth and self-empowerment.

On this journey, remember that self-discovery is not a race but a continuous, lifelong process. Embrace the enthusiasm of uncovering new layers of yourself, and take pride in the progress you’ve made. It’s a testament to your resilience and a promise of the extraordinary future that awaits as you continue to explore the depths of your being.

Elizabeth Edge