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Boundaries Are Necessary – and Tricky
This week I’m sharing my journey with boundaries – the good, the bad and the ugly. The good news is, I learned a lot from being a terrible boundary maker and am bringing those lessons to the podcast today.
Hear my personal train wrecks with boundaries and the five invaluable lessons that I’ve learned along the way to make great boundaries that help me with my own self growth.
My number one goal is to protect my time, decrease my stress level, and increase my energy. Boundaries help me do that more than anything.
Discussed in this episode –
- How to keep boundaries clear and easy to follow through.
- Why boundaries have nothing to do with confrontation.
- What I learned that instantly cleared the way for my own effective boundaries.
- Why boundaries are a strategy and not a goal.
Guest Spotlight: Andrea W. Hanson
Andrea W. Hanson is a motivational speaker and the author of two books about having a positive mindset while living with a diagnosis; “Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis” and “Stop Carrying The Weight of Your MS”.
She’s also a master certified life & mindset coach who’s lived with multiple sclerosis for over two decades. Her podcast, “Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis™” features conversations with people who are creating extraordinary lives while living with chronic illness.
Andrea teaches people how to tune out the noise of their inner critic and listen to their authentic voice so they can feel confident in their ability to make changes and create the life they want.
Her online course teaches the Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis™ blueprint to help people living with a chronic illness to create self-care, deeper confidence, and helps them get back to feeling like themselves again. Get more information and join the waitlist at AndreaHansonCoaching.com/courses.
Andrea loves to hike in the mountains with her Blue Heeler — and sometimes other humans, too. She’s happiest when traveling with her husband and exploring new things — or simply sitting poolside with a good book.
Connect with Andrea W. Hanson
Get the FREE guide, “The No BS Guide to a Positive Mindset” here
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawhanson/
Love the Podcast? Get these books by Andrea Hanson
“It is refreshing to have a book that fosters hope and promotes self-healing. This book is an excellent resource for those looking for ways to be proactive….and ways to find hope.”
“It is a true guide on how to listen to our bodies, connect to them, nurture ourselves and understand the power of our mindset.”
“I will be recommending Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis widely to all my patients when dealing with a diagnosis or setback!”
Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis – The Book!
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NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Andrea W. Hanson
[00:00:00] Andrea: Welcome to the live your life, not your diagnosis podcast. I'm Andrea Hanson, author, motivational speaker. And master certified coach. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was told. I would never reach my goals. But I did. And I'm on a mission to prove that life with a chronic illness can still be expansive and quite remarkable.
Everyone has their own unique path. I'm talking to people, living with a chronic illness that come from different backgrounds, have different points of view and are achieving amazing life goals of all kinds. To you inspire you To achieve what you thought was impossible. These stories are raw. Uncensored and judgment free. Listener discretion is advised
[00:00:43] Andrea: Hey there. Thank you for joining me. this week we're talking all about boundaries. Specifically what I personally learned about boundaries after years of making really, really bad ones. If making them at all. I love boundaries now.
Now I love boundaries. I think they're really important to have, especially when you're living with a chronic illness and you need to be really protective of your time. Of your stress levels and your energy.
For me, I'm always keeping an eye on those three things. Time, stress and energy. I think it's that trifecta of feeling good.
If I have control over what I do in my time. I can keep my stress level down and my energy from being depleted. All is generally good in my world. Anything else can be handled. The best way I've learned to protect my time, my stress levels and my energy is to use boundaries.
I think they're great. But they're tricky. It's taken me a while to learn the art of making and keeping good boundaries. What held me back in the past from actually creating a lot of the boundaries that I wanted. Is what I think holds a lot of us back. Worrying about rubbing people the wrong way. Feeling selfish or following through with boundaries once they're made.
Or I should say. Not following through. With the boundaries once they're made. These are the main road blocks to boundaries. Because boundaries can be a big step, especially when they involve other people.
So bosses. Uh, family colleagues, people who depend on us. We can feel like putting up boundaries will offend them or make them mad or make them think that we're being selfish. And this can be a roadblock. To creating a boundary in the first place, because you don't want other people to think these things.
Usually we start off strong with our boundary. And then somewhere along the way we stopped following through with what we said, we are going to do. And it can quickly start to feel like having a goal that we failed to meet. But it goes a step farther because our goal will still exist. Even if we're not meeting it, even if we're failing to meet it, that goal is still there.
But if we don't follow through with our boundary, Does that boundary even exist?
Now, I think I love talking about boundaries so much because like I said, I used to have really, really bad boundaries. Like train wreck boundaries. I've made. Every mistake in the book you name it. I have blundered through it. I tried to make a boundary to quote, protect me from another person one time who was taking advantage of my kindness and my time.
Which. In and of itself, isn't a bad thing. Right. We got to stand up for ourselves. But I created this boundary. From first and foremost frustration with that person and resentment with what they're doing. And top of that. I announced it to all parties, everybody involved. I am putting up this boundary.
Not a good look. When anger and frustration is the origin of a boundary and how it's handled. It's just not going to turn out well.
And I also think I've made a lot of people defensive with putting up boundaries throughout my life. Even though I think I was doing the right thing for myself. I think a lot of times boundaries start from a good place. I've tried to make a boundary to stop somebody else from acting a certain way towards me.
I was in a relationship where I told the other person. If you do that again. I'm going to do this. I'm sure you've made a boundary like that, or have thought about making a boundary like that. Needless to say in this situation, the other person continued acting the way they were acting, which in my opinion was pretty bad.
But I didn't follow through. With what I said, because I didn't see that. My boundary, as it was stated was really doing anything. So I just kind of continued on with a pretty toxic relationship for awhile.
And I think a lot of you can relate to this. Right. We've all wanted to put up boundaries. We've all done it from that place of frustration or anger or wanting desperately for somebody to change their behavior. And it's not necessarily that that is. A bad thing. It's just that when boundaries. Are created with that as the, the epicenter.
It's not going to go well. We're not going to follow through.
It's going to fall apart in some way, sometimes spectacularly.
Now I never gave up on creating boundaries with people and situations. Because I always saw the importance. So I just kept trying. And as I learned more about boundaries, I got better. Sometimes because I researched it or I tried something new. Sometimes because I just fell flat on my face with something. And I learned the next time to maybe not do that.
Now I can place boundaries pretty easily into my life. Wherever I want them. And I use them as a pretty powerful strategy in my growth.
So this week, I am sharing the five personal lessons that I've learned. About making boundaries. That make them easier. And much less dramatic.
So let's just get to it. Number one. Boundaries are not a weapon. Don't create boundaries from anger or wanting to punish the other person. If that's your first thought, do some coaching, either coach yourself. Or have somebody coach you, if you feel there's that bitterness. I've made this mistake many, many times.
Whenever I've created a boundary to punish someone or teach them a lesson or whatever it is, the boundary falls apart. And that's because when boundaries are created from anger or resentment, It's about the other person. It's not about me. And first and foremost boundaries should be about me. Or your boundaries should be about you.
Not about somebody else. Somebody else has already pushing the envelope. Right. Let's just say it. Somebody else is already doing something that you don't like. Why make them the center of attention? When you're trying to better something about your life.
Number two. Boundaries come from love. For myself. Your boundaries. Should come from love for yourself. Continuing from that first thing that I learned boundaries are all about me. If I was making it about somebody else. I would coach myself through it. Right. I would work through that. So I can take the focus off of them.
And put it back on myself. When I boundaries about love for myself. The actual boundary changes. It softens. And it becomes much more beneficial for me. And it becomes much easier to follow through on.
Number three boundaries are not a rule for someone else to follow.
I can't hang my happiness and self care on what somebody else does. Neither can you full. Stop. I learned that whenever I create a boundary with the intention, Of making somebody else change their behavior. Falls apart every time.
Because look, we can't change somebody else's behavior.
We just can't do it, especially if they don't want to change. If somebody else wants to change. Fantastic. But my boundary. Is not a rule for them to follow. It's for me. It's for me to hold and for me to follow. So it doesn't mean that I'm not drawing the line in the sand when it comes to somebody else's behavior.
Right. If somebody else is doing something destructive or. Uh, harmful or whatever it is to our relationship or to me, yes. I'm going to draw a line in the sand. It just means that I'm in control of my behavior. And they're in control of their behavior. If I don't like what somebody else is doing. I can control how I react to it.
But it's not for me to control how they act. That's taking on a responsibility. That is number one, not mine. Take on. And number two. A really, really heavy burden. To put on myself.
Along the same line. My favorite form of a boundary is what I call an umbrella boundary. So these are just boundaries that I have. With myself. Sometimes they involve other people sometimes not. But they're not about other people at all. So for example, I'm not going to eat after a certain time of the day.
I won't. Push my body past a certain limit. Right. I know what that limit is. And I know when to stop and, and stop pushing. That is a rule for me. But not for somebody else.
So if somebody says, Hey, let's go to dinner, I'll meet you at 11:00 PM. That butts up against my boundary. And I'm not going to accept that, or I'm going to say, Hey, let's eat at seven.
But these umbrella boundaries are so handy because, because they don't have other people in mind because it's all about me. And what I want to do within my life. It's super easy to make them. And it's super easy to uphold them when other people come and unintentionally. Try to go against that boundary.
Number four. Creating a boundary is going to change our relationship. Hopefully change your relationship. Towards how you want it to be. And that is okay. The other person may not like it. That is their prerogative. It's also none of my business.
How other people feel. About us and our boundaries is none of our business, even. Even if they're reacting to something that we're doing. Even if it's a relationship that we're in and I am creating a boundary for myself out of love for myself about myself.
What that other person thinks. Really it's none of my business because there's nothing I can do. To change their mind. To make them feel a different way. That is 100% their responsibility. And I say that with love. ' cause, I don't want somebody trying to change how I feel.
Trying to change what I think. Right. Trying to change what I believe. So out of respect, I'm not going to do that to the other person.
It is the most drama free way. To live. Not, I mean, take this out of boundaries. Like, yes, it is a very drama free way. Of creating a boundary, but it's also a very drama free way to live. To have that respect for the other person. To know. That you can't change. You don't have that control over them.
And they don't have that control over you.
I think it makes the relationship. So much more pure and honest. And even. Vulnerable. To know that I am in control of my thoughts, my emotions, everything that's going on with me. You're in control of you.
Other people have their own thoughts and feelings and reactions. And that is 100%. Okay.
Now, I know people are going to be like, hold on, Andrea. Hold on a second, we can't go around creating havoc. And not caring how it affects people.
And every time somebody says that to me, because yes, people say that to me.
I didn't say that to me. We are good. Ethical. Moral people. When we create a boundary. From love for ourselves. And not from anger or frustration. When we create a boundary and have coached ourselves through or receive coaching on not having that bitterness towards the other person, not wanting to.
Change the other person not wanting to punish the other person. When our boundaries are created. Through that love through that focus on ourselves. We're not focused on hurting another person. We are not going to be. These crazy wrecking balls. Doing all this sorts of all these boundaries everywhere.
And like not caring if somebody else doesn't like it. That's not the way it's going to work. If we do it from love for ourselves, if we do it. As a boundary for ourselves to follow through. If that is the focus of the boundary.
We're not going to create havoc.
The last tip number five. I think is going to be the favorite thing that I have learned. About boundaries and my favorite thing to do in practice. When I have a boundary. It's that I don't have to tell. Anybody else? Uh, about my boundaries. Even if it involves them. So. If you look at the umbrella boundary where it's like, I'm not going to eat after a certain time. If somebody invites me out at 11 and I say, Hey,
That's just not. You know, that doesn't work for me. Uh, maybe I'll suggest something else or a different day, whatever it is. I don't have to go into, I have a boundary. I don't eat after this time every night. And this is a violation of my boundary to do this. So I'm going to say no. I don't have to say that.
I don't have to say that there's zero reason to say that. And when you're looking at a boundary, especially if it's something that involves another person, like a boss or a colleague or family members. And it can get sticky. If all of a sudden you announce that you have a boundary with them. It's great. It keeps it drama free because remember boundaries are about you. They're about your response. They're about your actions. They're about your feelings. They're about love for you.
Boundaries are not about the other person. So, if you feel like it's going to make things. Dramatic. If you think the other person's going to get defensive because yeah, sometimes it is a little alarming. If somebody walks up and says, I have a boundary about you. Nobody likes to hear that. You don't have to say it.
Even if you're not going to do something because of your boundary, right. Even if I'm not going to go out to eat at 11 o'clock. I'd have to say that I'm not doing it because of my boundary. I'm not lying about it. I just don't have to specifically state. That is my boundary. It doesn't have to happen.
And I think that takes. So much. Of the drama out of it.
And I'm not saying that you have to keep your boundaries secret. I can, nobody can know what your boundaries are. No. It's just that you don't have to tell somebody about them. If you feel like it's going to create friction.
If you feel like the other person might not react so well. You don't have to tell them. If you want to tell people, if you want support from friends, if you want. Accountability from friends or other people crate. Tell them about your boundary. It's just not a requirement, which for me. Is. Really good news.
It kind of gives me. Like a breath. It gives me.
It gives me space to create my boundary.
So I'll give you another example of not having to talk to somebody. If your boundary is something a little bit more personal. And your boundary is like when this person says something rude. I'm not, I'm going to stop engaging with them. I'm just going to stop talking. But I don't have to tell them that I'm just going to stop.
That is okay. And again, I know you're thinking. Like what if they ask why you're no longer talking with them? Well That totally might happen. Somebody might absolutely notice that you're acting differently, inquire about what's going on. But again, you can say whatever you like. You can tell them why you don't like how they're talking to you.
You can tell them that you just don't want to engage anymore. You can tell them whatever it is. But know that having that conversation. Where the other person has nothing to do. With you creating an honoring your boundary. I have not reacting to read comments. It's so important to separate these two things.
Boundaries versus communicating boundaries with other people. 'cause a lot of times. We avoid certain boundaries because we don't want to confront somebody about it.
And that's not true. You don't ever have to confront anybody. About a boundary. You might want to confront somebody about something else? You might want to confront them about what they're doing or, you know, something. That you want to talk about? That has something to do with their behavior, whatever it is just no.
That is not a boundary. That's a totally separate situation.
And I like separating the two because I feel like. Confrontations. R. Uh, many of us don't look forward to. Some people are totally fine with it. I'm fine with it, depending on who it's with. But. A lot of us. Make that confrontation. I mean, we don't want to have a boundary. And that does not have to be the case.
Those are two totally different things.
So these were all important things that I learned when creating my boundaries. When confrontation and changing somebody else's behavior. Is no longer a condition of upholding a boundary. The boundary becomes much cleaner. And a lot easier to uphold.
I think following through with the boundary is just as important as creating one in the first place. Because look, it doesn't feel good when we don't follow through with boundaries. It feels like we're letting ourselves down. I think learning these five things have really not only increased the chances that I'm going to create a boundary, but it also makes it a lot easier to uphold them because every time.
I am reacting to a boundary. Every time I'm doing something to uphold my boundary. It's kind of between me and myself. It's got nothing to do with what other people think, what they say, what they feel about it with confronting somebody it's got nothing to do with anything.
It's just this. Personal thing. This personal contract, actually that I have with myself. And that makes it so much better.
And so much. More loving.
Now I want to hear from you. I am really curious about what boundaries you've created. How did it go? What's working. What's not.
You can always reach me. Through the email that's in the episode description. Reach out. It's me who answers. I'm super curious about this because I've had train wreck boundaries. I'd love to hear, not just what your train wreck boundaries are, but boundaries, if you had, and what's worked and what's not, and what's challenging, you.
Now we've all had boundaries that we want to create. Try using these five tips to create yours or renew ones that haven't worked in the past. I am here for you again, you can reach me through the link in the episode description. Let me know, ask me your questions. I'm always on the other end of an email.
And that is it for now. I hope these tips help make your boundaries a little less dramatic and way easier to keep going. I'll see you next week. Take care. If you like the show, don't be shy. Please give us a five-star rating and review. Follow us on apple podcast, Amazon music or wherever you're listening right now. To see complete show notes and resources mentioned in this episode
visit AndreaHansonCoaching.com. Thank you for joining me And until next time take care
About Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis
Hear inspiring discussions with people living with chronic illness. These people went after their passions and big goals -even when everyone told them they couldn’t. Listen to stories of resilience and gratitude in the face of uncertainty.
I’m your host, Andrea W. Hanson, Author, Motivational Speaker, and Autoimmune Rebel living with multiple sclerosis. You’ll not only fall in love with these guests, but you’ll soak up positive mindset tips and ideas to find your own unique path to success.
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