Hi, I’m Kat

Writer * Storytelling Coach

I’m so happy you’re here! I teach individuals, professionals, and entrepreneurs how to tell their story in a way that makes their life and work thrive!

How to Set a Boundary (Without Feeling Like Crap)

How to Set a Boundary (Without Feeling Like Crap)

I don’t know about you, but all this boundary talk has been making me feel a little anxious. Up until recently, I’d viewed ‘boundary’ as a bad word. I viewed it as a wall going up between me and another person, cutting off true connection. Something I listened to last week completely flipped my notion of boundaries on its head and it was truly a REVELATION (keep reading for the link and a few resources). I’d like to share it with you in case you have the boundary-heebie-geebies like me.

My revelation all boils down to this:

Boundaries are an inside job.

I know… what? I thought it was something I put up with another person. Nope, not true.

Setting a boundary really just comes down to keeping a promise you’ve made to yourself.

Let me explain…

A boundary isn’t an agreement you make with someone else, it’s an agreement you make with yourself. Then, you have the opportunity to share and honor that agreement with others. It’s an act of loving yourself well and consistently. It’s knowing what you need, what you don’t, and creating a life that supports this.

From what I’ve experienced, there are two types of boundaries: love boundaries and blame boundaries.

Love Boundaries support you in loving yourself and inviting others to support you.

Blame Boundaries are often based on another person and come from a place of anger, resentment, and fear.

To help you better embrace this concept, here are some examples of love boundaries and blame boundaries:

Love Boundaries

The Promise You Make to Yourself:

I am promising myself that I will get an hour yoga class in before I head home after work on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Way It Shows Up With Others:

A friend invites you to happy hour on Tuesday at the exact time of your class. You haven’t seen her in a while. You ask her if you can meet up after the class, invite her to join you at yoga, or suggest another day.

The Promise You Make to Yourself:

I am promising myself that I will not respond to work emails after 10pm as it affects my sleep, stress level, and personal time.

The Way it Shows Up With Others:

Letting your boss and co-workers know that you are unavailable after 10 pm but if they add ‘URGENT’ to the subject line, you will be sure to read and respond first thing the next day.

Blame Boundaries

The Action of Another Person

Your mother has ‘dropped in’ to stay with you again… without notice.

The Blame Boundary You Set

Telling your mother that you’re going to move to a different apartment and won’t be giving her the address. (I know we’ve all been there at some point!)

The Action of Another Person

Your friend consistently uses you as their own free therapist (even though you have a life coaching business and people pay you for your time).

The Blame Boundary You Set

You stop answering their calls and decide to shut down your business because you feel depleted and bitter.

Characteristics of a Love Boundary

  • It’s intentional, peaceful, and feels good to honor

  • It’s set in advance so you’re not caught off guard

  • It allows you to show up fully with the people you love and the work you do

  • It fosters self love and respect

Characteristics of a Blame Boundary

  • It comes from a place of resentment, anger, and hostility

  • It hurts you and other people

  • You feel disempowered when setting it

  • It makes your life smaller and cuts you off from feelings of trust, openness, and freedom

Healthy Ideas to Help You Set Love Boundaries

Here are some examples of ways that you can set and keep the promises you make to yourself:

  • Turning your phone on ‘airplane mode’ between certain hours

  • Setting up a ‘free resources’ page on your website that you can send people to instead of giving free coaching and advice

  • Setting an ‘away’ message on your email to let your boss and coworkers know that you’re enjoying personal time and the ways they can contact you in case of emergency (also including what constitutes an emergency)

  • Setting up time for quality interaction with friends and family members each week and inviting them to join you then

  • Waking up at 7am every day, turning off your internet during that time, and writing for 30 minutes before doing anything else

  • Crafting a response like ‘I don’t have space to be present with you right now but would love to talk about this ________’

  • Meal prepping on Sundays so that you’re not tempted to break the budget and go out for lunch every day

  • Scheduling in a weekly ‘solo date’ with yourself and inviting your partner, family, friends, and children to support you in that

  • Taking out cash and leaving your card at home so you don’t overspend when you go out

  • Establishing a ‘deliverables’ schedule with work and sticking to it

Ritual for Love Boundary Setting

Take yourself to a coffee shop each week, month, year (whatever feels right).

Sit down and journal about the following:

  1. Where am I feeling depleted, angry, or resentful in my work, relationships, and self?

  2. What are actions I can take to eliminate these feelings?

  3. What time can I set aside for myself each week to hear myself and honor what makes me happy?

  4. Based on these things, are there any conversations I need to have to let my co-workers and loved ones know how I’ll be operating moving forward?

Resources for Boundary Setting

Listen to this podcast: http://untameyourself.com/tt-271

Read this article: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/how-to-set-boundaries-brene-browns-advice

Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U3VcgUzqiI

With all the love,

Kat

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