Learning to assert our own personal boundaries is often a life-long process. We begin (often clumsily) as children: shoving others out of our personal bubble, crying when some other kid takes our toys, leaning over someone to grab the book that we want (elbowing them in the face in the process)…
At home, we learn to draw boundaries around our beds, bedrooms, diaries and physical property. By middle school, we are learning how to assert our boundaries surrounding our rapidly changing physical bodies. In high school, our sexuality blossoms and boundaries may be greatly challenged.
In young adulthood, we struggle with asserting our independence, needs, and wishes with a variety of people: our bosses, co-workers, house mates, and family. At this stage of life, we are thrust into a life of greater responsibility.
We have to learn what our wishes and needs are, as well as what we don’t want in our lives, in order to recognize and assert our boundaries. A person who is not very self aware will have a hard time asserting appropriate boundaries. A common response is to set hard and fast general boundaries that may be interpreted as being stubborn and withdrawn. An equally common response is to set no or very little boundaries. This person will have a hard time saying “no” and is often engaged in various activities with a wide range of people all the time. They will always help you (and everyone else in their lives) no matter the circumstances, and ask nothing in return.
I have recently been challenged with drawing boundaries around my personal self and business self. Starting my own health coaching practice has required my face, name, and contact information to be blasted all over my (physical and online) community. I can not hide from dangers and stress. I must face it head-on, or risk tarnishing my professional name. Don’t get me wrong, I am still just an ordinary person, who sometimes pays her bills late, forgets to bring back library books, and occasionally sleeps through her alarm. Continue reading