Boundaries 101: What a Boundaryless Life Looks Like Part 1?

Boundaries 101: What a Boundaryless Life Looks Like Part 1? boundaries 101: what a boundaryless life looks like part 1?

Have you ever asked yourself what a boundaryless life looks like, a life without healthy guidelines for acceptable behavior from others or from yourself? A boundaryless life is one where you are not really sure or clear about your boundaries. It’s like a garden without fences or borders or a house without a door or a good lock.

Without clear boundaries, the garden or the house would be vulnerable to trespassers, wildlife, and unintended damage. Anyone or anything can walk in and take whatever they want, and in the end, the place will be damaged and depleted. The same thing happens in a life without healthy boundaries. Other people will walk into your life, potentially harming your mental health, and you will end up feeling depleted and exhausted, or you may become a mere shadow of your true self.

Today, I will share with you what it truly means to live a life without healthy boundaries in your day-to-day existence. I will provide examples illustrating the consequences of poor boundaries and explain how these issues can be resolved through the establishment of healthy boundaries. This article is part of a series discussing the importance of having healthy boundaries and the effects of lacking them. Many of these concepts are drawn from the book ‘Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life’ by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. So, how does your day look when you do not have healthy and well-defined boundaries?

  1. Resentment

When you have poor boundaries, you often develop feelings of anger and resentment, directed both towards others and yourself.

For example, imagine a scenario where you constantly allow a friend to borrow money from you without setting clear terms for repayment (this is the boundary). Over time, you may start feeling increasingly frustrated and resentful, sensing that you’re being taken advantage of and that your own financial security is at risk. At the same time, your friend might feel guilty and frustrated, knowing they’re causing you distress. So, this lack of well-defined boundaries becomes a fertile ground for negative emotions, which can damage the relationship you have with you and your friend.

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Healthy Boundaries: The above scenario could have been resolved by establishing clear terms for borrowing money and communicating these boundaries with your friend. For example, if you set a boundary stating that you’re willing to lend money but expect it to be repaid within a specific time frame, with agreed-upon interest, or with clear communication in case of delays, both parties have a clear understanding of the arrangement. This not only mitigates your feelings of being taken advantage of but also ensures your financial security. Also, your friend benefits from this clarity, as they know what is expected of them, reducing their feelings of guilt and frustration.

It’s a simple boundary but it will save and even build up your relationships.

  1. Stress

Unhealthy boundaries will often lead to stress due to the inability to strike a balance between personal and external demands, which can make you feel constantly overwhelmed and incapable of managing your time effectively.

For example, let’s consider a common scenario where you may be struggling with boundaries at your workplace. You consistently accept last-minute tasks and work beyond regular hours, fearing that setting limits might lead to job insecurity or unfavorable judgments from your superiors. As a result, you find yourself swamped with a lot of work, impacting not only your professional life but also your personal well-being. The inability to establish clear boundaries can cause chronic stress, anxiety, and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed.

Healthy Boundaries: You can mitigate the situation described above by establishing clear boundaries, such as setting limits on work hours, saying no to extra tasks that go beyond your current capacity, and effectively communicating those limits with your superiors and colleagues. This can lead to a more sustainable workload, helping you regain control over your time and reduce the negative impact of stress, allowing for better management of personal and professional responsibilities.

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That simple boundary, can lead to lower level of stress in your life.

  1. Low Self-Esteem

When you have poor boundaries, you allow other people to overstep your limits. By constantly doing so, you’re communicating to yourself that your feelings and needs do not matter, or that their feelings are more important than yours. This can lead to a significant erosion of your self-esteem, making you feel less valued and respected. Your self-worth, closely tied to how you perceive yourself in relation to others, takes a hit as you begin to question your own importance and whether you deserve to have your boundaries respected.

For example, let’s consider a situation in which you constantly sacrifice your personal time and interests to accommodate the demands of your partner. You consistently cancel plans with friends or compromise your hobbies to meet your partner’s needs. Over time, this self-sacrifice can erode your self-esteem, as you may no longer prioritize your own happiness and fulfillment. You might begin to feel like your desires are less valid, leading to a gradual diminishing of your self-worth.

Healthy Boundaries: By clearly communicating your needs and boundaries in a relationship, and by ensuring that they are respected, you convey a powerful message that you value yourself and your well-being. Through the establishment of healthy boundaries, you communicate to both yourself and those around you that you are worthy of respect. This, in turn, builds your self-image and self-worth while fostering the maintenance of healthy and respectful relationships.

It’s straightforward, as my friend Liz Waithaka wisely put it the other day: you ultimately become what you’re willing to tolerate.

Conclusion

Hope you’ve found this information valuable. Boundaries aren’t complex but rather straightforward practices that can improve your life. However, in life, we tend to overcomplicate things, making what should be effortless actions appear challenging. Saying no, practicing meditation, and establishing boundaries are some of the simplest yet paradoxically most challenging things you can do.

Begin with small steps and view your life as a journey of learning from each experience. When you lack these ‘invisible’ limits, you may experience resentment, stress, and a weakening in your self-esteem. But when you have them, you can enjoy the positive aspects, such as reduced stress and resentment in your daily life, along with improved self-esteem. You can consciously choose to build yourself up today.

And for those of you eager to delve deeper into the world of boundaries, I have an exciting announcement: watch out for my upcoming Boundaries Course, launching in a few weeks’ time. It will provide you with in-depth insights and practical strategies to master the art of healthy boundaries. Stay tuned for more details!

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

References

  1. Cloud, Henry; Townsend, John. Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life (p. 25–26). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  2. https://therapydave.com/self-help/the-consequences-of-not-having-any-boundaries/
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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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