Boundaries: Liberation without Intimidation

Boundaries: Liberation without Intimidation

In our fast-paced world, it’s essential to prioritize self-care and establish healthy boundaries to protect our well-being, but far too often, we suck at doing just that. Living in a world with healthy boundaries is not beyond your reach. There is so much noise in the world today, and within it are so many misconceptions about boundaries, and we are going to demystify them.

  1. Discover how setting boundaries is an act of self-care that benefits both you and your relationships.
  2. Break free from the misconception that boundaries are self-centered, and instead, learn how they pave the way for a healthier and happier you while deepening your connections with others.
  3. Learn the gentle art of boundary setting and understand that it’s about self-expression – not aggression.

Here’s a quick video where I get asked by the one and only Laura Bell Bundy, founder of  the Womxn of Tomorrow platform, to share three things about boundaries. As an EducateHer for the community and a leader in B.I.G. Believe.Inspire.Grow empowerment community,  I have the honor of discussing boundaries monthly with the incredible humans who show up with us! There is so much to say, so I figured I would share some thoughts with you!

Let’s get clear on a few things as we head out on a transformative adventure of self-discovery, empowerment, and liberation without intimidation. Are you ready to rewrite your boundaries and strengthen your relationships? Let’s break down some myths and explore your truth!

The Truth about Boundaries

Boundaries are: “I love you, I love us, and I love ME.” Three things can be true at the same moment. Not all will be the priority in each moment, but when each person’s needs are met and managed, everyone can find peace. Setting boundaries is a healthy act of self-care that benefits both you and your relationships, and they become the sturdy framework of a house; they provide structure and support for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

“There is no one way liberation” Liz Gilbert. We hold this idea that putting boundaries in place and implementing them will be a self-centered act. In order to truly benefit from boundaries, we must break free from the misconception that boundaries are self-centered. In reality, they are the key to a healthier and happier you, paving the way for deeper connections. To bring this to light, we must become aware – curious. Listen to your inner voice – the voice that knows what feels safe, strong, and sure. Too often we let the noise of the world amplify beyond this voice, but we must turn down the noise.

Understand that boundaries are about expressing your needs, not telling others what to do. Find your voice and assert your boundaries with grace bu understanding that there are three ways to communicate: aggressive, assertive, and passive.


Setting boundaries in an aggressive manner often involves forceful or confrontational behavior. Instead of expressing your needs, you might end up demanding or dictating what others should do. This approach can lead to conflict and strain relationships, as it lacks the sensitivity required for effective communication.


On the other hand, being assertive in setting boundaries means expressing your needs with confidence, clarity, and respect. It’s about finding the right balance between standing up for yourself and being considerate of others. Assertive communication allows you to define your boundaries while maintaining open and healthy relationships.


In contrast, passive individuals tend to avoid conflict by not asserting their boundaries at all. They may not express their needs or preferences, which can lead to frustration and resentment. It’s crucial to recognize that passivity in boundary setting can negatively impact your well-being and relationships because your needs go unaddressed.

So, remember, the key is to aim for an assertive approach when setting boundaries. It allows you to express your needs clearly while respecting the needs and boundaries of others, ultimately leading to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

Setting boundaries is perceived to be an act of pushing away, of putting distance between you and the other. But a boundary in its most sacred form is simply delineating between what happens within a certain space & what does not. In this sense, creating boundaries is a drawing in rather than a pushing away.

Anne Lamott’s statement, “No is a complete sentence,” holds a profound truth when it comes to setting boundaries. This simple yet powerful phrase encapsulates the idea that you don’t need to provide elaborate justifications or explanations when you say no. 

In essence, “No is a complete sentence” means that you have the right to assert your boundaries without feeling the need to offer lengthy excuses. Your decisions and limits are valid on their own. This concept empowers you to honor your needs and protect your well-being with clarity and confidence. It allows you to maintain a healthy balance between giving and receiving in your relationships, all while respecting your own values and boundaries.

Examples of healthy boundaries include:

  • Setting Personal Limits:
    • Demonstrating the ability to decline requests or commitments you’re not comfortable with.
    • Example: Politely declining an invitation to an event you’re not interested in attending.
  • Emotionally Responsible Communication:
    • Articulating your emotions in a thoughtful and considerate manner.
    • Example: Instead of angrily blaming someone for your frustration, you calmly express how their actions affected you.
  • Open and Honest Sharing:
    • Being candid about your experiences and thoughts.
    • Example: Sharing your personal struggles and achievements with a close friend.
  • Timely Responsiveness:
    • Providing timely responses when necessary.
    • Example: Promptly answering an important message or email to maintain effective communication.
  • Direct Conflict Resolution:
    • Confronting issues directly with the individual involved, rather than involving a third party.
    • Example: If you have a problem with a coworker, addressing it with them directly instead of complaining to your supervisor.
  • Transparent Expectations:
    • Clearly communicating your expectations to avoid misunderstandings.
    • Example: Discussing with your partner what you expect from a shared household, such as chores and responsibilities, rather than assuming they’ll know.

Boundaries are necessary when encounters or relationships leave you feeling anxious, resentful, or compromised. Boundaries also teach us the delicate art of vulnerability—the courage to be authentic and express our needs.

Examples of red flags:

Here are some examples of red flags that may indicate boundary violations:

  • Disregarding your explicit requests: When someone constantly ignores or dismisses your direct and clear requests, it’s a clear red flag. For instance, if you’ve asked a friend to stop sharing your personal information but they continue to do so, your boundaries are being violated.
  • Overstepping physical boundaries: This includes invading your personal space without permission, touching you in ways that make you uncomfortable, or not respecting your physical boundaries in intimate situations.
  • Constantly making demands: If someone frequently makes unreasonable demands on your time, energy, or resources without considering your needs or limitations, it’s a sign of boundary violation.
  • Ignoring your emotional boundaries: When someone invalidates your feelings, dismisses your emotions, or insists that you shouldn’t feel a certain way, it’s a violation of your emotional boundaries.
  • Gossip and spreading personal information: If someone is sharing your private information or discussing your personal life with others without your consent, it’s a breach of your confidentiality boundaries.
  • Unsolicited advice and judgment: Constantly offering unsolicited advice, criticism, or judgment about your choices, lifestyle, or decisions can indicate a violation of your boundaries.
  • Interrupting your personal time: When someone consistently disrupts your personal time, such as by calling or texting excessively during your downtime or expecting you to be available at all hours, it’s a sign that your boundaries are not being respected.
  • Manipulative behavior: Manipulation, guilt-tripping, or emotional coercion to get you to do something against your will is a clear boundary violation.
  • Crossing moral or ethical boundaries: Violating your values or ethical principles, such as pressuring you to engage in behavior that goes against your beliefs, is another significant red flag.
  • Stalking or harassment: Extreme cases of boundary violations can involve stalking, online harassment, or threats, which require immediate action to protect your safety and well-being.

It’s important to remember that setting and enforcing boundaries is your right, and it’s essential for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. If you notice any of these red flags, it’s crucial to address the issue and communicate your boundaries clearly. If the violations persist, you may need to reconsider the nature of the relationship or seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals.

It is not telling others what they can and cannot do. You are telling people what you will do. It is always from the self.

Setting boundaries is as much about what you are saying ‘yes’ to as it is about what you are saying ‘no’ to. It is actually generous to reveal your boundaries, and a deep act of vulnerability to ask for what you need. But first, you must realize that you always have a choice.

Between stimulus and response, you have a choice. Take the Pause. By cultivating a habit of pausing, we create a space between the stimulus and our response. In this space lies our power to choose. It’s in this moment that we can ask ourselves, “Do I truly want to engage in this situation? Is this my responsibility? What are my options? Is there someone else who could do it?” By acknowledging this choice, we empower ourselves to respond consciously rather than reactively.

Remember, ‘Choose Your Hard.’ What’s required is vulnerability and a deep connection with your unique values. It’s crucial to recognize that you can always change your mind. But when you do, you must communicate your boundaries as needed. As Seneca wisely stated, ‘We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.’ 

These principles emphasize the power of mindfulness and self-awareness, allowing you to make choices that align with your values. They remind us that we have the ability to pause, reflect, and decide how we respond to various situations, and that often, our perceptions can exaggerate challenges. ‘Choose Your Hard’ underscores the idea that life presents difficulties regardless of the path we choose, so it’s essential to align our choices with our values. Vulnerability is key in expressing our needs and boundaries, and the reminder that we can adapt and communicate as needed reinforces the flexibility of boundaries in different contexts.

The Art of Setting Boundaries

Discover the practical steps to boundary-setting:

  • Address Perspective: Challenge the truth of your beliefs.
  • Challenge Assumptions: Examine the agreements, both implicit and explicit.
  • Identify Non-Negotiables/Values: Simplify your values for clarity.
  • Define: Identify desired boundary & Explore Risks & Rewards.
  • Educate on the New Way: Communicate your boundaries clearly and consistently.
  • Focus on Safety: Prioritize your well-being in every situation.
  • Maintain Consistency and Compassion

Embrace the bumps: Choose your hard, embrace the process, celebrate milestones, and navigate setbacks with compassion and resilience. The Journey of Practice: Honoring Progress, Embracing Imperfection. Building boundaries is a skill that strengthens over time with practice. By nurturing healthy boundaries, we create space for self-care, personal growth, and meaningful connections. Remember, progress, not perfection, is the key.

“Improving by 1% isn’t particularly notable, sometimes it isn’t even noticeable, but it can be far more meaningful – especially in the long run. If you can get 1% better each day for one year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time you’re done.” ~ James Clear

Things to remember on your boundary journey:

  • The Gentle Art of Boundary Setting: Learn from Melissa Urban the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast:
  • Keep your eye on the energy drains & gains: Understand the concept of energy transactions and their impact. Recognize when you’re giving more than you’re receiving in any interaction as well as recognize when you are getting more (or enough) in situations. Focus on more of what you gain from and eliminate (or reevaluate) what drains you.
  • If they push back, evaluate the health of the relationship. “If you are offended by my boundaries, you are probably one of the reasons I have them’”
  • Know when to withdraw – to stay safe.
  • Check in daily with your emotional, financial, time availability, and resources. If you need a moment to think about it, take the moment.
  • Accountability is key. Find a coach, friend, trusted mentor, online group, or whatever – but find accountability.
  • Find your empowerment from within: Remember, your boundaries are about you and your well-being, regardless of external factors.

Why Set Boundaries?

  • Boundaries are designed to improve your relationships and ensure your own safety and health.
  • You Are Not Responsible for Others’ Reactions: Your responsibility is to communicate your boundaries kindly. How others respond is their journey.
  • Stay True to Your Path: Maintain your course with unwavering clarity. Your well-being is paramount. Stay curious.

Are you ready to rewrite your boundaries, strengthen your relationships, and step into your power? If you’re ready to explore the power of practice further and want guidance in cultivating boundaries and empowerment in your life, reach out to us. Our team of experts is here to support you on your path to personal growth and well-being.

Join me on the Course for Joy – a transformative journey towards finding your authentic self and embracing the joy that life has to offer. 

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