Identifying our limits is the first step to setting healthy boundaries. Often times we are not aware of what our limits are – whether physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or financially. Some people voice their opinions about our lives or choices and make unreasonable expectations of us. Others hold us responsible for something that is not our responsibility, take advantage of us, do not treat us with respect, or show us little compassion when in pain. These could be our family members, friends, co-workers, bosses, and even people we’ve just met.
This happens for many reasons – the other person doesn’t understand what respectful behavior is, has poor relationship boundaries or personality issues, or is insecure. More importantly, these behaviors continue because, for various reasons, we allow them. No judgment here… just compassion and curiosity with our Selves.
Our limits are what define us in relation to someone or something. Our feelings help us to know when we’ve bumped into or reached our limit. They are our boundary guides. Three key feelings that signal you have likely reached a limit are discomfort, guilt, and anger/resentment.
Here are some things to consider about our limits:
What if we were more clear about what our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial limits are? How might we respond differently? For example, if you notice your Self feeling uncomfortable with the thought of eating indoors at a restaurant at this time, recognize this is a physical limit of yours, and honor it. Perhaps a co-worker repeatedly calls you after work hours or on the weekends to talk about work-related issues. You find your Self feeling stressed and anticipating the calls with some anxiety. These feelings are signs that your limit related to work/life has been reached, and that setting a boundary with this co-worker would be helpful.
If you are experiencing any of the above behaviors by others, gently ask yourself, what is leading me to continue to allow this?
This week, see if you can identify one limit – start small. Notice any repeated feelings of discomfort, guilt, or anger/resentment in a particular relationship or area of your life. Perhaps you are being guided to set a boundary here. If so, take some imperfect action☺ and set one!
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Are you ready to talk about how to identify your limits? Schedule a call with me, and let’s have a chat!