Tag Archives: empowered

5 Reasons Why You Need Boundaries in Your Relationships and Life

Have you been feeling drained, tired, stressed out, and exhausted?  Do you feel under appreciated, unseen, and unsupported?  If so, it may be that you need to learn how to set some boundaries in your life and relationships.

So why exactly do you need boundaries in your relationships and life?  Here are 5 reasons:

#1 – They give you a sense of self

When we don’t have boundaries in our lives it implies that we don’t have a solid sense of self.  We will tend to take on other people’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs, and values rather than to have our own.  This is commonly referred to as enmeshment.

When we are enmeshed with another person it means that there is no distinct boundary between you and another person.  There is very little sense as to where one person ends and the other begins.  One or both people will then have difficulty identifying their own unique individual experience and how it differs from the other person.

When this is present, it implies difficulty in differentiation from a parent in early childhood.  This doesn’t mean that it is “good” or “bad”, as it is quite common for most people to have experienced it at least somewhat in their development.

Being enmeshed can be very stressful, draining, and overwhelming.  Relationships can easily get “messy” and a person can feel like they have no control over themselves or anything in their lives.  As a result, a person’s natural tendency would then be to try to control other people, which is codependent.

Learning to recognize our own internal experience and then setting boundaries in a way that honors our internal experience, helps us solidify our sense of self with the external world.  It also helps create less stress and more balance in our relationships.

#2 – You are able to decide how you want to be treated by others

When we have boundaries we are able to effectively tell a bully that we will not tolerate their behavior.  We are able to leave a relationship that isn’t serving us in what we know is in our highest good.  When we have boundaries, we are able to enter into relationships that do support us in our own personal growth and healing.

#3 – You are able to make life decisions that serve and support you

When we have boundaries, we are able to say “no” to that job that is potentially wearing us out by working overtime for little pay.  We are able to say “yes” to taking new career path without getting locked into feelings of guilt or “what other people will think”. 

#4 – You are able to make choices that are better for your health and well-being

By having boundaries, we are also able to make better choices for our own health and well-being.  We are able to say “no” to smoking that cigarette or having a glass of wine and, instead, say “yes” to having some green juice and going to the gym.  We are more aware that we’re going to feel shitty after eating that brownie, so we’re able to turn away and eat something healthier.

#5 – You feel empowered

When set boundaries in our lives, we feel more connected with ourselves and more in control of our lives.  We are able to live for ourselves, rather than through this desire to please other people.  We are able to be in relationships that are healthy, balanced, and equal.  And we have the ability to create a life for ourselves that we’ve always dreamed of.

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Click to Tweet: When set boundaries, we are able to feel more connected with ourselves and more in control of our lives. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

How will learning to set boundaries in your life support you in creating a miraculous life for yourself?  Share it in the comments below!

The Mindset Shift Required to Get What You Want in Life

For a few weeks I have noticed that a peer of mine was kind of going through a bit of a rough patch with her job.  She expressed her thoughts on being underpaid, given less hours than she thought she deserved, and, overall… well, just feeling downright undervalued.

As I heard this peer for her concerns many times towards me I began to notice other people in my life doing a similar things.  Someone expressing their frustrations to me about their phone company potentially overcharging them.  Another mad because of their roommate talking loudly on the phone late at night.  And then — on top of it all — I even saw myself frustrated over a couple things in my environment and expressing it to others as well.

When I sat back and reflected on the whole thing, I noticed that there was one common underlying thread amongst all of these situations: Each person was expressing their concerns, but not to people who could actually help them with the situation.  Nobody was being proactive in their stress and frustration.

Instead, everybody was doing the safest thing a person can ever do: Express their frustrations to people who can’t do anything about it.  Their friend.  Their partner.  Their family member.  When in reality the person needed to be talking to people who can help them and give them what they want: their boss, supervisor, cell phone company, roommate, or whoever.

We all get caught up in this way of being at some point or another during various periods of our lives.  We are stressed and frustrated about something and rather than confront the issue head-on with the people who can help us with the issue, we talk to everybody else in our lives about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong — sometimes we do need to process our experience with other people who aren’t involved.  However, the problem is that by talking with other people about the issue rather than those involved, it is very disempowering.  It’s almost as if the more people we express our frustrations with, then the more we drain our energy and the energy of those around us.

When we avoid confronting the issue head-on it’s like we are are subconsciously telling ourselves (and the universe), “I’m not powerful.  I’m not capable.  I’m not worthy.  My concerns, thoughts and feelings don’t matter, so I’m going to talk to many other people about it rather than confront the issue at the source so I can make changes in my life.”

Doing this makes us feel out of control, weak and powerless — the exact opposite of what we commonly desire.

So how can we get what we want in our lives?  What is the mindset shift that we have to make?

It is to consciously choose to take personal responsibility for ourselves in every single situation.

Taking personal responsibility involves acknowledging and accepting our own unique experience and acting accordingly to our experience.  To be willing to face the world head-on and say, “I am powerful and I deserve to have what I desire.”

IAmPowerful

Click to Tweet: I am powerful and I deserve to have what I desire @jenilyn8705.

So if we are unhappy at work, then we properly communicate to our boss or supervisor.  If we are unhappy with a contract that we have made with that company, then we properly communicate with that company.  If we are unhappy with a roommate, then we voice our concerns directly to that person.  Not to a co-worker or your neighbor who can’t do anything about your situation… but a clear communication with the people there is a problem with.

To take personal responsibility also involves making decisions that are in our best interests.  So if a certain job or relationship that we are in is no longer working despite our efforts at open communication, then we know that we always have the option to leave or do something different.

We all always have a choice.  We all always have decisions to make.  To know that we always have endless opportunities available to us is part of living truly empowered.

You are in control of your own life.  You always have been and always will be.  So what can you do today to feel like you are more in control of you life?  What can you do today to take more personal responsibility for your life?  Share it in the comments below!

It Starts With You

This past weekend I found myself in a little bit of a debate with my boyfriend.  It wasn’t like a full-out argument or anything like that, but it was just enough to ruffle my feathers a bit.

The truth is, I hate any kind of debates.  It just doesn’t sit well in my being.  All I ever want is for there to be harmony.  I’d take just some simple empathetic understanding over a more intellectual debate any day.

So when things got into a bit of a disagreement I found myself getting more and more frustrated, upset, and, honestly, just sad.

Shortly after the conversation ended, he came up and asked me, “How are you feeling?  Are you okay?  Was I being a jerk?”  This followed up with, “I’m asking because, well, I’m not good with all this emotional stuff”.

In that moment I kind of chuckled to myself a bit because he used the same exact words that I had used earlier that day when I had made a joke that I realized may have offended or hurt him.

It was in that moment that I fully realized: It all starts with me.

Many of us wish to have a fulfilling relationship.  We may desire to have more intimacy or a better connection.  We may wish our partner was more open and honest with us.  We may wish that our partner was more affectionate or more open to sharing their emotions.

Many of us desire these things but we struggle to get these things to happen and can’t understand why.  We wish that our partner would change.  “I wish he was more honest” or “I wish he was more aware of his own emotions” is what we may tell our friends.

Though it is true that the compatibility of each person’s unique traits are a huge factor in determining success of our relationships, it is also true that modeling the behavior you desire in the relationship yourself can drastically change the relationship for the better.

That is the mindset shift that many of us struggle to make and it keeps us in this place of suffering: That it is our own personal responsibility to model the change.  We fail to take personal responsibility.  We fail to realize our half of the equation and how our actions can dramatically impact the relationship.

Instead, many of us habitually focus on the external.  We focus on what we are getting or not getting.  “He’s not….” “She’s not…” are our common thought patterns.

But what we need to do is look back at ourselves and ask: What am I not doing?  How am I not allowing this to happen?  We have to realize the importance of our actions.  We have to be willing to step up and do the behavior we wish others would do so that we can help them develop their weak points.

Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  What is it that you want to see in others?  Whatever it is, then be it!

starts with you

Here’s another example: For years I couldn’t understand why none of my boyfriends or friends would stand up and be honest about their feelings before a big “blow up” would happen.  Now I realize that they reason they did it with me is because I wasn’t being open and honest with my feelings.  I was off repressing all of my stuff and rather than openly sharing it with them.

As a result, they felt uncomfortable and it came out as a “blow up” rather than in a calm and collected manner.  Fortunately I now know that if I want other people to do be open and honest about how they feel then I myself have to be open and honest regularly and often.

The more we express and do the thing that we wish others would do, then the more they will do it.  The more that we embody what it is that we desire in others, they then feel more comfortable doing it with us.

So now it’s time for action…

(And seriously — do this!  Don’t just read it or do it in your head!)

Write down a list of things that you wish you had in your relationships.  What is something that you wish a partner, friend or family member would do for you?  Do you wish they were more honest?  More genuine?  More emotionally supportive?  More sensitive to your feelings?  More open to talk about conflict?  More vulnerable?  Write down whatever comes to mind right now.

After you make your list, look at each wish and very honestly ask yourself: Am I doing this in the relationship?  Am I really being genuine?  Am I really being honest?  Am I really being sensitive to their feelings?

Then reflect on how you can help bring more to that in the relationship.  How can you be more genuine or sensitive?  How can you be more supportive?  Search for ways that you can better embody what it is that you would like them to do through your actions towards them.

The Mindset Shift that Transformed My Relationships

For years, I was unfulfilled in my relationships.  I felt like I was giving more and trying more then what I was receiving in return.

I was drained and tired.  I kept reading book after book after book about relationships in hopes to find some answers.  I read about every book in the whole “self-help” section in hopes to find the answer as to why love was so difficult for me to find in this world.

I went to a variety of professionals in hopes to find some answer.  Though I realized that the work I had done with them only benefitted me temporarily.

There was something else.  Something that kept holding me back but I could never figure out what it was exactly.

And then, I moved to Korea.  The move caused me a lot of stress and emotional strain to work through.  However, it seemed that the universe felt I had even more that I could manage to deal with, because I found myself in an extremely challenging relationship with a fellow expat.

It was one of those on again off again kind of dating situations.  We’d “breakup”, be back together, fight, “breakup”, get back together.

This roller coaster of a relationship only lasted only 4 months.  But despite the short duration, I continued to suffer through the aftermath of it months later.  I found myself reading book after book after book trying to find answers.  I meditated, I kept a dream journal, I did hypnosis.  I tried just about anything I could just to find a way to break this self-defeating cycle that I had in my relationships.

I was desperate — and I had decided that things were going to shift now.  Not in a few months or a few years, but now.  I did not want to go back to the US without figuring out what I needed to change.

Eventually, I came across one book that seemed to have many insights that resonated with me.

Though there were many insights in that book that I found beneficial, there was one mindset shift that hit me so hard my body shook.  It felt as if a train just hit me and I had to take time get re-centered again.  I didn’t want to accept it.  I didn’t want to acknowledge it.

Eventually I did choose to accept the idea and make the necessarily mindset shift — and it has completely changed the way that I approach my relationships and my life.

My major mindset shift was accepting the idea that:

The people you are in relationship with are guests in your life.

This isn’t an easy pill to swallow — for anyone.  We don’t like or want to digest the idea that every single person in our lives will one day be gone — as well as ourselves.  We like to hold on to this belief that what we have will always be with us.

Many times we tend to seek relationships for some kind of security.  Emotional security, material security, financial security, physical security, etc.

This desperate desire for security comes out of fear.  We’re afraid of being alone.  We’re afraid of needing to support ourselves completely on our own.  We’re afraid of having to rely solely on ourselves.  We’re afraid of acknowledging the reality that the only person who is with us from birth until death is ourselves.

Yet, the irony is that if we don’t learn how to support and rely on ourselves, if we don’t confront our fear and accept that nothing in this world is absolute, then we will only hold ourselves back from true fulfillment and empowerment.  We create unnecessary tension in our relationships and, most of all, prevent ourselves from truly enjoying where we are in the present moment.

The key is to realize and accept that no one person is always going to be there with us throughout our lives.  Even if we do get married, have 2.5 kids, a secure job, a house and a dog, we are still in every single moment running the risk of that all dissipating in a split second.

It is the risk that we take for living and it is unavoidable.  Therefore, by confronting our fears of security head-on we then automatically give ourselves the opportunity to truly stand in our power.  To truly be who we are meant to be in this world.  To truly have what we have always dreamed of having.

We must confront our darkness, before we can truly shine.

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Click to Tweet: We must confront our darkness, before we can truly shine. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

How are you overly striving for security in your relationships?  Are you striving for financial security?  Emotional security?  Material security?  Or, ask yourself: What is it that I most fear of disappearing from my life?

For me, I most feared not having material stability.  I wanted someone to help direct me somehow.  I also feared being alone.  I was terrified of needing to rely on myself without anyone to help support me emotionally and materially.

Share your answers in the comments below!