Are you caught in the trap of thinking that building healthy boundaries is impossible? If so, you’re not alone.
Even the idea of building healthy boundaries can be scary and downright overwhelming. It is easy to believe that staking a boundary can lead to more harm than good, especially when it comes to relationships. Think about the last time you said “No” to a loved one. I bet you were not greeted with a warm smile and encouraging words. Chances are you got a dirty look, snarky remark, or backlash of another kind.
It is natural to resist establishing emotionally healthy boundaries if there has been a negative consequence of doing so in the past. Your brain is designed to keep you out of harm’s way. But wouldn’t you agree that becoming a doormat for people to walk all over isn’t serving you well? And saying “yes” when you really need to say “no” is robbing your life of much needed time and resources.
So, what can you do to begin the process of building healthy boundaries and get out of this conflict-avoiding cycle?
Through working with my coaching clients, as well as my own boundary-building journey, I’ve identified the perfect ingredients for building healthy boundaries, which will lead to deeper connections rather than more conflict with others.
The Three C’s of Building Healthy Boundaries are:
1. Discover how to create CALM from within!
2. Become CONFIDENT about your limits!
3. Get crystal CLEAR about how to sustain healthy boundaries!
I can hear your opposition already! How do you get to that place of inner calm?
How do you move confidently forward, establishing limits, when you’re afraid of the response you might get?
How do you get clear about your boundary-keeping and not allow others to walk all over you? Or allowing your own guilt to pressure you into saying “yes” when you want to say “no”?
The answer is practice, practice, practice boundary-keeping skills!
Yes, we have to practice boundary-building techniques at non-critical times so that it becomes second nature in those moments when it really counts.
But what is a safe way to practice?
One of the fastest ways to learn how to build healthy boundaries is through an equine-assisted coaching and learning session.
Partnering with a horse with help you find what true calm feels like inside yourself so that you can harness it at home! With or without a horse, you can learn how to breathe in a way to regulate your nervous system while creating healthy new habits for navigating through emotional responses.
You can also practice becoming confident about your limits when interacting with a horse, as you will have to make decisions in a setting that you can not control. You can also do this in everyday life as you make “unimportant” decisions with your loved ones — like where to go for dinner, what time to go to bed, and what movie to watch on the weekend. Rather than defaulting to everyone else’s needs, practice respectfully but clearly voicing your desires.
And last, practice getting crystal clear on how you’ll sustain your boundaries. With an equine partner, you’ll be taught the skills to hold space for yourself. In your relationships and responsibilities, map out your “limits and response” plan in advance, with step-by-step actions to take in familiar situations.
Although I have not mastered the “Three Cs” of building healthy boundaries, I am well on my way, so I know it is possible. Whether I’m holding a boundary line with my horse-partner, Teddy, who is asking for attention but nudging me again and again, or saying no to volunteer requests without falling into the pit of shame, I am learning and growing healthier boundaries. I want that for you too because it leads to living life in an emotionally, physically, and relationally healthier way.
Yes, is possible to learn how to live in a calm state, confident in your limits, and clear about your decisions. Let’s get you started practicing today.
To get started, book a session and we’ll determine your next step to support your growth journey.