Women, Low Self Esteem, and Setting Boundaries
Self love sets the foundation of which you love others. You cannot give others what you do not hold within yourself. This makes self love a precondition of how you love others. It is your birthright, and non-egotistical or selfish. When you learn to love yourself in a healthy way, the desperate hunt for affection and love from others falls to the wayside.
To love yourself is to be acknowledge your existence and know your worth. It is self acceptance. It is caring for your mind, your body and your spirit. Self love is the protection, kindness, care, acceptance, and goodness modeled in childhood from your parents. In other words, you learned the function of emotional self protection and love through your parental models. If you were not shown the kindness, care, acceptance, protection and goodness you may find it hard to give it to self.
To give love, you must first have love. If you lack the love you want to experience from your relationships, then the intention would be to give yourself the love you want to experience. This means in order to have love, love yourself. Self love transforms all relationships.
One act of self love is creating safety and protection for yourself with the use of personal boundaries. Personal boundaries help you to establish a sense of self-worth and a sense of self-love. A boundary is a restriction that is placed on others to guard your emotional space and comfort level.
For those that experienced abuse or neglect as a child, establishing and maintaining boundaries can be a challenge. Because boundaries are learned in childhood, coming from a place of abuse or toxicity has conditioned you to seek approval or validation from others instead of trusting in yourself. The lack of personal boundaries can cause you more unwarranted pain and hardship making you feel as if you don’t have any sense of control over your own life.
Personal boundaries range from how you feel about something, to the way you express your thoughts and feelings, as well as the level of comfort in which you all others to get close to you emotional, mentally, and physically.
The goal of boundaries is to keep people out.
A great way to safe guard yourself is by actively using the word NO. It is one of the most powerful statements you can make to someone that guards your time, energy, and heart while positively impacting the quality of your life. By saying no it puts you in control of who you want in your life, how much time they get, and what role people play.
Setting boundaries is the best thing you can do for yourself because it tells people how they can treat you. Boundaries create an emotional space or physical distance that divides you and another person to establishes limits in your life.
Negative experiences form and highlight weak or shaky personal boundaries. Negative experiences such as abuse of any kind or neglect cripples you and your sense of self. You often take in to consideration the thoughts and feelings of others over your own, you feel responsible for others’ happiness, and shame and guilt play a big part in your high tolerance of pain from others. Until you establish personal boundaries you will continue to suffer emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Being shamed for having basic needs or not being viewed as valuable may have caused you to become out of touched with your feelings, and even afraid to set boundaries in fear of being abandoned.
Boundary breaking can happen when you are put under extreme stress and too many compromises are imposed, causing you to question your own thoughts, feelings and identity. Leaving a hole in your self esteem.
The ultimate test of self love and breaking of boundaries often comes from those who do not respect or accept boundaries. These are the toxic and narcissistic energy zappers you have in your circle who wear you down.
However, they are your best teachers. The lessons from your past experiences of being taken for granted, feeling frustrated, or resentful are prime examples of times when your boundaries were unclear or weak.
You are entitled to have your own thoughts, opinions, needs, feelings, space, friends, and beliefs. Here are three steps to start the process of setting healthy boundaries.
#1 The Choice to Protect
Let’s reflect back on some of your negative experiences. These could be a range of experiences that made you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, violated, or abused at the time What was said or done? How did this make you feel? What could you have done or said that could have shifted or offset this experience to make you feel more protected?
I was at a conference out of town. My cash was limited so if I had leftovers from lunch, I ate that for dinner to preserve cash. A group of ladies were talking about getting dinner and one of the ladies from my home town asked if I wanted to go to dinner with them. I replied “I have leftovers”. She then said “You always have leftovers” in an angry tone of voice. I did not reply but gave a weird look as why she would respond like so. I was very embarrassed not because of her words but the tone in which she used. It felt the remarks were demeaning and projected a sense of despise
#2 Crossed the Lines
You are no longer a child and letting people talk to you any kind of way and mistreat you is partial your responsibility. So, what’s the limit? Where do you draw the line? Setting boundaries is not all about being right or wrong. It is about your prerogative to have your own thoughts, opinions, needs, feelings, space, friends, and beliefs and to effectively communicate this with strangers, work colleagues, friends, family, and intimate partners.
Setting boundaries can make you feel awkward or even uncomfortable. But with practice it becomes more natural.
New Boundary: Look into their eyes and state firmly, “What I decide to do is really up to me.”
I feel this statement is firm without going into too much detail of why I made the choice.
Setting boundaries requires that you go within to increase your awareness of how you feel and finding the right words to express your concerns. Self protection is the process of learning how to inform people they’ve crossed the line. Your communication must be clear, simple, direct, and respectful. In the end, you’ll feel proud of yourself.
#3 Enforce Behavior
Stating your initial concerns won’t hold if you are sweet talked or worn down into an unwilling yes. The key here is to remember why you set the boundary in the first place and how much you value your sense of worth. When you go against self, this is betrayal and causes self hatred for not taking a stand.
Learning a new habit takes time and repetition, including setting boundaries. In other words, be alert but easy on yourself at first.
Consistency helps to enforce the new behavior. No one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable or enter into your space without consent. Protecting your thoughts, opinions, needs, feelings, space, friends, family and beliefs is the beginning of adding more self love into your life. When you fail to follow through and stand firm, you make your own boundaries pointless.
Kimesha Coleman is a Self Esteem Enhancement Expert and Results that works with women who tend to cater to others more and put themselves last on the list to get a clear vision for what they really want, and then I coach them through stuck points so they can achieve success. Download you free copy of The Truth About Abandonment eBook bit.ly/thetruthaboutabandonment.