How to set healthy boundaries to reclaim your life and energy

There was a time in my life where I wasn’t very good at setting boundaries, and as a result I felt tossed and turned by other people’s demands and I had little control over my own time and energy. My energy went in all directions, based on other people’s needs and demands, while I was neglecting my very own needs at the same time.

It eventually left me sick, depressed, in the wrong career and in the wrong relationship. In reclaiming my life and my health, I had to learn to set proper boundaries and stop letting people walk all over me. At the core, it was lack of proper boundaries which got me in the mess I was in to begin with.

  • Not listening to my own needs.
  • Accepting that others treated me badly or didn’t respect my needs.
  • Putting other people’s needs before my own.
  • Accepting doing work that didn’t fill my soul.
  • Tolerating a relationship that was unhealthy for me.
  • Not knowing when to stop working or doing.
  • Overgiving.
  • Sucking it up instead of saying no.
  • Worrying that if I said no, people wouldn’t love me.
  • Not standing up for myself and my own needs.

Have you ever done any of this? Even though a lot of these things were based on lack of feeling worthy, that belief translated into weak boundaries, which it often does.

Setting boundaries is extremely important if you want to live an empowered life and run a successful business. Without boundaries you’ll let other people walk all over you, you’re sucked into their agenda instead of your own, and you drain yourself of vital life force energy necessary to manifest a great life.

If you’re not setting proper boundaries in your business, you’re likely having both time and financial issues to deal with. Maybe you’re about to reach burnout.  At the core, you are giving away your power, which will be at the root of many of the problems you may be experiencing.

Setting boundaries is an essential part of healthy self-love and it enables you to live and speak your truth and to be in control of your own life. Healthy boundaries supports your self-esteem and self-worth and allows you to stand in your personal power.

When boundaries slip, you give up control of your life to other people. A person with weak boundaries will feel out of control of their life. Have you ever felt that way?

Setting boundaries is like drawing a line in the sand. You are saying that this is where I draw the line. If you step over this line, there will be consequences. I just got the image on my mind from when I recently went through immigration after my last international trip, and there is a red line on the floor in the airport where you are supposed to wait in line until it’s your time. You step over that red line and I would imagine the immigration agents will get right on you, telling you to step back, behind the line.

Essentially, at the very core, boundaries are about safety. Imagine a small child who is learning to walk who is on the top of the stairs. You might have a baby gate at the top making sure the child will not tumble down the stairs. The gate is for protection.

But as you grow up and live your life, you will need to learn to set proper boundaries in all areas of your life. And if you had role models in your life who didn’t know how to set empowering boundaries for themselves or didn’t love themselves, you’ve likely inherited their style and may have developed weak boundaries.

You could also have had parents who didn’t respect your boundaries, so eventually you realized that setting the boundaries didn’t work, and you subconsciously stopped creating them.

If that is the case, your life may feel a bit out of control and you may feel exhausted or drained.

While the idea of the baby gate makes sense in terms of safety, boundaries are in place to keep you safe also in other areas where it may not be so obvious. When you get a yucky feeling about someone and walk away from them, it’s essentially your intuition telling you that you are better off not being around them. So you get the point, and you walk.

Unconsciously, you make decisions and create boundaries like this all the time. But when there is a lack of boundary in place, you essentially allow other people to run your life, walk all over you and drain your energy. Possibly even manipulate you and take advantage of you. If this happens every day and in all kinds of situations, it will suck the life and personal power out of your soul very quickly!

And because usually how you do one thing is how you do everything, if you have weak boundaries in one area of your life, you’re likely having weak boundaries in other areas as well, and your life can easily turn into chaos.

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If you have a boundary in place to stop working at 6 pm but you keep working to 10 pm, it may not harm you that day, but if you do it every day, you will eventually burn yourself out.  Setting proper boundaries protects you from harm and keeps you safe and healthy, while they allow you to take back control of your own life.

While you may have boundaries for what you will allow other people to do to you, you also need boundaries for yourself. For example, if you don’t have a boundary for what time you will go to bed at night, you may be chronically tired due to lack of sleep.

Setting boundaries is not selfish, it’s a necessary part of living a healthy life and taking care of your own needs. Remember, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re no good for other people. Click To Tweet

Setting boundaries is not selfish, it’s a necessary part of living a healthy life and taking care of your own needs. Remember, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re no good for other people. You cannot give from an empty cup. And only you can assure that your needs are taken care of. It’s your job to do this, nobody can do this for you.

A person with low self-worth often tends to have problems setting and keeping boundaries, because they believe it’s more important to please others than to please themselves. Essentially, it’s lack of self love and this is often a pattern learned from growing up in some form of dysfunction where you learned that other people are more important than you or you only received conditional love based on what you did for other people.

So you associate being loved by bending over backwards for people. That is not love and can quickly turn into self-abuse. You keep doing this because on a subconscious level you believe that if you set a firm boundary, people won’t love you or approve of you. And because being loved is such an important human need, the pattern often continues until you realize that the risk of not setting these boundaries are much greater than establishing them. (And in the process of establishing healthy boundaries you realize that people will love you even more with proper boundaries, and you wonder why you waited so long 🙂 )

Your boundaries, when properly incorporated into your life, gives you an opportunity to protect and nurture yourself, while showing other people how to treat you and engage with you.

Your boundaries, when properly incorporated into your life, gives you an opportunity to protect and nurture yourself, while showing other people how to treat you and engage with you. Click To Tweet

You are essentially telling them: “If you’re dealing with me, this is how you treat me.  And if you cannot accept my boundaries, then this [Insert consequence] will happen.” (And of course you then need to follow through.)

Of course, saying you have boundaries and enforcing them are two completely different things. Unless you’re following through to keep your boundary, you essentially don’t have them and you allow people to walk all over you. People pick up on that really quickly and will subconsciously let you guide them with regards to how to treat you.

Children will test your boundaries all the time. It’s a way for them to see where the line is drawn. If you don’t draw the line, the child will learn this quickly, and expects there not to be boundaries or be upset if you all of a sudden draw a line where you didn’t before. Have you ever seen a child who behaved perfectly for one person but was a nightmare for someone else? Chances are the person this child behaved perfectly around had firm boundaries in place, and the other didn’t. In this case, you see how your lack of boundaries also affects others in profound ways, and can give them the permission to treat others badly or not be the best version of themselves.

This demonstrates that boundaries is not just for you, it’s also for the person you set the boundary for.

If you allow someone to treat you badly or not respect your boundaries, you are essentially enabling them and giving them permission to keep doing what they are doing even if it’s harmful to you (and possibly even to themselves!). This is how co-dependent relationships develop where poor behavior, addictions or even abuse is being enabled and allowed to continue in your presence due to lack of healthy boundaries.

People will quickly create a picture in their mind as to what your boundaries are and treat you accordingly. Once you start enforcing your boundaries where you didn’t do it in the past, you may surprise and/or upset a few people. That’s to be expected, and it just shows you’re doing the right thing.  

Don’t let people getting upset with you for setting boundaries stop you from enforcing your boundaries, because if you do you’re essentially giving away your power and letting them run your life! How is that working for you?

Setting healthy boundaries allows you to take back your personal power. Click To Tweet

Setting healthy boundaries allows you to take back your personal power.

So how do you set healthy boundaries, you might wonder.

Nobody can tell you where your boundaries should be drawn but you. If something doesn’t feel right to you, it’s your job to communicate this and set a proper boundary. Essentially, it’s about listening to your emotions and sensing when something doesn’t feel right. At this point, you can decide to create a boundary to ensure that people don’t treat you in ways that feel violating to you.

Don’t always expect people to know your boundaries without expressing them. Everybody’s boundaries are different. If a boundary is important to you, express it. Most people will accept a clear boundary when you set it.

If someone don’t respect your boundaries, you might want to check out these articles: Understanding Emotional Abuse and How to recognize and protect yourself from toxic relationships. 

Have someone ever invaded your personal space by standing too close to you? Maybe you naturally took a step back? That’s an unconscious way of setting a boundary. You likely didn’t even know that you moved away, but it was your body’s natural response. It may even have followed by the person who was too close taking one step closer to you after you moved away, because for that person it would be unnatural with that much space…

This is why it’s important to always state your boundaries when necessary, because what’s normal to one person may feel like an invasion to someone else, and without stating it, people won’t know how you feel.

In simple words, just say, “would you please step back, I feel uncomfortable when you get so close to me.” That may seem odd and many people may not say it out loud, because they just let their bodies do the talking, but essentially communicating a boundary is that easy, and it can be done in the moment when you feel invaded by someone or something. If you say it confidently and in a friendly way, most people will listen and obey that boundary, and if they don’t, then you need to decide how to handle that and give a consequence for overstepping your boundary.

A lot of boundaries are obvious, others are not so obvious and you may not even know you need to set them until someone violates you in a way where you realize you need to create them.

Having a set of clear boundaries in your business, is essential for good business practice, to show your clients how to do business with you, to set proper expectations and to keep your energy, sanity, time, and finances in order.

In your business, examples of boundaries could be:

  • I don’t work on weekends
  • I don’t work evenings after 6 pm
  • I only check my email twice each day
  • I don’t take work calls outside certain hours
  • I don’t work with clients who [insert anything you want here]
  • I don’t give discounts
  • I don’t allow late payments
  • If a client doesn’t show for an appointment without notice, they will lose the appointment.
  • I don’t let client calls go past their scheduled (and allotted) time.

On a more personal level, examples of boundaries it could be:

  • I don’t accept any kind of abuse or mistreatment in my life and I walk away from people who treat me badly [insert what that looks like for you]
  • I give one warning, and after that, I follow through on what I said I would do as a result of overstepping my boundary.
  • I cut certain people out of my life to protect my energy or block them from social media.
  • I choose not to share certain personal information with [Insert person’s name]

Examples of boundaries around self-love/self-care could be:

  • I choose to get 8 hours of sleep each night
  • I set aside 1 hour per day for my own self care routine and block it off on my calendar
  • I only spend [x amount] on social media per day
  • I always say no if I mean no, and if it’s a no, I don’t need to explain myself or give a reason.
  • I have a zero tolerance for manipulation and abuse
  • I enforce my boundaries 🙂

If you are a very sensitive being or an empath, you’ll likely also need to set energetic boundaries. People can attach to you energetically, sort of like an energetic parasite. People can create energy cords to you from them, thereby sucking energy from your energy field.

I will likely be following up with an article soon more specifically on how to set energetic boundaries, as well as how to protect your energy field from intruders of all kinds, as this is extremely important.

A quick guideline I think incorporates well into working with creating proper and healthy boundaries is the concept of “do no harm.” That goes both ways. Do no harm to yourself, do no harm to others and don’t let anyone else do harm to you. Simply put: Do no harm but take no shit!

That’s basically the gauge I use when I set my own boundaries. If I feel people are doing harm to me, it’s a signal that I need to enforce better boundaries.

If you have weak boundaries, you’re likely doing harm to yourself or allowing others to do harm to you. And if you have weak boundaries, you may also not respect other people’s boundaries, which in turn can feel violating to them.

If someone is doing harm to you, it’s likely a sign that you need to set better boundaries with this person or clearly state your boundaries to them as well as the consequence for not respecting the boundary. Click To Tweet

If someone is doing harm to you, it’s likely a sign that you need to set better boundaries with this person or clearly state your boundaries to them as well as the consequence for not respecting the boundary.

Remember, a boundary could be choosing not to engage with someone or walk away should they not be capable of respecting your boundaries.

Setting and keeping boundaries is an everyday job and people will show up to test your boundaries. New situations and circumstances will arise where you’ll realize you don’t have the proper boundaries in place, and you may need to reevaluate boundaries that are no longer working for you.

Are there areas in your life where you’re not setting proper boundaries? What new boundaries could you incorporate starting right now that will help putting you back in the driver’s seat of your life? Please share with a comment below. 

Need some help with establishing proper boundaries in your life and business so you can step into living the life you truly want, and create the income and lifestyle you deserve? I invite you to click here to request to speak with me about how I can help. 

About Vibeke

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I believe that the foundation for wealth is inner peace and that success should never sacrifice your health and well being.

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Vibeke's Bio

Vibeke's Bio

I’m Vibeke Schurch, the founder of Success-soul Living® and The 5D Business Model®.

I work with coaches, healers and change-makers to help them grow their business and live life on purpose so they can use their unique gifts to make a difference in the world while creating a lifestyle aligned with their soul blueprint.

Ever since my spiritual awakening many years ago when I healed myself from “chronic” illness in just two weeks, it’s my mission to help you wake up to your inner power and potential. I want to show you how to use your mind to manifest your wildest dreams and create your own heaven on earth while living life on purpose, and serving the people you are here to serve.

In my 20 years as a small business owner, one thing is crystal clear to me: What helps you thrive is not your not your intelligence, level of experience or skill-set, but the programming in your subconscious mind. You can be programmed for struggle and lack, or flow and abundance. In my work, I help you reprogram your mind for success and abundance so you can create a prosperous and fulfilling life living your life’s calling and doing the work you came here to do.