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Value yourself: set boundaries, gain respect


“Respect your boundaries” is a popular mantra, especially in personal development, self-care, and burnout prevention. But what does this truly mean, and how can we effectively set these boundaries?

Firstly, recognizing our boundaries isn’t always straightforward in our fast-paced, 21st-century Western lifestyles. We are often extremely busy, engaging in activities because we feel obligated, fear being impolite, or struggle to say no.

We aim to achieve our goals and enjoy making others happy. However, deep down, we know if we are acting out of genuine desire or obligation. When ignoring our “inner no” becomes habitual, we lose the ability to discern our boundaries.

Some may eventually explode in anger or fall into depression. Others can endure this disconnection forever. The consequences are serious: when you are out of sync with what is beneficial for you and what isn’t, you lose your power.

Recently, I have experienced several situations where I was overlooked or disregarded, both personally and professionally. Whether it was being skipped over in selections, forgotten, or not informed, this didn’t happen by accident (nothing does). I realized that for quite a while, I had been accepting or tolerating ‘little’ tasks and things, convincing myself I was okay with them when I wasn’t. I overextended myself, taking on more than I could handle and pushing through when I needed rest and comfort. Obviously I did not respect my needs or set clear boundaries.

Allowing ourselves or others to overstep our boundaries is a clear sign that we aren’t taking ourselves seriously. We do not acknowledge our wants and needs. If we don’t fully respect ourselves, how can we expect others to do so?

To feel truly aligned and happy with who we are, we must take ourselves seriously, actively recognizing and setting boundaries. When you do so, others are likely to accept it and even appreciate and honor you for it.

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