Setting Healthy Boundaries For Yourself—And Your Gremlins

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

IMG_1936One of my favorite writers/speakers/persons-I’ve-never-actually-met has a short and powerful article in the September issue of Oprah Magazine*. In it, Brené Brown dares us all to set boundaries:

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. We can’t base our own worthiness on others’ approval (and this coming from someone who spent years trying to please everyone!) Only when we believe, deep down, that we are enough can we say “Enough!”

Then she offers three tips to help keep you say “No” more often:

  1. Make a mantra – what you’ll say to yourself when feeling the discomfort of being asked to do something you don’t have room on your plate for
  2. Keep a resentment journal – to see if you notice a pattern on when you overextend yourself
  3. Rehearse – practice makes perfect … or at least, better

Damn straight. Except when it’s not an outside person that’s trying to guilt/shame you into overextending yourself. It struck me while reading through her dares that when I’m the one I’m having to say no to, chances are I’m actually chatting with my gremlins.

Gremlins

Gremlins are those pesky voices in our heads that tell us we’re not good enough, that we should be taking care of someone else instead of ourselves, that we should be doing more, doing less, doing anything other than what we’re doing right now.

So when your gremlins are the ones trying to add more and more to your plate, it’s important to know how to say no to them, too.

I have no doubt that Brené’s above tips will still work on our gremlins—the same logic of believing you (your authentic you) are enough applies. You just have to recognize who you’re talking to and make the adjustment.

How do you deal with your gremlins? What are some effective ways of saying no that work for you?

 

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