Boundaries are an invisible line which we put in place to protect us in some way.

Without boundaries we can be manipulated, coerced, experience time-suck, be unfocused and ultimately be living a life that isn’t genuine. Boundaries are something that separates, be that physical space, time, your needs or your feelings. It’s often most apparent what our boundaries are when we feel uncomfortable, angry, upset or frustrated – i.e. when the line is crossed.

Having boundaries are a form of self-care. They allow you to focus on the important things, and to live an authentic life. Being clear on your boundaries sets out the expectations and responsibilities for your relationships. Ultimately they create safety from emotional hurt because it’s clear what behaviour is acceptable, and what won’t be tolerated. Boundaries stop you from overreaching and entering overwhelm.

Non-Negotiable Boundaries

This is about telling the world what’s most important for you, and what you won’t put up with. We all have different non-negotiables and they tend to be strongly tied in with our core values. This is because when they’re abused we have a strong response.

Here’s an example for you. I don’t drink alcohol. There’s no negotiating any more, no ‘only drinking on weekend’ rules, or just ‘having one’. I don’t have any. Like not drinking is for me, non-negotiable boundaries are a personal choice and you don’t ever need to feel pressurised into explaining why you do something the way you do. Your non-negotiable boundaries are what you will stand for, or not. If you’re curious about why I stopped drinking alcohol head over and read this article – Double Celebration – Decisions and Freedom.

What’s one Non-Negotiable you hold close to your heart?

Emotional Boundaries

Emotional boundaries mean that you are free to have your own feelings and emotions about things, free from criticism or being invalidated. You may, for example, choose to only belong to positive groups on social media, having decided that negative chatter and gossip brings you down. So you make a decision to remove this from what you consume. Brilliant, you know what you want and are clear.

As human beings, we are unique, with our own desires, thoughts, interpretations, beliefs and perspectives on the world around us. Protecting all of these aspects are your emotional boundaries. By respecting these, you will have a strong sense of self and be able to communicate these clearly. For example, knowing what things you are comfortable talking about. If you don’t agree in a discussion, you’ll be OK to say you don’t agree without embarrassment or fear of ridicule.

Testing your emotional boundaries might show up as feeling unable to speak up for fear of upsetting or causing a stir. Or you feel pressure to please others before giving your own feelings consideration. I prefer to think about the positive aspect of emotional boundaries. Knowing how I’ll react in certain situations means I’ll be confident, because I’m mentally prepared. I choose to only take on board positive comments. While I hear and am mindful of potentially hurtful comments or criticism I acknowledge those as the other persons opinion, not my own thought. Being aware that you don’t control what others say, only how you feel and respond to comments helps to protect you.

Can you think of a situation where you’d like to have more confidence? Can you set a boundary around that situation so you’re prepared and confident in advance?

Time Boundaries

These are useful as ground rules for life, especially around work and home where the lines can get blurred in feelings of guilt and loyalty. Things like committing to no work after a particular time means you will be fully present for your family. Choosing to only work part-time because you value freedom and time to do your own thing. Not checking messages late in the evening means you’re not going to be getting dopamine hits from technology which disturbs sleep. Setting targets for exercise so you do a certain number of hours activity a week is looking after your health and well-being.

Where does your day run away with itself? What can you set a boundary on to ensure your time is spent on the things you want?

There’s a lot tied in with boundaries and this article only covers some of my thoughts. If your life feels like it’s getting away from you, there’s no control over your days and what things you take on, then it’s probably time to explore your boundaries.

Lynne Taylor Life Coaching Mindset Coaching

Lynne Taylor, Coach, works with ambitious women helping them to navigate midlife and take control and thrive through 1-2-1 Mindset and Wellbeing Coaching. Lynne works with individuals on a 1:1 basis online, in person and through coaching in the outdoor environment.

If you would like to discuss how coaching can support you and your self development please contact Lynne on

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