The Three Components of Healthy Boundaries

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“This is fabulous! Can I share the recording with a friend?”

This question came in before last week’s webinar was even over. 👆🏻

I’m really proud of my tried-and-true boundaries formula. Throughout the boundaries programs I’ve run, there’s been so much success. In fact, 100% of the most recent group participants recommend this approach.

So let’s get to it! The three components of healthy boundaries are:

  • Self-Knowledge
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Acceptance

Do you see the theme? Healthy boundaries are about the self. In other words, your boundaries are about you. Boundaries are not about changing other people’s behaviors or making other people show you respect. Boundaries are about showing yourself respect.

It helps to dig deeper into the three components of healthy boundaries.

Self-knowledge is your overall identity as you yourself define it.

Self-knowledge is a combination of your values, your characteristics, and your personality traits. It’s what makes you, you. It’s who you are from the inside out. 

Self-knowledge is not your roles, your appearance, your mistakes, or your accomplishments. 

I’ll use myself as an example: I’m warm, smart, loving, and ambitious.

I am not defined as a wife, mom, therapist, mental health coach, Mormon, friend, or cat-owner. If I define myself by these roles or accomplishments, I risk losing my self-definition. Those roles could disappear at any time, but at the very least, they’ll change. 

So I define myself by what is in my control. I can control how I show up in these roles no matter their status. I can be warm, smart, loving, and ambitious no matter what the role is.

Self-compassion is the skill of being gentle with your internal reality. 

Self-knowledge, that first components of healthy boundaires, often comes with some guilt or even shame. That’s where self-compassion comes in. When we notice something about ourselves that we don’t like, it’s vital that we meet it with compassion.

Self-compassion is something everyone can access. It’s a skill everyone can learn. It takes practice and deliberate effort at first, and then it becomes a habit. Soon, you’re just self-compassionate.

Using myself as an example again, I don’t always love that I’m ambitious. Sometimes mom guilt or self-doubt creeps in. Putting my hand on my chest and acknowledging this struggle is how I show myself compassion when those emotions come up. I use the following self-compassion mantra: This is suffering. It’s human to suffer. It’s okay to be human. 

Self-acceptance is showing who you are through what you say and do.

It’s one thing to agree that self-acceptance is important. It’s a whole different ballgame to actually accept yourself.

Self-acceptance is the action step of healthy boundaries. Once you know yourself better than ever and you’ve met yourself with compassion, you’ll likely realize some action needs to be taken. Because sometimes, acceptance means accepting the need to take action.

In my case, self-acceptance looks like accepting my ambition. It’s here, it’s not going away, and I can either fight it my whole life or learn to work with it. Accepting my ambition means taking some action. I pursue my career, I prioritize time to build my business, and I carve out space for learning. 

This is where actually setting those boundaries comes in. 

Healthy boundaries is about saying no in order to say yes to what really matters.

For me, this looks like saying no to requests to be in the PTA presidency (true story) and devoting less time to the gym (also true). It also looks like closing and locking my home office door when it’s time to work.

I could acquiesce and do what other people want me to. I could be PTA secretary and a gym rat and have my family in and out of my office all day. 

But if I said yes to all of that, I’d be saying no to myself. I’d be betraying the part of me that is innately ambitious. That self-betrayal is incredibly painful and has long-term negative

My story is just that: it’s mine. My boundaries are all about me. Every webinar is jam-packed with helpful information and hopeful encouragement. Get on my email list and follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss the next one.

With self-knowledge, self-compassion, and self-acceptance, your boundaries can be all about you.

I taught all this and much more in my latest free webinar; it was such a great time. We had our highest turnout yet and the questions were stellar.

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