Why personal boundaries are critical for self-esteem

Why personal boundaries are critical for self-esteem

One of the most difficult things we grapple with when it comes to self-esteem is defining our personal boundaries. Boundaries are the guidelines, rules, or limits that we set to identify the behavior we’ll accept from those around us. But we can only do that when we…

  • Know where and what our boundaries are
  • Know how to enforce them, and…
  • Know how to respond to others who cross them

I know it sounds complicated, but fortunately, there’s tons of information available to identify and establish personal boundaries. Here I’ll share what I’ve accomplished and how I did it.

Suppose someone asks you to do something for them. You react by saying “Yes” and your next thought is “Oh darn, why did I agree to do that?”

Don’t be too hard on yourself. The desire to please others is strong and for many, it’s a way to buy love.

I know. For 49 years of my life, I said yes to people out of fear of not being loved. That fear only served to empower others who are users and diminish me. Boundaries showed me when it is appropriate to say NO. It taught me that I am a responsible person, just not “responsible for” everyone else.

Now when I do things for others, it’s because I “get to,” not because I “have to.” As a result, my relationships with others are healthier. More importantly, my relationship with myself is much healthier.

Through Boundaries I learned to define my personal boundaries and what I can expect from others. Learning to say NO isn’t easy. It takes being assertive, then practice, practice, practice.

The reward is to live a healthier life, empower yourself, and generate better relationships over time.


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