Cultivating Resilience Practice 4: Healthy Boundaries

Red and white "Do Not Enter" Sign posted on a road

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Editor’s Note:

Bold Blind Beauty is thrilled to share with you snippets from Becky Andrews’ new book “Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal.” Adversity strengthens and builds resilience; Becky will share weekly practices to help us become more resilient. ~Steph

When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience. 

~Jaeda Dewalt

This quote strikes me each time I read it with the depth of its meaning. To cultivate our resilience takes us to a place of beauty, connection, and a deeper human experience. Thanks for joining me in this journey of cultivating our resilience. I think of it as a muscle that we are called upon to strengthen throughout our lives. Certainly, now in this time of added collective challenges and losses we are experiencing the call to cultivate our resilience.  

Let’s review our cultivating resilience practices thus far.

And now, we are on to Practice Four: Setting Healthy Boundaries

Surround yourself with people who are supportive to you in your journey.

There is a universal need:  to feel I am of worth, my feelings matter and someone really cares about me. When we feel understood, validated, and cared for it fuels our ability to be resilient.  

What is a boundary? It is the limits we set with others and for ourselves of what is okay and not okay for us. Unhealthy boundaries involve a disregard for your own and others’ values, wants, needs, and limits. Setting boundaries can be challenging at times. This quote by Brene Brown reminds me of the kindness of clear boundaries both for ourselves and others.    

“Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment “ 

~Brene Brown

Healthy Boundaries are important anytime. When we are experiencing challenging times they are essential.  Boundaries are about giving and receiving. When you need help, it’s also okay to ask for it. When you have support and ask for it, it’s a proactive and prosocial behavior. And, as you are able to you are also able to offer help as you can.  

A few questions to reflect upon as you look at your boundaries.  

What do you want to say yes to? What boundaries do you need to put in place to put these yes’ into place? Is there something you need to say no to in order to create space for the yes? These are some questions to reflect upon as we look at boundaries.  

This is a helpful guide on boundaries from Dr. Dana Gionta:

10 Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries

  1. Name your limits. You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand.
  2. Tune into your feelings.
  3. Be Direct.
  4. Give yourself permission.
  5. Practice self-awareness. Boundaries are about honing into your feelings and honoring them.
  6. Consider your past and present.
  7. Make self-care a priority.
  8. Seek support.
  9. Be assertive. 
  10. Start small.

Another list that I find to be very helpful in giving ourselves permission to establish the boundaries we need is the Assertive Rights list. 

Assertive Rights:

  • I have the right to be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect at all times.
  • I have the right to make my own decisions about the course of my life.
  • I have the right to have dreams — and to work toward making these dreams come true.
  • I have the right to feel good about myself as a person and as a woman.
  • I have the right to choose who will be my friends, whom I will spend time with, and whom I will confide in.
  • I have the right to make mistakes.
  • I have the right to change my mind.  
  • I have the right to be happy.
  • I have the right to ask for what I want.
  • I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
  • I have the right to express all of my feelings, both positive and negative.
  • I have the right to say no.
  • I have the right to determine my own priorities.
  • I have the right not to be responsible for other’s behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.
  • I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
  • I have the right to be in a nonabrasive environment.
  • I have the right to change and grow.
  • I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
  • I have the right to be uniquely myself.

Taken from A Women’s Workbook: Mary Ellen Copeland, M.A., M.S & Maxine Harris, PhD

Perhaps you are wondering. Yes, these are good but how do boundaries help us in our cultivation of resilience? They are so important! If we have not created the space to honor ourselves – our emotions – our boundaries with kindness and compassion… it is hard to become transformed from our challenges. We are continued to be stretched.

There is much we cannot control. Identifying our boundaries and what we need to put in place for healthy relationships and healthy boundaries is in our control each day. It’s not easy. It is courageous and can take a lot of work. It is worth it. It is resilient.    

I would love to hear your comments about this important topic.

About The Author:

Image is described in the body of the post.
Becky Andrews

Becky Andrews is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Small Business Owner – Resilient Solutions, Inc, and founder of the Daring to Own Your Story ™ Retreats. She is also the author of Look up, move forward – her memoir of Losing her eyesight and finding her vision.  

You can follow her at:

Workbook: 

Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal will be out Fall 2020. Email Becky at becky.lpc@gmail.com to be on the waiting list or preorder.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header: Red and white “Do Not Enter” sign posted on a roadside.
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab. 

2 Comments

  1. Another post full of wisdom. That list of rights provided here deserved to be printed and framed. But I specifically like, “Name your limits. You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand.”

    Thank you Steph, we certainly can strength our resilience in these trying times.

    1. Thank you Khaya. I saved both of the lists on one of my Trello boards. I’m going to make an effort to read them each day and hopefully memorize a few of them. I’ll pass your message onto Becky.

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