We’re continuing the conversation about boundaries in this post.
I want to dive into the things I wish I knew about boundaries, and these may be some points that you didn’t know either!
I used to think something was wrong with me when I would attempt setting a boundary, whether that was having trouble vocalizing what I wanted to say, or literally panicking and freezing in the moment. This is also something I’ve had clients express to me.
So keep reading to hear more about all these things I wish I had known about boundary setting, I hope that these ease your discomfort around the concept and help you start to set boundaries in your life with more clarity and confidence!
I’ve had clients express to me that a common struggle they experience when trying to set boundaries is that they’ll go into the situation thinking they know exactly what they want to say, but when the moment actually comes, they choke up.
This leaves them wondering why this happens, what causes the panic to set in?
Well, it has to do with our survival mode. If you’re codependent or if you’ve been through emotional abuse, or maybe you’re used to conflict when you do express your feelings, your body will feel that when you attempt to set a boundary.
It’s almost like your body feels like your survival is at stake. This is due to past memories of either your boundaries not being taken seriously or a point of conflict. And don’t worry – you’re NOT alone. I used to feel this way too.
When I grew up, my boundaries weren’t respected.
I had parents who were working through their own trauma, so I didn’t feel seen or validated in the way I wanted.
Looking back, I can’t ever imagine walking around and believing that my boundaries aren’t worthy. I’ve been able to fully step into the belief now that my needs and wants are equally as important as anyone else’s. And I want the same for you.
I literally used to have such fear around boundary setting. I want to emphasize that I understand you, and I get you. You CAN work through this.
This concept of fight flight freeze fawn can be applied to many different things, not just boundary setting. But, I want to dive into a quick overview of what this means so you can hopefully identify which parts you resonate with and which parts might have been a barrier for you when it comes to boundary setting.
Fight mode – This is where you’re getting aggressive, defensive, and maybe calling people names.
Flight mode – This is when you’re leaving the scene. You want to distract yourself. Maybe someone asks you to do something and you’re uncomfortable with it, so you change the subject.
Freeze mode – You are there presently but you yourself has left the room, mentally. This is pretty common especially with codependency. I experienced this the most when I struggled with boundary setting.
Fawn mode – This is essentially people pleasing. You’re compromising in a way that doesn’t serve you. You are sacrificing your needs so the other person gets what they want.
By breaking this down, I hope you can see how some of these might’ve played a role in the past when you struggled to set boundaries. I know when I discovered this concept, I finally realized boundary setting didn’t have to be viewed as a threat. It doesn’t have to be this war zone.
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When we have this blueprint of our upbringing consisting of things like emotional abuse or narcissistic abuse, we become convinced that this is how the world will treat us.
But I’m here to tell you that’s lies! That’s not true. It’s just the way you grew up. Think about it, this world is really BIG. There’s a lot of people who have grown up in environments totally different from yours. And those people have learned from their upbringing how to respect people with kindness while honoring their feelings and thoughts.
I’m here to tell you that’s how it gets to be and that’s how it’s supposed to be for you.
If you do fear setting boundaries and you feel like you’ve tried everything to combat the anxiousness or panic that sets in, remember, you are simply learning. You are doing the best you can.
I hope that sharing these points I wish I knew about boundary setting help you overcome any fears or hesitation when it comes to setting your own. I want to leave you with a journal prompt today. Ask yourself the following question – “Whenever I set boundaries and I feel myself going into panic mode, is it ACTUALLY me causing that feeling or is it the younger version of me who is feeling afraid, and maybe has a story to tell? What do they want me to know?”
Thank you sooo much for reading! I hope this post has helped you realize you are not broken and you definitely don’t need fixing. Together, we can unlock your next level – a life full of confidence, alignment, and truly embodying who you are.
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See you back here for the next one!