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Why Boundaries?

Why Boundaries?

My last blog post polarized people. I got messages asking why I would be cruel and not give someone more than 3 chances to be my friend. I also got messages from people saying they agreed with me and that they had similar boundaries. Why the polarizing? I personally think it’s because people don’t understand the concept of a boundary.

You see, when I created that 3 strike rule for new friendships it had nothing to do with being upset or offended when someone said no to hanging out. I don’t have bad feelings towards another woman when she doesn’t show interest in being my friend and I certainly don’t wish her ill. I don’t judge her or change my behavior towards her after she “strikes out.” It has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me.

I’ve always been a people pleaser. I love seeing people happy. If there is something I can do to make them happy I do it, even if it isn’t healthy for me. Over the years, I’ve been hurt and my relationships haven’t been healthy because of this. When I was less mature emotionally, I would be offended when someone would turn me down from friendship. I was sure something was wrong with me, and I was determined to find out what it was and fix it. I needed everyone to be my friend and was distraught when someone wasn’t interested in me.

Me, Hollee, Melissa, and Heather at Tiffany Roe’s self love dance party

I learned about boundaries and started implementing them little by little. At first, it was really hard for me to stick to my boundaries, and honestly sometimes it still is. I hate making people uncomfortable and would rather suffer myself than cause someone else discomfort. However, I have learned that boundaries are the key to true connection and are the greatest form of self-love and self-care. Let me try to explain.

Boundaries are the way you share yourself with others. They are the key to trust and cooperation between individuals. If you think about it, this makes sense and feels true. Why are so many of us afraid of opening up and being vulnerable? It’s because we are afraid of being hurt. We are afraid that we will share too much of our story with someone and scare them off. We are afraid that what we share will be used against us, etc. What if we weren’t scared of any of those scenarios? What if boundaries could make you feel safe? Safe enough to share, be vulnerable, and be at peace.

That is exactly what boundaries are designed for. You create a boundary to protect and share yourself with another person. It’s the key to trust and cooperation between people. Boundaries aren’t only about “ME” they are about “ME AND YOU” and being able to connect. Boundaries require you to be honest and responsible with yourself about yourself. They require you to communicate those needs with others. When the people you share those needs with honor them, you are able to feel safe and at peace. It is a wonderful feeling.

Me and my best friend Tiffany

Now unfortunately, some people misuse boundaries and create them to control others. This is wrong and burns bridges quickly. So how do you make sure you are setting them correctly and not trying to control others?

Boundaries need to be set from a calm place where you are feeling grounded. You need to be in an honest and responsible state of mind. You need to understand what’s going on inside of you.

When I created my 3 strike friend rule I was able to step back from the hurt and offense and see what was really going on inside of me. As I matured, I was able to determine that whether someone wanted to be my friend or not, I still had value. I didn’t need to change myself in order to accommodate what they liked in a friend and I wasn’t less of a person if they didn’t jump at the chance of a new friendship. Now, after setting up my boundary, I am able to freely and joyfully reach out to new people hoping they will be my friend. I have no reservations.

If after 3 attempts they aren’t showing interest, I don’t go into “people pleasing” mode and I don’t get sad. I have a boundary in place and I move on. I am at peace knowing that I did my part and I am happy with that. When I make a new friend, I know they are interested in being my friend because of my boundary. Because of that I am able to open up and be vulnerable with them. I am honest and share my good and bad with them. I have wonderful, deep friendships because of this. One of my greatest desires is to be a true and loyal friend. This 3 strike boundary is how I make sure I can connect with my friends in a real and valuable way.

Me, Tamara, Amberdaun, Jenny on a St. George canyooneering retreat

Here are 3 steps that Jodi Hildebrandt suggests when creating a boundary:

1-Clearly state your boundary. Understand what you need to feel safe and at peace. Use specifics: what, when, how, and why. Share this boundary when you are calm and attentive. Use “I” statements when communicating.

2-Clearly state the consequences of the boundary and how you will enforce it. Enforcing your boundary isn’t about controlling another person. You don’t get to say “This is what you will do if you break my boundary.” Instead you say “This is what I will do if you break my boundary.”

3-Don’t set a boundary that you are not willing to enforce.

I highly recommend listening to Jodi’s podcast, Connexions, Episode 21 all about boundaries. I had some amazing aha moments while listening and think you will too.

I wish you all the best in creating your boundaries. Everyone needs them. It’s wonderful to feel safe and at peace and it’s wonderful to make real connections with others.


A Window Into My Recovery

A Window Into My Recovery

Hi my name is Brittany and I am a recovering perfectionist. I thought I had to be perfect in order to be loved and valued. I thought everyone was watching me and would only love me if I did everything right and was always happy. I tried as hard as I could but of course I could never attain perfection. I thought love was conditional and at any moment my family and friends would decide I wasn’t worthy of love and I would be the one to blame.

I was really good at hiding this. I worked my butt off to be as perfect as possible. I didn’t get into trouble in my teen years, I got straight A’s and I was an extreme people pleaser. I got my worth from my report cards and praise. It wasn’t until I got married and my husband got to know me on a deeper level than anyone else ever had that I couldn’t hide that part of me anymore.

Wedding Day. June 22, 2007

It manifested itself when there was contention between us. I didn’t trust his love for me. I was constantly worried he would take it away if he was ever displeased with me. When we would get in an argument it would sink me. I would take everything he said as proof that I truly was unlovable. Not only would I be upset about what we argued about but I would also be mad at myself for messing things up and causing grief and contention.

Now keep in mind that I had no idea this wasn’t normal. I thought everyone felt this way. I thought that this was just how life was. We had so many good times where I felt truly happy. It was only when things were bad that I would sink. I would be grumpy for a week beating myself up about how stupid I was. I would blame myself. It wasn’t until I went to counseling that I learned that this wasn’t “normal” and I started uncovering what my core issues were.

I discovered just how much of a people pleaser I was and how extreme my need for perfection was. I uncovered all of my baggage from my life that led me to believe I was unlovable. Most importantly, I learned that my brain was a muscle and just like I could train my body to be healthy I could train my brain to be as well. That was life changing. I got tools to fight off the doubt I had in myself. I learned positive affirmations, I learned self-compassion and I learned that I had value regardless of anything I did.

Journaling my feelings became important to me. I remember one night I journaled all the things that didn’t affect my worth. Things like: how clean my house was, how beautiful I was, how good of a wife I was, how many children I had or the type of adults my children grow up to be, etc. I grew up with strong faith in God and the biggest thing for me that night was to realize that even if I didn’t keep God’s commandments I was still worthy of love. God would love me regardless. I was His daughter and I had value. There was nothing I could or could not do to change my worth. I was born with it and it was unalterable. LIFE CHANGING MOMENT.

As I continued to work with a therapist I also continued to read books and listen to podcasts that taught me important skills. Self-compassion became a huge part of my life. I learned to be kind to myself and allow myself to be human. I am not capable of perfection. NO ONE IS. Being imperfect means I am human. Now, when I don’t reach my idea of perfection I cut myself some slack, remind myself that I am still awesome and I am worthy of love.

I wish I could adequately describe how much this freed my soul. All of the energy I was putting into beating myself up and trying to be perfect was free to go into other areas of my life. I stopped doubting myself and I started believing in myself. Not that I was better than anyone else but that I had value just the way I was. Things changed. Life changed. I started living a fuller life. I started enjoying my life. I accepted my short comings as part of my human nature and moved on without dwelling on them. I saw my strengthens and my weaknesses and embraced them.

At the same time this was happening I had an experience where God told me to get outside and play more. I felt like He was reminding me I only have one life and I needed to live it. I listened. I started doing things I loved more. I stopped telling myself no and making up excuses of why I shouldn’t do things for me. Doing things I loved made me feel alive. It helped me be present and live mindfully. I really started thriving at life.

Red Reef Hike 2019

My family benefited from this. Because I was more awake and present I had more of me to give. My yelling decreased and my patience increased. I was kind to myself and it was rubbing off on my family.

It goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway, I’m not perfect at this. There are days when the positive self-talk exhausts me and I let the grumpiness take over. But never for long. I have the tools and I know what to do that will help me.

My goal with Get Out There Girl is to help other women live their best life through what I call the three pillars. 1- Self-compassion 2- Adventure 3- Connecting with others. Each of these three areas play a key role in living life to the fullest. Follow along as I show you how.

I’m not perfect and I’m thriving because of it.

I hope you do too.

Masquerade Party 2019