How Healthy Boundaries Will SHiFTⓇ Your Life For The Better
Life is full of challenges – this we all know to be true.
But as a person with chronic disorganization, those challenges can be all-consuming.
It can leave you feeling:
-paralyzed with overwhelm
-frustrated or even angry with yourself for not being able to complete tasks
-embarrassed or shameful for not being able to keep up with things
-excessively worried about how others perceive you
What’s more, you may find yourself:
-avoiding social situations or canceling plans out of embarrassment for having let things get so cluttered and out of control
–letting your health slip because everything has become so overwhelming
–feeling crushed by the weight of various aspects of life, leaving you feeling undeserving
–left with financial burdens by avoiding bills or over-spending to fill a void
–poorly managing your time and negatively affecting all of those around you
It’s a heavy load to bear, but I understand more than you know.
In fact, observing these common feelings among my clients is how The SHiFTⓇ Method came to be.
As a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization® (CPO-CD®) & Certified Virtual Organizing Professional™, I’ve spent a great deal of time with my clients, and over the years I came to realize I was not only helping them navigate the organization of their belongings but of their behaviors and underlying beliefs.
While working with them, I found a basic underlying pattern.
They all harbored feelings of low self-worth.
With the SHiFTⓇ Method of organization, I witnessed clients shift from fragmentation to wholeness, and watched them transform their lives to a point where they were finally able to say, “I am deserving!”
These shifts were so powerful and so inspiring, I wrote a book about it, and I’m so excited to announce the release of Making the SHiFT®, True Stories of How People Affected by Chronic Disorganization Learn to Live a Deserving Life – available for purchase this May.
But more on that later.
Today I want to take some time to dive a little deeper beneath the surface of self-worth and creating a life that you feel deserving of – and it begins with setting healthy boundaries.
What Are Healthy Boundaries?
When you hear the word “boundaries”, what is your first thought?
Do you carry the assumption that it’s all about placing limits?
Although this is true in a sense, setting healthy boundaries is far from limiting. In fact, it’s liberating.
Some common misconceptions of boundaries label them as being:
- Harmful or hurtful to relationships
- Aggressive in nature or only involving the word “no”
- Dramatic and involving overwhelming changes
When in reality…
Setting healthy boundaries looks like this:
- Prioritizing your needs and creating space to live compassionately & authentically
- Creating mutual respect in your relationship with others & with yourself
- Taking ownership of your own thoughts, feelings, & actions, understanding what you need, and knowing how to communicate it
- Implementing small yet meaningful changes in your everyday life that lead to better organization and monumental life shifts
The list could go on, but it’s evident that healthy boundaries are the building blocks to higher self-esteem, and on our topic of self-worth, healthy boundaries are the ticket to developing compassion for yourself and leading a deserving life.
But how do you know if you’re even lacking boundaries to begin with?
How To Spot Unhealthy Boundaries In Your Life
Boundaries look different for everyone, and they exist in many forms. Some can be external – such as how you choose to spend your time. Others can be internal – like boundaries that relate to your thoughts and behaviors.
Regardless of the type of boundary you’re talking about, it is fueled by what keeps you centered and whole, and much of that rides on self-respect and self-worth.
If those things aren’t being honored, many facets of life will suffer.
Let’s take a look at what unhealthy boundaries look like, specifically as they relate to the SHiFTⓇ acronym.
You may have unhealthy boundaries if you can relate to the following:
-Your to-do lists continue to grow and you’re ashamed or embarrassed by the excessive clutter that has accumulated in your home. Because of this, you’ve stopped inviting friends and family over and you’ve canceled more plans that you can count due to feeling so overwhelmed all of the time. This takes a hard hit on the health of your social life and support system.
– The excessive clutter in your kitchen has filled your sink and covered your counters, which makes preparing healthy meals next to impossible. The overwhelm of all that you need to get caught up on weighs down on you, and even making a meal plan and list for the store seems daunting. The same goes for other self-care routines in your home. The overwhelm becomes too much, and it’s easier to do nothing. This is where your health takes a hit.
i AM DESERVING
– You carry the label of “people pleaser” – always putting the needs of others above your own and always feeling the need to say “yes”. You have low self-worth and never feel like you’re “enough”.
– You’re spending too much money on yourself and others – most often times to fill that void of not being “enough”. The overwhelm and disorganization in your life causes you to lose track of bills, mismanage subscriptions, and skip overpayments, all of which create a financial burden for you and your family.
– You’re fixated on the past or future, unable to be present. You have poor time management skills and are often late to appointments and missing work deadlines despite how badly you want to be timely. This leaves you feeling flustered much of the time.
Some other thoughts and feelings that signal unhealthy boundaries include:
-feeling as though there is something inherently “wrong” with you
-feelings of burnout
-feeling resentment for having so much on your plate
-feeling disempowered due to low self-esteem and self-doubt
Does this resonate with you?
If so, I want to extend a huge virtual hug to you, because it’s hard to live that way. But I also want to assure you that there is another way of life, and setting boundaries is the first step in the right direction.
How To Know What Boundaries You Need
The thing about boundaries (or lack thereof) is that they are sneaky. It can be tricky to pin them down.
In fact, most people don’t even recognize that their lack of boundaries is the driving factor behind their struggles. They assume their struggles are just part of who they are…part of their DNA…hardwired into their personality. And so they don’t believe they have control over any of it to begin with.
By setting boundaries where they are needed, you are allowing the space to compassionately come back to yourself, and in doing so, your life will transform in various aspects.
But there are so many different boundaries to consider – how do you know what you need?
You find the boundaries that need to be prioritized in your life by evaluating your pain points.
Pain points are the things, events, thoughts – whatever it may be – that cause you the most stress and exhaustion in your life.
Start by taking inventory of the stressors in your life and the things that make your day-to-day most challenging, and narrow it down to the one pain point that causes you the most conflict.**
** keep in mind – the areas where you feel the most resistance are often the areas that are in the highest need of boundaries. For example: if you catch yourself saying “Well no one can do that except for me”… “I can’t get help with that”…” I don’t have enough time”…this is your sign to look a little harder at these areas.
Once you have your pain point narrowed down, spend some time journaling on this aspect of your life, and ask yourself why you might lack boundaries in this area. Then follow it up by asking how you can set a boundary in this area.
Most importantly, be patient with yourself and show yourself compassion.
Set Healthy Boundaries and SHiFTⓇ Your Life
As we touched on before, healthy boundaries and self-worth go hand in hand and build off of one another.
As soon as you recognize the areas of life where boundaries are needed, you make space for the possibility of some incredible shifts. And once those boundaries are in place, you feel more restored and able to keep up with a few more tasks than before. This is when your self-worth climbs to new heights, and you’re well on your way to leading the life you are so deserving of.
These transformations are incredible, and I can’t wait to see things work for you just as they have for those I’ve written about in my new book.
Want to learn more about it? In this blog here, I share all about Making the SHiFT®, True Stories of How People Affected by Chronic Disorganization Learn to Live a Deserving Life.
“What I love most about Making the ShiFT is that it’s all about living a good life. The author wisely never loses sight of the real goal of getting organized – helping you live the life that you want to live.”-Ari Tuckman, PsyD, ADHD expert, author, and international speaker
And that’s our end goal anyway, right? To simply live a good life, and live it well.
So here’s to setting boundaries, showing yourself some love, and Making the SHiFTⓇ.