As a recovering people pleaser, I had difficulty saying "no." Often, I put the needs of others before my own and did not put equally the same energy toward myself.
This habit left me feeling burnt out, undervalued and questioning who I was and my values. Being left with these negative feelings while navigating the world of adulthood proved how essential it is to have limitations on what you'll allow from others and what you're willing to give.
Setting boundaries comes from understanding what a sensible personal limit is for yourself. I've adopted boundaries I practice with my family, friendships, romantic relationships, work and myself.
Conversations with my therapist led me to identify what was important to me, notice instances where I felt these things were being challenged, and set boundaries to avoid them from happening again.
For example, when it came to my friends, whenever I presented a situation to them, their opinions quickly shifted to having authority over my decision-making. I prefer to make my own decisions, but I still value what others have to say. The approach I took in setting a boundary was only sharing information I was comfortable with and communicating I could make sound decisions. This practice created a sense of respect for myself while maintaining a positive relationship with my friends.
There are other areas in my life where I have boundaries, like my professional life and prioritizing work-life balance, having personal autonomy regarding my romantic relationships and family, and, most importantly, setting limits on how much I commit to.
Setting boundaries has helped me develop a stronger sense of self and improved my relationships. With the influences and pressures on social media and from friends and family, it's crucial to identify and protect what you find important.