A Sense of Self: Understanding Why Boundaries Matter
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A Sense of Self: Understanding Why Boundaries Matter

A Sense of Self: Understanding Why Boundaries Matter

Part of recovery is being able to set boundaries with others, and it is also about setting boundaries with yourself. Understanding what is important to you and detrimental to your recovery is vital in realizing what you want. Working to discover your sense of self helps you perceive your unique traits, talents, and qualities, including your strengths and weaknesses. It also helps establish your self-respect and the respect you expect from friends, family, and peers from your support groups. Knowing where to begin when discovering your sense of self can be a daunting task, but there are many effective strategies you can utilize to help boost your self-image, esteem, and overall sense of self.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

You have likely heard that setting boundaries with others and yourself is essential to achieving personal and professional success, but what does this mean? Try thinking of your time and energy like a budget — both time and energy are valuable resources. If anything that is consuming them is diminishing their value, then it is too expensive. Your boundaries include your feelings, beliefs, values, ideas, and emotions. All of these emotions contribute to creating who you are as an individual. Without boundaries, how can you understand what you want from yourself, others, and your life?

Without boundaries within, others can dictate how you live your life. However, when you set boundaries with yourself, you are making yourself the priority, and this is the core of what it means to set boundaries. It allows you to build self-control, worth, and confidence. Remember, to gain respect from others, you first need to show respect for yourself.

Just Say “No”

Saying “no” is another remedy for success that you might often hear in both recovery and life, but much like setting boundaries, what exactly does it mean? Should you go around and refuse and resist everything? Keeping your boundaries in check requires the ability to say “no.” Saying “no” should be a practice to put healthy limits on relationships while preventing others from taking advantage.

Saying “no” might be hard if you are a people-pleaser — you may fear being mean or rude. However, assertiveness should not be confused with aggressiveness. There are thoughtful ways to say “no.” You can build up your confidence by starting small. Using phrases like, “I'd love to help, but I have a prior commitment. Thanks for thinking of me” is a terrific way to exude politeness and care into saying “no.” Communicating “no” not only helps you to establish boundaries, but it enables you to realize that you are worth more.

Positive Self-Talk

Self-affirmation can help to rewire your brain and the perceptions you have of yourself. In turn, this reduces the stress that hinders creativity and helps to protect your self-worth when it feels threatened. Take time out of each day to say kind things to yourself. Choose a couple of affirmations and say them aloud either before going to bed, upon waking, or both. Examples of positive self-talk might include:

  • “I’m on the right track.”
  • “I can do this.”
  • “I am getting better all the time.”
  • “I deserve success.”

To further establish these positive self-talk efforts, you can take to writing them down.

Self-Awareness of Comparison

Everybody has their strengths and their weaknesses. When you truly take time to know yourself, you will understand both the good and bad things about yourself, but remember that neither define your core worth. Self-awareness helps you achieve a holistic perspective. Knowing your strengths enables you to play up to them.

Discover your strengths by taking some time throughout the week to notice which activities energize you and prioritize doing those. When activities feel draining, try exercising grace. Exercising grace allows you the time and patience necessary to pursue growth in areas of perceived weaknesses. Self-acceptance is knowing that you are not perfect — and that nobody is. Knowing this will help you cope with negative emotions and increase motivation to keep going.

Success is in Self-Care

The ultimate mission to lasting recovery and success is attaining balance, and no balance comes without first learning how to care for yourself. Some activities include taking a hot bath, reading, enjoying some tea, or painting to help support mental health and vitality. These seemingly small innocent acts can profoundly impact your overall health and how you approach challenges in your life. Self-care also includes getting enough rest, exercise, and keeping healthy nutrition. The goal is to take time to help slow down and check in with yourself to make sure you're tending to your needs.

If you're still unsure how to begin your journey to self-discovery or need a little motivation to figure out how to prioritize your needs and goals, then reach out to START UP RECOVERY today. At START UP, we provide a safe space for you to confront challenging thoughts and behaviors. The process will connect you with others and help you identify thinking patterns, habits, and the obstacles that stand between you and a healthier self-image. We work to help remind you of how wonderful and awesome you already are so that you may move forward to attain the life you deserve. However, it all begins with taking the first step. With comfortable, safe, and inspiring amenities, you can take comfort in knowing that your efforts will exist in a judge-free zone. Your health, recovery, and success are important to us, which is why we offer 24/7 admissions there is never a wrong time to reach out. To learn more, contact us at START UP RECOVERY today at 310-773-3809.

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