Boundaries and reframing

Boundary by iris Vallejo

We all have things in our lives that we would rather not do, or feel we need lots of willpower for. When we use our conscious brain to force ourselves to do things, this is where negative thoughts like frustration, anxiety and anger can come from. This then drains our energy bucket and we spend a lot of our time in negative thinking. But you have a right to feel good and love your life and not let others lead it for you!

Boundaries and reframing are both really helpful techniques and I tend to use them together to feel good about what is happening outside of my control.

Personal Boundaries

As a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, I remember when I first stumbled across boundaries and about how you could use them to feel better about stuff. I was curious…personal boundaries? What on earth are they and how could I use them?

Check out this useful article which explains them well and how they can be used.

As a coach for women, I find this is also where the appreciation and confidence to be you also fit in, as you need to know your boundaries and also feel confident enough to speak out when someone has crossed them.

An example of reframing

The last time I went Christmas food shopping I cannot say I was really looking forward to it. The planning of the list, honking cars in the carpark, the jostling in the aisles for the last brussel sprout and the long queues of ill-tempered people at the checkouts..quite frankly yuck! I would much rather be hugging a tree or paddling along the beach as it was such a lovely morning so I started to think …this is gonna be dreadful! I don’t want to do it, and I procrastinated but eventually I knew had to go as the cupboards were bare!

I realised I was “framing” this experience in my mind before I even got to the shops based on what I had learned from the years of experience that I had in going shopping at this time of year.

So I stepped back, reframed and accepted it all. I decided to make it an experiment on keeping calm and spreading the spirit of Christmas instead…so what happened?

Everything I predicted did indeed happen, but just because I framed how I wanted to react, it felt so much better!

I practised keeping calm with my belly breathing – even when the person in front of me was feeding the 5000, and had loads of coupons and gift vouchers and the people behind me were tutting and trying to engage me in their frustration
I saw it from the shop workers point of view. They had to shop for others all day or put stuff through the checkout repeatedly, I was grateful I only had to do it once!
I influenced 7 people to smile, 2 to laugh and gave the pressured woman on the checkout to relax a little and take a swig of water and told her what a great job she was doing.
I got my shopping done with a sense of satisfaction – priceless!

My Top Tips

Notice what about the situation you are most uncomfortable with
Set a boundary – what you will tolerate and what is unacceptable
Decide how you want to feel or react
As you experience it, see the situation from someone else’s perspective – put yourself in their shoes
Notice what you are grateful for
Have fun with it and turn it into a game
If you start to get triggered – use it to practice your belly breathing or speaking up

This can be used for the big things in your life and the small irritations. It certainly takes practice but if you find this difficult, it is something I can help you with.

So what are you thinking negatively about, and more importantly, HOW are you feeling about it and how could you possibly think differently to make it feel better?

Make your day awesome

Much love and light always

SJ Signature Green

Sarah Jane Woods
Life Coach for Women

Sarah Jane is passionate about emotional health and the impact this has on the choices we make. She encourages women to unlock their emotions and lead from their heart. Through a combination of therapeutic change sessions, she gently motivates and empowers them to a state of self-awareness, energy, and balance so they can move on. 

SJ says, “The world needs more confident women, and I am constantly held in awe of just how strong, resourceful and adaptable women are. I coach them to feel, respond and express their emotions in healthier ways. No matter what has happened to them, I see them build a deep sense of self belief so that they can achieve anything, and I am here to empower and guide them as they flourish into the next chapter of their life.” 

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