Being connected to our values helps to set up healthy boundaries. Values connect us with how we want to behave and the qualities we want to bring to our behaviour, such as kindness, connection, honesty, integrity etc.
However our values can get confused when they are overshadowed by emotions created by our conditioned rules, or brules (bullcrap rules), as I prefer to call them. Here are some examples of brules that we pick up from the likes of parents, society, culture, religion and educational training throughout our lives.
When we can stay connected with our values then the brules tend to fall to the wayside. We are better able to make good choices and communicate our needs and desires, without any undue anxiety.
Easier said than done? Sure is! But if we can become more aware of and connected with our values, aligning our actions with them gets easier overtime. And the added bonus of this is that we get to live life more authentically and with more integrity.
My own personal values were a confusion to me for many years. I had been taught to 'toughen up and get over it' so when my body hurt, I ignored it. I believe that this, in part, contributed to a major health crisis that hit me in my late twenties.
But after battling with my health year upon year it became clear I needed to change. And my health became, out of necessity, my number one priority. With my focus now rightfully on supporting the body to heal I naturally aligned my actions to make this happen.
So when I was asked to do things I couldn't during those years here are some of the ways I learnt to say 'no'.....
'I am not up to doing that yet but please don't stop inviting me. And thanks for thinking of me.'
'I am unavailable on those days. Best wishes with finding someone who can.'
'Thanks for inviting me but I have something else scheduled'
'Thanks for the compliment. It's a big job and not one I want to be involved in so the answer is no'
If we have been a 'yes to everyone' person we need to practice these scripts so that they fluently roll off our tongue every time we are requested to do something we can't or do not want to do....
And remember any guilt that accompanies your 'no' is 'false guilt'. If we can stay connected with the why driving our no, we can more easily recognise it as 'false guilt'.
And if people make us feel sad or bad for saying no, we need to remind ourselves that their response is NOT our responsibility. We are responsible for ourselves and they are responsible for themselves.
So get aligned with your values. Write them down on a piece of paper. Eyeball them on a regular basis and set yourself up to consistently bring healthy boundaries into your life because we can only give from a cup that overfloweth.
I give thanks to the wonderful Liz Garbutt who taught me everything I know about boundary setting and was a key player in helping me to reintegrate back into the world without hurting myself after many years of un-wellness. Thank you Lovely Liz.
Ph. 021 027 18127
Kira Follas is a qualified counsellor and works as Wellness Practitioner and Group Facilitator in New Zealand. She is also a survivor and thriver of multiple physical and mental-emotional adversities and is a Mum to two awesome teenage lads :)