A boundary is an ‘imaginary’ line you draw regarding what you will and will not allow.
They are your personal stance on what is and is not acceptable and because of that teach people how to treat you. If you’re new to boundaries, you’ll know you need to set one when someone (and their actions) isn’t making you feel good anymore, because something not feeling good means your inner boundaries have been crossed and an external boundary needs to be set up so you don’t continue to feel harmed. It sounds simple; decide what you do and do not want and communicate it, but I know it’s not simple at all. But hopefully we can make it simpler, because having boundaries is an important part of being a healthy empath because it’s so easy to lose yourself in the needs of others and forget yourself.
Grab your journal or print the workbook below and walk yourself through this process step-by-step.
Create a Feels Good/Feels Bad List to activate your Solar Plexus.
Boundaries require we know what we will and will not allow, and that requires a firm decision. The Solar Plexus is the chakra that helps us with this! The process is simple, in your workbook write a list of 10 things that feel good to you and 10 things that feel bad. They can be ‘big things’ like traveling or ‘small things’ like tea in your favourite mug. It doesn’t matter what you write down. What matters is that you can differentiate the feelings.
Bonus: I teach all about the empath chakra system in this free course if you’re new!
With an activated Solar Plexus, journal about the situation that no longer feels good to you.
This will be personal to you and can relate to parents, work, love or anything else! I’ll use a work example for the rest of these steps. Example: “I am getting really tired of clients not paying their invoices on time. It sometimes takes them months and that’s not acceptable. This is my sole income!”
Get specific on what exactly about that situation feels bad to you. WHEN SOMETHING FEELS BAD IT IS BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING HIDING OUT UNDERNEATH. THAT SOMETHING IS HIDDEN IN YOUR BECAUSE.
Example: “I don’t like having to remind clients to pay their invoices because it makes me feel like I am not a priority even though I make them one. I go above and beyond for them and having to track down payments makes me feel so small and like my work doesn’t matter to them at all.”
Now, Open your heart and write about what you would rather experience based on what you’ve written above.
Example: “It’s important to me to work with clients who pay their invoices on time. These clients make me feel important and that’s important because my work is important and I am giving them my all to turn their life around…”
Perfect! This is your boundary. Write it out again and honour it. You deserve to be treated this way and your heart knows this is true because it told you.
Example: “It’s important to me to work with clients who pay their invoices on time.”
Before we communicate our boundaries, we have to know our consequences. Meaning, we have to know how we will act if our boundaries aren’t respected by those involved. Otherwise, they aren’t boundaries, they are just words that can be overstepped or ignored. To do this we have to be okay with taking drastic action; in some cases walking away from the relationship all together. If you can’t do this, there is no reason to set a boundary saying you will. People see through that and it makes it even easier for them to disrespect you. For this reason it is important to only ever set a consequence you know you can follow-through.
In the workbook, create a ‘thermometer’ based on what you want and what you will tolerate when it comes to it. With the absolute ‘THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE’ at the top with a consequence (what you will do if boundary isn’t respected) and a ‘THIS I LIKE’ at the bottom with a consequence (which is usually, continuing as is.)
Based on the work example of not receiving payment from clients, it could look like this:
*This is also in your workbook if you want to see it close up.
Notice how it goes from ‘hot’ to ‘cold’ — or ‘absolutely not allowed’ to ‘yes this is what I want’ based on feelings? Boundaries exist on spectrums. There is wiggle room! Having this sheet mapped out will help you know how to act depending on how another treats you around the topic (in this case, payment) that bothers you as not all actions related to payment will be the same and therefore you’ll need a variety of consequences to meet different aspects of your need to be paid.
Now face your fears. What's your biggest fear around setting these boundaries?
Example: “My biggest fear is that if I start enforcing this I won’t have any clients because people will think I am mean.”
FINALLY, take a deep breath AND CONFRONT THAT FALSE STORY. imagine yourself a year from now living the life you want. what would that version tell your current self about the fear you wrote above? write a short letter and allow the guidance to surface.
For example: If this was your situation and a year from now you saw yourself in a business that gives you the freedom to travel the world, that version of you might say: “I know how much you love to help others, but a business doesn’t run on ‘I owe you’s. It’s give and take and feeling ‘mean’ is a quick way for people to take advantage of you. It isn’t mean to demand payment for the amazing work you do. It’s normal. It’s business. People pay you WELL for what you do. You’ve put so much work into this work! And them. You give this your all. And there will always be so many people who need what you do. Trust in your worth sweet girl and remember that the only mean thing you can do in this situation is forget about you.”
And that’s all! When ready, communicate your boundary with the person/people involved. And don’t hesitate to repeat this process again and again for as long as you need to. I keep my step-by-step on my desk and it really does get easier until it becomes natural.
Was this helpful?
I’d love to see your boundaries and consequences over on Instagram! I share daily tips there.