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4 Steps to Set Boundaries with Yourself

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Setting boundaries with yourself is SO important - read on to learn more about this process. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.


"This could be way better. You could be better."

My inner, critical voice has told myself this line 1,000 + times. Although my inner perfectionist is super salty about this, I have to say, I don't like whenever I talk to myself like that. It makes me feel like I'm not good enough and works against one of my core values, encouragement.

The only way I've been able to reel myself in from those destructive words is learning how to set boundaries with myself.

When we talk and think about the process of setting boundaries, usually we consider how we do this with other people. However, before we can set boundaries with other people we have to be able to set them with ourselves.

Setting boundaries with yourself is one of the most important factors in living a purposeful life - it makes your work more meaningful because you are intentionally aligning your core values with your choices and it helps you feel more peaceful and safe.

How do we do that, though? How can we set boundaries with ourselves?

1. Identify Your Core Values

Your core values are personal principles you cannot compromise on. These values are the ideas that define your relationship with yourself and your relationships with others.

I encourage everyone to identify at least 3 core values that are non-negotiable in life -- that way making decisions becomes much easier.

2. Define Your Needs

Your needs are important. Let me say that again... your needs are important.

Your needs help solidify your core values -- if you want to live a purposeful life, you have to be able to articulate what you need to make that happen because other people will not do that for you.

I've worked with college-aged students for almost 8 years, and time and time again, women struggle to admit to themselves what they need. I've been there plenty of times, too. Our surrounding cultures make us think we are "hysterical" or "dramatic" or "needy" if we say what we need. But really, saying what you need to actualize your core values makes you strong, courageous and intentional... and those things are FIRE.

3. Pinpoint Your Emotions

Boundaries with ourselves are further defined by the emotions that accompany them.

Here's where we have to ask ourselves:

If I don't meet this need, how do I feel?

If I do meet this need, how do I feel?

What happens to me if this need is not met?

Emotions are the little flashing lights inside our body -- the indicators that something is happening. If you're like me, you sometimes try to flee from those emotions. However, I encourage you to sit with them, listen to them, and absorb what they're trying to tell you. They'll let you know what works for you and what doesn't work at all AKA a core component to boundaries.

4. Validate Yourself

Validating yourself is a step most women miss - I've missed it more times than I can count or imagine (that's a lot because I have a large imagination #yikes).

One of my core values is clarity... I value clarity because it helps me understand the reality of every situation. If I want to validate myself in that value and need, I tell myself the truth about each situation BEFORE asking other people.