When trying to achieve any sort of change, we can sometimes resort to tactics that we believe will light a fire up under us and push us. We forget about how the words “don’t” “stop” and phrases like “you better not” trigger resistance and defiance in us.
“Stop going out to eat”
“Don’t buy new clothes until you lose x amount of pounds”
“You better not eat that”
Just writing those phrases has me a little tight.
Boundaries are necessary in some instances, they keep us from being taken advantage of by other people. They let us know what areas to stay out of. They mark off crime scenes. Setting boundaries helps us keep our sanity when relating to the outside world.
When dealing with ourselves and our own thoughts and feelings towards change, does setting hard boundaries help or hurt the process? When we set limits on ourselves, what messages are we sending about our belief and confidence that change is possible.
When we set hard boundaries, our inner critic takes over and starts to treat us like an unruly child and as any unruly child the tendency to rebel gets stronger. Very little gets accomplished when negativity and too much rigidity is involved.
So how do we encourage change in ourselves when it comes to adapting a healthier lifestyle without setting hard boundaries?
- Remember change is a process
- Don’t use negative self talk
- Treat yourself like you would treat a friend or a loved one
- Nothing happens overnight
- You are your most valuable asset, treat yourself with love and compassion
- Remember hard stops cause injuries
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