Published
7 Mar 2021

Boundaries Can be Born from Fear or Power

Setting boundaries can be tricky. Many of us grew up being told it is admirable to take one for the team, that self-sacrifice is a noble act and it is good to do things we don’t really want to do for the sake of others. We learned to abandon ourselves in response to a desire to please, be valued and validated, have purpose, find love, money, or companionship, to avoid disappointment or disappointing, and keep our place nestled safely in the pack.

We learned to establish boundaries from a couple of different origination points with differing intentions – either growth or protection. A defensive boundary is a reaction that comes from fear and a need for acceptance, protection or control. This boundary often looks like no boundaries at all. The resulting feelings tend to be greater constriction and vulnerability.  A supportive boundary is a grounded action that comes from a place of attunement, personal preference and a desire for expansion. The resulting feelings here lean towards enhanced openness and personal power. To determine which type of boundaries you are operating under, consider the origination point and the intention behind the boundary.

Look to see if the boundary was initiated from an intention of self-support and self-love or if it was motivated by a need for self-preservation and a willingness to stay small. When in doubt, ask yourself, “Does this boundary further my expansion and support my true being, or is it costing me something?”

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