If you know me personally, you know that 2016 was an epic year for me.
Yes, I just said the word epic…which means I am talking epiccccc. I learned a lot, grew through a lot, and changed a lot. Out of all the change (something that we go through in all stages of life – but man, there’s something about those 20’s, right?!), there was one lesson that was the hardest to grasp: setting boundaries.
I haven’t had time to pour my heart into writing a Darling Days post (little blurbs about #realtalk; they take a lot of thought) and I thought I would get back into to the groove today. Setting boundaries; easier said than done, right? Sounds simple — in fact, easy, correct? Quite honestly, NOPE. Let’s dig deeper into this.
So in 2016, I had to set a whole lotta boundaries. With what, who, when, how? 1, 2, 3, let’s go.
Learn to set boundaries with…
First – Your mindset: This may be the hardest of them all. We are our own boss. This could range from overworking yourself, partying too much, comparing yourself to others, or obsessing over something that isn’t yours. Regardless of what the issue is, there is a time and place when you have to come to terms with what is no longer serving you and simply… let. the. idea. go. Adios, amigo. This takes so much self control and discipline but ultimately benefits you immensely in the long run. The first step is realizing, confronting and assessing what the issue is in your head; once you’ve done this, you’re halfway there to drawing the boundary. You’re ultimately setting a boundary with your thoughts, and you’ll grow through the process.
Second – Your body. In my journey, I learned that I had a terrible allergy to gluten, dairy and sugar…in Paris (s-e-r-i-o-u-s-l-y?!). Regardless of the nausea and breakouts throughout the trip, stubborn Jessi kept on eating all those croissants (I mean…it’s PARIS though, mes amies), baguettes, crepes au fromage (that’s cheese y’all, and a lot of it), and of course, cafe au lait. But what I didn’t realize was that what I thought was bettering myself (or my tastebuds) was tearing apart my stomach, my mind, my face, and my sleep. There’s a point when you have to wake up and realize that what worked for you for 23 (or however many) years, may not work for you anymore because our bodies develop and change. How can you better your body today to get to where you need to be tomorrow? Health should be our #1 goal, yet oftentimes it’s put on the back burner to the lifestyle we wish to live.
Third – Your limits. If there is one major lesson that blogging has taught me; it’s the importance of learning how to say “no.” At the end of the day, I can’t do it all – but for some reason my people-pleasing mindset has me overextending myself in hopes to simply make everyone else happy. Whether it’s in the workplace, the social scene, a relationship, my inbox (ha ha) or any other situation — learning how to say no requires us to sacrifice what the other person will think and instead gain our own sense of self-worth. I went to an Adele concert last fall, and even she — the queen of elegance, success and grace — mentioned that learning how to say “no” was one of the tipping points to her career success. Setting a boundary with what you can and cannot do for other people (no matter the situation) is a sticky situation, but practicing a simple “no” is the key to discerning and getting rid of excess.
Fourth – Your company. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If you’re not losing friends, you’re not growing up.” Man, what a tough lesson to learn; specifically when I feel like our society revolves around the Taylor Swift’s #squadgoals, and fbook seems to be a competition based on who had the most fun last weekend. But tending to and milking a million relationships only hinders you seeking those few incredibly fruitful ones that both challenge you, and are on the same page as you. I feel like this is a battle that comes up time and time again (to the point where a few of you have even asked me to write a piece on this), especially in our 20’s when everyone is running at different paces. Fact: It is a hard puzzle to decipher, because at the end of the day, hurting anyone’s feelings is the last thing you want to do. However, when it’s all said and done, sometimes we have to let people go to seek out our personal journey and find ourselves. If those people / friends are truly supposed to be in your life, they will support you in your decision to set a boundary and grow with you in the process, and will be reconnected with you down the road. Be honest, be loving, be gentle, and do what’s best for you; the rest will follow.
Fifth – Your routine. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m most definitely a slave to routine and comfort. When I’m comfortable with a way of doing things, I’m officially stuck in a permanent cycle and I’m completely unaware of it. Take a step back and realize what’s commanding your day, switch things up, welcome change, try new things and shoot for progress, not perfection. By drawing a boundary with your everyday routine, your opening your heart to change and a chance for small, daily refreshments.
Sixth – Your expectations. You know what they say: expectation leads to disappointments and yes, you can do this with yourself. I have an issue of striving for perfection (the struggle is so real), which has me kicking myself when things don’t go my way (LBH – do they ever?!). Setting boundaries with the ideology of what I think my life should look like is so important. My life coach often calls this “the force” — when we grasp onto an idea of how things should go so tightly that we are forcing something into place that simply isn’t meant to be. Instead, trust the process and be thankful in the circumstances you’ve been given. Be realistic with yourself, draw a line with your expecations, and praise your way through adversity.
I hope this is helpful… love you guys! XO