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How To Set Clear Firm Healthy Boundaries [ Step #3]

I am back with the “Boundaries in Motherhood” saga. We’ve been learning “How To Set Clear Firm Healthy Boundaries Without Feeling Guilty.”

Boundaries provide a great sense of empowerment, increasing your confidence so you can become the best you and live the life you desire to live – the life God meant for you to live.

Boundaries allow us to experience the freedom of releasing patterns of fear, guilt, and obligation that block us from achieving our true potential. They are necessary for all our relationships inside and outside of the home.

Remember my 5 steps to setting a boundary? They are: see it, study it, say it, share it, and seek support.

Many moms in my mentorship program have no trouble at all seeing (acknowledging) and studying (questioning) their boundaries; the struggle comes when we touch on the last three steps.

If you feel a bit of discomfort while reading my recommendations, know that you are not alone and remind yourself that many things that are natural to you now once seemed uncomfortable to you. Be open and remember you have access to grace 24/7/365 – 366 every four years!

Today, we will focus on step 3: say the boundary.

Setting boundaries requires knowing the choices that are available to us and believing that we have access to them. I love this quote by Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith:

“We are at choice-point in every moment of every circumstance, activity, spoken word, and thought.”

I believe this to be true; however, mastering our choices is a learned skill that requires lots of practice, preparation, and grounding work. This is what “Say It” is all about.

You are at choice-point in every moment of every circumstance, activity, spoken word, and thought ~ Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith

I will help you learn how to adopt beliefs that allow you to honor yourself as a divine being who is worthy of meaningful, purposeful, joyful relationships.

SAY IT: Grounding, Practice, and Preparation To Set and Maintain Boundaries

Meekness is not weakness. We can be both firm and kind; however, our boundary muscle, like any other, needs conditioning.

Not doing your grounding work and going into a boundary conversation is like going to a battle unarmed. Here are some ways you can ground yourself, practice, and prepare, so you are not caught off guard when you have the opportunity to put your boundaries knowledge to work.

Prayer and Meditation ~ One of the practices that most grounds me is praying. It allows me to feel connected to God, to myself, and others, which is my Top 1 Passion and Intention.

Meditation is another great way to ground yourself, and I don’t do it as often as I would like to, but when I do, it really works.

I also write, journal, and doodle. Sometimes listening to classical or uplifting music (such as hymns) is what does the trick. Figure out what works for you and adopt it as a practice that can help you be calm and centered.

Positive Affirmations ~ Many people think “affirmations are a waste of time,” yet they fail to acknowledge that we all affirm ourselves, and quite often; we just affirm ourselves negatively. So, come to think of it, we all really have the affirmation thing down, we just need to replace it with the opposite belief.

For example: when you find yourself saying “I wish I could,” or “I just can’t,” say “I know I can” instead, and BOOM!- you’ve got yourself a positive affirmation.

The tricky part is that it takes 17 positives to erase a negative, so the practice of using daily affirmations is necessary to heal past wounds and also to create strong beliefs that will withstand the negativity jabs that are constantly thrown at us, even by ourselves. My inner bully is quite a trooper, so I hear her voice shaming me and judging me all the time:

  • Who do you think you are? You’re not _____ enough!”
  • “I hate to burst your bubble, but you really can’t do it”
  • “Aw, bless your heart, you actually think you can do it, do you?”

Unless I make sure I affirm myself positively and make a conscious effort to run new tapes inside my head, my self-worth would crumble. And you may think “nah, you look so confident.” 

Remember when I told you I participated in an abusive relationship as the co-dependent counterpart, and I was so deeply lost in it, it was a miracle I was able to get out.

I know firsthand how these feelings creep up on you…and that’s exactly why I am so passionate about boundaries because they help us take charge of our life and not allow others to do it for us.

In step 2, we talked about questioning our beliefs about boundaries, now I’m going to give you the formula to set up Boundary Affirmations, or sentences that describe a new belief around the boundaries we want to enforce.

Meekness IS NOT Weakness

Complete the following phrases with as many specific actions as you can that make you feel uncomfortable, drain you, or violate your sense of peace or space, then repeat them in front of the mirror often:

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

People may not ___________. (i.e. use profanity around me, raise their voice at me, ask me for help last minute, stop by unannounced, pick my brain for free, expect me to work on Sunday, etc.)  

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

I have a right to ask for/expect ____________.(i.e. privacy, help, respect, notice, courtesy, fair pay for my work, an explanation, affection from my partner, etc.).

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

To protect what is dear to me, I choose to _________________(i.e. say no, practice self-care, say what I feel, create distance, secure my financial future, delegate, etc.)

The Positive Mom check

Practice Statements. ~  Besides using positive affirmations, you can practice the specific statement we will use to establish the boundary with your mentor or with a trusted friend. 

Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way:

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Use a neutral tone ~ You don’t want to sound too casual and it will definitely be more effective if you don’t sound angry or intense. If I can do it, so can you. He he.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Be assertive ~ Don’t sound apologetic or use apology words, and don’t beat around the bush. Simply state what you need to in a concise and direct manner. Here are some examples:

  • I’m not comfortable with…
  • I’m not willing to allow you to…
  • Please don’t…  [anymore]
Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Use your body ~ The Wonder Woman Pose is one of the easiest and most popular power poses because of its effectiveness in communicating we are confident and immovable. You can also shake your head, signal, or take a step back to let others know in a non-threatening way that their behavior is not one you are willing to accept.

All of these concepts may all sound quite uncomfortable, unnatural, and even wrong to you…and that’s okay. It’s expected because this is a process!

Each day, you can take at least 5 minutes of your day to ground yourself through prayer and meditation, affirmations, and practice boundaries. 

For me, it is the best way to start a day, and the way to ensure peace, connection, and joy during that day. Find the time that works for you!

As you use grounding exercises, positive affirmations, boundary practice statements, you will start to regain your personal power and will get ready to establish some real boundaries that will give you that power to choose Rev. Beckwith was talking about.

Meanwhile, hold firm the vision of stepping into your inner power, being respected for the boundaries that you set, and inspiring your children (and other people around you) to set their own.

Do you practice saying your boundaries? What helps most in the area of boundaries? I am looking forward to learning what works for you, so please share in the comment area below.

Be Positive and You Will Be Powerful ~ Elayna FernandBe Positive and You Will Be Powerful ~ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMez ~ The Positive MOM

My mission is to help moms find peace, break cycles, and feel whole so they can be present, peaceful, and positive moms. To receive a gift that can get you started on that journey click HERE.

PS. This is the fourth post in my “Boundaries In Motherhood” series. Stay tuned!

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How To Set Clear Firm Healthy Boundaries - Step 4

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

[…] explored the first 3 steps of my 5 steps to setting a boundary: see it, study it, say it, share it, and seek support. Today’s step is the real deal: the actual action of setting […]

Christine G

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

I love what you wrote about using positive affirmations and boundary statements. I think I've mastered the "Wonder Woman" stance, but I definitely need to identify the boundaries I want to be set and practice how to make them clear to others.

Patty

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

Elayna: While I can tell someone NO, I have never practiced saying my boundaries. I understand how this is such a helpful step in being able to follow through and stick to my boundaries. I am practicing this today with some boundaries I need to be firm on.

Elisha Fernandez

Monday 12th of August 2019

Being assertive is certainly one point I need to work on. I usually over apologize but I am working on telling myself that there is no reason for me to say I’m sorry unless I did something wrong. It can be difficult to remind myself that, but it’s worth it.

Rebecca Bryant

Monday 12th of August 2019

what a great guide to follow. I definitely need to write this down to help identify what I am willing to accept and what I won't. I also need to stop worrying about other people's disappointment and opinions about me as I have learned I can't control how they feel that is their personal space and i can only control my feeling and how I want to be treated by setting strong boundaries.