Guess what? The quality of your life and your relationships, the level of success you reach and the level to which people are attracted to and interested in connecting with you are ALL dependent on ONE thing: Boundaries.
Boundaries are easy – they’re basically your non-negotiables as far as what you are willing/not willing to put up with. Boundaries teach people how to treat you and are the building blocks of unapologetic confidence and self esteem.
Every time I’ve “adjusted” my boundaries for someone, I’ve always ended up hurt and in hindsight, frustrated that I put up with amateur hour at the expense of my dignity and heart.
Looking back on it all, everything happens for a reason.
I don’t really like telling you guys that “everything happens for a reason.” Why? Because it sounds douchey, obvious and sometimes things happen in life that are so painful, trying to “reason label” them is like adding salt to the most unjust and unfair wound.
Regardless of what it is, don’t ever think that your failures didn’t happen for a reason.
One thing that has always prevented me from being able to propel out of deceit, rejection, failure, judgement and abandonment, is the shame associated with how much time I’ve wasted. Shame will literally freeze you in time. It will prevent you from evolving and extinguish any possibility of relational, personal and professional success.
This morning I re-read the post that I wrote on failure. Looking back on it, it’s amazing to see how every step was so integral.
I was always ashamed because of how much time I thought I had wasted – not only through my failures, but even more so in the aftershocks of them. This kept my anxiety at an all-time high and crippled me into a state of fear-based paralysis. I felt like I had already wasted so much time, there was no other option but to waste more of it and obsess over f*cktards who had no problem wasting it as well.
Now looking back, I’m so grateful for my many failures in the entertainment industry. It built emotional muscle and gave me invaluable knowledge that I’m now using for my own show and video courses. I also now coach many of the celebrities that I aspired for so long to be just like. I’m able to help them on a level that I never would have been able to if I didn’t have first-hand knowledge of the industry. Maybe one day, PMS will turn into a television show and all of the knowledge that I amassed from completely failing at making a movie will come to fruition.
What I do know: Everything happens for a reason.
Now let’s get back to you…
Good or bad – everything that you are experiencing right now in your life is a direct result of 2 things:
- Decisions that you’ve made based on what you have chosen to TOLERATE.
- Allowing those tolerations to define your BOUNDARIES.
And because your decisions are based upon the level at which you’ve chosen to tolerate, your tolerations are always in direct correlation with the quality and/or presence of your boundaries.
Boundaries are so powerful because they literally shape your life. Without clear-cut boundaries, you will always allow the decisions and actions of other people to fog your vision, cater to your fears and subject you to the role of “doormat #1” in YOUR life story.
It’s time to reclaim your starring role. Doormats are boring to watch.
Here are 11 core boundaries that will change your life right now.
BOUNDARIES #1 – Identify the anchors and RELEASE.
This isn’t complicated at all but for the majority of my life, I loved to complicate the sh*t out of this simple boundary: If someone is an emotional anchor, cut them out. If they uplift, motivate and make you feel as though loving, being honest with and supporting you is not a concerted effort (or something that they do to get something else in return)… bring them closer. Don’t ever tolerate anyone who makes you feel like loving you is hard.
No one should ever receive a history, familial or title pass here. If you have to maintain a relationship with them because they’re family or you have kids with them, vow to maintain your emotional distance.
We are always instructed before taking off on a flight that if the plane goes down, we must secure our own oxygen first. Yes, I always try to prioritize and be there for friends, family and everyone that I love, but I never waver in making sure that I’m not coming to the emotional table out of breath and hungry. If you’re starving, a crumb of moldy bread will taste like a filet.
Your oxygen needs to be secured first or you won’t have the (emotional) oxygen to help anyone or see clearly. If you don’t secure your oxygen first, your emotional life will end up being dependent on the limited air supply of others.
Bottom line: Out of all the 10 boundaries, this boundary is essential to living a life free of relationsh*ts, friendsh*ts and so much unnecessary pain, bullsh*t and drama. Do not get physically/emotionally intimate with or close to ANYONE who consistently brings you down or dishonors you in any way.
Remember – your time, emotional currency and energy are SACRED. Treat them as such. If you spit in the universe’s face and declare that war is what you want, war is what you will (continue to) get.
BOUNDARIES #2 – Never react, ALWAYS respond.
I learned the hard way that there’s a major difference between reacting and responding. Reactivity is emotional, defensive and “I’m-taking-this-personally,” impulsive. It translates as weak and that you have no control over your own emotional weather. It also affirms to the offending party that they have access to manipulate, control and set off your triggers.
Responding, on the other hand, is rooted in logic. It translates as being in control, unfazed, self-aware, confident and powerful. I hardly ever get hateful comments here on PMS. It’s nothing but love. I’ve gotten maybe 5 low-blow comments since launching the blog almost 3 years ago, which is unheard of online. How? People know that they’re never going to get a reaction out of me, only a dignified response. If you vow to only respond to people and never to react, you’ll always be standing tall in your power and be able to effortlessly command the respect that you’ve been eternally craving.
You don’t owe anyone a detailed explanation or a reaction. Explaining and reacting are draining – Responding with the foundation of action is empowering.
BOUNDARIES #3 – Let’s be honest.
Fronting may get you in the door, but it will always get you kicked out of the party. In the past, I always felt like I had to embellish everything and basically misrepresent the sh*t out of myself because deep down, I never felt like I was enough.
Lesson: Always be honest. It’s actually really addicting, empowering and fun. Honesty is a lost art. And because it’s unfortunately, more often than not associated with inflicting pain, people have become afraid of it.
True honesty isn’t painful. It’s a rarity.
And just like there’s a fine line between cockiness and confidence, there’s a very fine line between being brutally honest and being kindly honest. ALWAYS be kind in your honesty, never brutal. But please, JUST.BE.HONEST – with others and yourself. Your life will not only get so much easier, it will transform.
Try being completely honest for one full day (remember, this IS NOT about being hurtful, pedestaling yourself, seeking attention or being divisive in any way).
It’s amazing how powerful the boundary of honesty can be. One of my favorite writers and out-of-the-box thinkers, James Altucher, writes about the power of honesty here.
BOUNDARIES #4 – Quit it.
You can’t take someone more seriously than they take themselves. You can only take them as seriously as they consistently present themselves.
Stop giving credit to people that they haven’t earned.
BOUNDARIES #5 – Too much talking.
Learn to minimize the talking and maximize ACTING. Feeling guilty for having boundaries is totally normal at first, especially if you suffer from low self esteem. Don’t give up. Keep ACTING and the “tail-between-your-legs,” guilt will turn into unf*ckwithable POWER. Since when did recognizing yourself in a healthy and respectful manner become a bad/shameful thing?
Remember – Anyone who makes you feel bad for having boundaries will have no problem busting yours.
BOUNDARIES #6 – What are you willing to put up with?
The best way to build unapologetic self esteem is to consistently assess your tolerations. Decide what behavior you will unequivocally accept and reject from others. And stick to it.
Remember: I’ve said this many times… YOU are the CEO of Y-O-U. It’s time to rework your out-of-date terms & conditions. It’s okay to say “you’re fired!” through minimal words, kindness in your honesty and dignified action.
This is what drives the opposite sex crazy. I can’t tell you how many male clients of mine expressed how much of a turn on the last post on no contact was. Why? Just like true love, unapologetic self confidence is just as rare.
BOUNDARIES #7 – Be your own Knight.
Always… I repeat ALWAYS stay on your white horse. Do you want your ex to have one fraction of an idea of the hell, pain and heartbreak that he/she put you through? Cut.them.off. Let your silence do the talking and always maintain grace under pressure by staying on your white horse.
Don’t worry about the other person forgetting you, they won’t. Think about this – when it’s a holiday or your birthday, who do you remember more? – The people who wished you a happy birthday/holidays or the person who didn’t?
Be your own knight in shining armor. The only people who are interested in “saving you,” are the ones who feel that by doing so, they’ll be able to secure control over your emotional weather. Emotionally available lovers and friends won’t be turned on by having to “save” a you out of your own insecurities. Be the responsive, non-reactionary class act that everyone is in awe of instead of the resident psycho who needs a muzzle and a leash. Exhibit grace under pressure when all you want to do is retaliate and react.
A monkey could snap its fingers, flip its hair and throw out a few one-liners that are sharper than a dagger. It takes someone with real power and strength to remain calm, communicate through her actions and move on.
The short-term pain WILL eventually translate into a lifetime of joy, peace, gratitude and appreciation that you rid your life of people who didn’t know the value of being in it.
There’s no need to be the moral police or anyone’s emotional training wheels here. You don’t need to show grown adults “the right way to behave,” or lose your cool and get crazy labeled. It’s not your job. Don’t allow people set off your triggers and push your buttons. Only YOU know the combination to that lock. Not them.
If you want someone to know how you truly feel and what they’ve truly done: Stay calm and never lower yourself to a level in which you attempt to re-package and throw back pain that they caused, just so you can feel like you’re in control for a hot minute. It will boomerang right back every time.
BOUNDARIES #8 – No waiting, no competing and no lies.
Never, ever wait around for someone to decide if they want you in their life. EVER. Remember – you are NOT someone else’s decision. You are the product of YOUR OWN.
Never engage in competition. If you find yourself competing with anyone or anything for your partner’s attention, love, respect or time… fold.
If someone has lied to you or rejected you in either a passive or direct manner… never, ever pursue them again. Your self esteem will thank you in spades. All it takes is implementing this boundary ONE TIME. The euphoric high/emotional payout you’ll get from it will be too rewarding, exhilarating and beneficial to ignore ever again.
BOUNDARIES #9 – Be a quiet observer. Especially during tough times.
Painful, life-altering circumstances – breakups, diagnoses, accidents, emergencies, etc., will ALWAYS show you who the people around you are. And as painful as it is, it’s the ultimate gift because it gives you back one of the most invaluable things besides your health: time. Time that would have been wasted wondering why you weren’t “enough” for an emotionally deaf and blind person to miraculously see and hear.
Also, make sure to always take note of how the people you’re close with treat not only you, but how they treat everyone else – their family, friends, animals, children, the elderly, the waiter, the homeless person on the street, etc.
It will tell you more than any answer to any question you could ever ask them.
BOUNDARIES #10 – Excuses…
Stop making excuses for other people’s behavior/lack of respect for your boundaries and stop revising your boundaries for certain people/situations. There are no exceptions here. Unless you’re dealing with a 5 year old, you don’t need to treat a grown adult like a child just because they’ve proven to be an emotional bed sh*tter. You just need to get out of the bed.
The second your partner starts to become a collage of your excuses, that’s not “unconditional love.” It’s projection at the expense of your dignity and destiny.
Remember to always honor and respect your boundaries. The ONLY WAY to get others to respect your boundaries is by consistently respecting your own. Your boundaries are never up for revision due to “special” circumstances and people. Know when to fold.
BOUNDARIES #11 – Take yourself out of the picture.
This boundary/realization will literally save you from emotional and spiritual suicide. It will save you from the destruction of self sabotage and the paralyzing effects of rejection and abandonment: Nothing is ever about you. EVER.
Good or bad, whatever anyone says or does to you is a reflection of their own emotional state of being, childhood trauma and trying as best as they can to evade THEIR OWN pain and suffering. It has nothing to do with you – it never did and it never will.
The moment that you don’t just have an understanding of this but actually KNOW, OWN and LIVE it, is the moment that living a life on YOUR TERMS and calling your own shots will BEGIN.
Love to you all. XO