A big part of being more boundaried is knowing the difference between doing things from a place of desire versus doing them from a place of obligation. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I share lessons I’ve learned from making a recent decision.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Believing that something is the Way is a clue that we need to pay attention and try to tune into our needs and wants. Am I doing something because it’s the established way of doing it or because it’s how I want to do it?
  • We shut down our desires with obligation, expectations, shoulds, fear and comparison, which also makes it hard to tune into and discern what we need. We find ourselves in a field of shoulds that leave us feeling trapped, lost and confused. Awareness of our needs and wants helps us to sense and know our boundaries. We are more aware of the choices we need to make to align with our values.
  • Learning the difference between what we want to do versus what we feel obliged to helps us to be more boundaried. Is it coming from us, or is it coming from elsewhere? So is it our own voice or our parent(s), society’s and basically other people’s expectations? Using comparison to make decisions about what’s right for us is a trap. Why are we basing our next steps on somebody else’s steps? We’re not walking in their shoes and vice versa.
  • Things we genuinely wanted to do can become routine, so you need to check in on decisions that you made from a place of wanting to that have become routine and the norm. Do these decisions still hold? Or do they (and you) need to evolve? Remember, things change. We evolve, and our decisions also evolve. 
  • We can move through life doing the things we’ve committed to and that we have a sense of duty about while also wanting to do them.  Be mindful of where you have a tendency to do things from a place of feeling guilty and crappy. You don’t have to spend your life feeling bad about yourself. Cut the shoulds!

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The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon/HarperCollins) is out now and available in bookshops on and offline. Listen to the first chapter.
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