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Don't Be Cool. Set Boundaries.

Ep #34

Don’t Be Cool. Set Boundaries.

When we think about boundaries, most often we think about ones that keep other people out and away, so that they can’t intrude. And I completely believe that having healthy boundaries for others is necessary. But I also think that having boundaries in place for how we conduct ourselves with ourselves is equally important, if not more.

We spend so much time trying to protect ourselves from others that we neglect to place boundaries around our own thinking and personal behavior. But doing so would protect us from self-inflicted emotional pain and sabotage. Sometimes we try so hard to be cool, to be the girl that can casually talk about the other girls our partner is sleeping with etc, even though that hurts our essential selves.

In today’s episode, I’m talking about why setting personal boundaries are so important. Not to keep others out, but to be aware of how you are treating yourself. Setting these types of boundaries is an act of self-love, renegades. I’m sharing why being “cool” isn’t cool to your essential self and how you can become aware of where you need to put some boundaries.

Right now, you’re both the victim and the villain, but through inquiring, seeking, and revealing, you can protect you from yourself.

What You Will Discover:

  • Why personal boundaries are as important as boundaries for other people.
  • What terms of engagement are and how they allow you to prioritize your boundaries.
  • What self-harm is in the context of dating and boundary work.
  • Why being cool to your social self isn’t actually being cool to you.
  • That putting boundaries in place is an act of self-love.
  • A guided exercise of the Seek, Inquire, Reveal process.

Resources Mentioned:

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Renegades. Today I want to talk about boundaries and dating. But I don't want to talk about the boundaries that everyone else talks about or sets- which is boundaries around other people. Instead, I want to talk about the boundaries you need to place around your brain. Your behavior. Boundaries around you for you.

Most often, when we think of boundaries we think of having them in place so others can't intrude- be it on our physical property, personal space or emotional well being. More than not boundaries are used to keep people out or away from. I absolutely believe that having healthy boundaries in place in regards to others is necessary, but I also think having boundaries in place for how we conduct ourselves with ourselves is just as important.

We spend so much time trying to control the people around us, putting up boundaries so they can't intrude on or hurt us and not enough time placing boundaries around our own thinking and personal behavior that protects us from sabotage and self inflicted emotional pain.

In my program, Wake up before another break up, I teach people how to trust themselves dating and the foundation of our work is us negotiating your Terms of Engagement-

Your terms of engagement is the architecture of who you are. It's comprised of what's most important to you. It's how you conduct yourself in accordance with others. Your values. Priorities. And boundaries.

When you have your boundaries in place you can date with freedom and responsibility. your terms of engagement, allow you to keep your values , your priorities -first. This protects you from yourself, from this concept of losing yourself.

I want you to consider the terms of engagement your personal play book while dating. It contains your strategies, if you will, to assist you as you navigate unchartered emotional territories. It contains your priorities - the parts of you and your life that you honor above all else- your non negotiable's - and we place boundaries around these areas in your life.

This work will quickly reveal a side of you that you may not be used to observing- The you that reacts to others, our subconscious thoughts and habits start to reveal themselves and we can see our patterns. Who we are when dating and where our minds go. THIS, Renegades is the boundary work I want to focus on today.

I want you to consider boundaries around your mind and emotions so you can prevent self harm. In this context self harm is watching his stories on instagram and wondering why he isn't texting you then watching all his friends stories to see who else is with him besides you. Self harm is getting a text to have sex, wishing he'd ask to spend more time to get to know you but still having sex with him.

When I listen to my clients, friends my kids and their friends I wonder if any of us even enjoy it. Some of it sounds down right painful… from the instagram stalking, the over analyzing text messages, should I say that? was that wrong? what did they mean? to trying to date people who aren't interested in anything serious with you. Who tell you they want to be friends to casual hook ups with your ex -it's fucking painful. And we think this is normal. It's not.
The amount of time we spend talking about it, thinking about it- your brain reliving it over and over - you experiencing the feelings over and over. You tell one friend, while texting another - it buzzes around your thoughts while you work out, work. It becomes a part of the environment.

Like a song or movie constantly playing in the background.

We have the choice, Renegades. The brain, left to its own devices will keep taking you on the same ride. Over and Over. We want to learn how to limit the amount of time we spend on it. Learn to get off sooner than the last time. We can tame the brain. You only have to Inquire. Seek and Reveal. Repeat. When you lay out your terms of engagement you give your brain direction. You can start to Observe the reaction. Choose the Response. You can start getting your own back and learn how to trust yourself. It starts with Boundaries.

To do this, you are going to have to sit back and take a hard look at how YOU are dating. Who YOU are choosing. The ways YOU show. The things YOU do in the relationship. Watch where YOUR mind goes- Now let me be very clear- this isn't a book on how other people need to behave. These are not expectations or ways of controlling other people. This Renegade. Is all about you.

It's not uncommon for my clients to discover they aren't being honest with themselves in an effort to be the cool girl." We want to think we can compartmentalize sex, that we can be friends after or talk about the other girls he's dating, but we can't. It actually doesn't feel good to us, but we are so intent on being cool, that we squash down the voice from our essential self- the one that says we don't want to be friends - that we wanted more- or admit that we start to compare ourselves to the other girls he's talking about.
We think we should be above this thinking and behavior. We should be more evolved.

Here's the situation, Renegades. You're not being cool to you. You think you are. Your social self is like - yah, be friends. Everyone loves the girl that can be friends. Listen to him talk about the new girl he's dating. Totally not a big deal. Casual sex? With a guy I'm into who is not looking for more? Why not? He's looking for a safe nurturing space? I can totally be that. I am that. He will eventually see I'm the one. He's the one I've been looking for…. I'm modern. I'm empowered. This is how women date now. We say who. We say when…

Your essential self is like WAIT - WHAT? What are you doing with us? Why? Why aren't you looking out for us? We don't say who. Or when.

We say, Boundaries around our brains so we can protect our hearts. Thats what we say. Essential self knows this is not going to feel good. Essential self also argues, this is why you don't feel like you can trust yourself- you never put us first. You put being cool and finding the one first.

I have client who, despite wanting to find a serious relationship and despite this guy telling her he wasn't looking for anything serious decided to casually start hooking up with him. She said,; he made it clear he wasn't looking for anything more and he just wanted sex. I thought I could handle it. I tried to play it cool - and it was fun.. the feeling was intoxicating. I felt reckless, but 3/4 of the time I wasn't feeling good and yet I kept doing it. I thought maybe it would turn into something more. Deep down, I thought there was this underlying chance that something was going to happen. I played along with it. She also had this story that he was raised with women. That he understood the feminine because he had these deep energetic bonds with the women around him. He didn't strike me as that kind of guy she said. She eventually had to stop talking to him, but shamed herself for even going there.

When you become conscious to how these seemingly small things actually hurt your feelings and devalue your self worth, you'll start practicing no self harm. That is self love. That is building trust. This does not happen over night. It does not feel natural and you will be convinced this is the absolute opposite approach you should be taking.

Once you get through the surface rules of engagement you will have the privilege of contending with your mind… This is where your daily thought work comes in. Learning to manage ruminating and spin outs requires your attention and effort.
We are used to reading a text from someone and spending hours breaking it down- what it meant- trying to solve it all on your own.
Distracted from what you have going on in front of you. What's worse, is that we later use this to shame ourselves with- I can't believe you spent all that time thinking about that when you should have been focused on you. Your work. Your kids. This entire dialogue has been in your head and yours alone. You are not only the victim, but you are the villain. With boundaries around where you'll let your mind go, you can protect yourself from this and stop losing time, emotions and energy. Once you become aware of yourself doing it, you can stop it.

Okay. Grab a pen and paper… or open up the notes on your phone. It's time to Inquire Seek and Reveal.

Now. Take a deep breath. You are going to spend the next few minutes watching you date. I want you to step outside yourself and without judgment just observe you- like you are watching a movie or sex and the city- see the star of the show dating and engaging. There's a difference here in what I'm asking you to do. Don't be in it - see it.

Watch this character with total curiosity, intrigue and interest.

I want you to see the other characters, the people you are dating, but the same rules apply; no judgement or blame. Instead, just keep seeing the main character and how she shows up in each scene.

Explore these questions;

Look at who she is talking to- how often during the day.
What is she thinking before she gets a text? During. What about after?
Do you see her waiting for the text? Describe her mood.
How does she feel after?

What are her intentions in talking to this person? Is she being honest about those with herself? With the other person involved?
Is the relationship something she is pursuing for the longterm or is it a distraction?

Is it more important than her work?
Does she make decisions based on what she wants?
Does that even occur to her?
When she's in the middle of something and her phone chirps, and its him, what does she do?

Does she still see and spend time with her friends?
Maintain her hobbies?

Does she do things that she regrets or wouldn't share with her friends to appease or make time for him? Cancel existing plans. Skip out on work. Pay for things she can't afford.

If it were to end tomorrow, would she have felt like she was true to herself while they dated?

Does she know who she is?

Is she never not talking to someone.
Is it always about a guy?

What is your thought about this character?
How does she feel when dating?
How would you said she behaved when dating someone? What sort of things does she do?
What would you say her dating style is?

NOW ask yourself, is this who I want to be? If it's not a hard yes, then it's a no Renegades. This isn't an exercise for you to beat yourself up with either. You're just observing you dating. Seeing where you let you slide. Where you are compromising you.

Next. Reflect back on the last 24 hours and detail down to the minute how you spent your time. Include time spent on social media, talking on the phone, working, cooking- all of it. Where were your thoughts? What preoccupied your thinking?

How aligned is your day with your priorities?

Are the people and things you are focused on worth it or are you compromising yourself? Are you consciously choosing your day or just going about it. Engage Renegades. Some of you are thinking I don't know what the big deal is, but trust me this is the first step to dating consciously. Creating boundaries around your head and heart. Hit me up on the comments and let me know what this brings up for you. I'd be curious to know what insights you might learn about you.
Alright Renegades. Until next week- Stay Sane. Stay Safe. Love you.D

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