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Setting Boundaries

Protect yourself from negativity and reclaim your power

a stressful woman

One of the hardest things to do is set boundaries, but not for the reason you may think.

In this modern age of social media that we live in, there is a increased visibility of the world around us that was not there before. In the 90’s, our lives extended only as far as our landlines did, work ended when we left because we didn’t have laptops, the kids came home when the street lamps came on because there were no cell phones, we wrote essays with number 2 pencils because computers didn’t exist, we paid bills through snail mail because the internet was in its infancy.

Today, not only is the opposite true but it feels like it’s on steroids. Everyone is ALL up in everyone else’s business.

For our own sanity, setting boundaries is key, but the greatest hurdle we face is not how to set boundaries but rather how to recognize that we need to set boundaries. We live in this world of visibility so naturally, that it feels unnatural to want to change that visibility.

Here’s a story:

In 2019, I left my hometown and my family to move to Albany with my fiancé. We moved in together, were trying to start a family, and went all in on a life together. Six months later, I ended the engagement because she was unfaithful.

As you might imagine, we were completely intertwined in each other’s lives, families, friends, everything. I mean, where do you even start setting boundaries It took me a long to time to figure it out because all of the boundaries I needed to set were things that never even looked like they could be a boundary.

Facebook, for one, was something I had since its inception so 15 odd years or so. It was integrated into my being, into my behavior, my psyche. All of our friends and family were on it, so at the time I thought it was just something I would need to navigate and deal with it. It would be hard but it was what it was, because Facebook was just what life came with.

I watched as the completely intertwined life we had been living kept on living online. I was aware of everything happening, I was anxious about what I would see next, I was afraid to scroll in fear of what pictures I would see. Would it be my ex with her new boo, or would it be our friends hanging out with them, or would it be things I wasn’t invited too but she was. The wheel of fear, anxiety and negativity just kept turning.

But then one day, I said to myself “hey, Dess, you know you can delete Facebook right?”.

It was like an epiphany. I didn’t have to look at all these things, I didn’t have to follow anyone, I didn’t have to force myself to see things I didn’t want to see. Why was I subjecting myself to the torture? I made myself a victim by my own hands because I couldn’t recognize a place I could set a boundary.

So, I deleted Facebook, set the boundary, protected myself from the negativity whatever the form, and I reclaimed my power. I was in control now, not social media or anyone on it.

It was one of the best boundaries I ever set I have to say. About a month ago I actually re-signed up for it with a new account but only because I needed it to support my third business as a motivational speaker and author empowering others on Instagram to become their most epic selves. I have zero friends and it’s amazing.

The Takeaway:

The key to setting boundaries is recognizing where you can set them, and this has become harder than setting the actual boundaries because of the world we live in.

So how can you recognize opportunities to set them? Here are some tips:

  1. Pretend you live in the 90’s. If you are struggling to set boundaries, look at your daily life and question if the things you do would be doable in a world without technology. Maybe your boss contacts you after work hours because you have email on your phone - this wouldn’t happen in the 90’s. Maybe your friend loves to play the victim on social media and it’s clouding your energy - this wouldn’t happen in the 90’s. Set the boundaries: have a conversation with your boss about work after hours, unfollow or mute your friend on social media. Take control of your time and your energy.

  2. Start an “ingratitude” journal. Journaling is a great way consciously think about what is going on in your life and to become aware of what is causing anything other than happiness. A lot of people will write down 3 things they are grateful for everyday, I recommend also writing down 3 things that bothered you everyday. This will help you bring negative things you might ignore to the surface to enable recognition of those things as a potential place a boundary is needed.

  3. Tune in to your emotions. Try to be more aware of not just your feelings, but the intensity of those feelings. Are there situations that on a scale of 10 give you anxiety at an 8 versus a 3? Why is that? Is it the people, the environment, the event? Digging into your own emotions and recognizing what makes you feel more powerfully will help you understand what emotions you want to reduce and in turn where you may need a boundary.

Once you start to recognize where boundaries need to be set it’ll become even easier to set the boundary and in actuality, you’ll already know how to set it just by understanding why it needs to be set.

Now, go out and reclaim your life. I’m with you.


Joy comes from adventure today. Time to shake the world.


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