Self-love is not always soft love. In your interactions with yourself you should be delicate, give yourself grace, and provide care for both your body and mind, but that is not all that loving yourself entails. Loving yourself can also be bold and firm. It can be doing what you must do to create the life you desire, and a big aspect of that is setting boundaries.
Boundaries protect and preserve the quality of your life. They are guardrails that not only shape how you interact with yourself but also how the world can interact with you, and Insiders, it takes time to be able to assert them. In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed how building certain character traits can help you with self-assertion, but boundary setting also takes clarity. Clearly defined boundaries are easier to enforce, and one of the best ways to construct a thorough definition of those boundaries is through written reflection. Below are 10 prompts that can help you start thinking through which aspects of your life might need some firm self-love, so grab a notebook, a pen, and start writing:
1. What do you struggle saying no to? What would happen if you do say no?
2. What are the top 3 things you value? Next to each one, write down one way you can honor that value.
3. Describe a time you felt disrespected. What did communication look like before, during, and after the event?
4. If you were writing a rulebook for your interpersonal relationships, what would be the first 5 rules?
5. What are your non-negotiables in a romantic relationship?
6. Is there a phrase that you live by? What have you done lately that proves it?
7. What is something you wish you did more consistently? What is stopping you from doing it?
8. What is something you wish you did less consistently? What barriers can you put up to stop yourself from doing it?
9. When was the last time you were told no? How did it happen, and what did it teach you?
10. Make a list of 10 actions you would want to accomplish in an ideal week. Make a goal to do at least one of those actions weekly.