How to Recognize Your Limits and Redirect

May 17, 2024

Do you ever feel like you’re everyone else’s personal superhero except your own? I get it – with a sensitive nervous system and  feeling everything around you, you may be tempted to jump in and try to help. Maybe you pride yourself on swooping in to save the day, rescuing the distressed from overwhelming emotions, but has it occurred to you that this might be for you? Gasp! You know, as a coping strategy for your overstimulated nervous systems--if others around you are fine, you’ll feel better.   

But even the best superheroes need to recharge and refuel sometimes. Today, I want to talk about self-care for us highly sensitive folks. You know, the empath types, or being neurodiverse,  feeling nuance, words, moods, and energy. That’s a lot to take in! It’s important we’re aware of which emotions are ours, so our nervous system isn’t thrown off like a delicate flower blowing in the wind.  

When we’re so busy scanning other people, we forget to nurture our own needs. Over time, we can burn out, and as I talk about it with my clients, we overspend our energy coins and become depleted. We can’t have that!

 

In This Blog, You’ll Learn:

  • How empaths absorb others’ stressful energy and get overwhelmed
  • Why strong personal boundaries are crucial for highly attuned people
  • Real-life stories of my boundary struggles
  • Steps to stay grounded in your truth despite outside skepticism
  • Tips to speak up for your needs even as a people-pleaser

 

The overwhelm is real

I feel for all my fellow sensitive or neurodiverse people out there. Our bodies are like sponges, soaking up the emotions and energies around us, even when we walk into a room. 

Ever suddenly feel anxious, sad, or get random aches for no clear reason? Chances are you’re picking up what other people are putting out.

The overwhelm shows up in all kinds of ways. Maybe you feel inexplicably joyful at a party, then plunge into an emotional hangover from being around other people’s unconscious pain. Or you instantly know personal details about strangers that leave you feeling emotionally corded with them. 

Our sensitive souls tune into so much invisible data it can leave us drained!

Trying to handle these intense inputs is like having a bazillion browser tabs open at once. We sensitive folks might get so caught up in the urgency of helping others that our batteries get fried and have no energy to focus on our own dreams and goals. 

When boundaries are blurred, we create way too many energy leaks in our health and well-being. Time to clean up our boundaries. 

 

 

The power of personal boundaries

One important thing we'll discuss is how to set boundaries with people as empaths. Naturally, it starts with us.  What’s our intention or priority that day? 

When we’re clear, we’re less likely to seem like a plastic bag blowing in the wind. Our inner awareness can create a solid feeling inside, and a respectful side effect is allowing others to experience life without interrupting their process.   

Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to connect with friends and family and be a beautiful witness to their lives, but if your starting point is “glazed over zombie state,” you have to do some adulting first. You know, pausing and gauging the level of your energy coins before you call back that friend that seems to be a victim in all their story telling.  

Can you relate? With certain friends or family, even if you care about them, you suddenly feel exhausted. You just want to zone out, stare at the cracks in the ceiling, and eat chips. No? Just me?

 

Staying true to you

The key is visiting yourself daily and asking your soul, “What do you want me to know today?” Such a great way to stay connected to your purpose for the day, and resist the seduction of being the almighty rescuer. Phew! Think of all that time you’ll be saving!  You know, to focus on your vision and not in recovery mode visiting your doctors and napping all day. 

Having boundaries and tending to your energetic hygiene keeps you healthy and saves you money. You’re welcome. šŸ˜‰

 

So, what happens when we don't uphold boundaries? 

Without healthy limits, not only do we take on other people's stressed-out energy and drama, depleting us, but we also start to normalize dysfunction.  You know, gaslighting ourselves that “this” is normal.  Nope.  Sure isn’t.

 

Trying to absorb all this emotional overload leads to problems like:

  • Health issues
  • Addictive codependent behaviors
  • Excusing bad behavior from kids or partners
  • Overcommitting at work

In essence, ignoring ourselves and the dysfunction around us creates a stagnation in growth for everyone around us.  See?  It’s more polite to be a clear leader and guide the way for others. Even if people get cranky that you have the audacity to set new boundaries, it needs to be done.

 

What if we ignore our boundaries? We:

  • Isolate from everyone to recover
  • Feel lonely from too much isolation
  • Confuse connecting with saving

This becomes a cycle of dreading being around people because we haven’t released the belief that, “I have to be helpful to be valued.” Sound familiar?  Time for a habit makeover from this behavioral pattern.  

 

Lessons from working at Wendy's 

Let me tell you a story from my first job ever. I was a sensitive 18-year-old working at the Wendy's at Fisherman's Wharf for a whopping $3 an hour! Man, I still remember those Frosty machines. Anyway, I knew customer service wouldn't be a good fit for my introverted self. So, I asked the managers, who were these intimidating 22-year-olds, if I could work in the kitchen instead, washing dishes or flipping patties. 

They were like, "Yeah, sure, no problem!" But then when I got my schedule, every shift had me stationed up front at the register. There I was, a petite 4'11" beanpole having to stand on a box to even reach the mic, getting bombarded with orders for double cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes. Totally overwhelming for this empath! 

So, I tried my attempt at boundaries and approached not one, but two managers asking to be moved away from the relentless front-line chaos. I was like, "Um, remember how I said I really don't want to be up here?" They just gave me blank stares, as if I was speaking Martian. "No can do," was all they said.

I share this to point out how powerless we can feel when people ignore our boundaries, especially if we're terrified to speak up. 

I knew I couldn't handle the daily sensory overload before I even knew what that was, so I ended up just quitting. Even as a wee little lass of 18, I knew it was up to me to take care of myself. Luckily, I found a better-fit cleaning at a quiet art gallery by myself before it opened.

 

If you have unhealed trauma from past boundary violations, it may be difficult to even recognize you actually have rights.

As tough as it may be to recognize what we need, something as simple as deciding to learn about mastering boundaries and energetic hygiene is a vital first step!

 

Tips & Tricks for Setting Energetic Boundaries:

  • Redirect when your emotional capacity has reached a level 6, not 10. 
  • Decipher your energy from someone else’s energy. You’ll have less to integrate after a visit. 
  • Take note of how you feel in different environments. Reset and prune your communities accordingly.
  • Clear your energetic field daily as a normal routine to release negativity, and keep a radiant aura.
  • Check that your words and actions align with your soul’s wisdom
  • Track when you’ve spent all your energy coins before you agree to help others.
  • Hold firm with your boundaries when people ignore them. Sometimes people need time to take in your new rule book.
  • Schedule weekly self-love days and put buffer time in your calendar regularly. Your spirit needs time to renew.
  • Use your body as an ally, and noticing where you hold stress or tension will be lifesaving.

 

Would you like to go deeper by learning the process of Setting Boundaries With Yourself and Others? The information above is from a class inside the Mastery section of the Invoke and Release® Healing Circle. There you will find a step-by-step healing path to help you build a strong and resilient foundation to heal from your past and move through life with ease.

 

You can find Boundaries With Myself and Others healing class in the Invoke and Release® Healing Circle. 

 

Did you know there is a full Boundary Healing Labinside the membership?  Because everyone has different boundary styles and distinct patterns of healing. 

 

The Invoke and Release® healing modality will empower you to:

  • Strengthen your ability to set healthy, self-caring boundaries
  • Release limiting beliefs that have blocked you from fully nurturing your needs
  • Raise your energetic vibration so you can experience more joy and create exciting opportunities in your life

 

Joining the Invoke and Release® Healing Circle provides:

  • Techniques to establish compassionate boundaries with yourself and others.
  • Various classes focused on learning and healing boundaries with yourself and others.
  • Heightened self-awareness and a deeper connection to your inner self.

 

Important Links:

Reveal and Heal Obstacles to Your Success™

What is Invoke and Release®?

Invoke and Release® Healing Circle

Invoke and Release® website

What Is an Empath?

What is neurodiversity? 

 

Helpful blogs:

Why is Healing Trauma Important

Your Body as Your Healing Ally

Seeing through the Seduction of Negative Thinking

Codependence: Your Obstacle to Your Personal Success!

From Codependency to Clarity: Adulting Made Easy

The Ultimate Guide to Identifying and Transforming Your Limiting Beliefs

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