When we think about boundaries, we often think about how we relate to others.

But what about boundaries with ourselves?

How we relate to ourselves is just, if not more important, than how we relate to others. We need to get clear on our relationship with ourselves first, which is why this episode is all about strengthening internal boundaries: self-talk, self-regulation, self-care, self-soothing, and self-love.

Prefer the audio? Listen here.

What Are Internal Boundaries?

Think of internal boundaries as your level of self-discipline. They involve managing your behaviors and emotions (self-regulation).

When we strengthen our internal boundaries (our relationship to ourselves and how we relate to ourselves), we get better at setting goals and following through on the steps we need to take to make our dreams reality.

If you procrastinate a lot or do things you have no interest in because you feel like you have to say yes, your internal boundaries may need work.

One major sign of disordered internal boundaries is over-functioning in your relationships. For example, doing things for others that they can and should do for themselves.

Another way to evaluate your internal boundaries is to look at your self-care. Do you get enough rest? Do you have time to yourself outside of work? If and when you are able, do you eat relatively healthily? What do you fuel your body with?

Additionally, do you take care of yourself emotionally? Do you give yourself breaks, or do you ruminate about past, present, or potential problems?

Managing negative self-talk and thoughts supports healthy internal boundaries. If this seems impossible for you, read on.

Navigating Negative Self-Talk

Getting dialed into your inner dialogue is the first step toward improving your internal boundaries. We all have a running narrative in our minds, whether we are conscious of it or not.

It is important to identify the content of this inner narrative, especially as it relates to you.

Why? Because the relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have in your life.

Whether you put yourself down to be less threatening to others or to ‘beat’ other people to it, talking badly about yourself is like announcing you have low self-esteem to the world.

When we have a low opinion of ourselves, we inevitably attract other people who agree with our low opinion.

When it comes to getting healthy, everything starts and ends with you, because you are the common denominator in all of your life experiences.

Self-Regulation: Showing Up For Yourself + Self-Soothing

Having strong internal boundaries looks like showing up for yourself and having the capacity to self-soothe.

If you were raised in a family system where no one taught you how to handle your emotions, or your parents did not know how to manage their emotions, you might find it difficult to self-soothe.

The good news is, that you can learn how to do it in adulthood. Inside the guide, you will find many self-soothing ideas to try.

By the way, how is your self-care?

I am not talking about an occasional mud mask at home.

I am talking about actually caring for yourself like you would care for a child you love.

Resting. Breathing. Meditation. Energy work.

We need to create stillness and silence regularly because we need space for transformation.

If you struggle with self-care, download the guide as I included a bonus section all about it. There is a daily checklist and plenty of resources to make it easier for you.

Taking Responsibility

Having healthy internal boundaries also means being accountable for your feelings and actions.

When people make us mad or hurt our feelings, we have a right to those feelings and our response. But blaming others for what is or is not happening in our lives is not emotionally healthy.

Taking responsibility for feelings and actions increases feelings of empowerment and self-esteem (a win-win!).

Taking Action

So how can you quiet your inner critic and build stronger internal boundaries?

For the next 48 hours, track how you talk about yourself- both to yourself and to others. This will help you get clarity on what your inner narrative is about.

I also invite you to download the guide for questions and journal prompts to gain a deeper understanding of your internal boundaries, because you cannot change what you are unaware of.

Then I want you to take action by practicing one of the exercises inside the guide for seven days. If you want different results, you have to do something different, right? All the exercises are designed to help you create more stillness and expansiveness in your internal experience.

I hope this episode was valuable for you. Let me know your thoughts over on Instagram (@terricole) or in the comments. How are your internal boundaries? What does your inner dialogue sound like? How can you create more stillness and silence for yourself?

I hope you have the most amazing week and as always, take care of you.

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  1. Hi Terri! Thank you for providing the amazing article with actionable plans ahead. I make a concious choice of not talking negatively about myself ever since I have read your book, thanks again for that!

    I have recently come across this term called HSP- Highly Sensitive Person. I would love to see how you would connect this article and concept of internal boundaries to someone who could be an HSP as I see a lot of overlap here. Let us know your thoughts.

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