Confidence and Boundaries

Individual Counseling | Columbia, Mo

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.
— Theodore Roosevelt
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Confidence counseling? Uuhhh, come again?

Ha! We get it. This isn't something worldwide or commonly talked about, but people absolutely should (and do) come into individual counseling to work on confidence and boundaries.

Believe it or not (and you might not), being confident isn't always an innate (or genetic or biological) trait. Sure, some people are born more confident than others, but confidence is also something that can be learned, which is where we (meet our team!!) come into play. We live for this stuff!

Okay, confidence counseling. Got it. But what's the relationship with boundaries?

Another great question! And we've got an answer.

The relationship with boundaries is this. If you're feeling a distinct lack of confidence, then our (educated) guess is that you struggle to stand up for yourself. And that doesn't mean putting others down or being the loudest/biggest/baddest person in the room. It simply means advocating or vouching for yourself when necessary or applicable. 

Hang on a second. What are boundaries, again?

We generally misunderstand the term boundaries and the purpose them. Loads (most, I would say) of people seem to think of boundaries as a way of keeping other people out. For example, "I told him that I didn't want him talking to me that way -that it was my boundary." And while I love the enthusiasm with that comment, I have to say that it's not entirely accurate or appropriate...

Boundaries are not about changing what somebody else is doing. Boundaries are about taking responsibility of your own role in any given interaction.

Using that same example above ("I told him that I didn't want him talking to me that way  - that's my boundary."), let's take it one step further and 'unpack' it a little bit. 

If 'him' (the him in the example, whoever he may be) decided to do what he wants and still talk to this person in the same way, then that feels like a boundary has been crossed. The reality is that it hasn't. It's not up to other people to respect our boundaries, it's up to us to respect our own boundaries. And this ties in even more with confidence counseling

If we don't respect ourselves and think ourselves worth of setting boundaries, then we're going to be terrible at maintaining them with others. 

Still using the above examples, a more appropriate boundary would be something like this, "I don't like when you talk that way. I'm not going to have a conversation with you when it happens. I'll leave the room and we can talk later." That's a boundary. It's a way of drawing your own line in the sand and not crossing it, rather than telling other people that they have to stay out.

How do I know if I could benefit from this type of counseling?

Man, you're on fire with your questions today!  Here are some pretty clear signs that you could benefit from confidence counseling. And please note, this is not an exhaustive list (i.e. there are other signs).

  • uncomfortable with setting or maintaining boundaries (i.e. can't say no, constantly doing for others)
  • exhaustion and resentment from doing things for others constantly
  • tendency to take on more than what you can actually manage
  • fumble with your words when people want to know what you think 
  • don't understand how you feel (because you're feelings aren't as important as others, so why bother)
  • knowing what you think and how you feel, but don't want to say in case other people disagree
  • relying on other people saying nice things to feel mildly good about yourself (for a fleeting second)
  • disagreeing with people when they give you a compliment (e.g. "You're just saying that to be nice.")
  • struggling getting close to others
  • make excuses for other people's behavior that you wouldn't let slide for yourself
  • have historically struggled with self-esteem and self-worth
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This sounds right up my alley. What can I expect from confidence counseling?

Here's what you can expect from confidence counseling. You can expect to:

  • be lovingly challenged to think about yourself
  • imagine what it might be like to feel confident and set boundaries (and maintain them)
  • occasionally (at least) put yourself first
  • embrace the fact that part of you is a giver
  • make changes in your life in such a way that you feel fulfilled and satisfied based on being you (rather than on giving to the point of exhaustion to others)

That's not to say that you're going to be done with this forever. It is to say that you'll be able to recognize a host of factors that go into how you think and feel about these things, as well as be able to act differently from that point of recognition. 

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Confidence and boundaries are our personal favorite...

Confidence and boundaries are one of our favorite things to work with (and on) because they are so tangible. This isn't work for the faint of heart, though. When we start to grow confidence and implement boundaries, we'll likely get some sort of pushback - both internally (i.e. guilt) and externally (i.e. "you always help!"). Part of confidence counseling is learning how to navigate the pushback and to thrive once it's subsided.

Plus, the reward is that you begin to live your life from an internal perspective (while keeping others in mind - we're not trying to get rid of that totally), where you're acting in accordance with your own values and beliefs, rather than just doing things because you feel like you should help others. We spend time finding that balance, and that balance looks different for different people. It's wonderful to find your own.

Okay, I've got it. This is something I definitely want (and need) to work on. Now what?

You can email our Client Liaison directly or you can submit your contact information through the button below! 

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