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  • Sarah Bergakker MSN, CRNA

This Has to STOP

Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously

-Prentis Hemphil- 

“This job is killing me.”

“My boss needs to stop.”

“My coworkers need to change.”

Is it?

Does she? Do they?

I have said all of these. And none of them are ultimately true. I have had jobs that I felt like were killing me. But, ultimately it was my lack of boundaries in combination with my decision to stay in a toxic setting that were killing me.

I have had bosses whose behavior was not acceptable, but the reason they weren’t stopping what they were doing is that I wasn’t setting a boundary with them surrounding the behavior. I am an imperfect human, and ALL of my coworkers have incidentally been imperfect humans. As Dr. Henry Cloud explains in the book Necessary Endings, clearly my coworkers didn’t NEED to change their behavior related to me or they would have done it. In other words, I had given them no reason to change--I had not set a boundary with them.


Personal accountability–this starts to happen when I stop looking outward for reasons things are the way they are in my life and I start looking inward. It is so much easier for me to look at the things around me and try to rearrange them like living room furniture. I tell myself, "If I could just move the sofa under the window, then wallah– I would be happy!" I don’t need to move the sofa, I NEED TO MOVE ME, and use my voice to set boundaries consistent with my needs.

Dr Cloud recommends thinking about how our future reality could be different if we look inward and start making the changes. When challenges arise that can impact the goal, picture the new reality (not being taken advantage of, working in a healthier environment, knowing others have clarity on what your needs and expectations are) and think about why it matters to you. This can help keep you motivated to go through some short term discomfort and stay in the courage it takes to shift the way you move through life.


If you read this and thought:

"Setting boundaries like this sounds great, but I could never do it."

You don't have to stay stuck--you can change your life.

Our Spring Retreat is going to give you the tools to finally use the voice inside of you that wants to be heard, and to share what you need with those around you at home and work.

Expert negotiator Fotini Iconomopoulus will teach you how to ask for what you need and I am going to run a workshop giving real life examples from the clinical setting of how to set boundaries and showing proof they work!

We only have a few spots remaining so don't miss out!!