14. Red Carpet Walk

Hello everyone!  How are you doing this fine day? Did you catch the Oscars the other night?  As most of you know, they have the “pre-show” of all the celebrities walking the red carpet.  Did you notice the barrier they had between the paparazzi and the celebrities?  It was like this plexiglass half-wall with a red and white design.  Remember when it used to be just a red velvet rope?  I imagine they’ve had to take more precaution since the paparazzi are more aggressive at getting the right picture or talking to a specific celebrity.  This wall is a definite boundary for the people who aren’t invited to walk the red carpet, to stay out. 

Today I’m going to talk about how you can set your own boundary for your red carpet walk of life. We all get to choose how we want our life experience to be.  We get to decide how we want to feel about everything. That also includes who we want to be around and what we deem as physically safe and emotionally safe. Whenever there is a red carpet walk,  only certain people are allowed on the red carpet. They are the ones who have either earned the right to be there or who are willing to abide by the rules.  It’s their way of trying to allow those who are invited to have a good experience as they walk the red carpet to their seats without fear that they’ll be taken advantage of.  Have you thought about how you want the experience of your red carpet walk of life to be?

Someone who lives without boundaries is someone who never advocates for themselves.  They would be someone who’d do everything that everyone asked of them, even if it wasn’t aligned with their beliefs.  It would be someone who’d let anyone in their house and do whatever they wanted to them and their home and take whatever they wanted from them and their home.  They’d allow everyone to take advantage of them.  If they are against smoking, you could blow cigarette smoke or vape right in their face and they’d let you.  You can probably imagine the anger and resentment this kind of person would build up because they feel like they are being walked on every day. 

It reminds me of those movies where a villain leader has their little sidekick who they’ve convinced to do their evil bidding and does everything they’re told, but as the movie progresses, the sidekick starts to voice their opinion and gets shut down.  And as soon as they walk away, they are grumbling under their breath about how underappreciated they are.  Notice how they make that character look so weak and incapable.  But then towards the end of the movie they’ve had enough.  They decided they were going to advocate for themselves and they are done being the victim.  They finally decide to stand up to the villain for what they believe and then typically by the end, they are helping the hero of the story.  

I think we all have some boundaries whether we’ve thought about it or not.  Most people would say “no” when being asked to do something against their beliefs and most people won’t allow someone to just barge into their home and take whatever they want or treat you however they want.  So, I think there are some more obvious boundaries.  Some boundaries aren’t as obvious and these are the ones that can create the most turmoil and keeps us from showing up as who we want to be.

For example, one person really struggled with her mom being at every event that her family had, went on every vacation with them, came over whenever she wanted unannounced, and stayed as long as she wanted.  She felt like she had no life of her own.  All this caused her to be mad and frustrated with her mom.  She was mean to her and was not liking how she was showing up as a person.  Before she set a boundary, she just allowed herself to feel upset every time they were together.

Some people get confused about what a boundary is.  Some people think that a boundary is put in place to control other people’s behaviors.  They think it’s to change how other people behave, but it’s not.  The boundaries I’m talking about are rules and standards that we set that will protect our physical and emotional well-being.  The wall at the Oscar’s was put there to keep uninvited people off the red carpet.  Its design is to allow those on the red carpet a better experience.  The people on the other side of the wall can still act how they want, but if they jump over the barrier, if they cross the boundary, a security guard will be there to help them, at the very least, back over the wall.  They are free to jump up and down, yell out celebrity’s names, take whatever pictures they want on their side of the wall.

When I’m talking about keeping someone off of our red carpet, out of our VIP section, we aren’t doing it to control them or manipulate so they’ll act differently so we can get what we want.  We are doing it because we want to live our life experience a certain way. So we are deciding if someone does this thing, this action, then I’ll choose to, and you fill in the blank.  It’s us taking charge of what we are allowing ourselves to be around.

There are two kinds of boundaries. The ones we have for other people and the ones we have for ourselves.  With boundaries we set for others, it’s up to them on if they want to change to be around you. You’re not expecting them to change their behavior unless they want to be allowed on your red carpet. With boundaries that you set for yourself, you are sometimes requesting a change from yourself. A boundary you set for yourself is like your higher-self saying to your current-self, I don’t like the outcomes I’m getting here so let’s put a stop to this.

For example, I was in a really bad habit of tearing myself down when I made a mistake or when something wasn’t working out how I wanted it to.  It’s how I used to motivate myself.  I’d tell myself I was stupid or would say something like, “Come on, Amber, why can’t you get this right?” I had no compassion for myself and didn’t allow for any leniency for error.  I thought it was the way to motivate myself, but digging deeper, I realized it was taking a great toll on my emotional well-being and it was tearing down my self-confidence.  So I put up a boundary for myself that I won’t put myself down anymore. If I catch myself doing it, I say, “Nope, Amber, we’re not talking to ourselves like that anymore.  Remember we don’t allow that.”

When we look at our own behavior towards ourselves, a lot of times we are way worse towards ourselves then we are to other people. We seem to tolerate other people’s behaviors more than we do our own.

I love how Tonya Leigh says you don’t get what you want, you get what you’ll tolerate. And a lot of us keep tolerating things that keep perpetuating what we don’t want.  like you may tolerate yourself over eating or you may tolerate yourself not working out when you promised yourself you would, or maybe you tolerate yourself being late all the time or maybe you tolerate yourself over spending. All these things are fine if you’re okay with the results you’re getting, but when your results start to affect your red carpet walk of life, they start to affect the way you think about yourself.  Instead of walking the carpet with you head high and confident that you are da bomb, it would feel closer to if you wore an outfit that didn’t fit right and you felt self-conscious the whole time.  When you continue to break promises to yourself, you break down your relationship with yourself and you struggle to trust yourself.

Lately I’ve been tolerating myself staying up a little bit later at night than I normally do and it’s beginning to have a physical effect on me. It started throwing off my circadian rhythms and I started sleeping in later and that started throwing off the schedule that I’m used to so I’m not taking care of my higher-self because I tolerated it too much. I tolerated behavior that I had complete control over for myself.  As you continue to tolerate yourself with behaviors you don’t really want, you end up not getting the things that you do really, really want in life. 

I noticed that’s what I was doing and decided I wasn’t going to allow that on my red carpet anymore, that it’s not serving me in any way. Now if I’m staying up later to finish a project or to meet a goal well that may be different, but for me, I was just playing games on my phone because I didn’t want to go to bed yet. I was avoiding bed because I convinced myself, “I don’t want to start another day yet. I’ll just stay up a little longer.”  Even though I was tired and ready to go to sleep I decided to buffer by playing games on my phone.  So in the end it didn’t serve me. It was only serving me for the moment to get those small endorphin hits for the wins I was receiving in an imaginary world. Wins that I have nothing to show for now, but being extra tired during the day.

So what will you allow in your life? Have you ever thought about it and set concrete rules? If you were to write on a piece of paper I am a person who… what would come after that?  I decided I am a person who won’t stay up late playing games that’ll give me short lived pleasure. I am a person who’s going to have compassion on myself when I’m not being my higher self, but also show myself a little tough love when it’ll help me become more of the person I’m aspiring to be. 

Let me be clear, this is not a list of all the ways I’m doing things wrong. You could start with one list that says, “in a perfect world, this is who I want to be.” Then look at that list and decide if you are currently tolerating certain things that’ll keep you from getting that. Some things will be easy to set a boundary for.  Like me not allowing someone to put me down, including myself. And some things may be more of a process for what you’ll allow. And if it’ll be a red velvet rope that can be crossed a little easier or a barrier that is a hard stop. Like I can hard stop myself from beating myself up. I can just say, “oh no, sista! Remember we’re not doing that anymore.” But if I need a red velvet rope for something I’m still practicing, like emotional eating, because I’m still practicing that, my red velvet rope might allow an unwanted behavior here and there, but it’ll also give me the grace and compassion to have a tough love talk with myself and allow my higher-self to walk my present-self back to the other side of the rope. It’s all about choosing standards that will elevate your life into what you see for yourself.

And doing this can take courage and courage can be uncomfortable, but what’s on the other side of that is so much better than just tolerating your own behavior towards yourself. And then when you’re solid with yourself it’s so much easier to uphold those boundaries with other people as well.  What happens is, if you’re not going to allow yourself to talk negative to yourself anymore, or to put yourself down, then it’s much easier to not allow other people to do the same thing to you. You don’t make it a matter of who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s just something you choose to not allow in your life.

And when you have boundaries for other people, if they want to be on your red carpet, if they want to go into your VIP section then, yes, they will have to change when they are around you.  But here’s where people get confused. It’s up to them on if they want to change to be around you. And this can be hard to accept because that means if they’re not willing to abide by the rules you have set, then you may lose some friends or people that you care for in your life.  It’s really uncomfortable to manage feeling rejected.  Especially for people pleasers and people who don’t like confrontation.  But what’s the alternative for you, my friend? 

Remember the woman and her relationship with her mom?  Her boundaries stated that if her mom wasn’t invited and she showed up, they would leave.  If she came over to the house unannounced, they wouldn’t let her in.  This was really hard at first because her mom took it as not being loved, but when the boundaries were held to, the woman was able to start loving her mom.  Time passed and now they have a really good relationship. 

What if it doesn’t end up like the woman and her mother?  What if they decide they don’t want to be in your life at all?  Yes, feeling rejected hurts.  The way I try to look at it is they aren’t someone for me and I’m not someone for them.  I’m sure there are some people in life who you’d rather not be around, and that’s fine.  They aren’t for you.  But that also means that you aren’t for everyone as well.

It takes courage to think this way because then you have to be good enough with yourself, you have to respect yourself enough, to allow for that. However, the more you’ve practiced your own boundaries for yourself, the more respect you’ll have for yourself and then it’s way easier to uphold boundaries that you set for others. Setting boundaries is to allow you the space that you desire in order to live a more elevated life.

The question is, do you like the person you are when you’re around them?  If you’re still able to show up as the person you want to be without setting boundaries, then no boundary needs to be set.  But if you find it’s causing you to feel resentful, angry, or like a victim, then I’d urge you to consider some type of boundary.

Setting boundaries is not to get people to change. If I’m creating a space for me to live a more elevated life, I’m not going to allow someone to smoke or vape around me.  Which means, if I’m talking to someone and they pull out something to start smoking or vaping, I can ask them not to and if they decide they still want to, then I’m OK to walk away from it.  And I’m not doing it because I’m thinking I’m better than them or that they’re a bad person for doing it.  I’m doing it because this is the rule I’ve set for me to protect my physical self.

If I don’t want to tolerate people yelling at me, I can decide my boundary is that I’ll walk away.  We don’t always have to communicate what our boundaries are to everyone either.  Like my boundary where I won’t allow someone to punch me in the face.  I think most of us have that one.  If they do, I’ll walk away or maybe I’ll get the law involved.  However, I’m not going to walk around and tell everyone, if you punch me I’ll call the cops.  Hey you, just so you know, if you punch me I’ll call the cops.  There are some boundaries that are left unsaid, but as long as you know what your own boundaries are, then you’ll know what you’ll do to protect yourself against something you don’t want or like.

If we want to make it clear to someone what that boundary is, we can tell them.  It could sound something like:

I don’t allow people yelling at me so I’m going to walk away now.

Now they don’t have to stop yelling.  They could keep yelling, but you get to walk away because that’s the boundary you set.  Setting a boundary is done to protect yourself and to allow you to control your own space and not expect others to change. Remember, you’re building your boundaries for the red carpet walk of life that you want to experience.

Some have had objections to just walking away.  They say it’s rude, but if it was a stranger who came up to you and started yelling at you, you’d probably have no problems just walking away without explaining why.  You wouldn’t feel bad about walking away, you wouldn’t worry about being polite or worry what they’d think about you for walking away.  You’d just know that their behavior’s not working for you and so you leave.  And you wouldn’t need to make a big dramatic scene out of it, you’d just walk away.  You aren’t doing it to change them, you’re doing it to protect you.

It is possible to go too far when setting boundaries in that you create this giant bubble around you and don’t let anyone in; like if you were to decide you won’t be anywhere where you could be offended or you won’t be in a room with someone you deem toxic.  This is dangerous because it blocks you off from having any type of relationship, any kind of connection with people and you live from a place of fear and control.  It comes from a place where you think you can control the world around you or from a place of thinking that this is how the world “should” be and you may think that by doing this it’s protecting you, but it’s really hurting you in the long run.  So be careful of that.

Back to setting boundaries for ourselves.  If I’m creating a space for me to live a more elevated life, I’m going to sit down and look at my list of where I want to go in life or where I see myself in 5 years and then decide what it’ll take for me to get there.  I look at my current life and be honest with myself on where I’m tolerating certain behaviors from myself and then decide how I’m going to show myself a little tough love.  The goal is to always set boundaries from a place of love.  If it’s hard to find space to love yourself right now, then think of the person in your life that you love the most and want the most for.  Like a child or partner, parent, or best friend.  So if I were two different people, my present-self and my higher-self, I would view my present-self as that someone that I really love.  From the perspective of your future, higher-self, where could you apply tough love?  Like me deciding that playing games late at night on my phone instead of going to bed wasn’t going to be what’s best for my future self.  My tough love boundary that I set was no more games at night.  If I’m not going to be in bed, then I’m going to be present with whatever is going on around me until I do.  And my boundary for not putting myself down anymore.

If you aren’t used to showing up for yourself, then I’m going to recommend that you start small with your boundaries and then build up from there.

A good boundary comes from a place of love for you and love for them.  It allows us all to be humans, as messy as we are, and it’s not trying to control or change anyone against their will.  When deciding how to enforce any boundary, start by asking yourself, what would love do?  And how would love act?  This would ensure that you’re doing this for your emotional and physical safety and not as a means to control yourself or others.

Being clear about what you’ll allow in your life, what you’ll tolerate, especially from yourself, will allow you to start changing your experience for the best red carpet walk of your life.  You are amazing and I can’t wait to see you on the red carpet!

Have a brilliant day!


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