Here’s what we explored:

  • Carla shares how for her, a trauma response can be to isolate, to stay away from anything that might trigger a trauma response
  • Carla shares she has a tendency to just say no automatically
  • and she can stay quiet about something she wants
  • but also she notices she can be very clear about what she wants
  • in some areas, her boundaries are very clear and help her feel safe
  • but staying in her little isolated world can be confining
  • sometimes women have more difficulty setting boundaries than men
  • Juliet, on the other hand, can often automatically say yes (especially with loved ones) even when it’s not in her best interests
  • we notice when we have clarity, it comes from a deeper knowing, without all the analysis and pros and cons
  • an automatic yes or no can be about not wanting to disappoint ourselves or others
  • saying yes or no for the wrong reasons can have negative ramifications
  • getting used to saying, “let me get back to you” can create a little space around making a decision, so we can let things settle and give clarity a chance to emerge
  • what happens when we set a boundary, we are clear about and then someone doesn’t like the boundary and pushes against it?
  • Carla shares how she can get so caught up in the idea of people being mad at her
  • we can go to great lengths and get really bent out of shape, to try and avoid the discomfort of people being upset with us, not liking us
  • can we extend our imagination to the other side of feeling lousy and someone being upset with us?
  • in fact, people get upset. We get upset. Everyone gets upset now and then.
  • can we get comfortable with people being upset, mad, disappointed with us?
  • can we recognise that we like to catastrophize but in fact, these feelings roll in and roll out?
  • what if when we set strong boundaries, wonderful things could happen?
  • why not imagine a pleasant future?
  • interesting to look at what we are putting on it all, what’s at stake?
  • when we think someone else’s upset can truly and utterly and irrevocably disturb our peace of mind then it’s logical to go to great lengths to avoid upset
  • when we realise that life has ups and downs whatever we do, we begin to see there is a deeper dimension to us that is unaffected by the ups and downs
  • when we reflect on where peace of mind truly comes from we can hold  the issue of boundaries more lightly
  • and that clarity comes through to others
  • Carla talks about her friend, who’s no longer with us, who had impeccable boundaries “I can’t see you today; I’m reading today”.
  • Although Carla felt disappointed she also knew when her friend did say yes, she knew her friend would be totally available for her.
  • from that clear place, Carla’s friend set a great example for her
  • we can get caught in wanting to explain our position, and have others understand. We can go on and on and never get that understanding. We can get stuck there.
  • some great advice Carla was given: stop explaining, get clear on what you want, and move from that place
  • when we need others’ understanding to validate our experience or our instincts we can get really lost looking for something that doesn’t exist or matter because the only validation we need is from ourselves
  • our experience is valid simply because we are experiencing it
  • when we feel judged by others (and usually it is really being judged by ourself), we can get stuck and lose clarity
  • self-doubt adds layers and layers of thinking which causes so much more suffering
  • when we try to deal with self-doubt by battling, arguing, denying or suppressing, it doesn’t really work. It doesn’t go away
  • however as we tune into something deeper, those doubts get less compelling, easier to ignore because we realise that’s not all there is
  • we invite listeners to just notice what’s going on in your head, without judgment if you can. It puts a little distance between you and the experience
  • the culture (wider or our family culture) can seem to add layers of judgment so you come by your self-criticism innocently, you can have a lot of compassion for yourself
  • sometimes we get an epiphany and something like self-doubt can fall away in an instant; often it happens more incrementally. We notice those feelings are quieter, come up less often.
  • we can go on a wild goose chase looking into every possible cause of why we feel lousy: upbringing, genetics, work, relationships, money, diet, exercise. It can be a never-ending cycle of trying to improve
  • Juliet wonders if there isn’t a way in which we enjoy that merry-go-round
  • drama in our lives can make us feel alive, even though it’s horrible and painful
  • how honest are we willing to be with ourselves about our attachment to our habitual ways of thinking?
  • can we muse, wonder, get curious about that?
  • Juliet talks about hating the idea of a dull life when she was younger
  • nowadays Juliet experiences a very different kind of quiet joy which may have been there in moments but good times tended to be very adrenalin-fuelled
  • if our identity is tied up around the negative drama, it can feel very threatening to the ego to dismantle that
  • for Carla, she had a desperately dramatic internal life
  • she feels like she gave up the drama and decided she wasn’t going to have the highs and lows but chose instead a place of numbing out or shutting down
  • now for the third time, Carla feels like she is reinventing herself
  • for the years Carla went to neutral, she feels she needed that to calm down a very jacked up nervous system
  • Juliet suggested maybe it is the pendulum swing from hyper-activated to numbed out and now Carla may be discovering a place of more equilibrium somewhere in between
  • when there is so much on what we feel, we can get very tangled, confused, and busy with meaning, stories, judgment, and opinions
  • when we touch something deeper, constant, unaffected by our changing feelings, we start to experience life more unfiltered, which gives an unimaginable richness to everyday life
  • co-creating with this lifeforce coursing through us, that is the path
  • it’s not about figuring all this out
  • our getting clear around boundaries is such a gift to others, as well as ourselves
  • as the system settles down, it gets clearer and easier to set and hold to boundaries

Thank you for listening. Send us your comments, questions, and ideas for future topics. If you love the podcast, do leave a review and share the podcast link on social. It helps make it more visible to others. Thank you!


Carla is a mindset & performance coach working with high-achieving, high-performance entrepreneurs who are dealing quietly with anxiety.

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Poet & 3 Principles facilitator, Juliet loves exploring and pointing towards freedom of mind for those curious to engage more fully with all aspects of their life. 

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