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Overcooked Broccoli and Setting Boundaries

Written by: Eva Medilek, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The first step to making any major change in your life is always awareness. Being aware of who you are being, what you are doing, and how you are reacting vs. responding to the everyday challenges of your life will give you clues to what you are needing.

For example, you may find yourself saying yes to everyone else’s needs, priorities and demands for your time and saying no to time spent on nurturing your own needs, desires and priorities.

When that happens and becomes a regular habit of yours, you may find yourself being stretched to the limit, frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted and resentful.

Now, you are labeled Mr./Ms. Cranky pants and you may find yourself saying things like, “I really prefer pets over people.” C’mon, admit it. You’ve had that thought, haven’t you?

Recently, I have been finding myself giving a lot to the people in my life. And, by a lot, I mean to the point of not having the time to spend on the things that make my heart sing.

When that happens, it’s just a matter of time before compassion is lost and feelings of resentment take over.

After resentment moves in, blame starts knocking at the door and wants a seat at the table. “It’s everyone else’s fault that I have to do everything around here.”

Well, no, it’s not. It’s nobody’s fault but your own if you aren’t working off of a blueprint of your own priorities and values.

It’s time to get clear, stand up and ask for or take what you need so that you can show up as your wise, wonderful, compassionate and patient self.

Why is that so hard to do? Why are we so afraid to say no to others and yes to ourselves?

That’s where the awareness comes in. What are our earliest memories of saying no and what were the consequences of such an empowered statement?

If we think back to our childhood, we were probably forced to do something that we said no to anyway.

Remember the peas, lima beans or broccoli you shook your head no at when mom or dad tried to make you eat them?

I wasn’t allowed to watch television unless I ate my mother’s overcooked, soggy, stinky broccoli.

For years, I thought I hated broccoli, until one day, I had a properly steamed, seasoned dish of this once disgusting vegetable. The problem wasn’t the broccoli, it was my mother’s cooking.

Once, I gave myself permission to say yes to giving broccoli a second chance, I realized that I liked it.

But here’s what happened in my young brain at the time, saying no to something I didn’t like, or didn’t want to eat, meant that I was a bad girl and I was punished as a consequence of saying no.

So, I gave in, choked it down and reaped the rewards on an “I Love Lucy” episode on television for being a good girl and eating all of my broccoli all the while, believing I hated broccoli.

Saying NO = Punishment. Saying YES = Rewarded.

These ideals that were planted in us from childhood are subconsciously holding us back from setting healthy boundaries in our adult lives.

How about we start to unpack and question our beliefs and behaviors, shall we? Let’s shift our focus onto how we can empower ourselves to make choices that set up healthy boundaries in our adult lives.

Boundaries are not bad. We can still be good and say no to eating overcooked, smelly, mushy broccoli.

I know you want to be nice, helpful and that you want everyone to like you and think that you are a good person.

Think of it this way, the resentment, exhaustion, frustration, and guilt that comes with not setting clear boundaries, actually helps no one.

Saying no to the needs of others and a yes to your needs, does not make you a mean, bad person. It makes you a happy, healthy, well-rounded friend, co-worker, family member and all-around good human.

Boundaries are the superpower to being the best You that You can be. Boundaries are like broccoli. When set up and prepared properly, it’s actually tasty and good for your health too!

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Eva Medilek, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Eva Medilek is a Certified High-Performance Coach and a Relationship Success Coach. She has coached both men and women in personal development, leadership, and mastering habits for success. She specializes in helping powerful and successful women have happier, healthier, more intimate connections in their relationships without giving up their power. Eva knows firsthand how a driven personality type can leave you feeling lonely, disappointed, frustrated, and resentful. You can achieve higher levels of success without sacrificing your health, well-being, and relationships. She uses her personal experiences along with her leadership, transformational, and high-performance training to teach you the pillars of high performance as well as showing you how to communicate in a way that fosters intimacy, influence, and connection in your personal and professional life. High performance is succeeding consistently over the long term while maintaining a healthy life full of positive emotions and relationships.



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