Boundaries: 3 Reasons You Move the Line

Boundaries: 3 reasons you move the line

Orlando Counseling Providing Relationship Therapy

You’ve tried to set boundaries in the past, but end up feeling puzzled and perplexed by your own lack of follow through. What was once a strong determination to honor yourself has vanished into thin air. It tends to go a little something like this….

You’re feeling strong and confident. You know what you want. You draw the line in the sand and clearly state your boundary. Your partner doesn’t honor it and now it’s time for you to take action to honor your boundary. All of a sudden, you don’t feel so steady anymore. You’re starting to doubt yourself and before you know it, you move the line in the sand to fit the situation and not your authentic needs, desires, and wishes.

Why does this keep happening? How did the pendulum just swing from feeling a strong resolve about your boundaries, to feeling like your standing in a puddle of self-doubt? and then you wonder, “Why do I feel strong and confident one minute and then scared as hell the next?”

As an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, I want to help you uncover the answers to these questions. In my last blog post, I discussed the 5 simple steps to setting a boundary and in this post, I explore what is happening when those simple steps aren’t so easy.

So what happens when you draw the line and then it’s time to follow up with action, only to find that you move the line rather than take the action to honor your boundary?


Fear has you scrambling. Rather than holding your toes to the line of your boundary, you move the line. Fear comes in many shapes and sizes. It may be fear of losing the relationship, fear of appearing selfish, fear of conflict, or fear of upsetting the other person. Either way, fear has knocked the wind of out of your (boundary) sail.


Ask yourself, what am I afraid will happen if I keep my boundary?


You will move the line in the sand if you don’t think you’re worth it. If you’re willing to put your needs/wants/desires in your back pocket to save face or save the relationship, you’ve lost sight of your own worth. Without self-worth, you will make yourself small and act as if your needs are less important than your partner’s. You will forgo things that are important to you to maintain the relationship.


Ask yourself, what need/want/desire am I forgoing by moving the line?


A sneaky little limiting belief has crept in and stolen your thunder. Beliefs are like life’s operating system, so if you have a belief like “I am damaged.” you will behave as if you are damaged. A person that believes himself to be damaged won’t have confidence to follow through with setting a boundary. Some common limiting beliefs are: I am not good enough. I am not a lovable person. I am weak. My needs are selfish. My needs are not important. I am damaged. I can’t trust myself.


Ask yourself, what negative or limiting beliefs do I have that are holding me back?

Are you ready to step out of the cycle of empty promises? Then it’s time for a deep dive and so you can do some exploring. The blocks that keep your from honoring your boundary can be the pathway that set you free. Put pen to paper, consult with a trusted friend, or find a good therapist to help you navigate the murky waters of what is happening internally for you. Spend some time challenging the fears, self-worth issues, and beliefs that are holding you back.

Want more on boundaries? Check out these posts:

Boundaries Deconstructed

3 Fundamentals to Boundaries [+ 20 Q Self-assessment to Boot]

4 Boundaries for a Healthy Relationship and 14 Questions to See How You're Doing

Boundaries: 21 to Questions Uncover Your Style

5 Simple Steps to Setting a Boundary

Orlando Counseling for Relationships

If you’d like more information on anxiety counseling in Orlando, click this link to my page on relationship counseling.

Lauran is an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, FL. She also specializes in helping people heal old broken relationship patterns that keep them from finding, creating, and keeping healthy relationships with partners, friends, and family. Lauran uses a down to earth approach infused with cutting-edge therapies that go beyond traditional talking to help clients feel calm in their body and mind and find peace within themselves.