What Setting Boundaries Does For You
A lot of people have a hard time setting boundaries but it's extremely important to do. The reason it can be hard is because it feels selfish and even rude at times in the way you need to interact with people and enforce them. It can get uncomfortable communicating your boundaries to someone and it might even feel like you’re creating confrontation in doing so.
But when you do establish boundaries for others, what ends up happening is you protect yourself. It helps you maintain certain things as a priority and honor the previous commitments you’ve made. It aids you in removing distractions, temptations, and other circumstances that pull you away from what you’ve determined to be most important. For example, telling people at work that you won’t respond outside work hours is a boundary. Letting someone know that you don’t want to talk to them if they keep complaining is a boundary.
Having boundaries doesn’t only keep things out of your life, it helps you to stay in it. They give you a clear and objective criteria around the things that you simply aren’t willing to consider doing. Not drinking alcohol on weekdays is a boundary. Not watching TV until you’ve finished your mindfulness practice for the day is a boundary. Boundaries are dynamic and can adjust once you get some good feedback, but that adjustment happens best after the boundary has been enforced rather than allowing yourself to make an exception in real-time.
Every part of this process requires something really fundamental - that you’re honest. You need to know what you want and stand up for it. That needs to be represented in the way you invest your time and you must guard it so that you don’t get derailed. This is both in setting boundaries with other people and establishing them for yourself.
It’s easy to build the expectations, protocols, and standards of your life around what already is. However, when you really start to understand what you want and disrupt the current pattern you need to enforce that change by implementing stronger boundaries.
So now let me flip this on you - What boundary do you need to set to stay accountable to the life you want to live?
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