The Magic of Boundaries
by Robin Sacks
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” (Brené Brown)
2020 is my year of boundaries.
Beginning to set boundaries with myself, as well as other people has paid dividends in 2019. I whittled down a list of powerful and healthy habits (both for myself and for my business) that now gets tracked daily. I fired a toxic client. I have made meditation a daily occurrence in my life. I have defined myself and my business more clearly than ever. I know who I am and who I want to be…and those two things are no longer very far apart.
That is all thanks to personal boundaries.
What are personal boundaries, you ask?
Wikipedia defines personal boundaries simply as guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.
They are, in essence, how I CHOOSE to live my life.
“Lack of boundaries invites lack of respect.” (Anonymous)
I decide how I treat myself. I decide how I will allow others to treat me. I decide how I respond to situations and difficult people. I decide how I will make “calm” a way of life. I decide not to take my own BS. I decide it all.
“No is a complete sentence.” (Anne Lamont)
That is empowering.
It also makes life much simpler. If I have made decisions about certain things before I need to, when those certain situations arise, I don’t have to waste time and energy thinking about them or worrying about what I should do…I already know.
When I coach others on self-leadership, boundaries are an early conversation. It begins with how you are treating yourself; your self-talk, your self-beliefs, your limiting thinking that has kept you dormant and, to some, a doormat.
If you want to gain confidence in your life, you need to set some boundaries.
“It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for your life and the people you allow in it.” (Mandy Hale)
Here are three things to do right now to begin.
- Have an honest talk with yourself about what you will tolerate and what you will no longer tolerate. Be clear with yourself. Be honest with yourself. You cannot set boundaries without clarity on what you are no longer going to allow.
- Set healthy boundaries. If it is toxic, it is not healthy. Don’t overthink this. When I say “toxic.” there may be people, situations, or environments in your life that immediately come to mind. Begin making healthier decisions around stepping away, walking away, and moving on.
- Be more self-aware. If you regularly feel frustrated, angry, agitated, used, taken advantage of, etc, you most likely need to set some boundaries. If your life is on autopilot and you just think that this is how life is — think again! Self-awareness put you in a powerful place! Only when you are self-aware can you make choices. Choices give you power.
“Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.” (Doreen Virtue)
If you were asked to set a boundary for yourself, what is the first thing that comes to mind? There is a reason that answer is front and center. What if it was out of your life? What is it was, at least, distanced and not hovering over you? That would make a big difference for you, wouldn’t it?
Get clarity on one boundary you are going to set this month. Then, do it!