Guest Post By Jennifer Bundrant
Can you imagine what would happen if property lines suddenly disappeared?
You see property lines everywhere, places where boundaries are made to protect the inside from anything bad or dangerous on the outside.
Homes have boundaries as well (doors and walls) to keep out intruders and thieves or anything that is not welcome inside. That way the family and everything they love is safe from harm.
The physical world could not function without boundaries, so… shouldn’t you get clear about your personal boundaries.
The answer is a big, giant YES. Here’s why:
The popular and inspirational book by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries, talks about the personal boundaries everyone must draw and how these boundaries define us.
If you don’t know your own boundaries, you cannot know who you are or what you stand for. Worse, you are likely to allow others to define you.
Once you draw your own lines, you can decide for yourself what you want and how far you will go to get it. You will also discover how other people fit in (and who does not fit).
The problem is, many people don’t even know that they are allowed to draw boundaries for themselves, or they simply don’t know how.
Three ways to draw individual boundaries:
1. Learn to say no.
No is the most important word in the world when it comes to defining personal boundaries. When you say no, you draw the line and keep out that which is harmful, which includes things that are against your values, or what you believe is right or wrong.
Saying no protects your time and energy and preserves your integrity. If you can’t use the word no, you have no boundaries…anything goes at this point.
2. Stop trying to please people who don’t respect you.
The tendency to please people who don’t really respect you is like giving a stranger the key to your home. They can come and go whenever they want and help themselves to your belongings.
Would you do this?
Then, stop giving unappreciative people the key to your time, energy and emotions.
Working to please people who respect you and reciprocate can be a wonderful thing to do. It’s self-sabotage, however, when you live to please people who take advantage of you.
3. Stop taking on more than you can realistically accomplish.
This is an often overlooked area of personal boundaries. You can accomplish a lot in life, but you do have limits. A lot of us set too many goals, take on too many projects and overestimate how long things take to get done.
Take one step and at a time, at your own pace, and you will slowly but surely get a lot more done than if you mismanage your time and energy.
If you are successful in drawing your boundaries, amazing things can happen.
What boundaries do is keep the good in and the bad out. You should only keep anything in that will nurture you and do good for you. Anything that harms you or does any type of damage on your well-being, kick out.
You’re allowed to get rid of the things in life that hurt you and once you do, you will see a whole new world full of love and potential for greatness.
It takes awareness, practice and time, but it is possible to establish clear boundaries around your individual identity in this world. Doing so will allow room for the good to come in and clean out the bad, leaving you to feel joy and hope – lives change when this happens.
And remember, not managing your boundaries is self-sabotage. It’s a sure way to move your life in the opposite direction of what would make you happy. To learn more about how self-sabotage works, watch this free video.
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