LIFE NEEDS BOUNDARIES
Boundaries are Important. They are agreed upon lines separating two self-contained political or social spaces. When it comes to YOU and your life, it comes down to setting up limits that define acceptable behaviour towards you. Boundaries are your unofficial rules about what should not be done to you. At its most basic level, Boundaries tell people how far they can go with you.
– Boundaries help you define your identity
– Boundaries help you define how you want to be treated.
– Boundaries help you clearly define yourself in other people’s world
– Boundaries help to define people’s space in YOUR world
Without clear boundaries, people:
– Keep doing things they know you don’t like
– Violate your personal space again and again
– Are rude to you without remorse
So once again, Boundaries are extremely important. But how do you set them up?
You create boundaries by using the Tools of Empowerment that are part of the Empowerment GPA system: Clarity; Responsibility; Courage.
SET THEM UP- Right Away!
One thing to note about boundaries is that the longer you take to set them up, the harder it is to set them up. When you don’t set them up right away, people come to believe that the unacceptable ways that they have been treating you is ok. Once someone’s ill-treatment or unconscionable behaviour has become a norm to them, it feels like YOU are violating them when you TAKE BACK YOUR POWER or set up boundaries. You MUST take back your power anyway. In this process you must decide the shape, size and reach of your boundaries. Therein lies your true empowerment.
You need to Decide if your Boundary Construction requires you to:
‘Enlarge your territory’
Set up a ‘Do Not Cross’ banner
BE UNCOMPROMISING WITH YOUR IDENTITY
Whenever something feels consistently uncomfortable in your interactions with someone, consider whether or not you need to create boundaries. Here’s how:
- Get Clarity. Clarify for yourself exactly what you don’t like about the situation. The clearer you can be, the easier it is to rectify the situation and set up boundaries. Clarify what exactly you don’t like and why you don’t like it.
- Take full responsibility for yourself and the position you are in. Make a decision about whether or not this discomfort signals an opportunity to grow or a violation of your core values, principles or personal space. In other words, is it ‘Divine Discomfort’- a situation where you have been playing small and you are now being challenged by a coach or mentor or a well-meaning supporter to reach for a higher experience? Or is it ‘Disrespectful Discomfort’- a situation where someone is either seeking to put you down, OR has simply chosen their own expression in spite of how it impedes your progress or violates your emotional state; your rules; your time; your life. Either way, here is where you can choose to respond by either ‘enlarging your territory’ or setting up a ‘do not cross’ banner.
You Enlarge your territory by going with the push or pull of that person who is helping you to stretch and grow. You set up a Do Not Cross banner by confronting self and the person.
Whatever you do, recognise that these uncomfortable relations are a signal for you to make a decision about your boundaries with that person/s or in that situation. If you continue to govern your life without setting up boundaries, people will continue to encroach on your inner world and disempower you. You may even reach a space Where you face serious depression. Your boundaries define your identity and keep you sane.
- Be Courageous. Decide how you want to be treated and say it- to yourself first. Then say it to the person/s. Accept yourself in the face of this new boundary. Remember that Courage is not the absence of fear. It is your willingness to act in spite of fear. Without courage your boundaries crumble and you cannot have peace of mind.
It is ironic how willing so many of us are to suffer in silence in an attempt to not inconvenience someone who is causing us to feel great inconvenience and distress. We claim we don’t want to hurt the person and claim we just don’t know what to do when we simply lack courage to act.
I love the quote from Susan Jeffers that simply says “feel the fear and do it anyway. “That is powerful. That is courage. You must Act with certainty about experiences in your own life. If you know you don’t like or don’t want something, say it. If you say you don’t like something, don’t tolerate it. Your job is to either confront it where that is appropriate, or move away from it. Again, this always comes down to whether or not the discomfort is born of something that’s ‘divine’ or ‘disrespectful.’ Act accordingly and act with courage.
Let no one define you.
Let no one even describe you away from your own definition of self. Clarify your boundaries daily or as the need arises. MW AH Michael Holgate