It’s a new month and time for a new series! I’m excited to talk about boundaries. Establishing healthy boundaries is very important for each one of us.
If you haven’t read the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, please put it on your must-read list. It’s a classic self-help book that I can’t recommend enough. Personal boundaries are likened to property lines. Think about a house with a yard. Where does your yard end and your neighbor’s yard begin? Who is responsible for what?
Living a life with safe and healthy boundaries helps us have better relationships, more structure in our lives, and less emotional drama.
So what does it mean to set boundaries with yourself?
Setting boundaries with yourself means taking responsibility for:
How is your self-talk? Are you mean to yourself, or kind to yourself? If someone recorded the way you talk about yourself, would they get the idea that you love yourself or hate yourself?
A few years ago, I was embarrassed about the way a project turned out and was telling my friend Alex about what a terrible job I did. Alex stopped me in my tracks by saying, “Hey, you can’t talk to my friend that way.” It made such an impact on me. Why would I say things about myself that I would NEVER say to another person?
Since then, I have intentionally worked on being kinder with my self-talk. I have made a point to say “NO” to being highly critical of myself.
I recently listened to the audiobook Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It is an inspiring and empowering book; another must read. She shares the hardest things she has ever faced and how she got through them. Setting goals and boundaries in her life has been a path to living the life she wants for herself and her family.
Rachel set a great internal boundary: she doesn’t break promises that she makes to herself.
How would your life change if you set boundaries around your actions?
Who would you spend more time with or less time with?
How do you treat the people in your life?
Do you take responsibility for mistakes you make? Do you apologize when you are wrong?
Do you go out of your way to let people know you are for them?
What is your responsibility in your relationships?
How much Netflix would you watch? How much alcohol would you drink?
Would you spend money differently?
What goals would you accomplish?
What promises would you keep?
What do you believe about life?
Are you more of a glass-is-half-full person, or half-empty?
Are you more likely to believe you can succeed or fail?
Do you finish projects you start?
How often do you practice gratitude?
Take a moment to identify a few ways you can say no to any negative attitudes that have affected your perspective.
If you read my blog, you know I am a big advocate of being kind to yourself. As you read this and recognize the need to set some boundaries for yourself, please remember to be kind to yourself as you do so.
What would happen if you lived a more boundaried life?
What would happen if you put as much effort into your own “yard” as you put into other aspects of life (such as work or children)?
It could change everything! And you are so worth it!