Do You Know Where Your Boundaries Are?
Boundaries are the limits or invisible lines you place around yourself for protection. They are the limits of what you can and will do, as well as the limits of what you will and will not accept from others. They are the filters to stop people from infringing upon you with behaviour you feel is unacceptable.
In a sense, boundaries are used to set you apart from others and give you a unique identity. They help define who you are and who you are not. Often your values will play a role in defining your boundaries.
Some examples of boundaries
Emotional: not allowing someone to intimidate you with their anger or fear, not allowing anyone to hurt you intentionally.
Mental: not allowing someone to lie to you, not allowing someone to be passive/aggressive to you, not allowing people to use belittling and demeaning language to you or about you.
Spiritual/religious: not allowing someone to talk disparagingly about your beliefs, not allowing others to force their religious beliefs upon you
Creative: not allowing other people into your physical creative space such as a studio when you are focusing on your art.
Financial: not loaning money to friends and relatives, not borrowing money from friends and relatives, setting limits on the amount you charge on your credit cards.
Relationships: not gossiping, not allowing others to gossip in your presence, not tolerating toxic relationships.
Boundaries help define who you are – and who you are not
Most of us have boundaries, and everyone’s boundaries will be different. This is part of what sets you apart from other people. By setting limits, you indicate to yourself and others what you stand for and who you are.
Big boundaries are good for your health
Think of it as a reserve of boundaries. When you have more space, you have more room to develop. When you have a larger boundary than you actually need, you have more room for choices. Boundaries are essential to becoming a healthy adult.
Having boundaries allows you to use your energy the way you want to.
Boundaries become eventually become automatic
At some point your boundaries become automatic, requiring little to no attention on your part. They are a part of setting up your environment to serve you.
Even negative boundaries can become automatic, so the key is to be deliberate about establishing the boundaries you want and need.
Where to start
There are 5 steps to extending your boundaries and the first is to become aware of your boundaries.
This week’s worksheet for my e-zine Brain Food Friday readers walks you through Step One of the 5 Steps. If you want to receive access to my weekly worksheets, sign up to receive my weekly blog in your inbox by clicking on the round green “click here” button. You’ll start receiving Brain Food Friday in your inbox each Friday along with a link to that week’s worksheet.