But in really simple terms - what are they, and why have them?
Last week I faced a number of challenges, in my personal and professional life. In past times, any one of the things that happened would have sent me into a spiral of coming undone. This time, I was able to get up, keep up, and move through. Why? Because of my boundaries.
So, using some of my own as examples, I wanna give you a quick download so you can work on identifying and strengthening your own boundaries.
1. What are they?
Well, pretty much like a physical boundary, what we are talking about are your limits. How far you will go - at work, in a relationship, for someone, everywhere. This can be how much you are willing to do, to share, to have done. They are your "do not cross" lines, your rules of engagement, the essential user manual for anyone interacting with you. Some examples that have helped me in the last week:
The people I work with are my collegues, not my friends. This boundary protects me emotionally at work, especially when the poop hits the fan as it did recently.
I am not responsible for anyone's relationships but my own - this is a huge one, for example in a family of origin conflict situation (or something, like, it was a friend, I mean, I don't know, stop looking at me like that :p)
2. Why have them?
In a word - protection. But don't get the wrong idea; this isn't about protecting you from everyone or about keeping to yourself. It's not selfish. Sometimes what you are protecting is your energy, so you can use it in other ways, with other people who will respect, enjoy or just plain need it more.
I'm a huge introvert, which means that my energy is drained by being around people. This means that I have boundaries about who I let into my space and for how long. Meanwhile I'm also kinda co-dependant with a big hero complex, so I have self-imposed boundaries about who and how I help.
Neither of these things are selfish - they both ensure that I am ready, willing and able to be there for the people I love when they really need me. And I also have the energy and drive left for the things I love and are important to me - like unicorns and rainbows and puppies :p
One of my favourite adages is - Give from your saucer, never from your cup.
Only giving the overflow and protecting your core energy requires strong boundaries.
What's really important to you? Where do you need to enforce some rules to protect those things? Is it time you started expanding your boundaries?
Can't wait to hear from you in the comments xo