Over the last few weeks our blog has supported you in learning how to identify your values (Know Your Values, Know Yourself) and your wants (Know What You Want and How To Get It) – both key in developing self-awareness and building successful relationships. It is really hard to have successful relationships or live a life feeling nourished, fulfilled, or even happy if we don’t have a clear understanding of our values and our wants. Too easily we find ourselves doing what others want us to, not what we necessarily want for ourselves. We may even find ourselves begrudging the time we spend, the effort we put forth for others and yet if we say ‘no’ to them, we feel guilty. It seems we can’t win either way. Knowing our values and wants helps us stay focused on what we want from life, what we want to achieve.
So the next step is now to create boundaries to support your values and help you remain focused on your wants. Once boundaries are established, you will have enhanced clarity around what you want from life, you will feel grounded, truly connected and aligned with your inner truth so you will be in a place of positivity, where you feel confident, empowered and successful.
What are these boundaries and how do we create them? We create our own boundaries to help us stay focused on our ‘wants’ and adhering to our values.
Example: An executive/mother/wife is asked by her director to stay and complete a report one evening. This has been happening a lot. She feels guilty because it means one more night when she will not have dinner with her husband and children, which she really likes to do. She thinks they won’t mind. She stays and does it as she wants to be seen as someone who will go the extra mile. When she gets home she finds her kids and husband waiting for her. They have a family meeting where she feels guilty because she really does want to spend more time with them. She agrees she WANTS to be home for dinner at least 4 nights each week because they all want and need her to be with them. The next evening her director praises her for her report of the previous evening and asks her to stay late to complete yet another one which is needed the next day. She is clear on her want – to be home for dinner with her family – and thus is able to create boundaries around this. She thanks her director for his feedback about her previous report, she tells him she already has a commitment and is unable to stay. She is clear on her ‘want’ of being with her family and thus is able to create the boundaries to decline the work of her director. She is clear her ‘want’ to be with her family is greater than her ‘want’ to stay late in the hope of being seen as one who goes the extra mile.
Our personal boundaries are just that, personal limitations we create to guide us to identify what is permissible with ourselves, and others. Creating personal boundaries supports one in meeting their wants FIRST and then the wants of others. We all need boundaries yet very few of us take the time to identify them and then understand where they fit into our lives and how to stick with them. In today’s world, we are all very busy people being everything to everyone. It is really easy to lose sight of your own wants and constantly be fulfilling the wants and needs of others. Having a clear idea of what your boundaries are allows you to meet your wants first, in alignment with your values and then the wants/ needs of others second.
Now we aren’t saying be selfish and don’t help others. How we show up for others first starts with how well we show up for ourselves. When we feel nourished, fulfilled, rewarded and happy then we will show up for others this same way, building strong and fulfilling relationships. When we compromise on our values and wants and fail to set boundaries around them, our needs are never getting met. This often leaves us feeling frustrated, exhausted, taken advantage of, or upset. This will then be the way you show up for others and will influence how you “build” (or lack there of) your relationships.
Over the years we have learned that people struggle with identifying and implementing boundaries in their lives. Like values and wants it is hard to know where to draw the line to support ourselves. Yet when we do, everything becomes so much easier.
The same holds true for families or organizations. When you identify the values and wants of a family or organization, boundaries can be put in place to support those values and wants allowing the individuals within each to thrive. It becomes clear for people what the expectations are and can then align themselves with the values and wants of the family/ organization. The boundaries not only support the family/ organization, they support the individuals within them as well. The clearer we are with our values, wants and boundaries, the more likely we are to hire and attract those who are in alignment as well.
Boundaries allow you to set up a framework that supports the needs of you and/or your family. They provide a framework in which to build your relationships. YOU get to choose how you want to build and support both, rather than passively accept what is brought to you.
Understand your values and embrace them in your life.
Be clear on your wants and focus on aligning your life with them.
Create personal boundaries that work for you and support your wants and values.
Stay positive. With clear boundaries, you can believe in yourself and stay true to you.
Be assertive around your boundaries and respectful towards others in declaring them.
Show yourself some compassion. If others are offended when you say ‘no’ to them, be kind to yourself.
Show compassion towards others. If we have clear boundaries that hold our wants and values, we can say ‘no’ to others with respect, kindness and generosity.
Use your boundaries to stay calm in emotional, messy situations with others. Your boundaries can help you remain separate from them.
Looking at your values and wants, what boundaries can you put in place to support them?
What steps will you need to take to support your boundaries?
For those who are struggling to live in alignment with their values and wants, what boundaries could be put in place to bring you back to your alignment?
Finding it difficult to implement boundaries? What is stopping you from putting your boundaries in place? Where does this fall into your values and wants?