Setting personal boundaries is a critical part of being a healthy person so you can engage with other people effectively. It’s likely you have great boundaries in some areas of your life and no
boundaries at all in others. I know I do. I have really strong boundaries around discipline for exercise and eating so I stay fit. I have weaker boundaries in areas of my personal life. In an effort to become whole and well-rounded in my boundaries, I’ve been exploring how to set boundaries in the areas of life where I’m weak.
Where Do You Need Boundaries?
The first step to setting boundaries is to know where you need them. A good way to find out is to think about where you are not fining satisfaction in your life. Are things not working for you with your family, at work or in your relationships? Are you in debt? If you’re experiencing conflict in your life, it’s a good indicator that you need some boundaries with yourself or others.
How Do You Know the Right Boundaries for You?
Say you need boundaries in your finances. Do you need to get out of debt? If so, you need to see a financial planner, start tracking your spending and get discipline around your spending. If you have issues with your family in relationships, seeing a life coach or therapist can help tremendously. Outside people can help you to see your blind spots, give you guidance, and be there for confidential accountability. I have a life coach to help me in areas where I struggle with boundaries that I’d never succeed in without her.
How Do You Enforce Boundaries?
A promise is no substitute for preparation. Athletic teams don’t play a game without practicing. Orchestras and theatre productions don’t perform shows without preparing through practice first. They can promise to have a good event, but without preparation it will never happen. Building boundaries into your life requires preparation and practice before successful execution. They won’t just happen overnight.Part of your preparation is likely addressing your childhood issues like abandonment, abuse, criticism, poverty, etc. It’s really important to get outside help for that because you will bring drama and discord into every relationship in your life including the one with yourself.
As you move forward, here are the steps to enforcing boundaries:
- Decide where you need boundaries
- Think of actions you need to take or people you need to talk to
- Find the courage to take those actions
- Repeat as needed
What Happens After You Enforce Boundaries?
You may feel scared making new decisions, but remember, you made the same bad decisions up to this point and they never worked out. It can be a little nerve wrecking to wait and see how your new boundaries play out in your life. Choose to have faith and tweak how you enforce your boundaries. If you need to adjust how you enforce boundaries with family members so you are gentler or firmer, do that. Some people may not respond well to your boundaries, but they may not be healthy themselves. As your new boundaries work in your life, you’ve made a positive change in your life that will be easier to execute from this point forward.
Create healthy boundaries in your life because you can!