Setting boundaries and respecting them is an essential part of cultivating balance in our lives.
It preserves our energy. (Not to mention sanity.) We feel better and are better for the people around us. We are not resentful and have much more to give because we come from a place of peace, clarity, groundedness and self-respect.
We create space for gratitude and joy to bloom.
We cultivate our truest selves.
Boundaries are actually building blocks to inspired action, focus and most of all, freedom.
Ironic, but true. Hear me out.
When we create boundaries, we are actually acting out of self-compassion. We focus on doing what is required to take care of ourselves first—then are much more available to support and be there for others.
“Know thyself and you will know how to live.”
Practicing boundary setting is very similar to goal setting. Both practices require us to be in touch with our needs and desires. Just as goal setting helps us focus on our priorities and sets the stage for action, boundary setting creates the space we need to focus on those goals and priorities.
Many of us are uncomfortable with boundaries because it means learning to say “no.” We don’t want to disappoint or hurt the people around us. But the truth is, if we cannot cultivate the self-respect to communicate our needs we are more prone to burnout and are less resourceful to ourselves and the people we love. When we people please or let people walk over us, we lose our sense of self and personal values. For what? It’s not worth it.
At the end of the day we are stronger and more authentic role models and leaders when we stay true to ourselves.
This means staying true to who we are, not who we should be or who others expect us to be.
The people who truly love and support us love us for who we are. Part of growing into our strongest self is about discerning between what we want and what we don’t want. When we are able to say no, we are really saying yes to what it is that we do want.
We practice setting boundaries with our time and energy.
When we choose to take care of ourselves first, we can become our strongest selves and are better equipped to help others.
We also practice setting boundaries when we say no to negative people and environments, creating space for positive opportunities and abundance.
While setting boundaries may be challenging, it’s also completely worth it.
A boundary is actually a path to freedom.
Saying no to what doesn’t work means creating space for that which does.
Saying no to others’ expectations means the freedom to be who we are: grounded, balanced, mindful and compassionate leaders and individuals.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: jos via Flickr