How are you allowing others to set limits on your time and resources? Are you still taking on more and more tasks when your plate is already running over?
To keep from rocking the boat, what things are you doing that you would rather not? Taking your precious time to run an errand for someone just because they asked is not a way to show you have strong boundaries around YOUR time.
How jam packed is your schedule with the many things you “have to” do for your friends and family that don’t leave time for YOU? There are very few things you “have” to do. Replace “I have to” with “I choose to”…You always have the choice to determine how you spend your time, energy and resources.
What stories do you tell yourself supporting the hamster wheel life (running and running but getting nowhere fast)? Is your story one of scarcity, limits and procrastination?
If you are like most women, you can identify with at least some of the above statements. Most of us are adept at giving and doing for others but fall short when it comes to ourselves.
Use the following tips to start doing the things you love, setting healthy boundaries and creating the balance to enjoy your life:
- Relinquish the notion that you can do all, be all to everyone in your life. You are not superwoman. When you don’t set your own boundaries, you open the floodgates to more stress, anxiety and frustration by letting others set limits on your time and resources. Instead of keeping the peace, you’re really teaching other people that they have the power to determine how, when and what you spend your time doing.
- Revise the expectations you place on yourself – Look at where the expectations come from. Are they cultural, family defined or self imposed? For example, maybe you grew up believing that it’s better to give than receive and consequently, you give, give and give yet have difficulty receiving (i.e., compliments, gifts). Don’t let someone else’s expectations become your reality.
- Be spontaneous – You don’t have to know every detail before taking action. When you spend precious time trying to figure out every possible outcome to the decisions you make, you are actually agonizing over things you have no control of. Sometimes, you just have to make a decision and just go with it. If it turns out you could have made a better choice, revise or change your approach.
- If you are trying to find ways to avoid some people in your life or you are constantly complaining about them, then it may be time to revisit the virtues of that relationship. Sometimes people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Re-evaluate your relationships with these people and set some firm boundaries about how and when you want them to participate in your life.
- Get off the back burner – Putting your needs and desires on the back burner while everyone else gets front and center, sends the message that your needs are not as important. Making yourself a priority lets other people know you value yourself, your time and your resources.
About the Author:
Gladys M. Anderson is a certified group coach, personal life coach and a licensed marriage & family therapist. Gladys helps nurses, therapists, teachers and other caregivers establish boundaries, build balance and create breathing space into their busy lives.