There are a variety of tools available to keep you on track such as budgets, time management, journals and vision boards. And, like the other tools you avail yourself of to stay on track and reach your goals, you can also use your invisible self-monitoring tool to create strong boundaries that protect you from time stealers, energy drainers and negativity.
I’m sure you wouldn’t allow guests in your home to trample on your furniture, paint on your walls or deface your property in some other way.
Yet, many times, we unwittingly invite people to disrespect our boundaries by leaving a trail of negativity in their wake.
- The “friend” who does not listen to you or value your opinions
- People who infringe on your time without respect for your time limits
- Anyone who frequently refuses to accept “no” as your final answer
- Erratic behavior aimed directly at you
- Holding on to relationships and behaviors you find intolerable or offensive
Think of your boundaries as the invisible shield that protects you from negativity and harmful behaviors.
Your boundary is your invisible self-monitoring tool. Here are a few ways to use it:
- Don’t hold on to commitments, relationships or behaviors that no longer serve a useful purpose. Understand when it’s time to let go of things that no longer serve you. Your precious time could be better spent pursuing activities that bring you joy and enrich your life.
- Be willing to let go of the things in your life that don’t honor your boundaries. You may recognize that it’s time to let go but maybe you are not quite willing to let go. You never know what doors will open with just the right opportunity when you have made space for it.
- Exercise your right to make a choice about how, when and what you spend your time doing. If you don’t value your time, no one else will either. Making the choice to set limits on your time, energy and resources creates strong time boundaries and space so that you can engage in the things that are really important to you.
- Accept change. Change is inevitable…nothing stays the same. Change is a vehicle for growth and an opportunity to experience something new and exciting. If nothing else, change the way you look at things. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change – Wayne Dyer
When someone violates your boundaries by devaluing your opinions, choices and ideas, it’s up to you to say a resounding NO and take charge of how you want to live your life.
Certified Life Coach, Family therapist and Group Coaching Specialist, Gladys M. Anderson, helps nurses, teachers, social workers, therapists and other care-giving women to set limits so they have more time, more joy and more energy for self-care.