Your Boundary is Your Invisible Self-Monitoring Tool

time managementThere 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.

For example:

  • 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.

Gladys Anderson - Life Coach, Therapist, Author

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.

Comments

  1. Susan Robertson says:

    I have been making it a piority to eliminate these unwanted aspects of my life. Everyone is wondering what is happening with me. This is not without difficulty. When I said NO to one person I was told that—————– was one thing but I was going overboard. Before the person said that I was put on a guilt trip as usual but after that it was really easy to ignor their request since I had declined initially anyway. On Easter Sunday they invited me to brunch between services. Maybe they are thinking that a bribe will set me up for the next time but they are so wrong. Refusing the first time is the hardest.
    As it turns out since I have put space between myself and people who are toxic to my health and growth I have to learn to be content with myself and my two furbabies most of the time. I am not as lonely as I used to be which I find strange but I am less depressed too overall. I am awake at 6 AM most mornings believe it or not, not necessarily doing anything productive but I see the morning news most everyday and I am retiring by 1-2 AM at the latest most every night which has never happened before.
    I still catch myself putting things off but not as ferociously as previously and often only because time has gotten away from me. I still get overwhelmed by the main task in front of me but that’s when I take a day and visit my friends in a neighbouring community.
    The “what if”s” still try to haunt me but when that happens I force myself not to think about it and think about the positive things that will happen instead.
    I still have issues but I know that I will address them too when I am ready. Rome was not born in a day. Pinklady

    • Gladys Anderson says:

      Hi Susan, I am so proud of you! Your hard work is paying big dividends! I’m so glad to hear you are setting some good boundaries and keeping a positive outlook. Keep up the good work.

  2. Gladys,

    I say “Here! Here!” to the importance of honoring our own boundaries and insisting that others do the same.

    Thank you especially for urging us to let go of behaviors, relationships, etc. that no longer serve us. It’s just like decluttering our closets and drawers. An important task to free our minds and make room for what counts.

    Blessings,
    Flora

    • Gladys Anderson says:

      Thanks, Flora, for your comments. Yes, It is so important that we let go of clutter in our physical and mental space to create room for more.

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