Safe and healthy boundaries help us have better relationships, more structure in our lives, and give us more freedom. In this post, we will talk about setting boundaries for yourself. We will discuss setting boundaries with other people in Part 2.
Establishing healthy boundaries is important for everyone. If you haven’t read the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, please put it on your must-read list. A foundation of the book is that personal boundaries are like property lines. Think about a house with a fence around it. The fence clearly identifies where one yard ends and another yard begins. A fence around the house shows everyone there is a boundary there. The fence isn’t just a visual representation but it is also a protection because we protect what we love.
Proverbs 4:23-27 says, “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free from perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”
What a great scripture that reminds us to set boundaries for ourselves! These verses remind us of the things we are responsible for and have control over; our words, our actions, and our attitudes.
- How do you talk to yourself?
- How do you talk to others?
- Do you intentionally speak life to yourself, your family and your friends?
- You get to choose if you share gossip, hope or discouragement.
How would your life change if you set boundaries around your actions?
- Who would you spend more or less time with?
- How do you treat the people in your life?
- Do you take responsibility for the mistakes you make?
- Do you apologize when you are wrong?
- Do you go out of your way to let people know you are cheering them on?
- How much Netflix would you watch?
- How much alcohol would you drink?
- Would you spend money differently?
- What goals would you accomplish?
- What promises would you keep?
Take a moment to identify a few ways you can say no to any negative attitudes that have affected your perspective. For example:
- Are you more of a glass-half-full person, or half-empty?
- Are you more likely to believe you can succeed or fail?
- Do you finish the projects you start?
- How often do you practice gratitude?
I am a big advocate of being kind to yourself. As you read this and recognize the need to set some boundaries for yourself, please remember to be kind to yourself as you do so.
What would happen if you lived a more boundaried life? What would happen if you put as much effort into your own “yard” as you put into other aspects of life? It could change everything and you are so worth it!
~ Donna Durham, MMFT
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash