Superman, Spider Gwen, Ironman, Wonder Woman, and every other superhero establishes a practice that helps them stay grounded and allows for normalcy in their lives.
This simple, yet profoundly helpful practice, is called [establishing and maintaining] boundaries. Yes. Boundaries. Imaginary walls around areas of your life that protect your heart, mind, and soul while you pursue your aims.
The boundaries that we erect in our lives are similar to the ones that we put up in the physical world. They serve the purpose of protecting the things on the inside from the stuff on the outside that may do harm.
As general of a definition, this may be, the goal of the boundaries is to place distinct separation of the various part of our lives. The superheroes that I mentioned earlier wear costumes and masks which are examples of a boundary that separates their personal and public lives.
When we are in complete pursuit of our goals and aspirations, there is often a need to erect boundaries between work and life, side hustle and parenting, public and private. This becomes increasingly muddy in today’s society where the physical separation of these polarities is no longer clear. If it wasn’t difficult enough before, establishing and maintaining boundaries is a skill that we must learn to have healthy relationships.
Here is a bit of a paradox…boundaries are as much for us as it is for others. In other words, they aren’t about simply keeping people out as much as it is to make life more enjoyable. This is done by establishing what is and isn’t acceptable. Boundaries allow you to understand what your limits are which reduces chances of confrontation, frustration, anxiety, and stress. Boundaries support your well-being.
Here are 8 benefits of establishing and maintaining boundaries:
- Creates you to be more Self-Aware: Being self-aware is the ultimate superhuman capability that is the art of recognizing your needs and feelings as completely your own and not those tied to another person or your environment. Creating your own boundaries is the manifestation of your self-awareness.
- Creates you to have better relationships: Your increased self-awareness creates in you an ability to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others. As a result, you are likely to have better relationships. What’s more, as you set clear boundaries you can have more engaging relations without fear or concern of crossing a boundary.
- Creates you to have less stress: When we don’t create boundaries, we inadvertently create conditions that cause more stress. Stress is the foremost enemy of well-being so we must do everything to protect ourselves from situations that cause increased or unnecessary stress.
- Creates you to have more Self-Care: The most compassionate people who tend to give of themselves to everyone else often have the lowest self-care practice. When boundaries are established, then there can be more focus on your well being. And here is the best part – when you are taking care of your self, then you are well able to take care of others.
- Creates you to be a better communicator: It may seem easy on the surface to say what you want and don’t want but it can be a challenging conversation especially with those who have not respected the little boundaries you may have had in the past. Expressing your needs and wants are powerful declarations that provide unprecedented transparency.
- Creates you to be less frustrated: Nothing feels more frustrating than when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries…except, they didn’t know you had any. Establishing boundaries reduces emotions like frustration because of the level of transparency that you provide in how you want and need to be treated.
- Creates you to be more assertive: ‘No’ is a small word but can be a powerful boundary. ‘No’ has the ability to shape an environment that allows you to live more fully in your self-expression. And ‘No’ isn’t intended to close you off from life but to open you up to your priorities.
- Creates you to be more expressive: Since you are not bogged down with the needs of others, you are liberated to do the things you never had time to do.
Take the time during this quarantine period to discover the boundaries that you need to erect to support your well-being.
Coaches and Educators
Boundaries are increasingly important in this post-COVID-19 world that we find ourselves in. Support your clients and students by ensuring they understand what boundaries are and how they can be used to support their personal mastery and well-being.