Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another”.
To Know Yourself
Your body, thoughts, relationships, beliefs, and so many other things that belong to you should have personal boundaries set around them. Anything you have authority over requires an intentional boundary. Without these security limits you can be led astray by forceful people (and things) who are eager to control areas of your life that don’t belong to them.
To know yourself and to feel secure that you are loved, is essential to all relationships and activities. The better your boundaries of self-awareness and self-definition are, the greater your capacity to offer empathy and love.
Good personal boundaries help you to care for others. You have a stable foundation to operate from and you are not distracted or depleted by personal insecurities or blind spots.
Covid-19 imposed boundaries
Covid-19 has become the biggest crisis that any generation has known. It has encompassed a global pandemic with unprecedented disruption to private and business lives and economies worldwide.
We have seen the scope and risk which evolved with previous crises but the coronavirus is unique and outweighs them all. Some people are brought into closer proximity than before while others have to distance themselves.
At this time it is important for you to maintain some sense of control by setting boundaries in everything you do and everywhere you go. These are guidelines, rules or limits that you create for yourself to define where you end and where the ‘other’ begins. You need it in your private and public life.
Boundaries, on the job, help to define how you see yourself and how others perceive you. These standards inform how you behave in any given situation, circumstance or relationship. They also help other people to predict what they can, and cannot, expect from you.
When you lack strong boundaries, you can set yourself up to be overlooked for career development. Let it be known, clearly, how you view job related issues such as mentorship, volunteerism, networking, training and education. Being firm, respectful and direct adds impact to your position.
Boundaries also protect you; they help to keep you safe. They are extremely important for your integrity, psychological safety and emotional wellbeing. They keep the good issues in and the bad ones out.
How do you manage your personal and physical space? This policy helps you decide what types of communication, behavior and interaction are acceptable by you. When you respect people’s boundaries, you show self-control, and avoid hurting them knowingly or unknowingly.
Your physical space helps personal experiences to feel authentic and gratifying. It gives you a sense of stability and direction. Collaborative spaces in your daily life, however, are more important to monitor now than ever.
Social balance is being able to interact with a range of people and having a sense of belonging, respect, empathy and tolerance for other people. It’s extremely difficult, especially now, to be overly accommodating.
Persons who can be described as ‘people-pleasers’ naturally tend to prioritize others’ needs and disregard, downplay or even ignore their own. This may not be a wise stance currently.
Aristotle the legendary Greek philosopher said, “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally, is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual.”
Spiritual wellbeing relates to your sense of life-meaning and purpose. It can include your connection to various facets of life. These are culture, community, spirituality and/or religiosity and includes the beliefs, values, mental models and ethics that you hold.
Spiritual boundaries protect you from spiritual, physical, mental and emotional harms. It limits harmful behaviors and damages. These harms can take just a few minutes to occur, but many years to recover or correct, if it can be reversed.
When you are spiritually healthy, you feel more connected, not only to a higher power, but to those around you. You have more clarity when it comes to making everyday choices. Your actions become more consistent because there are based on your beliefs, trusts and values.
This is your demarcation that protects your integrity. These boundaries helps you set realistic limits on participation in a relationship or activity. They have to be grounded firmly or they will be eroded by the constant changes in times. Yet they have to be flexible to accommodate these changes.
Setting psychological boundaries is a challenge because they are invisible and intangible. Also they require courage and assertiveness to establish and maintain. However, you will be better placed to challenge others, and you’ll become more resilient to changes and stress.
Flexibility In Boundaries
Prevailing culture always impacts the effectiveness and management of behavioral patterns. Ultimately, if you lack strong boundaries, you’re setting yourself up to be overlooked for career development or promotional opportunities on the job.
Having weak boundaries will also have negative consequences for you in your workplace and personal relationships. You might find yourself spending time with people who take you for granted. These persons may try to control you, and question or override your decisions and preferences.
By contrast, when you have strong established boundaries, you will trust yourself more when making decisions. People will also trust you because they’ll know where you stand.
Set Your Rules
Establishing your boundaries can be a pretty scary undertaking. This is especially so when you’ve not been used to standing up for yourself. Once you have a clear idea of the physical, social, spiritual and psychological rules you want to live by, you can begin to establish them.
Aim to communicate your rules clearly, consistently and assertively. Observe and learn from others who seem to have strong boundaries. Be aware of your feelings but ensure that they are reliable.
You may feel awkward when you push back for the first time, but that isn’t a sign that you should back down. Remember being firm, consistent, respectful and direct add impact to your position.
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