If there is one thing that I often feel I have to defend its boundaries. Not just my boundaries but the concept of them also. Being a Mindfulness practitioner, people look at me and think it’s not ‘mindful’ to have opinions or that I should be so kind always that perhaps I am a doormat. Absolutely not the case. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Yes, I am mindful of what I post on social media, and I’m mindful of how I speak and act. However, this does not mean that if I see wrong I will say nothing. This does not mean that if I see injustice I will not say what I am seeing is wrong. This also does not mean that if someone lies or is horrible to me that I will not call them on it. I do! And I do so with kindness, compassion and in the knowledge that they are being led by their ego as most of us are, most of the time.
Boundaries often become blurred lines, especially when we are trying to people please and those people are pushing the boundaries (as people do). But these blurred lines are no one’s responsibility but our own. No one else can read your mind. People have a tendency to keep pushing the boundaries so this means it’s important to keep setting them. When boundaries are not made clear, people then become stressed and anxious. Often taking on much more than they can handle, in life as well as work.
Boundaries aren’t just about keeping your sanity, it’s also about keeping your identity too and a very important part of self-care. But how do we do it? Here’s a simple, mindful guide to setting boundaries:
- Have a think whether there is a boundary there already, or has been before.
- Decide where the boundary needs to be.
- Let the other person know the boundary line, clearly and kindly.
- DO NOT over-explain.
- Leave them to think about it.
- Go back when they’ve had time to digest the information. If they haven’t understood, repeat!
If you are someone who can set clear boundaries and has the confidence to keep resetting them, with kindness, compassion and empathy then you are someone who has the potential to be an amazing leader. You will become emotionally resilient and not only will you have respect for those around you but you will be gaining respect also. Sometimes boundaries aren’t easy to set, but my goodness, they are worth it!