Achieving Greater Success by Setting Healthy Boundaries
We all have one very important obligation towards ourselves and that is to honor who we truly are.
Many times I have said yes when I meant no because I did not want to hurt others or disappoint them. But as time passed by, I realized when we do something that is contrary to what we believe or want, not only do we disrespect ourselves but we also disrespect everyone involved. The truth is when we don’t stand up for what we believe; we will not be able to stand up for anyone else. When we don’t honor ourselves, we cannot truly honor anyone else.
Having boundaries is not about isolating ourselves from others. Rather, it is about creating a safe space where we can show up authentically while accepting others to show up as they are. Creating healthy boundaries with others provides the space for liberation and self-determination. It is a creative channel where we can express our individuality while we learn from others.
What does it mean to have healthy boundaries?
Boundaries allow our relationships to grow without interference from unwanted influences. With healthy boundaries, we create our lives based on who we are, what makes us happy, and what we truly desire.
"Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices." ― Gerard Manley Hopkins
We all know family members, friends or co-workers that don’t know how to relate to others in a respectful manner. They don’t know when they are welcomed into someone’s space and when they are not! They don’t know when their opinion matters or when they should stop imposing their views and ideas! We don’t have any control over other people’s behavior except for how we respond to the behavior.
When boundaries are broken, we feel sad, trapped, helpless and not in control. When boundaries are crossed, we waste a lot of energy trying to deal with negative emotions. In a way, we play small when we don’t create boundaries.
Unhealthy boundaries between individuals create:
-Loss of creativity
-Lack of individual initiative
Having healthy boundaries protects us from external influences. The act of fulfilling our desires and goals requires that we consciously examine and create healthy boundaries. When we examine our choices consciously, we realize that our values are based solely on who we are. They are not dependent on anyone else’s influence. We also understand that no one is required to replicate our values exactly. They need to respect our values as we respect theirs.
In my book “The CODE- How to Unlock your Inner Genius for a life of Equanimity”, I provide strategies on how we can manage our life journey so we can be in alignment with our desires. The CODE describes life as a unique book that has several chapters. Each chapter represents a stage of growth. Understanding our own book of life can help us grasp our life’s journey much better. As we evolve through the life lessons in each chapter, we master those lessons and then we move on to the next one. Each chapter helps us get closer to understanding our purpose. When we have proper boundaries with others and ourselves, then we are following the natural rhythm of our own life where we can move forward with our desires and goals without any interference or force, as outlined in the previous blog-6 Strategies to Elevate Your Dreams.
The CODE states that the drawback with unhealthy boundaries is that sometimes we are looking to be part of a community or a tribe so bad that we abandon our own book of life and follow others on their life’s journey and allow the boundaries to mix-up and create confusion and eventually disconnect from our own life’s journey. This will eventually create resentment and unhappiness.
However, when we choose to follow the chapters of our own book while learning from others, we follow a path with a clear roadmap that is aligned with our innate character, desire, and capacity.
The following 4 steps create a roadmap for establishing healthy boundaries:
- Upholding a clear understanding of our values, mission, and purpose-taking this step allows us to remain who we truly are inside long-term relationships in which each party empowers the other. These co-empowered relationships support our process of upgrading our self-mastery and moving along our spiritual path.
- Safeguarding our happiness-not allowing other people’s choices and belief to interfere with our happiness.
- Communicating our needs and desires-having a sense of who we are and what we believe, will allow us to clearly communicate our needs and desires without making any other person responsible for our progress along the path.
- Pursuing liberation-when we pursue freedom, we choose to live our own personal truth where we eliminate the patterns of uncertainty and allow the Creative force to guide us.
When these four elements are well adjusted, then we are able to build a stable foundation to help us achieve greater success.
Once we are clear of our boundaries, then people either accept us the way we are and support our journey or we may need to consider forsaking the relationships that DO NOT SERVE OUR HIGHEST GOOD.
This article is written by Felora Ziari-Derakhshani. Felora is the author of “The CODE”, a personal transformational platform created to empower individuals to unlock their inner genius and achieve greater success. She is an international motivational speaker, author, and a consultant for cultivating leadership and maximizing human potential. With 30 years of corporate and non-profit experience, Felora offers her expertise to companies and individuals seeking optimal performance through a tangible system of exploration and discovery. Felora is an electromechanical engineer graduated from Oxford, England. She worked as an engineering manager for over 16 years in the nuclear industry before starting several ventures and women’s non-profit organizations.