How to Flourish with Strong Boundaries and Healthy Life Balance
I notice more and more as I run my business, that one of the things I find challenging is finding balance. When I decide to do something, it’s an all-or-nothing thing and I find that taking care of myself can sometimes take second place. Here’s an interesting exercise for you to do to see if you have a healthy life balance:
• Take a piece of paper and fold it into four, tear or cut the fourths into separate pieces.
• Write down four people you love the most in the world, one on each piece of paper.
• Now tear one up and throw it away.
• Then do it with the next and the next until you have one left.
• Who was the last one left? Was it you? Were you even one of the four?
If not, it is interesting to see how you value yourself! When you are on a plane and the flight attendants tell parents and caregivers to put oxygen masks on themselves before they put them on their kids. The airline staff knows that when the parents have their oxygen they will be able to take proper care of their kids. So it is with you when you take care of yourself first, all those around you will be taken care of better. They may even learn that they need to step up to the plate and do a better job on their end rather than have you doing all the work. The Bible says: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. The only way to love another is to know what loving yourself looks and feels like. When you learn to love yourself unconditionally, that love emanates to all those around you.
The value that you have for yourself will also help you to see the value others are in your life. It's true that we are a mixture of strengths and weaknesses and need others in our lives to be our strength and support when we are weak and vice versa. But we are each loved unconditionally by God and have an important purpose in life. Finding your purpose helps you to feel that your contribution is valuable and encourages you to continue to make a positive difference, even when you are going through challenging times. As we seek to grow and mature emotionally and spiritually, we should understand that the beliefs we hold about ourselves and our purpose are paramount to fulfilling our calling in this life. Spending time in the presence of your higher power and getting to know yourself through the eyes of God, which in my experience, is loving and encouraging, you will begin to discover more of your value. I know that many people have a negative experience of God, I totally understand and I know some people have been hurt by religion. I am not talking about religion here but rather having a relationship with a loving higher presence. If that is just not something you can trust at this point, then I encourage you to spend quiet alone time tuning into that small still voice that is inside of you.
Speaking about your value leads me to the other point I wanted to talk about, and that is boundaries. Spend a few minutes of quiet alone time thinking about where in your life your boundaries are lax or even unhealthy. This could be in relation to your career needs but also in your relationships. Our relationships can affect our success in our life.
I have listed some questions below for you to meditate on and answer. I encourage you to write your answers in your journal if you have one. Having a journal or notebook is helpful because you can go back and reread what you wrote at any point in time. You learn a lot about yourself and gain insights. The act of handwriting helps us develop a deeper conceptual understanding than just thinking the answers or typing them. The insights you receive tend to last longer and embed more deeply.
• Are there people who are a drain on your energy? List them down.
• How does their behavior affect your life, mood, or performance when you are around them?
• Is there anyone who is not supporting you or your career in the best way possible? List these down. These could be bosses, managers, agents, friends, and family.
• List down the boundaries you are willing to start putting into practice, e.g. not picking up the phone when people call after 10 p.m., not allowing people to continually criticize you negatively, not allowing people who take advantage of your time, energy, and money without giving back?
• How does putting these boundaries in place help you to feel? If even thinking about these boundaries causes you anxiety then try EFT-Tapping. It takes time to change our habits and we can get pushback from those that are used to taking advantage of us. They can be master manipulators. EFT will help you to stand firm and persevere, especially when it is terrifying to stand up for yourself.
• Are there people in your life who are positive, hardworking, encouraging, loving, and holding you accountable for being the best you? List them down.
• How do you feel when you are around them and how does their influence affect your work, your sense of self, and how you show up in the world? List these insights down.
• What actions could you take to attract more positive, life-affirming, supportive people into your life?
• What other actions can you take that would be respectful of your emotional health and balance?
• Now list 5 to 10 things you are grateful for in your life. Always list those things you are grateful for every day because even if you are going through trials and difficult times, thinking about and acknowledging the good in your life, lifts your mood, and your energy levels.
Life is short and we only have so much energy. We have to create healthy boundaries around certain people if they are not being supportive, this can even mean family members. Don’t let anyone (especially yourself) doubt you or bring you down. Give to others, yes of course, and at times we need to sacrifice. I’m not advocating that it be all about you but remember balance and if you start to get exhausted, burned out, resentful, or losing joy in your work, know that these feelings are red flags to be paid attention to. Check to see if you are taking care of yourself and getting your needs met.
At times you may grow away from people and you will need to make changes and adjustments. You may need to let go of those relationships that refuse to respect your boundaries when you have repeatedly asked them to, or you may simply need to limit your interactions with them. Regarding work, it may mean moving to another work situation with a healthier and more respectful environment.
I hope you will love your life, see miracles around you every day, practice gratitude, and live your life to the fullest. I encourage you to believe in yourself and to be passionate about yourself and your work. Shine your light and bring your joy to the world. An easy way to do that is by finding balance and having healthy boundaries. You're worth it!
If you feel you need support, help, or guidance to gain healthier boundaries or life balance, I'm happy to jump on a free 20-minute call. Click this Book a Call button. I'd love to support you in getting free of anything that is in the way of you experiencing freedom and joy in your life.
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