Have you ever thought about boundaries? By that I mean the responsibilities and priorities you have to yourself and others? Have you ever considered how your lack of boundaries can impact not only on you but those around you? Is there a difference between lack of boundaries and a lack of focus?
For me, it’s things like…
- The occasional client consistently arriving late for appointments (meaning I need to choose between running over time for an appointment or cutting it short before I’ve done everything I wanted to in that session).
- Children who want running to places but then not being ready on time.
- Even down to the kids helping round the house.
The effect on me and my energy when it happens is not a positive one.
This was really brought to a head recently when, while my daughter was back from uni, we had cut short some time together for me to see a client who then didn’t show up and didn’t even text me to let me know they weren’t coming.
This is a very rare occurrence – but I was not a happy bunny! After I’d had a rant I realised that I had to take responsibility and accept that I had not been sending out the right professional message to this client.
In a fast-moving society time is precious to all of us. I had to reflect not only on where I let my boundaries down but also being more aware of how I honour my commitments to others.
‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’ Luke 6:31
Saying ‘no’ more often
So what have I changed? I’m saying “no” more often!
- I’ve made myself a timetable and segmented my diary so I feel like I’m running my diary, not anyone or anything else.
- I make sure that I finish my appointments on time, because it’s easy for me to assume that a client maybe happy for me to run over, when actually they may have to run off somewhere.
- I’m setting myself blocks of times, throughout the day, where I will do things… and my son is slowly learning that he must not disturb me. Then he has the full benefit of my attention afterwards, because I have done what I need to do and I’m not distracted by something hanging over me.
The positive effect is that I already feel more in control of things and my focus is far better.
Ripple effect of boundaries
It is definitely still a work in progress and I want to feel that, whoever I am with, that I am really ‘with’ them, rather than being anxious because I have a list of things to do that.
Do you ever think about the ripple effect a lack of boundaries can have on the things and people that are important to you? Sometimes they may feel it’s negative for them, because it could involve you saying ‘no’ to them but, in the long term, it will be positive because it will give you more time and energy to connect with them in a more relaxed way.
How does your lack of boundaries affect your life?