Establishing Boundaries

Healthy boundaries are not walls. They are the gates and fences that allow you to enjoy the beauty of your own garden!

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to take everything on, to not delegate, to not set boundaries or to not take care of yourself before taking care of others? As a mother that works full time, has 4 boys and many other commitments, I can tell you that every moment of my time is precious so taking extra things on often means neglecting something or doing something poorly.

Working with Brandon and his coaching program has only made it even more clear to me that if we don’t establish boundaries or take care of ourselves as well, then we are not going to be able to do all the things we need let alone the extra things we often take on.

It is more than about self-care, it is really about setting those limits and not compromising them. I have often been in a position when I have had something planned that is important to me, and something else comes up. I find myself in conflict over the thing I “should” do versus the thing I “want” to do. Obviously, there are certain times when something is urgent or an emergency and that’s not what I am talking here, I am talking about just taking on something when you are only doing it out of obligation or because you feel like someone else can’t handle it.

I used to have a hard time letting things go and letting other people help me, or delegating, but that’s definitely not the case anymore. What I realized (it’s easier to think this for work circumstances, but it definitely applies to life in general) is that my time is best spent doing those things that only I can do. – you know, those things that need you to be the one to handle. For example, I can’t delegate doing the sales that I do, but the paperwork, the backend stuff, those are things I can definitely hand off. At home, we have our kids do certain chores, as I am sure you do, which means that not every single thing about the running of the household is left to Brandon or I.

One of the hardest things to recognize is the fact that our wanting to do everything actually takes away from those we love, because we can’t be there for them 100%. It means we are spreading ourselves so thin that we are unable to be present a lot of the time, especially at those times that are the most important. I’ll admit that while my kids were younger I spent a lot of time doing things myself, not asking for help because I believed I had the perfect way of doing things and didn’t want others to do it another way or I didn’t want them to screw it up. What ended up happening is that I didn’t teach my kids some important lessons, and I ended up being really burned out a lot of the time.

They say that youth is wasted on the young, and I believe it, because with age definitely comes maturity and letting go of control – yes I can admit that I was a little controlling 😉 . I also learned that empowering others to do things actually gives them the chance to step up and learn themselves – which is one of the best gifts we can give someone!

I am still learning, but I definitely feel like the boundaries that I set are pretty healthy – and I am also open to growing and learning more.

Do you have healthy boundaries or do you try to take it all on? Do you feel like if you hand things off to others to do that they won’t do it as well as you?

If you answer yes to the second question, start small…try letting go of just one thing this week. If you feel like you have healthy boundaries, ask yourself this – are you exhausted a lot or do you feel resentment for anyone? If you answer yes to either of those questions, then maybe a little more soul searching is on order 😉

Remember – establishing boundaries is one of the most unselfish things you can do!

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