To understand “Boundaries” let’s debunk the stigma attached to such a powerful word and uncover where they may be in conflict, understanding that the awareness is the stepping stone to establishing healthy boundaries and the essence of why they are vital to an everyday success story.

Let’s look at the meaning of the word Boundary as per www.dictionary.cambrige.org:

  • A real or imagined line that marks the edge or limit of something
  • The limit of a subject or principle
  • The limit of what someone considers to be acceptable behaviour
  • A line, piece of rope, etc. that marks the edge of the playing area on a cricket field

The true essence of a Boundary is to build onto a relationship rather than break it. When we find ourselves in moments of conflict or confrontation it’s most vital to understand the role we are playing in our story which in turn offers space to see where we get to re-establish, construct or simply negotiate the boundary lines to the benefit of both parties.

There are many forms of boundaries that we get to uncover (such as Personal, Family, Friends,  Spouse, Work, Children, God/ Higher Power) , so for this read in particular I would like to explore the personal boundary conflicts that we may face and why constructing something healthier is not only to the benefit of others, it is PARAMOUNT to personal growth.

Here are some conflicting Personal Boundaries that we shall dive into:

  1. Eating
  2. Money
  3. Time
  4. Task Completion
  5. The Tongue
  6. Sexuality
  7. Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Before we continue, I would recommend to go easy on yourself should some pieces unlock a trigger (a moment of agitation such as anger, guilt, shame, etc.), acknowledge it so we can work with it. The power you will hold is the knowledge you receive and what you decide to do once gained is one of the Hallmarks to the next step in your success story.

  1. Eating

“The secrets we hold in the shadows will eventually be brought to the light.” – Unknown.

Weight gain to start is a sly creature of habit, simply when work seems to overwhelm and all of life seems to tumble around us. Food or the lack there of is the one place we head to under the false pretenses of “control”. Thus, opening the door to loss of stamina, dating life becoming more challenging and the greatest of them all is the attitude we have toward ourselves.

The time pressures of work can leave us feeling isolated where nothing can fill the void beside “comfort food” or the lack there of. In this spiral, overwhelm of shame draws us further away from relationships and back to the arms of comfort food.

Food serves as a false boundary, a reason to avoid intimacy or to become less attractive… the “comfort” from food can be less scary than the prospect of real relationships, where boundaries would be necessary.

  • Money

“The problem isn’t money, it’s the LOVE of money that is the “root to all kinds of evil””- 1 Tim. 6:10

Here are some areas where tremendous problems with money may arise:

  • Impulsive spending
  • Careless budgeting
  • Living beyond one’s means
  • Credit problems
  • Chronically borrowing from friends
  • Ineffectual savings plans
  • Working more to pay the bills
  • Enabling others

The greatest temptation is to see money problems as needing more income, however the concern is not the high cost of living rather the cost of high living. When the financial outgoing is higher than that of the incoming the main issue lay in the self boundary, where we find it difficult to say no to spending more than we should and run the risk of becoming someone else’s servant.

  • Time

“Peoples who’s time is out of control inconvenience others whether they mean to or not.” – Dr John Townsend

Living consistently on the edge of deadlines and possibly on the embracing path of burnout, here are a few causes to pay some mind to:

  • Omnipotence– unrealistic expectations of what they can truly accomplish in a given amount of time (“No problem- I will do it” is the motto).
  • Over responsibility for others feelings– feeling as though others will feel abandoned when leaving an event earlier.
  • Lack of realistic Anxiety– living solely in the present moment taking no account of the amount of time it would take to get ready, account for any setbacks on the road as well as finding parking at the venue.
  • Rationalization– minimizing the distress and inconvenience others must put up with due to their lateness.

The under-developed time boundaries may leave one feeling incomplete for the day and add to tomorrows worries with running behind schedule.

  • Task Completion

“It is finished”- John 19:30

The internal under development of completing a task can at times look like “shiny object syndrome”, where all  ideas and task seem great to start yet after a short amount of time a new idea surfaces and calls for our attention where the previous task is now left in the wind. Some of the concerns poor finishers may face are:

  • Resistance to Structure– submitting to discipline of a plan is an insult to their skill set.
  • Fear of Success– the cause of others to envy and criticize when reaching moments of success, leading to living small to not lose friends.
  • Lack of follow-through– they find it great to birth an idea and hand it over to others to complete.
  • Distractibility- the skill set to focus until a project is complete is under developed .
  • Inability to delay gratification– often times it’s the thrill of instant gratification that hides the true value of working through the pain of a project which offers a much sweeter reward.
  • Inability to say no to other pressures– taking on others responsibilities or projects may leave no time to finish a job to its greatest potential.
  • The Tongue

“The pen is the tongue of the mind” – Horace

The manner in which we use language can affect the quality of our relationships. The word we use could be a blessing when we emphasize, identify, encourage and confront others.

On the other side of the coin we have the ability to use words as a curse such as:

  • Talking non-stop to hide from intimacy
  • Dominate conversation to control others
  • Gossip
  • Sarcasm, expressing indirect hostility
  • Threaten, expressing direct hostility
  • Flatter, instead of authentically praise
  • Seduce

We have the power to set boundaries on what comes out of our mouths. When we are unable to hold back or set boundaries on what we say, our words are in control and not us. On a whole we are responsible for the words we choose to speak.

“I didn’t mean to say that.” Can be translated to “I didn’t want you to know I thought that about you.”

  • Sexuality

“Out-of- control sexual behaviour can take on a life of it’s own, unreal and fantasy driven.” – Dr John Townsend

Individuals caught up in out-of-control sexual behaviours such as pornography, prostitution, indecent liberties, incest and more may find a feeling of deep isolation and shame.

Sexual boundarylessness becomes a tyrant, demanding and insatiable. Where the inability to say no to ones lust drives them deeper into the spiral of despair and hopelessness.

  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse

“The decision to kill your addiction will only become a reality if you believe and reinforce the fact that you have the capacity to do it.” – Ocho Otorkpa

As most of those who have experiences with addiction in their homes or close friend groups can understand devastation that follows.

The fallout from the inability to set limits are divorce, job loss, financial havoc, medical problems and death.

For adults addiction is difficult even with some understanding of their character and boundaries. The addiction within the youth whose boundaries are delicate and forming, the effects are often lifelong and debilitating.

Now that we have a greater understanding of where we may find conflicts within our Personal Boundaries, I implore you to take a moment to simply acknowledge what is coming up for you.

The gift of knowledge is it simply offers feedback, and feedback in its greatest form is truly just that. There is no right or wrong, it is what you intend to do with the new understanding you have gained. Knowing there are ways to re-establish, construct and develop a more fruitful way of life.

To book a session send through an email on gaby@archerinspirations.com and let’s uncover how you can step more powerfully into your Success Story.

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