Most people don’t like boundaries. When you think of boundaries you usually think of something that is restricting your freedom or getting in your way. Boundaries are everywhere! As I sit here, I see a glass covering over my fireplace, a fence around my yard, and a screen over my window. On our roadways we find double yellow lines, guard rails and rumble strips. Boundaries are everywhere! Boundaries are not to be feared or avoided, but embraced and carefully considered. Boundaries create a channel that moves your life, business and family in a specific direction so that you can reach your desired destination. However, without boundaries the destination is left up to chance. Think of a river with no boundaries; it becomes a swamp with no clear direction or purpose.
There is great success to be achieved through the establishment of boundaries in our lives.
1. Boundaries protect against unhealthy outside influences. We are bombarded by people and things that have it as their goal to influence us toward their agenda. Clear boundaries prevent good ideas from steering us away from our vision. Without clear boundaries, we are open to the influences of everything around us. When we establish clear boundaries, we are free to choose healthy influences that enable us to accomplish our goals and empower us for success.
2. Boundaries protect us from drifting off course. We have a tendency to drift toward that which we are focusing on. Like the rumble strips on the side of the road, boundaries alert us that we are drifting off course. For example, if we have a tendency to spend money on things that we are passionate about yet it doesn’t fit the budget, then a boundary would be a predetermined dollar amount. Once we approach that boundary it’s time to stop.
3. Boundaries build character and form integrity. Internal boundaries keep us in check so that we build character and form a life of integrity. When anger surfaces, a boundary must be in place that prevents it from becoming rage and resentment. When an argument ensues, we must have a boundary that says “far enough” before words begin to come out that hurt and injure others. A boundary should prevent that occasional drink from becoming more than occasional and then a daily part of your life. We must build internal boundaries that say “stop” when we get near them.
Boundaries are not restrictions that take away freedom. Rather, they are bumpers so to speak that keep you moving in the right direction. Boundaries create a sense of freedom that empowers you to reach your fullest potential by living according to the principles, values and goals that you have set. Without boundaries, you have the potential to end up anywhere.
Keep REACHING FORWARD in your life, family and business by setting boundaries that will enable you to achieve much success!