I took a poll on my instagram story asking if people found it hard to set boundaries. 83% said “Yes”. When I asked why, most stated they fear rejection or the reaction of the other person.
Boundaries aren’t popular.
The number one principal of creating boundaries isn’t creating boundaries at all. It’s discovering what you VALUE.
I don’t hear about values anymore. My grandparents talked a lot about values. My parents did as well. Values like perseverance, honestly, hard work, integrity – I don’t hear these words today.
Here’s the thing, if you don’t know what you stand for then what on earth are you standing on? If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. Without having values, how on earth do we know what boundaries to have our lives? The first step in setting boundaries is to figure out,
“What are my values?”
Do you know what you value? My values are courage, showing and pushing through hard stuff, and compassion. There are many others but those are my top ones. I set boundaries to protect those at all costs. It’s how I know what boundaries to have at home with my family, and at work.
I value courage, so I have a boundary around the kinds of conversations I will have and I won’t have. If you want only to complain and not talk solutions, my boundary is to walk away from that conversation. I want braver conversations.
I value showing up and doing the hard stuff, therefore I teach my kids to push through the hard things. I have boundaries set to ensure that in our home we don’t hide from a challenge. I don’t let my kids give up because of this value. I don’t let myself give up either.
I value compassion and so I have boundaries in place to guard compassion fatigue in my life. It’s too easy to become burned out because the need in our world is great and I’m only one person. I’m in this for the long haul so I know where I start and where I end when it comes to compassion.
How do you create values? Here are three crucial elements in creating your values that will determine the boundaries you set for your life that will wake you up to your life.
Who are you?
I stood in front of a high school student body challenging them to create habits that create mental wellness. I paused then added, “Maybe the question isn’t what habits you ‘should’ be establishing in your life. Maybe the key to creating good habits is to get back to who you are.
People who know who they are,
- aren’t aimlessly wavering in the wind.
- are creating habits that fuel them forward into who they are.
- have boundaries in place that protect their identity from being corrupted.
“How you gonna win if you ain’t right within?” – Lauren Hill
“You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” – Ice Cube
“The first thing to prosper should be inside of me.” – Kirk Franklin
Everyone who is experiencing wellness and success in their lives know who they are. Who are you? How do you find out? Here’s my rule of thumb in discovering who you are:
Who you are without your pain is who you are.
If we stripped all the negative labels and experiences off of you, what’s left? That’s who you are. Once I stripped of the label I was given of “Connie Chunk”, I found the girl left was courageous, willing to push through, and offer compassion to haters instead of spite.
I don’t just value courage, perseverance, and compassion – it’s WHO I AM.
Find out who you are and you’ll find everything else in your life will flow from there.
What do you dream of?
What keeps you up at night and gets you out of bed in the morning? What would you do for hours and not ask to be paid for it? Pay attention to what you dream of. It often overflows from who you are.
My courage comes from my passion to see our mental health crisis end.
My perseverance is fuelled by my dream of seeing families mentally well.
My compassion is expressed through my love of listening to people’s stories of all they have been through.
It’s time to dream again. So many of us don’t have values or boundaries because we have nothing worth protecting. When you get a hold of who you are and a dream that fuels your bones, you’ll very quickly find values and healthy boundaries because now there’s something feeding your soul worth protecting.
What do you want to pass on?
I ask parents in my parenting seminar, “What you do want your child to leave your home with when they are ready to leave the nest? What values and character traits do you want your child to have instilled inside of them when they launch from home?” You have to parent your child with the end in mind. We need to lead our employees by looking 20 years in the future and leading them there.
For me this is how it plays out,
I want everyone who comes into my presence to leave feeling more courageous.
I want my kids to never give up on their dreams and to show up when it’s tough, and I hope this is what they continue to do into their adulthood.
I want to remind people to put the “social” back in Social Work and the “human” back in Human Resources. I want to change systems that wars against us not remembering human connection is the most important aspect of everything we do.
Those who have influence are intentional about what they want to pass on to others. What do you want to pass on to your kids, your employees, your friends, the people you influence?
When you know who you are, remind yourself of what you dream of and what you desire to pass on – values and boundaries become easy.
So what are you waiting for? Dig in, discover, and dive in full and stop putting up with less than what you’re made for.
And remember, I’m here to help and cheer you on any time you need.
Watch the Vlog version of this blog here on my YouTube.