Internalising boundaries

You can learn a lot from someone by simply observing them.

I recently noticed in a particular relationship that the other person had very clear boundaries. It wasn’t anything that had been explicitly stated but through this persons actions it was very clear what they were and were not open to.

Sometimes a persons boundaries can feel personal. You might feel that they’re being harsh and closed off toward you. On the other hand you might internalise it and end up thinking you need to put in more effort.

In the situation I experienced I could have taken it personally, in fact 5 years ago I would have. I’d have thought this means [insert monologue of dramatic over reaction here] and maybe this person doesn’t like me.

But I now understand that a boundary is for the person setting them, it has little to do with the people on the receiving end.

The difficult truth

Sometimes the hardest part is facing it.

Once you accept it, you can make a plan for what do next. That for many is exciting.

However, facing the difficult truth is the necessary first step. You do it by acknowledging and understanding the situation. In some cases it will involve admitting the role that you played contributed to a negative outcome.

That’s a helpful lesson because it allows you to understand the implications of your actions.

It might be a bitter pill to swallow but we all make mistakes. Luckily, we also have the capacity to fix them and make things better.

When it happens again

If you find yourself experiencing a difficult situation, similar to something you have faced in your past you have the opportunity to handle it differently and with new knowledge and experience.

Don’t just caught up in the thought of ‘why is this happening to me again?’. Instead thing about what you can do to get the outcome you desire.

Answer the questions:

What did you do last time?

What did you want to happen?

What was the outcome?

What can you do differently this time?

Even if things don’t turn out perfectly, it’ll feel good to know that you handled things better than you did in the past

For those that refuse to listen

Some people will never truly hear you when you speak no matter how hard you try.

In those circumstances the solution is never to try harder.

You might think that the harder you try they’ll eventually come around and hear you out. But the thing is some people aren’t interested in being wrong.

Some people aren’t interested in hearing a perspective that contradicts their own.

And even if they realise that they were wrong and the information you shared had changed their mind, they’re more likely to dismiss that.

When a person is more interested in being  right than being open to new information, it might be a waste of time trying to get them to listen.

Learning to open up

One of the biggest reasons to open up is that it helps you realise that you aren’t alone.

So often we live our lives as if we are the only one who has faced a difficulty, felt lonely, been rejected, felt lost or was unhappy with the way they looked. We end up holding it in because we think we’re alone or perhaps we don’t want to burden others with our troubles.

I’ve taught myself to open up more. It was a mix of practice, knowing who to trust and letting go of fear.

And so when I encourage you to do the same, it’s not because I find it easy. It’s because I’ve done it and it worked wonders.

Unexpected and interesting

Language is pretty important. What we say and the words we choose to use can be impacted by how we choose the world or even change how we see the world.

An example of this that I practice is not referring to things as bad or negative. Instead I’ll use words like unexpected, interesting, challenging, growth points and so on.

Something unexpected is just something you didn’t plan for, something interesting is something that has caught your attention, something challenging is something that can be overcome and a growth point is something you learn from.

Choosing to see things that way in my experience is much more beneficial.

Let’s say you apply for a job and don’t get it. In my experience viewing the unideal outcome as bad just gives the inner monologue a chance to run wild and after a few minutes you’ll find yourself thinking that you’re world is over.

But on the other hand if you view the rejection as a growth point you might realise that you didn’t really want the job, you could have filled out your application better or perhaps you just learn the lesson that not everything you want was meant to be.

Temporary things

The idea of things not lasting, of things being temporary is often seen as a bad thing.

It’s seen as a failure.

We get caught up in this idea that if something is good it should last and if it doesn’t last then something was wrong.

I think the problem is that we find it hard to let go of a good thing, perhaps because we don’t believe their is more good things out there for us.

This idea of temporary things can be applied to many situations but lets take the example of friendship.

If you grow apart from someone who was once a close friend you can accept the situation or you can try to get back to the way things were. We idolise the past and try to force things to become what they once were.

I guess it’s difficult to accept that not everything was meant to last.

But in learning to accept temporary things you also open yourself up to some of life’s most beautiful moments.

Learning from mistakes

In the moment missing a day of daily blogging feels like failure but in the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that bad.

If you look at it one way missing 8/365 days isn’t much at all.

But on the other hand can you really call yourself a daily blogger if you don’t post every single day.

When I first started daily blogging it really bothered me when I missed a day, mainly because it was never intentional. It frustrated me that I could forgot to post and not realise until the next day and by then it was too late.

Luckily, I’ve now realised that when you make a mistake if you focus on learning from it instead of getting mad at yourself it’s much less likely to happen again.

And of course this applies to so much more than just blogging

If I was you…

It’s easy to pass judgements on other peoples choices.

‘If I was you I’d have…’

‘Maybe if you ….. then this wouldn’t have happened’

But your judgement is rarely being sought out so maybe think about ways to be helpful instead.

Sometimes when a person is riled up, frustrated and they take action it’s not from a place of clarity. If they’d have waited a few hours or a day or two they’d have done things differently. But everybody makes mistakes, we’re all just learning as we go.

Free information

It’s out there, you just have to know where to look.

If you ever have a curiosity, want to learn more or are looking for answers the information is out there.

It’s east to forget that the same thing you use to scroll twitter, watch YouTube videos, double tap on Instagram and swipe on dating apps can be the very same thing to educate you.

In so many cases you don’t even need to ask questions because the answer is only a few clicks away.

Take advantage of that and seek out knowledge on the things that matter to you, simply because you can.