I think a big reason why we sometimes avoid setting boundaries is because we think don’t know how to do it. However, it turns out the setting boundaries is like everything else, getting good takes practice.
And so like Zig Ziglar said ‘anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well’.
Instead of shying away from setting boundaries because you think you’ll do it badly, embrace where you’re at and in time you’ll get better at it.
Sometimes when you encounter an issue you only look at it from your perspective. You focus on how you feel, how you’ve been treated and you can end up playing the victim (often unknowingly).
Sometimes we take the position of the victim because we want to be coddled and we want to be saved but doing so puts you at a disadvantage because you’ll always be waiting for someone else to make things better.
And when you go to people and tell them the problem you’re having you might find that they seem unsympathetic or as though they aren’t on your side. This can make the issue’s your having feel even worse.
But sometimes all it takes is looking at the situation from another point of view to realise that you’re so focused on yourself that you’ve ignored the experiences of everyone else around you.
When you go to work, you want to feel like you’re of value. Perhaps not to the point where the whole place would fall apart without you but at least like what you contribute each day matters.
When a person wakes up, gets ready and goes to work, if they feel like they don’t need to be there or as though everything would seamlessly continue if they walked out, the person won’t take much care in the work they do.
And deep down or perhaps just beneath the surface we all know that often the care comes before the feeling of significance. It tends to start with taking pride in what you do and then the feeling of value or making a worthy contribution comes after.
But what if you’re doing your best and that feeling still never comes?
I think a big part of feeling of value in your job can come from external validation. This isn’t about knowing that you’re working hard and doing a great job but your manager or boss is undervaluing you. This is about how you feel about yourself and the role you play.
I think when a person doesn’t feel like they make a valuable contribution at work, they also start to feel a loss of interest in their work. When it seems like what you do doesn’t matter, what’s the point in caring?
If you don’t see the value in what you do and you’re not interested in it anymore then chances are you’re not happy either. And so the next step is to think about whether or not it’s time to move on to something new or to find a way to make things work.
If you want someone to trust you then getting angry when they try to open up won’t help.
It is so important that what you do reflects the way you want things to turn out, otherwise what’s the point?
You can’t just go around doing whatever you want and expecting or hoping that everything will turn out your way.
You have to ensure that your actions are in line with your desired outcome. But you also have to remember that sometimes things just won’t quite turn out the way you want them to.
Before you ask the question, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want the answer to be.
Sometimes it goes as far as you formulating a question in order to hear a specific answer, like prasie or a compliment.
And sometimes it comes from a place of vanity but other times perhaps you need a little reassurance or a confidence boost.
Then there are other situations where we beat around the bush and ask questions that don’t quite get us the information we wanted. We’re indirect instead of direct. We do this from a place of fear.
When you’re scared to ask a question it’s much easier to ask around the question but the issue with this is that you end up unsatisfied.
The answer you get doesn’t satisfy you because you really wanted to ask about something else. You end up still having more to ask.
This is why it’s so important to ask the right questions.
So often, we get deeply and strongly attached. We hope that things will remain as they are.
We fear that change might bring in what we don’t want and clear out what we do want.
But, I like to believe that as wonderful and perfect as things might be right now, everything could be different and still be wonderful and perfect.
That serves as a reminder that it’s okay for things to change.
There is no need to hold great attachment to the way things are, in doing so we don’t allow space for the new.
New might not be ‘better’ but it will be different. It’s the opportunity to experience something you’ve never experienced, it’s a chance to learn and grow.
Sometimes in life you can be so set on knowing yourself and figuring out who you are that you don’t leave room for flexibility.
I think it’s important to find the balance between knowing yourself, whilst still remaining open to new things.
You don’t want to end up being rigid.
However, the reason we close ourselves off to new things is because it can take a lot of effort to change.
Your thoughts, opinions, beliefs and world view took a long time to develop and become what they are today. Being open to new information that could change any of that can feel like more hassle than it’s worth. Or maybe it feels like a threat to your sense of self.
Suddenly, the things you aspired to, cared about and believed in are different. It’s almost like you’ve become someone new, which is not a bad thing. However, the hard part can come from showing up as a changed person and letting go of your old self.
It might not be what you want to do but perhaps it is exactly what you need right now.
So often instead of taking regular breaks, we wait until the point of exhaustion to finally slow down and rest.
Perhaps you’ve convinced yourself that you need to work hard in order to rest or reach a particular achievement in order to justify taking a break.
Maybe you think that rest is a waste of time, as the saying goes I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
But, maybe the best thing for you to do is to take a break right now. Stop, slow down and rest.
When you think of a fresh start, what comes to mind?
A new city, a new stage in education, a new country, a new relationship, a new job, a promotion or a new home.
As much as those things are the beginning of new chapters in our lives, they don’t necessarily mark a fresh start. I think what matters so much more is the mindset. Sometimes people find that they move to a new city and get a new job but everything they wanted to escape from stays with them. They find themselves in a new city with the same old problems.
It’s possible to change your mindset, stay in the exact same place and still get the effects of a fresh start. Things like moving to a new city, changing your hair or getting a new job all serves as visual signifiers for ourselves and also to the outside world that something has changed.
When someone you care about comes to you with a problem even if they don’t ask you for advice you’re instinct is to help them and to make the problem go away. You tell them what you think they should do or what you think will fix the problem because you feel like it’s the right thing to do.
But, in doing so we fail to consider the other persons needs. Perhaps they simply wanted to vent but now you’ve bombarded them with all your thoughts and opinions.
Maybe, you’ve convinced yourself that it’s fine to give advice that wasn’t asked for because you have good intentions. You’re just trying to help, you know how to fix things or you feel like your personal experience gives you authority on the matter.
But you have to put yourself aside and consider that maybe the best thing that you can do is ask the other person what they need, then support them as best as you can.