Does your NO mean NO? (Boundaries)
Having no boundaries in your personal life will strain personal relationships and the accumulation of frustration and miscommunication as a result of no boundaries will ultimately create resentment that will lead you into very toxic relationships.
No boundaries can also keep you in that victim mentality.
Here’s the truth – if you don’t create clear boundaries for yourself in all of your relationships, you can’t expect the people in your life to know what you want or don’t want. Healthy boundaries allow for an equal partnership where both the power and responsibilities are shared. Especially in marriages, but this mindset will affect everything you do, from friends, to work, to church, to children.
Boundaries help us define who we are and provides us with a definite sense of self. People who learn how to set personal boundaries thrive because they have created a level of personal control within their life, whereas people who do not set personal boundaries tend to be stressed and overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time to do the things they want.
Most people have a hard time saying the word NO.
Inevitably, until we set personal boundaries and learn to say no, the quality of our lives will suffer in so many ways.
When we learn to say “No” more often, or just learn to say “Yes” on our terms, we free ourselves from the burden of pleasing others therefore allowing ourselves more time and freedom to do what we feel matters most.
- Your adult children ask you for money and you go ahead and give it them against your better judgment even though they don’t take responsibility for their own budgeting.
- Your coworkers delegate tasks to you that they should be doing, but you do the extra work because you want to please them and be liked.
- Your husband tells you that it’s your fault he lost his temper and was abusive and you take on the guilt for his choices and actions.
- Someone from your church asks you to volunteer for a new project, and out of guilt you say “yes” when you really should say “no” because your schedule is already overloaded and you are exhausted.
All of these scenarios reflect a lack of boundaries – limits that can help you avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy the peace God wants you to experience.
You may tend to respond to other people’s needs at the expense of your own and then suffer from the chaos that comes from a life without proper boundaries. I see it often in coaching.
Do you want some ideas on how to start setting boundaries in your life and start enjoying peace?
- Shift your focus from your circumstances to how you respond to those circumstances.
God will empower you to change your life for the better if you change the way you respond to your circumstances. While you often can’t control your circumstances, you can always control how you respond to those circumstances as you surrender them to God and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance to set the appropriate boundaries. Doing so will honor both God and you, because it will please God to see you living with the respect He intends for you.
- Keep in mind that taking control isn’t the same as being controlling.
Setting boundaries isn’t about trying to control other people; instead, it’s about being clear about what you will and will not accept in your life in order to claim your God-given spiritual authority and guard your heart from harm. You never need to feel guilty about setting boundaries with the people in your life. Jesus did it all the time. He had very strong boundaries. No one deterred Him from His mission. People will actually have more respect for you when you are strong and firm in your boundaries.
- Distinguish between helping and enabling others.
But Enabling leads people to depend on you in unhealthy ways – AND is doing things for people that they could and should be doing themselves.
Recognize that when you’re enabling people rather than helping them, you’re creating an atmosphere in which others can comfortably continue their unacceptable behavior. Even though you intend to help, if you’re enabling you’re actually hurting other people, and yourself, in the process. You enable them to not take responsibility for their own lives. Thus draining yourself.
Recognize that setting boundaries is vital in order to fulfill God’s purposes for your life. Instead of letting other people distract you from living the life God intends for you, claim the spiritual authority God has given you by setting the boundaries He leads you to set in your life.
Pray for the confidence you need to overcome whatever fears have been holding you back from setting proper boundaries in your life.
The more you learn how to apply biblical wisdom to your life, the better you’ll be able to set boundaries that will help you accomplish God’s will.
- Stop your own negative behavior.
Ask God to help you identify specific negative attitudes and behaviors in your life that are contributing to a lack of boundaries and the resulting stress. Then decide to stop your destructive patterns and pray for power from the Holy Spirit each day to replace your unhealthy attitudes and behaviors with healthy ones.
Don’t waste time or energy anymore on trying to get the other people in your life to change; that will never work. Instead, focus on simply changing yourself, with God’s help. You will never get someone else to change their behavior. You have to change.
YOU are NOT the savior of anyone. Jesus is!!
Seek the support and encouragement of some caring Christians whom you can trust to help you on your journey to set proper boundaries in your life. Or get yourself a Life Coach to walk the journey with you a while to show you how. (Contact me if interested!)
- Nip excuses in the bud.
Don’t tolerate any more excuses from either yourself (about why you’re not setting boundaries in your life) or other people (about why they want to step over boundaries that you’ve set for them).
Ask God to help you stand firm so you can make real and lasting changes in your life. Say “no” clearly and without guilt whenever you sense that you should say “no.” Doing so will give you the freedom to say “yes” to activities that the Holy Spirit convicts you to pursue.
You will feel so empowered!!
- Trust the voice of the Spirit. Pay attention to how the Holy Spirit speaks to you about boundaries. Listen for the Spirit’s guidance about boundaries every day in prayer, and be sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings in every situation you encounter. In some situations, the Spirit will restrain you from taking action, and in others, the Spirit will urge you to take action move forward.
Yield everything to God. Live to please God alone, and don’t worry about pleasing other people. Let go of everything that holds you back from fulfilling God’s purposes for you, including: unrealistic expectations, negative emotions, and Satan’s lies. Trust God to give you peace and guidance to change your life forever!!