Set Limits to Protect Your Boundaries

Jan 16, 2023

Boundaries are, in large part, about setting limits. But what is a limit? Just like a speed limit keeps us safe, so too do our own personal limits function to keep us safe. They limit the ability of someone or something to cross our boundaries.

Setting a limit does not necessarily have to come with a drastic action such as cutting someone out of our life completely or throwing someone in jail for crossing it. Instead, it's about limiting our exposure to the way that others or external circumstances are affecting us. We can't control the rain, but we can limit the way that the rain affects us by carrying an umbrella or wearing a raincoat. Similarly, in our lives, there are many different ways to respond and set limits to the different situations that we encounter.

Setting limits will help us to say no to someone that we really do need to say no to. Setting limits will help us to say no to the things that don’t matter as much to us, so that we can prioritize the things that do. Sometimes one may see an outwardly great appearing opportunity present it to themself, and even though it doesn’t fit the vision they have for their life, they may be tempted to take it. Appropriate limits would help you distinguish between things that do fit your vision and things that don’t. They protect what you care about, and can help protect two of your most important resources: your time and energy.

In order to set limits, we need to identify the areas in our lives where limits are lacking. It's important to take a good look at our current situation and ask ourselves where we need to set limits. Once we have identified the areas where we need to set limits, we can then take the necessary action. We can say, "No, I'm not going to allow that," "No, I've got to get myself away from that," "No, I don't have time for that," or "No, that's not a great fit for me."

It's important to remember that setting limits is a process and it may take time to adjust to it. It's also important to remember that setting limits can be difficult and may cause discomfort, especially if we are not used to it. It's normal to feel guilty or uncomfortable when we start setting limits, but it's important to remember that it's necessary for our well-being. Setting limits is an essential skill when it comes to creating healthy boundaries.

Areas where you may want to set limits:

Personal Space and Privacy: Setting limits on others' access to our personal space and privacy can be important for maintaining our own physical and emotional well-being. This might include setting boundaries around who can enter our home, who can access our personal information, and who can contact us outside of work hours.

Time and Energy: Setting limits on how much time and energy we give to others or certain activities can be important for maintaining balance in our lives. This might include setting boundaries around how much time we spend on social media, how much time we spend working, and how much time we spend with certain people.

Emotional Boundaries: Setting limits on how much we allow others to affect our emotions can be important for maintaining our own mental and emotional well-being. This might include setting boundaries around how much we allow others to criticize us, how much we allow others to control our emotions, and how much we allow others to take advantage of our kindness.

Physical Boundaries: Setting limits on how much we allow others to physically touch or invade our personal space can be important for maintaining our own physical and emotional well-being. This might include setting boundaries around who can hug us, who can touch us, and who can invade our personal space.

Finances: Setting limits on how much we allow others to control or influence our finances can be important for maintaining our own financial well-being. This might include setting boundaries around how much we allow others to borrow money from us, how much we allow others to influence our spending habits, and how much we allow others to control our financial decisions.