Over the course of my life, I just like many of us, have been pushed and pulled in many directions. It wasn’t until I got into my early 30s, I realized how important it is to set your limitations for what you need in life. I realized that I was putting too much attention on what others need and putting my needs on the back burner. Sometimes giving people too much access to you can later turn into anger and resentment. Setting limitations are extremely essential to healthy relationships and, really, a healthy life.
How to Set Limitations
Setting limitations is equivalent to setting healthy boundaries, however, setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us don’t learn, according to psychologist and coaches. We might pick up pointers here and there from experience or through watching others. But for many of us, boundary-building is a relatively new concept and a challenging one. Nevertheless, the consequences of not setting healthy boundaries often include “stress, financial burdens, wasted time, and relationship issues, which can cause mental distress” (Prism Health North Texas, n.d.). In other words, a lack of healthy boundaries can negatively affect all aspects of someone’s life. The base of having healthy boundaries is knowing and understanding your limitations.
Tips on how to create healthy boundaries:
Develop a healthy respect for yourself. When you respect yourself, all of who you are, you should expect that others will treat you with respect. If they don’t, that’s a clear sign not to engage.
Heed the warning signs. Stay away from anyone who has his or her own agenda and thinks nothing of pushing the limit, of invading your space for their own end.
You are in charge of your choices. Everyone has the right to change our mind or our direction at any time. We don’t need to feel that we owe anyone anything more than we want to give with a free and conscious heart.
Separate yourself from others. It may be difficult to imagine being emotionally attached to others while remaining psychologically and intellectually detached. This means that you are able to separate your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs from others. You understand that your boundaries are different from others.
Know Yourself. Get to know yourself as best you can. Learn what’s really important to you, what you really value apart from anyone else. Understanding your inner world by becoming familiar and comfortable with your own beliefs, emotions, feelings, and ideas is essential.
For additional reading, I suggest you read Boundaries by John Townsend and Henry: