Boundaries Create Freedom

As our lives get more complex, fragmented, and harried, boundaries ironically become the only way to freedom: the freedom to enable your best-self.

I have spent a lot of time in the past few months assessing and honing my personal definition of values, priorities, and goals in support of a life well-lived.  Within that, I continue to learn and grow in ways that shape what I have to offer society, but I also uncover how my skills and innate gifts are best activated to make the most meaningful impact in my work and personal life.  One of the most notable strategies I have leveraged in support of this pursuit of my best-self is the concept of boundaries.

As our lives get more complex, fragmented, and harried, boundaries ironically become the only way to freedom.  Freedom to honor yourself, your family, and your precious time – giving your best and most-focused self to the areas in life where you feel confident that you’ll be able to leave the most meaningful impact.  Generally, when I’m clear and upfront about what I’m able to accommodate in support of others, it creates greater understanding and ease in the runway ahead.  In much the same way that young children flourish when they have clear expectations and routine from their parents or teachers, drawing those lines and guardrails in your own life have clear benefits and outcomes as well. 

Brené Brown is one of the most well-known advocates of this approach covered in her many books and Netflix special, “The Call to Courage.”  She defines it simply as determining “what’s okay and what’s not okay” in your time commitments and relationships with others.  Within that, trust and progress is garnered when you’re able to communicate those boundaries, ensure you hold yourself and others accountable to honoring them, and practice them by being willing to say “no” to people and requests that cross over those lines.

I have undoubtedly spent too much time in my life ignoring boundaries I should have protected in order to offer my best self.  How often do we feel guilty about closing our laptop at dinner time?  How difficult does it feel to turn off work during the first few days of a hard-earned vacation?  How many times have we subjected ourselves to relationships or gatherings out of perceived obligation that are energy-sucks leaving us feeling half-empty rather than lifted-up?  It can often feel like gravity is pulling you past your boundaries, but you owe it to yourself to push back against those forces.

In defining my boundaries and routinely honoring them, I have found that I have more positive emotional and physical energy.  It has enabled more time to allocate to uninterrupted focus on people and opportunities that bring joy and fulfillment in my life – getting me closer to my personal goals and supporting my mental well-being along the way.  Carve out time this week to determine how you might find more freedom and positivity in life by leveraging the power of boundaries.

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Danielle is Founder of The Well-Intended® and an award-winning Executive Wellness Coach.  If you’d like to learn more about how The Well-Intended can help your organization click here to review our Corporate Renewal Programs and/or email danielle@thewellintended.com to discuss 1-on-1 Virtual Executive Wellness Coaching.

iStock photo credit: MediaProduction

Disclaimer: “The Well-Intended”, and its associated blog and social media pages are owned and operated by The Well-Intended LLC and does not provide medical advice.  The Well-Intended’s author is not a physician or licensed medical expert.  The content provided shares perspective on a personal wellness journey and healthy lifestyle approach practiced by its owner in order to achieve their own health and happiness.  Please consult your physician for advice and/or guidance regarding specific concerns with your own health, vitamins, supplements, fitness plan and/or anything else health- or wellness-related.

Danielle has a degree IN advertising from Michigan State University (Go Green!) and a degree OF sarcasm in life.  Her perfectly imperfect pursuit of wellness is rooted in the research and practice of wellness in efforts to revitalize her mind, body and spirit after 20 years as an executive in the advertising industry and a hobby of collecting home addresses in Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Atlanta. You can reach her on The Well-Intended social channels or at danielle@thewellintended.com.

1 comment on “Boundaries Create Freedom

  1. Denis Faye

    This totally makes sense. It makes me think of Tat Nhat Hanh’s notion that you need to help yourself first if you truly want to help others.

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