The Four Secrets About Setting Boundaries That Will Return You to Happiness

on January 29, 2016 Divorced Entrepreneur with 0 comments
Secrets about Boundaries that return you to happiness after divorce

Boundaries. Structure. Many people detest the thought of having rules, rituals and routines imposed on us.

The Truth: Boundaries set us free.

That’s the irony… Structure actually sets us free. Free to live life our way, without limits.

I’ve endured two specific life events in the past decade that boldly taught me this profound lesson. One was my divorce and the other was a near-death accident. Boundaries greatly benefitted 1) me, 2) my sons, 3) my business.

Before, during, and after my divorce I had to learn to impose boundaries. I had lost myself and was no longer true to me. A great counselor and some phenomenal friends held me accountable to build strong boundaries, which created space for me and kept the unproductive, controlling or otherwise negative forces out of my life.

Boundary: Deflect negative projections.

The rituals started with simple things such as not responding to certain emails/voicemails until tomorrow. Most of the time there was no urgency. These particular messages were intended to manipulate and control. So, removing the urgency often eliminated the “issue” being imposed.

In the created space, thanks to boundaries, after my divorce I chose to become the true me again. I chose to focus first on being the best father I could be. I chose to get back to great physical condition.

I have since found that being around other successful people in the same life situation is very beneficial, particularly when they are of the same positive mindset and contributing for the benefit of all. One group I highly recommend for those of us that are divorced can be found here. Success attracts success.

Boundary: Rely on Rituals.

It was in these “rebuilding myself” days that I developed rituals. I needn’t go into the details, as they are specific to me, but envision routines and practices that I follow religiously. There are no wrong rituals; do what works for you. These rituals freed my mind, my calendar and my spirit to live a full life again.

After the accident, I learned the power of putting strong boundaries around work. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy for me to work all the time. I love what I do.

Here’s the lesson being bed ridden taught me: I was not only working too much, I was actually in the way at work. When I couldn’t work for 3 months, my company grew significantly. Everyone stepped up. New processes were created that did not include me. I was a bottleneck.

Boundary: Compartmentalize Work.

When I did return to work, I found myself working much less hours yet being insanely more productive. I did only what I was exceptional at; the team did everything else, each focusing on their area of expertise.

An added benefit to the work-compartmentalizing boundary becoming so strong was that I had more space and time to be a father and to live life ferociously again. “Be a father first” is a personal core value, and because of this boundary I get to live it daily.

Throughout life, I’ve discovered and rely on some other boundaries to enable me to live even more freely with abundance:

  • Integrity. Take personal responsibility. There’s no avoiding cause and effect.
  • Truth. It’s a lot easier and less stressful to simply speak the truth.
  • Accountability. Hold yourself accountable. Involve others in the loop.
  • Talk. Don’t rely on email. Have candid, crucial conversations quicker.
  • Vision. Have the long play in mind. Instant gratification is often dangerous.

As I’ve coached others in life and in business, I’ve observed that boundaries can be built proactively or reactively. It’s in the energy draining reactive that the pain level can be intense. Proactive self-work, to the contrary, is energy creating.

Therefore, consider taking a few moments each day over the next two weeks to assess your own life and evaluate your boundaries, maybe even start some new rituals. Here’s a free tool to help you refresh your perspective, your boundaries and your rituals.

Building and leveraging boundaries set me free. Rituals and structure set me free. I believe all of us can and should be free.

I’ve been challenged that this line of thought is selfish. I am vehemently opposed to that comment. I contend that taking care of ourselves is selfless, not selfish.

Without you there is no company. Without you there is no family unit. Your healthy body and healthy mind are needed for healthy relationships and for living a full, abundant life.

After all, “Life is a Gift!”


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