How Setting Firm Rules and Personal Boundaries Can Liberate You
I feel that every person, in every station in life, and in every aspect in life, should take the time to define and enforce rules of operation–rules that define how they will operate and how they expect everyone else around them to operate…
And I think they should enforce those rules.
This might sound like a recipe for conflict, but I believe it's actually a recipe for greater peace.
MOST CONFLICT IS A RESULT OF A POWER STRUGGLE.
- With the exception of where one person's set of rules includes that they are the only rule makers, this power struggle can be avoided with a few steps.
1 – Define your rules
2 – Understand the rules of your counterparts
3 – Decide if the mutual rules are compatible
4 – If they are not compatible, discover if one is WILLING to yield to the other set of rules or make a new rule.
5 – If one will not yield to the other or make a new rule in order to cooperate… move on
The more you practice this, the less you will experience power struggles.
For someone who's never done this, it may seem very rigid and cold.
But the truth is…
THIS IS A LIBERATING PROCESS.
You see… all people are not compatible with all people in intimate situations or even professional situations.
Think marriage, or business partnerships, or even employees that you hire, or clients that you take.
When rules are incompatible, anxiety strikes.
The thing is…
Many people have a “Sense” of their own rules, but they haven't consciously defined them…
They haven't yet chosen to enforce those rules.
Those people fall into the victim category.
And it doesn't matter if you are the victim or have to deal with one…
Victim mentality causes stress.
Which is why one of my rules is that I will not operate with anyone who chooses to remain in a victim mentality.
- I'm simply not compatible with that mindset.
- I'm not compatible with manipulation.
- I'm not compatible with lies.
- I'm not compatible with disrespect.
As I've chosen these rules and began to enforce them…
I have discovered that others have made the same rules.
Because I had not yet defined my own rules, I had less exposure to people who had shared them.
YES – SOME PEOPLE'S RULES ARE RIDICULOUS
That's where you get to decide to disengage.
Is it your employer?
Someone with authority over you?
It's too hard you say?
THAT'S A CHOICE.
I've walked away from all income four times in a period of four years as a single mother because of incompatible rules.
I knew that I was better able to give my girls what they need without money than I was without self respect and satisfaction.
A BROKEN SPIRIT TAKES MUCH LONGER TO HEAL THAN A BROKEN BANK ACCOUNT.
The life you want is yours to define and to take.
You don't have to plow through others to get it.
You don't have to be abusive.
And you don't even have to be inflexible.
You just have to be rigid with the things that matter most.
Choose what is flexible in advance.
Choose what is not.
Never yield those core values.
To do so is almost certainly going to cause suffering.
The only exception would be when your core values were created from a … let's say… “less-enlightened” place… and you get a sense that you need to evolve.
— SET YOUR RULES
— LIVE BY THEM
— BE LIBERATED BY THEM
There is a saying there are those who act, and those who are acted upon.
There is a strong correlation to those who are acted upon and those who don't set rules.
Decide which one you want to be…
Or it will be decided for you.