4 Reasons Why Boundaries are the Answer to Accomplishing Your Goals and Enhancing Your Productivity
Plus, 4 Reasons Why it’s Hard to Set Boundaries for Yourself, and 4 Questions to Ask to Make it Easier.
Most people think that the key to success is talent, hustle, preparation, having the right people in your life, or getting a lucky break. But success comes from taking steps toward what you want, then continuing to do the things that make success inevitable, and developing consistency even when you have no idea how, when, or to what degree it will pay off.
That’s why success is so elusive — many people don’t know how to get started, how to identify the right steps, or where to build consistency, and they get overwhelmed or give up before it pays off.
Boundaries are the difference makers: boundaries are the answer to accomplishing your goals and enhancing your productivity.
1. Boundaries enable behaviors and beliefs that create momentum.
Usually, we think of boundaries as personal standards, a way to communicate our needs to others, to explain how we wish to be treated.
However, setting boundaries isn’t just for other people. It’s not only to enforce rules, establish protocol, or even protect your interests and energy; it’s the difference between achieving your goals or not.
To be successful, most people think they need more time, more money, or more resources. But if they are already drowning in busyness, debt, playing catch up to to-do lists, or trying to live down other’s expectations, something has to change.
If we want to start a side hustle, find a better boyfriend, or build a business while raising a family, we’ve got to get unstuck, stop feeling afraid, and take it up a level, but how?
By breaking bad habits, addressing limiting beliefs, and giving up what is getting in our way — boundaries are the answer.
Distractions, interruptions, and doubt are productivity killers, so if you want to accomplish your goals and achieve the success you envision, setting boundaries is vital. You will have to let go of what is currently or going to derail you to stay focused on what matters.
2. Boundaries challenge us to be aware of our behavior and make healthy choices.
They keep us from eating pizza and ice cream at every meal or staying up until 2 am watching Netflix when we have to be up at 6 am to start our day. An integral part of adulting is establishing limits for ourselves — making choices in our own best interests, even if it isn’t instantly gratifying.
Often, we feel resistance to setting boundaries or enforcing limits because it makes us feel like we are being deprived or as if we are taking the fun and spontaneity out of life.
There are four reasons that it’s hard to set boundaries with yourself:
1. Maybe growing up, you never had healthy boundaries modeled for you.
2. Perhaps you put others’ needs and feelings first, so boundaries seem threatening or as if they might jeopardize essential relationships.
3. Maybe you don’t know yourself well enough or have the self-confidence to declare your needs.
4. Perhaps you don’t feel like you have the right, authority, or permission to dictate the terms of your life.
Even if setting boundaries is outside of your comfort zone, it’s essential to making your dreams come true.
3. Boundaries open the door of possibility and give us a glimpse into a better life.
We must do the things that we want to do; we must make progress towards our purpose; we must see ourselves responding to what calls us to feel that deep, authentic contentment that means we are becoming who we are meant to be.
If we don’t, we never get to that higher level, and we miss out on thriving. We lose our connection to our why, we opt-out or disengage, we go through the motions or give up.
How many times have you said, “I’d like to do that,” or “I want to go there,” and not followed through? You had the best intentions. You probably felt momentarily enthusiastic. You may have even outlined a process, a timeline, or took some initial steps, but when it got hard, or you didn’t see immediate results, you reconsidered.
Or maybe you felt judged by someone whose opinion you value, and you defaulted to distractions. Did you stop working out because you felt bad or open a bottle of wine to make yourself feel better about de-prioritizing your goals? Did you proclaim your dream out of reach for someone like you because it’s was too hard, too expensive, or too complicated? Did you realize it was going to takes too long or that success wasn’t guaranteed?
Maybe you backed out of your commitment or skipped progress in favor of scrolling Instagram for hours, trying to convince yourself that it didn’t really matter, it probably wouldn’t have worked, or you didn’t want it anyway.
To reach our goals, we have to set boundaries for ourselves, not only for our actions but also our mindset, influences, and perspective. And crucially, we must see ourselves doing the things that it takes.
Boundaries are the way to pursue what we want. We must have room in our life to accept something better, to capitalize on opportunities, to change direction, to contemplate what’s next, to think, to relax, to breathe.
Our hearts soar when we see aligned action. We feel inspired when our dreams edge closer. When we do the things we say we are going to, and set aside our low-vibe cop-outs or quit self-sabotaging, our self-trust grows, and we have a little more faith in the world too. We feel more resilient and courageous, and everything seems a little more hopeful.
When we create boundaries that align with our goals, our accountability spikes, we become more productive, less busy, and feel more focused and motivated. Boundaries give us a clear, defined space in which to develop, grow, and achieve our goals.
Carving space to take steps encourages us to be more optimistic and accomplish more. When we keep going, we build momentum, and it compounds. Time and space expand because we are more inclined to continue to choose better, let go of even more stuff that’s getting in our way, and uncover even more resources put toward what we want.
If you believe that what you are doing is worthwhile, then the value of setting boundaries is obvious. Check-in with yourself daily until you get the hang of it. Ask yourself,
- Am I intentionally choosing how I spent my time and energy, or am I on autopilot?
- Did I design my day to facilitate my goals?
- Did I take steps, create something tangible, or make progress on something that provided a sense of accomplishment?
- Am I consistently investing in my best life?
“When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of Creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.“ — Michael Bridge
4. Boundaries allow us to change our self-image.
Our self-image is hugely influential when it comes to what we will and won’t accomplish.
According to Positive Psychology, there are three elements of a person’s self-image:
- The way a person perceives or thinks of him/herself.
- The way a person interprets others’ perceptions (or what he thinks others think) of him/herself.
- The way a person would like to be (his ideal self).
“Self-image is how you perceive yourself. It is a number of self-impressions that have built up over time… These self-images can be very positive, giving a person confidence in their thoughts and actions, or negative, making a person doubtful of their capabilities and ideas.”
So when our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, our self-image expands. We see ourselves choosing in concert with our highest selves; we see ourselves following through on our promises, as someone who accomplishes our goals. Others begin to sense a shift, too, to know we are a force to be reckoned with, and when we achieve our goals, our dreams start to take shape, and our self-image expands again. It becomes self-fulfilling and exponential.
That person, our new best self, can then set boundaries that further support even more growth and achievement, and the cycle spirals up, instead of snowballing down. Everything gets easier, more natural, more likely to go our way, and we begin to trust the process.
When you learn how to set boundaries and free yourself from the endless rut of distractions, interruptions, and low-vibe behaviors to focus on what you want, you clear the way for something better. You discover that you have more time to finish your work, more energy to get things done, more resources than you thought possible, and you will accomplish your goals so much faster.