For most of my life I have considered lack of discipline to be one of my worst failings. Sticking with a job and getting to the end of it was never as exciting as beginning it. My initially determined and inspired steps would falter, then would begin the ugly self-talk. You know the kind of stuff I mean. That bully in your mind that says all the things to perfectly stomp all over your willingness to keep trying. Because, “who do you think you are kidding?” anyway.
Then one day I was reading an article talking about compassion: what compassion was, how we forget to apply that concept to ourselves. I knew it was true for me, because I pretty constantly meted out consideration to other people while allowing the bully to carry on. But it was a such a subtle campaign to undermine my confidence. I mean, I’d come so far and grown so much! It must have been something out there that I needed to fix.
It took me a while to recognise the instigator of that campaign was me. Just me. I was confused and then surprised about how ugly and mean I could manage to be to myself. And the stunningly ridiculous part was that for anybody else I could ALWAYS find a way to be kind, to accommodate requests, to give a little more. I had to think about this for a while.
And it did take a while. But you know what? It was not a kindness to do everything that was asked of me, to always give and pretend that it was what I wanted. I had never been a setter of boundaries, because that was restrictive and freedom was free of restrictions. Bullshit. This was the answer!
Setting boundaries – clear limits to what I was willing to give, gave me the space to REALLY be free. Because considering what I wanted, knowing where the fence was and then letting myself loose, allowed me to run with joyous abandon. Because I knew that the fence was there and I didn’t need to constantly drain my energy into wondering what I would do if…
Setting clear boundaries for myself was a kindness for me and everyone around me. Suddenly I was completing the things I was inspired to begin, because they were inside my fences. There was no restriction. In setting boundaries, I was actually setting freedoms.