Home / Resources / Resilience Skills : Boundaries and their importance in your life

Resilience Skills : Boundaries and their importance in your life

“All her life, Claire had had a problem figuring out where other people ended and she began. All her life, she’d taken on the world’s hurt; she held herself responsible. But why?”  

Elin Hilderbrand, A Summer Affair

 

The flippant answer might be that Claire had not learnt to build boundaries into her life. It is now recognised that every time you say ‘yes’ when you would like to say ‘no’, you are reducing your resilience, draining your energy and forfeiting your option to do what’s really important to you.

Boundaries can be thought of as imaginary protection fields we erect around and within ourselves that could, for example, place limits on the time we are willing to spend on the different areas of our lives, determine how close we are prepared to allow other people to get to us, or even differentiate our temporary self from our permanent identity during difficult times when we are experiencing uncertainty, grief, pain or illness.

Setting good boundaries means that we don’t waste our finite resources on what’s not good for us; they allow us to be in charge, choosing what we allow inside our lives, and therefore helping us to become more resilient.

Two important things to remember when setting boundaries is that firstly; they allow us to control how we treat ourselves and not how we are treated by others, although, they do help us respond to how others treat us. Secondly, that boundaries should be fluid and flexible when required, allowing us to respond to the unknown whilst excluding harmful behaviour or influences. This ensures they are different to barriers which allow no movement, choice or negotiation and therefore create resistance rather than the resilience most of us strive for.

Creating personal boundaries won’t happen overnight, it is a process which will require patience and practice. However, by defining and implementing personal boundaries your self-confidence will grow and more love, support and respect may find its way into your life as a result.

Being clear about your boundaries at work doesn’t mean that you are not a team player. In fact, it’s the opposite. Your work relationships are likely to improve because people know you are communicating respectfully and honestly. Your contribution to the team is also likely to increase as you are more focussed on your key strengths and no longer being pulled in several directions at once by too frequently saying yes.

If you would like to re-assess or set your working life boundaries, you may like to read our article “Top Tips for Setting Boundaries at Work“.

 

This is one of a series of articles on aspects of resilience. You can access them all from this post Resilience Skills: An A-Z of definitions of the terms used.

 

Recent articles on our blog....

A row of well thumbed cream coloured paper folders

Workplace wellbeing resources – some helpful recent additions

May 16, 2024

Our latest collection of external resources to help workplace wellbeing includes guidance and recommendations relating to a range of topics – autism employment, ensuring EDI is for everyone, information sharing in mental health emergencies at work, menopause in the workplace and women at work.

Read More →
Group of people working around a desk beside a cork board with coloured notes

Why we should focus on minimising employee illbeing to aid workplace wellbeing

May 16, 2024

This post begins with some research which concludes that efforts to improve wellbeing at work are directed too narrowly. It then goes on to highlight some courses that can help employers looking to minimise employee illbeing in the workplace. They present opportunities to explore strategies that can enhance a culture of psychological safety and trust.

Read More →
A row of clear clips with yellow heads showing various emoticon faces clipped onto a cork board

Moving more at work for our mental health

May 15, 2024

In line with the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we offer some simple suggestions for building movement into our working day.

Read More →

Testimonials

ineq-about-us-150x150

Our purpose is to provide training and consultancy services to enhance resilience, health and wellbeing in the workplace.

ineq-ethos-values-150x150

Differentiation is one of the most strategic and tactical activities in which companies most constantly engage

ineq-faqs-150x150

It's natural to have questions about training and how it fits with your organisation. Our FAQs can help you find out more.

ineq-case-studies-150x150

View case studies for some of the in-house training courses we have delivered to different types of organisations across the UK.