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Setting boundaries in your life – the road to living the authentic emotionally fit life – Keaton Van Bryce ‘The Authentic Maverick’
Written By: Keaton Van Bryce “The Authentic Maverick”, Licensed Emotional Fitness® Coach

Do you know who you really are? Do you live life as your authentic self? Are you living life in an interesting, rewarding, creative, purposeful, satisfying and in service to others manner? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you have not set proper boundaries in your life.

Setting boundaries in your life is all about integrating self-care into your life. This communicates to others that you in fact do care about yourself, have high self-esteem and self-respect. It demonstrates that you clearly have the capabilities to care for others and the ability to respect them.

Like most skills in life, you will need to practice setting boundaries in order to learn how to be assertive in your manner. This begins with being assertive with yourself by separating your needs, thoughts, feelings and desires from those of other people.

By setting boundaries, you are protecting your most valuable resource, your time. You will require this time for your own self-care, your dreams, goals, and to support the values that you personally believe in, while still having enough energy to live in the service of others.

By saying “no” to other agendas, you empower yourself to make healthy choices and to take responsibility for yourself and your actions.By saying “no” and not being compliant, you are reclaiming valuable self-development time. By saying “no” may be the kindest thing you can do for your authentic self and others you love. This is also the path to being emotionally fit. You are in effect setting a contract with others on how you will maximize your valuable time in life.

Setting boundaries is all about developing healthy relationships first with yourself, next with your close family / friends and then with other strangers you will meet along your journey in life. Your boundaries will define what you will and won’t do, what you will or won’t accept from others, and what you will or will not allow in your community.

These boundaries communicate clearly who you are, what you are willing to do or not, and will lead to harmonious relationships based upon judgement free mutual respect and mutual trust. In essence, by setting healthy boundaries and enforcing them, for ourselves, our behavior, we are really setting the ways that we want other people to behave towards us.

The very act of saying no to other people that want your time and energy demonstrates you desire to create your own special place in life where you are your own authentic self. This is a place that allows you freedom to learn, be creative, experience things that really interest you, and gives you the time to grow into the person that you personally create, your authentic self. This special place gives you space to spread your wings and really find out about your skills, dreams, and true personality.

Imagine, you are the country of you. How will you operate? Where are your borders? What are your rules of behavior in your countries’ culture? Who will you allow to enter your country?How do you stop people from infringing upon your territory? How do you enforce these boundaries?

Here are a few tips for enforcing healthy boundaries for the country of you:

1. Know your limits. Knowing what you can’t do is as important as knowing what you can do.

2. Set your boundaries before your limits to avoid exhausting your resources.

3. Practice enforcing your boundaries every opportunity you get. In life practice is critical to success. For example, it takes 1,500 times to develop the muscle memory for a guitar cord!

4. Work with a buddy – many hands make light work (Confucius).

5. Forgive yourself when you fail at enforcement, but learn from these mistakes.

6. Respect other’s boundaries.

By respecting other people’s boundaries, you are setting examples of how you want your own boundaries respected and how you want to be treated by others.

With these tips you can start to give your life the structure you will require to accomplish your goals, dreams and purpose in life. You will be on the path to an interesting, creative, satisfying, rewarding life with service to others.

Boundaries allow you to live an authentic emotionally fit life while still feeling well rested, energised and focused on what you truly believe in with purpose.

You are welcome to contact the writer of this article, Keaton Van Bryce, a licensed Emotional Fitness® coach in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at maverick-for-hire@shaw.ca for further information and Emotional Fitness® coaching. He is also a subject matter expert in trauma, a multi-disciplinary entrepreneur, trainer, older athlete and published author.

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