Many people ask you, how do I get my husband to do this? How do I get my boss to do that? You’re not going to like my answer. You don’t. That is the answer. It isn’t about getting your husband or your boss or your kid to do what you want. It’s about you knowing what you want and having the right standards.
See there are standards and there are boundaries. This is something that I get really passionate about. You see boundaries everywhere online. Pinterest, Google, websites like Psychology today all have articles on setting good boundaries. So why doesn’t it work?
Boundaries are for Others
What they don’t tell you are boundaries are about setting something for other people. They are about how you’re going to function in your relationship with somebody else.
For instance I can set a boundary that no one can call me before 5pm. Only I can’t enforce it. I’m trying to control what you do. That doesn’t work out very well and it can be really frustrating. However, if I set the standard that I don’t talk to people outside of work before five o’clock, then I can adjust my behavior so that I’m not answering the phone. You can call, you can leave a message. But that is much easier to do because I know I don’t need to answer.
Okay, now we are getting somewhere. Now the ball is in my court and that’s what separates a strong willed from everyone else. They don’t have to get people to do things, because they focus on the expectations they have for themselves.
Your Standards Can Change
Every age and stage in your life brings change. It’s really quite a kaleidoscope of thoughts that make up somebody’s personal standards. Some examples would be some people have faith-based standards, where they go to a service once a week. Some people have very strong family standards and so you’ll see those families get together every Saturday and they have family reunions. Some people have very strong financial standards. I’m going to save and I’m going to have a million dollars by the time I’m 42. This way I know I will retire comfortably.
I think we can see that everybody can have a unique set of standards that is reflective of their values and beliefs.
Where some people fall short Is they focus on trying either to help others or help their world by having their hands in everybody else’s stuff, and ignoring their own. That is a coping mechanism that comes from the heart. It really does. I’m not blaming. But it’s positively exhausting. When you look outside of yourself, what you’re really doing is you’re not setting standards. You’re setting standards for everybody else, which is really boundaries.
And that’s where this gets muddled. If you find yourself in this position ask yourself, what do you really want out of life? What are you trying to get these other people to do? How does that reflect on what you need to be doing each day? And let’s start turning the conversation a little bit into something that’s going to be inwardly focused.
Because in the end you are in charge of your happiness, and not anyone else. Today I want you to take a look at your life. Do you have strong standards which guide your thoughts and actions? How often are you really living by them? What changes can you make to your behavior that will make your commitment stronger?
Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below.