You’ve Set Personal Boundaries, but are you Enforcing Them?

chain link fence, sun, boundary

The topic of mindfulness is becoming more mainstream as a growing number of people take control of their own well being. There’s also an expanding awareness of how important it is to disconnect from what doesn’t serve you and set personal boundaries to define what kind of experiences and energy you want in your life.


According to Wikipedia, “Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards him or her and how they will respond when someone steps past those limits.”


To sprinkle in my own insight, I think personal boundaries can be a mental or emotional barrier you create with others – friends, family members, co-workers and strangers to preserve your mental, physical and spiritual health. They can also include boundaries you set with yourself about what’s OK and safe to pursue, or to keep yourself from getting sucked into old patterns of behavior. On the highest level, personal boundaries are a code of ethics; a way you can stand clear and strong in who you are and own it.


And to add one more essential point from an excellent article on personal boundaries from Psych Central, “Love can’t exist without boundaries”.


Personal Boundaries are an Internal Peace Management System


om symbol, inner peace


Part of adapting, evolving and staying healthy is learning to set personal boundaries in new ways and areas of life. Yet, setting them doesn’t necessarily enforce them.


It takes mindfulness to put yourself first and nourish your mind, body and soul in consistent ways as you move through different growth experiences. It also takes courage and determination to own the boundaries you’ve set for yourself and practice them, even if you think it will upset others.


My empathic abilities put me in a very unique position to learn about the necessities of creating clear boundaries, but I’m also very quickly reminded (physically, mentally and emotionally) when I’m not enforcing them. It’s been a lifelong journey to understand and accept these behaviors are not defensive, but necessary to maintain my personal well being as a sensitive person.

Take it One Step at a Time to Create and Enforce 


sneaker, step, patience


Personal boundaries will change over time, as will how you enforce them. In order to go with the flow, just be:

  • Clear on what you need and don’t apologize for needing it
  • Gentle with yourself when something slips through
  • Open to adding or releasing boundaries as needed
  • Willing to change, add and tweak how you stick to your boundaries
  • Aware that other people’s reactions to your desires may not feel great, but it’s not your problem


When you can enforce your personal boundaries and feel good about it, you also have so much more energy for your creativity!


For more on boundaries, check out my previous post on 3 Reasons your Creative Boundaries Need a Refresh Right Now.


How do you enforce boundaries in your life with the people who matter most or annoy you the most? I would love to hear your thoughts below!


Photo credit: H Matthew Howarth, Hey Paul Studios, Lachlan Hardy