Establishing Significant Boundaries on the Way to Your Calling.
The courage to stand; for yourself, for others or for a cause.
I have gotten to the place where nothing or no one intimidates me. Does this confidence come from age or experience? I dare to say both. Many people can go through the course of their lives and never gain the courage to stand; for themselves, for others or for a cause. I was once this depiction. I recently ran across a journal entry from over a decade ago that I wanted to share with you:
I like to think that I am confident, but I am not. I like to portray an image of confidence when I am really as afraid as a rabbit in the wilderness…
I always knew that I was special, that I was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), but I had not lived up to it. I had allowed others to make me believe that I was less than because of my unique gifts. I was continuously criticized for being me; smiling at everyone I met or passed, striking up conversations with complete strangers. I was being just plain friendly.
Over a period of time, I noticed that people were beginning to view my kindness as a sign of weakness and starting to take advantage of it. They began to label, criticize and condemn me, simply because they could not understand my uniqueness and had to find a way to justify their inability to tap into their own giftedness.
As childhood and adolescence begin to drift away into the abyss, our role is to seek understanding of who we are and the reason we are here. It is at this point when the next leg of our journey begins.
- The Search For Significance
As we search for meaning and the reason for our existence, we come to understand that our potential is there to do and be whatever we desire, as long as we are aware of why we were placed here and gather the courage to bring it to reality.
Unfortunately, if we’re not careful, we’ll never get to this place of fulfillment. All too often, many of us allow other’s distorted views, opinions and actions to divert us away from the proper use of our unique gifts like a highway patrol officer detouring our course from a traffic fatality.
Every time we veer off the path to our God-appointed destination we place ourselves in a position of vulnerability. That place where we begin to believe the lies that people are telling us, “You’re too this, you’re too that”. “You can’t possibly…who do you think you are?!”
Stop the “Potential Zappers!”
Every time we allow someone else to dictate our beliefs, it causes us to question who we are and what we are capable of. These “potential zappers” zap us of your ability to stand for what we believe to be right about who we are and why we are here.
How can you get to the place where these individuals’ actions and beliefs no longer dictate your actions so that you can begin to walk on the path toward your very own greatness?
1) Increase your awareness – Begin to consider the permission you give to others that makes you question your capabilities.
2) Identify the people in your life who are “pushing your buttons” and reducing your effectiveness.
3) Pinpoint the triggers that cause you to discard your own desires for someone elses.
4) Journal your thoughts and emotions as it relates to these situations and individuals.
5) Do not beat yourself up with what you discover. Begin to journal your lessons learned and develop a plan for change.
Over time, life’s disappointments, lessons learned from these experiences through self-reflection, reading and journaling have given me the courage to stand up for myself and establish the boundaries needed to thwart the efforts of those attempting to keep me away from fulfilling my life’s purpose.
Envision for yourself the “sassy senior” (not me, I’m not there yet) that voices his/her opinions and walks with an air of confidence, without concern for what others think or believe. That’s a person who has taken life’s trials and traveled their journey toward understanding who they are.
I hope that you are at the place where you have the courage and the confidence to do all you can to walk your chosen path and to set the appropriate boundaries so no one hinders the blessings that are in store for you.