Are you good at setting boundaries? If you’re not, then rest assured that many individuals struggle with setting and enforcing boundaries.
And what kind of boundaries are we talking about here?
Well, imagine for a moment that a school’s playground is situated so close to a highway that you could reach out and touch the passing cars. In fact, there are no fences surrounding the playground and cars zip right by at 80 miles per hour, unimpeded.
Now, understandably, when it’s time for recess, both the teachers and children face an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety as they head out to play. For the kids, their concern is getting too close to the edge of the highway, so they play in the center of the yard for fear of the vehicles passing by at high speeds.
And for the teachers, their anxiety comes from the constant worry about a rogue child leaving the playground and wandering onto the highway, which could ultimately lead to a tragic outcome. It then goes without saying that in this situation, recess is not an enjoyable experience for either the children or the teachers. That’s because they spend their free time huddled up in the center of the schoolyard, each vigilant for their own reasons, instead of enjoying the present moment.
Now, let’s say that the city puts up a reinforced concrete wall to separate the highway from the playground. How do you think this outcome would change the recess experience? Certainly, with a solid fence in place, the children can utilize the entire playground, and run right up to the wall, without worrying about all of the high-speed traffic on the other side of the barrier.
At the same time, the teachers would likely be less anxious because they can rest assured that the newly constructed barrier will prevent a wayward child from wandering on to the highway.
Now, if you’re a parent out there, how would you feel knowing that your child was playing near a busy highway with nothing standing between them and the cars? Well, too often, that’s what happens when we set about managing our money without setting prudent financial boundaries.
Like a protective wall separating a school playground, boundaries tell others where they end and you begin. While on the surface setting boundaries seems to look like a form of restriction or control, this practice involves setting limits on how much emotional energy and time we give to others and ourselves and has the benefit of clarifying expectations, demonstrating self-esteem, fostering trust and encouraging mutual respect.
And when it comes to money, financial boundaries are intended to set a wall around how you use your life energy to manage your finances.
To be sure, financial boundaries are essential for maintaining a healthy relationship with not only our money, but also with your friends and family. And by embracing financial boundaries, you can likely experience increased financial stability and harmony in both personal and relationship contexts, and more importantly, make essential financial decisions while protecting your emotional and mental well-being.
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