Be Yourself, Respect Yourself, and Do What You Can

Finding time to savor some quiet as the old year ends and new one is about to begin is a wonderful gift to give yourself.

Yesterday afternoon, as the waning sun’s light burnished the winter treetops golden outside my window, I was doing just that. Enjoying the twilight moment, I started clearing up some files on the bookshelf behind my desk and came upon three quotations that I’d saved to use one day.

“What better day than now!” I thought… so here they are:

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Dr. SeussSelf-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. Abraham Joshua Heschel

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I still can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do. Helen Keller

What a rich smorgasbord of wisdom to consider and carry into a new year – or a new day, for that matter! And I was interested to note that each insight relates to boundaries. Boundaries are one of my very favorite time management subjects.

But, what do these quotes have to do with boundaries?

Well, what I would say is that the more comfortable you are with your boundaries, the more at ease and confident you’re going to be with sharing yourself, your ideas, and your feelings with other people. That’s because when you have good, strong boundaries, you know that you are okay, no matter what.

So, when your boundaries are strong and clear, you know, right in your bones, that another person’s feeling or opinion about you is theirs and really says nothing about you. Secure in yourself, you can share authentically and allow others the space to share in the same way.

Not only that, but what you say yes to and what you say no to determines how you spend your time. And these no’s and yes’s are boundaries. Saying no to one thing enables you to more fully focus on another. This is a boundary-setting skill that is foundational to your time success.

Finally, boundaries tell you where you end and the other person begins. You are one, and only one. Knowing this helps you empower yourself to do what you can do, no matter what.

It’s a misconception to think of boundaries as barriers. In reality, knowing yourself and your boundaries frees you to focus productively in the time that you have, and to relate much more openly… it’s the heart-based way!