One of my boundaries is this. One of my boundaries is in the universe. The universe has, actually, let's put the world. The world has, what? Seven billion plus people, right? I have little control over those seven billion people who are going from A to B every single day. I've got very little control over that. There's good people, there's bad people. There's people that have good days, there's people that have bad days. Okay. However, when it comes to me being in my apartment, and then people trying to come into my apartment, and being rude or being abusive. Anything on that level, then that's the little area of my world, or my office so to speak, that's a little area of the world that I do get to enforce. And I will enforce stringently. I will enforce in a very hard, in a very noncompromising way to myself by any means necessary.
To quote the Black Panther group, "I might not be able to control a lot of things in the world, but when it comes to my home, when it comes to my office, this is my world." And people have to treat me the way that I tell them to treat me. And if they do not, they need to get out of my environment as soon as possible before I kick them out. That's one boundary I have. It's… I don't like sound. I don't like too much sound all the time and I understand that when it comes to the world, I have very little control of that. Okay. But when I'm in my apartment, I don't wanna be hearing sounds from my neighbors down the hall. I don't wanna be hearing loud, blaring music. This is my sanctuary. And although I can't control everything out there, when it comes to being in my apartment, if that sound's coming through, then you better believe that I'm gonna enforce my boundary of telling those people in no uncertain terms to keep that noise down.
So those are just some examples, but you need to sit down and you need to be honest with yourself. And you need those three pieces of paper. One with career, we're summarizing now. One with your health. One with relationships. You need to put a set of rules down there. A set of things that you will not accept in your life. That's step number one. Step number two, if it involves other people, you need to tell them in no uncertain terms that they understand what your boundaries are. Number three, if people listen to you, and respect you, amazing. If they do not respect you, if they do not listen to you, then you're gonna have to enforce them. And you're gonna have to enforce them by telling them again in maybe a harsher tone. Maybe physicality. And potentially with step number four, you may have to kick people out of your life. Loved ones, lovers, family members, clients, friends, if they consistently are violating your boundaries because they are not respecting you. Really a boundary is kind of respect for yourself. And it's, I think it's a cornerstone for building up self-esteem, is boundaries. Boundaries are those pillows if you will that hold up your structure of self-esteem. And you've got to enforce them all the time.
Because here's the thing that's gonna happen. When I was a youngster, people would run [inaudible 00:14:02] over my boundaries. I had very little control of anything that was going on around me. I felt like a ping-pong ball. It was very unsettling. It filled me with a lot of fear and a lot of anxiety and sadness. I was one end of the pendulum. Then I spent a couple of years, and I went the other end of the pendulum, where I probably enforced my boundaries too rigidly. Lost many jobs, many friendships, many relationships by doing this. But I would enforce my boundaries stringently, religiously, every day. Even if I thought somebody was remotely taking advantage of me. Even if I was incorrect, I would jump the gun, and enforce my boundary. I went the complete other way like I said. In some people's terms, I was probably an asshole at that time.
But I needed that contrast, that pendulum to swing the other way for me to find more balance in my life now where I don't...I'm not trigger happy, completely all the time but if somebody does step up and does violate my boundaries, then you better believe that I am going to enforce them in no uncertain terms. So sometimes you need to do that. You sometimes, it is an extreme way, but you need that contrast frame of that pendulum going to the complete other area. But boundaries are so important. They're so important for respecting yourself. They're so important for the universe respecting you. They're so important for other people respecting you. Because the way you treat yourself is gonna be reflected. So if you're consistently getting people that are violating your boundaries, look inwards because you're probably shitting all over yourself and violating your own boundaries way before other people do.
So the first thing is, you fix yourself. You fix your own personal boundaries that we spoke about earlier before you start enforcing them in the real world. Because sometimes that can self-correct things. The way you treat yourself, if you treat yourself with love and respect and with your own boundaries, and don't accept bullshit of yourself, then it almost seems like a magic bullet of such a thing or a magic switch exists, the world starts to treat you differently. And yes, from time to time, you are still going to have to enforce your boundaries in the real world, and it can be scary. But the more you do it, the stronger you get and more mastery you get over them.
Luke Michael Howard
Toronto and Ottawa Clinical Hypnotist