Identifying our values is important when it comes to creating boundaries. It helps us stay true to who we are without letting feelings of guilt, shame, or fear get in the way and cause us to make poor decisions.
Values are our personal code of ethics, our morals, and standards we hold ourselves accountable to. Not living according to our values means living with weak boundaries.
To live in alignment with our values we need to set boundaries with who we surround ourselves with based on whether we share similar values. Seeking people and environments with similar values and limiting our time and exposure to people who do not share the same values automatically creates healthy boundaries.
Defining our values is taking responsibility for ourselves – our actions, feelings, and needs. It means we aren’t going against our personal moral code and sacrificing ourselves to win people over or earn their love. It means we don’t fix or rescue other people and we don’t dump our problems on others to fix.
We live shallow lives when we live in contradiction to our values. We feel the inner turmoil and we express it through making decisions that go against who we are. The higher the standards we set for ourselves the easier it is to live within our boundaries.
Here are my 9 core values and how they shape my boundaries.
I am responsible to others not for others. Boundaries show me what I am responsible for and what I’m not responsible for. I am responsible for me. I am responsible to people. The difference is the for and to. I am responsible for my actions, behavior, problems, and living in alignment with my values. I am not responsible for other people’s actions, behaviors, problems and defining their values. I have a responsibility to honor other people’s values and I have the choice to support someone through their problems, but I am not responsible for the way they live or resolving their problems.
I highly value authenticity because it gives me a greater sense of purpose, self-acceptance, and overall well-being. Life is easier when we give ourselves the freedom to be who we were created to be. It’s hard and exhausting to live for who others want or expect us to be. When we remain true to ourselves and represent ourselves authentically, we automatically set healthy boundaries that keep our identity within our control rather than allowing others to pull us away from ourselves.
Valuing honesty means I don’t tolerate lying. I would rather be hurt by truth than harmed with lies. Lies run deep and leave scars. Having boundaries with people who don’t live in truth is a must for guarding our hearts.
If I value respect but don’t respect myself, people won’t respect me or my boundaries. I respect my energy and attention by focusing on things and people who are uplifting and helping me grow. If I say I respect my time but constantly say yes to people and things that aren’t life giving, I disrespect myself with weak boundaries. I respect my body by treating it well, not shaming it, or allowing other people to mistreat it.
When someone breaks trust we feel broken inside. We feel betrayed and hurt.
Being a trustworthy person shows others that their heart is safe with you. Boundaries create necessary limits to what we can entrust others with. If we don’t have strong boundaries and limits with untrustworthy people, we are setting ourselves up for repeated harm.
It means taking ownership of our behavior without blaming others, playing victim, dwelling in self-pity, or expecting others to be responsible for us and our circumstances. Being accountable for ourselves inevitably honors and respects other people’s boundaries as well.
Mean people suck. Stay away from them. Be kind and surround yourself with kind people.
My faith resides in God. When I rely on my faith and the Holy Spirit to guide me, strong boundaries come with ease.
I believe integrity is honoring all truth and is basically the mother of boundaries because it oversees everything. People with integrity do not take advantage of others, try to manipulate, or control. They value other people. Give the benefit of the doubt. Give credit where it’s due. Keep promises, follow through, and give of themselves. They are responsible and respect themselves and others. Living with integrity instinctively creates healthy and strong boundaries.
Homework – put pen to paper or use the Notes section on your phone to get clear on your values and create more freedom and fulfillment in your life.
What are your core values? Do you consider them as you move through your day? What would your life look like and feel like if you paused and thought of your values before making decisions? How would it affect your attitude? Behavior? Words? Tone? Actions?