Why You Need Boundaries

I love watching soccer a lot. It's my absolute favorite of all sports. I love soccer because it's entertaining. It involves a lot of energy and skill. And it's absolutely rewarding to watch. The players put a lot of skills and energy into the game. And when the goals are scored, there's this fulfillment. The feeling is "bliss". If you're supporting a team, you just want to see the goal. However, sometimes, even when there is no goal in a game, you can still enjoy the game. And I think that's one of the reasons why I love soccer so much. It doesn't have to have goals. You can just simply be entertained by the game.

A very peculiar thing about soccer is the rules. When you understand the rules, it makes the game a bit more interesting for you. Because sometimes even referees make mistakes. As a savvy soccer observer, when you see a referee making a mistake, then it informs the discussion points. This is especially beautiful if you're watching with someone. Suddenly, the game becomes more interesting. The rules of offside particularly interest me. This offside rule can be perceived in terms of boundaries. When the ball is played out of bounds, the other team gets the ball in soccer. The boundary rule is necessary to ensure fairness in the game. Otherwise, the game would not be orderly. Needless to say, it would be difficult to watch.

Boundaries teach you to play fair in life. When you go out of bounds, then you're bound to face the consequences. How many times have you been to a store, for example, and you've seen a sign that says "out of bounds to non-staff"? There's a reason why that is placed there. Possibly, to enable the store to serve you better as the staff would need space for administrative activities. It may even be that the place is where they're having deliveries done and they put "out of bounds" there because of trucking, loading, and offloading activities. Without protective gear, going there would most likely get you hurt. Why? Because, there would be internal policies guiding the activities, which would not be easily ascertained by a visitor. These internal policies would include safety procedures. This example emphasizes the importance of recognizing boundaries and adhering to any applicable guidelines.

In the same way that boundaries are useful in sports and businesses, they are helpful in our personal lives as well. Boundaries aid purpose. They give us direction, create safety and give comfort. Otherwise, there'll be so much disorderliness. Therefore, you need to create order in your personal life by instilling boundaries.

So, how do you put boundaries in your personal life? It depends on you. But the idea is to give you some perspective on the importance of boundaries.

Imagine that you're working in an organization and you decide to go on vacation. You've worked so hard. You set your email to "out of office" and ensure a smooth handover to your "stand-in". You instruct your team members not to call you because, on doctor's orders, you needed to rest. You get to your vacation place and your colleagues start calling you. For your entire vacation, it was one call to the other. Your vacation was ruined. You're unhappy. Clearly, this is unhealthy for you.

A way to create a boundary in this example is perhaps to switch off your phone during your vacation. When you switch off your phone, your colleagues can't even get access to you and then you can give them a number to reach in case there's an emergency. See it like you're putting a gate such that access is controlled. Sometimes, the sight of the gate alone can stop distractions. You may find it useful to give your "stand-in" a number to reach you on for critical matters that may require your attention. This choice is up to you, depending on the type of work you do. This number may be that of a close friend, or close family member. If a colleague wanted to reach you on this number, I think they will think twice when they have to call somebody they're not so familiar with. If it's not absolutely important, I think they wouldn't place the call. So, that's a boundary and that could be quite helpful when dealing with office boundaries.

Boundaries put some predictability in your life. This gives you confidence. Then there's some comfort because you are sure of what is going to happen at a point in time.

Another useful way to set boundaries is to have principles. I think people would generally respect principles. When people know what you stand for, they rarely ask you to fall for anything. Think about the things you stand for - call them your "values". It might be worth investing some of your time in developing your values and making sure that they are clear to people around you. A friend of mine - we will call her Bibi - is known for sticking to her budget, no matter what. Because I know she will not budge if not in her budget, I don't distract her with things that are not in her budget. Bibi also makes sure I'm aware of what's in her budget. This is Bibi's principle and I respect her for it. By creating visibility on her boundaries, Bibi eliminates distractions.

Boundaries don't mean you're being difficult. Look at them from the perspective of helping you do life with others. Because I believe that's how human beings should coexist. You should be able to do life better when you know that you need boundaries. And not only will they benefit you, but they are also useful to the people around you.

I do hope as you set boundaries in line with your personal circumstances, you will be able to do life better coexisting with other human beings.


Worry can weigh a person down, but an encouraging word cheers a person up. 'Cornish’s Cheer' hopes to be an encouragement to people who are under pressure, feel lonely, discouraged, or rejected. I hope these writings impart cheer, and hope and help you flourish with patience, love, and sincerity. Be encouraged and cheered. Also, practice 'chanting' positive affirmations, which can be a powerful tool to help boost confidence.

Nothing in this blog is intended to serve as life, career, health, or financial advice. Do your own research.