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Boundaries when you’re on the move

So you’re on your way to a new and exciting adventure. You’re ready to see, feel, hear, be and explore as many new things as possible. A part of you might worry about the things you could miss along the way.

Most people I’ve met who share my passion for travel seems to have this endless curiosity and a belief that you end up where you are for a reason. That the places and people you come across will help shape you and your story. And I can assure you that they will. One thing many travellers leave behind though is their sense of boundaries. Whereas some sense of openness is important when you travel, so are the boundaries around what you stand for.

A while ago one of my clients came to me and explained how lost she felt. How many years of travel had left her sense of identity a bit blurred. Where she came from was clear, as was her current place of residence. But the many years in-between the two felt blurry and out of place for her. As we explored where this came from and how it showed up in her life now I realised it was about her lack of boundaries. She had focussed so much on the new and left almost all her old boundaries behind.

Why then is this a problem? In life we all value different things. The things we value and believe to be true for us make up our sense of identity. This is what makes the difference between someone who values adventure and challenge vs. someone who values stability and sameness. Both are equally important, but naturally shape very different people and lifestyles. Your boundaries are the rules and metaphorical fence you have around your identity. In the simplest way possible – your boundaries protect who you are. If your boundaries are torn down and walked all over you’ll feel quite unhappy.

If you’re a person who loves to grow, explore and learn it’s easy to leave the gate to your identity wide open. But even in times of change you need to be clear on where your boundaries are, what is ok and what is not ok.

  1. Do an identity check in with yourself and write down all the things that come after “I am….”. You might be surprised how many parts that actually make up your identity.
  2. When you get invited to things and you feel resistance inside ask yourself “Is this a challenge/fear worth pushing through or is this something that I really don’t want to do?“. Be clear where your boundaries are, because we all have them and it’s much better to know your deal breakers consciously rather than operating only on feeling in the moment.
  3. The biggest proof of your boundaries is how it’s ok for other people to treat you or be around you. What upsets you most often? What makes you happy? What calms you down and helps you find peace? We all have different needs, and when they are met we coexist happily. When they are not met we get upset, angry or sad.

Just because you’re in transition does not mean you should throw all your old boundaries away! Value yourself and your integrity. Explore and invite others in, but remember that it’s perfectly fine to have some rules on how to coexist on the land that is you. If you’ve experienced challenges around this, send me an email and let’s tee up a chat on how you can move forward.