Here’s the bottom line. If you want to live purposefully, you have to be intentional with who you spend your time with. So what do you do when you are building success, but you find there are people around you who are not only distracting you from what God has called you to but giving you a hard time when you communicate your vision to them?
It’s helpful first to understand what the “kingdom” is within you. You see, it’s not this ethereal realm that is mystical for only the super-spiritual people who God really loves. Simply put, whatever you can decide yes or no with… Is your effectual rule. Ultimately, boundaries are meant to protect your heart and the people under your influence. If you want to influence people authentically, this is a very important revelation for you.
We alone are responsible through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to place boundary stones in pleasant places. It is your identity in Christ to live a significant and fruitful life but only if you consistently enforce it. If you make commitments and break them frequently, now you are perceived as an inconsistent person, and you lose influence and credibility.
Next, as you grow, one of the situations you might encounter is people around you become fearful that you are going to abandon them if you experience more success. Most of the time, fear and insecurity will manifest as sarcasm, snarkiness, passive control or even individuals cutting you off relationally if you set boundaries that challenge them.
How to reset new boundaries with old friends
1. It is up to you to help them understand in a grace-filled way, that you are growing in your leadership.
Remember, you can never EXPECT people to get about you “identity-wise” if you don’t COMMUNICATE and ENFORCE it every-time. Sometimes we think we are very clear with people when the truth is, our actions are not lining up with the identity we profess. It’s not enough to tell people where you would like; you have to teach them by your consistent actions.
The first thing to do in this case is go before God when you are not stressed and determine the 3 to 5 boundaries that you are not willing to compromise on. The last thing you want to do is sabotage yourself by backing down and creating a situation where the person expects you to not follow through on what you say you are going to do. When I am working with my private clients, I usually keep them at 3 core boundaries as your aim is to reframe the one house, not build a whole new subdivision in one document.
For example, if you feel like this friend or client is habitually making commitments and then backs out at the last minute, you can see that they probably don’t value themselves or their time very well. When you reschedule to do something with them without bringing up the first situation where they didn’t honor your time, you have now taught them that this is an acceptable pattern for you. So, here’s how to do with grace. When you schedule the second event with them, tell them that you really value spending time with them, but you would appreciate it 8 hours before you are supposed to get together with them, they would text you or confirm by email that the meeting is still on. If they do not text you and you really like them, text them and ask them if you are still on. If they do not respond, you do not head out for this appointment. If they show up and blame you, simply state what the expectations were with confirming the times. And, consider that this is not a person you want in your close friend circle or professional relationship as they will not be consistent with their word in small things. If people can’t be consistent and execute on little things, they will not execute on what’s important to you or them. This is not an individual that will help you birth your dreams.
2. Begin by telling the people around you where you are going and that you are so excited about creating a thriving, peaceful and stable life. This means you have to do the work to clarify your goals and vision for the next one to five years. Dig down into developing an idea that will cause you to joy and then start smiling and praying about it daily. That’s faith. I would even include in this vision what kind of people you want to partner with and how you will recognize them when they come into your life. You have to be practical when you reset boundaries. For example, they will tell you how much they appreciate spending time with you by being punctual:). Once you have done the internal work, then watch yourself become more confident, and you will begin to attract more of this kind of people into your life rather than the one’s that sabotage you.
3. Decide what kind of friend and business partner you’re going to be for other people now that you don’t like the old identity. Up your leadership by requiring from yourself what you want in a friend. It’s biblical. And don’t cut yourself slack. If you want loyal friends who can speak the truth to you in love, then be that for them. If people are struggling with people pleasing or rejection, sometimes this prevents them from communicating when their feelings or hurt. Write a list of WHO you are identity wise and choose to build a bold character. Here’s a couple I require from myself.
I am: someone who prioritizes prayer; I am fit, I laugh at myself, I am surrounded by faithful, loyal, successful women and men. I value giving back and serve fully and to be the best of my ability, when I make a mistake, I say I am sorry. I value relationships over being right. I finish what I start. I eat the fruit of my labor. (Feel free to go on and on:)
You can rearrange boundaries with grace. Just remember, when you grow into a stronger identity, it can be threatening to other people. You will create a tension, and people will be forced into two positions. They will either have to disconnect from you because they are not willing to accept this new change in you or best case scenario they will choose to grow themselves and affirm the new identity God is working in your life. Do not hold back rearranging the boundaries that bring you joy because you are afraid people will not like the new you. God does it all the time for my clients and will do it for you!
The best way to determine who is going with you into your next season is to begin moving in the direction you believe God is calling you into. START NOW to push back all the spiritual warfare you are getting and influence more people authentically.