Afra Schimming-Chase on setting boundaries
Boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used or violated by others.
99FM’s Master Your Destiny spoke to Afra Schimming-Chase, a financial planner and motivational speaker, who shared her personal journey on where to draw the line.
MYD: Why is it important to establish boundaries?
AS-C: Boundaries are important because people need to know where they stand with you. There’s a quote that I really like from Iyanla Vanzant, ‘People violate you when you don’t have boundaries because you don’t tell them how you behave in your life.’
On more than one occasion I experienced not having boundaries, and in 2014, it caught up with me,
I had quite a hectic year, I worked really hard, not necessarily very smart, but I was running on all cylinders. One day I woke up and I was ill. I had flu-like symptoms one day and I was vomiting the next. The doctors did blood tests and came back later, saying that I have glandular fever, more commonly known as ‘the stress virus’. All my inner resources had been depleted.
Later, we were on a farm for a friend’s birthday. I felt extremely light-headed and I walked towards the car because I wanted to lay down. My son was sitting in the front seat and he said, ‘Mommy are you okay?’ I remember saying to him, ‘I just need to lie down,’ but I didn’t get to the car, I fainted in front of the car, and in front of my son.
For an 11-year-old that wasn’t a fainting spell, he thought I was gone. When I came to, my son was on my chest, doing everything to try and bring me back to life, in terms of his world and what he was experiencing.
That was my wake up call in terms of personal boundaries. I promised myself that I never want to see my son that afraid again.
Many of us struggle with being limitless with what we think we can achieve.
There are so many things that become priorities in our lives. People and relationships are one thing, but we spend so much time on being distracted by Facebook ‘like’ or an email that requires your attention. Where previously you were interrupted every hour or hour-and-a-half, now you’re interrupted every second, every half-second.
I read something that said, ‘examine what you tolerate’. When you start writing down the things you tolerate, the kinds of things that come up are interesting. I speak a lot in financial terms, but this approach relates to everything in life – you are your most important creditor. It’s so important to pay yourself first. If you look at your relationship, as a parent to your children for instance, when you’re happy, your kids are happy; when you’re not happy, they won’t be happy.
MYD: Why you think that we get a sense of we’re okay when other people are okay?
AS-C: People around us definitely teach us about our boundaries, but as human beings, we can create our own healthy boundaries. Focus on the question, ‘If you were to get past this hurdle, how would you like your life to look?’ Make sure you record that in writing so that you have a vision that you can look towards. Make sure you focus on the end result, the feelings, the emotions and the experience you would like to have.