8 boundaries highly successful people always set, according to psychology

You’ve read every how-to guide, attended countless seminars, and perhaps even sought out a mentor.

Still, you’re not quite where you dream of being.

It’s not always about the hustle, the grind, or the relentless pursuit of goals.

Sometimes, it’s about setting up boundaries.

You might be thinking, “Boundaries? Really?”

But bear with me here.

Success is also about what you don’t do.

And that’s where boundaries come into the picture.

Now, I’m going to share with you 8 boundaries that highly successful people never cross, backed up by psychology itself.

Get ready to redefine your route to success because this is not your typical advice!

1) They protect their time like a fortress

Time is the one resource you can’t replenish. Once it’s spent, it’s gone forever.

This is something highly successful people understand all too well.

You see, they don’t allow interruptions to derail their focus, they don’t engage in wasteful activities, and they certainly don’t let others dictate how their time should be spent.

In fact, they guard their time like a fortress, setting firm boundaries around it.

This isn’t about being selfish or aloof.

It’s about recognizing that in order to achieve great things, you need uninterrupted, dedicated time to work on your goals.

If you’re constantly saying ‘yes’ to everything and everyone, you’re not respecting your own time.

Drawing a line in the sand when it comes to your time isn’t just a good idea—it’s crucial for your success.

2) They don’t shy away from saying ‘No’

Right after protecting their time, highly successful people are not afraid to say ‘No’.

Believe me, it wasn’t always easy for me.

I used to think saying ‘No’ meant losing opportunities or disappointing people.

But I soon realized that every ‘Yes’ was a ‘No’ to something else.

Each time I said ‘Yes’ to a non-essential task, I was inadvertently saying ‘No’ to something that really mattered.

Successful people understand this trade-off.

They’re not scared of missing out because they’re focused on what truly matters to them.

Saying ‘No’ allows them to set clear boundaries and stay aligned with their goals.

After all, if you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

3) They maintain a healthy work-life balance

I remember a period in my life when I was working non-stop, day and night, weekends and holidays.

I had this notion that the more I worked, the more successful I would be.

The reality?

Couldn’t have been more different.

I was burnt out, stressed, and my personal relationships were on the brink of collapse.

That’s when I realized that successful people aren’t workaholics. They understand the importance of a balanced life.

That’s why they set boundaries to ensure they’re not devoting all their energy to work at the expense of their personal life.

They make time for:

  • Relaxation
  • Hobbies
  • Family and friends

They know that to be truly successful, they need to be well-rounded individuals who are not just professionally accomplished but also personally fulfilled.

From that point onwards, I made conscious efforts to balance my work and personal life.

Honestly, it wasn’t easy but it made a world of difference to my productivity, happiness, and ultimately, success.

4) They avoid energy vampires

Successful people are very selective about who they spend their time with.

No matter how positive or determined you are, if you’re constantly surrounded by negative, draining people, they will pull you down.

Highly successful people understand this.

They set firm boundaries around who they let into their circle of influence.

They distance themselves from those who constantly bring negativity or drama, those who discourage their dreams and belittle their ambitions.

Instead, they surround themselves with positive, uplifting individuals who inspire them to be better.

In essence, they make sure their environment propels them forward, not backward.

5) They don’t compromise on their health

high achievers morning habits 1 8 boundaries highly successful people always set, according to psychology

It’s easy to get so caught up in chasing success that we neglect our health. But what’s the point of achieving all your dreams if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy them?

That’s a lesson I’ve seen many successful people live by. They set strict boundaries when it comes to their health and well-being.

  • They make time for regular exercise
  • They are mindful of what they eat
  • And they prioritize getting enough sleep

Just think about it.

Our health is the foundation upon which we can build everything else.

Your health is your wealth, and successful people know this all too well.

6) They have a non-negotiable self-care routine

Following on from the importance of health, successful people also understand the value of self-care.

It’s not just about bubble baths and spa days.

Self-care is about taking intentional time to care for your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

I’ve found that the most successful people have a self-care routine that they treat as sacrosanct.

They set boundaries around this time, ensuring nothing interferes with it.

Whether it’s meditation in the morning, reading before bed, or taking a walk in nature during lunch break, they make sure they have some ‘me’ time every day.

These folks understand that to handle the pressures of success, they need to be in the best mental and emotional shape possible.

And self-care is their secret weapon to combat stress, maintain focus, and stay motivated.

7) They don’t let failure define them

Failure is a part of life, and it’s certainly a part of any success story.

What separates successful people from the rest isn’t that they never fail—it’s that they don’t let failure define them.

They set a clear boundary between experiencing failure and becoming it.

They understand that failure is just an event, a temporary setback, not a life sentence.

So they learn from it, they grow from it, but they never let it hold them back.

I’ve seen this firsthand in my own journey.

There were times when I stumbled, made mistakes, and even fell flat on my face. But I learned to see each failure as a stepping stone towards success.

In a nutshell, like all successful people, I realized that if you want to succeed, you have to be willing to fail.

And more importantly, you can’t let failure define you or stop you from pushing forward.

8) They set boundaries with themselves

Perhaps the most crucial boundary that successful people set is with themselves.

Boundaries aren’t just set with others, they also set boundaries with their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

  • They don’t let negative self-talk sabotage their efforts
  • They don’t give in to procrastination or succumb to distractions
  • They don’t let fear or doubt control their actions

Successful people realize that the biggest obstacles often come from within.

And so, they set firm boundaries with themselves to stay disciplined, focused, and positive.

This doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Far from it.

But they’re constantly striving to be better, to overcome their limitations, and to push themselves beyond their comfort zones.

In the end, the most important boundary you can set is the one with yourself. And the most successful people are those who master this art.

The final boundary

If you find yourself nodding along these boundaries, that’s a positive sign.

It means you’re on the right track towards achieving success, as defined by your own terms.

But don’t forget – setting boundaries is not a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process, requiring constant awareness and adjustment.

It’s equally important to remember that success doesn’t mean living a life devoid of fun or relaxation.

On the contrary, true success is striking a balance between work and play, between giving and receiving, between pushing forward and taking time to rest.

Setting these boundaries may feel tough at first. But the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

One quote that resonates with this journey is by Warren Buffet: “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

This doesn’t mean you have to start rejecting every request or opportunity that comes your way.

Rather, it’s about being selective and focusing your energy on what truly matters.

In closing, reflect on these boundaries.

Ask yourself – which ones are already part of your life? Which ones do you need to work on? 

Picture of Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

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