What Does it Mean to Set a Boundary?
Setting a boundary is all about defining what you are and aren’t available for. It is saying what you stand for and believe in.
Setting boundaries is so important for maintaining a healthy mind, body and sense of inner purpose. It leads to better relationships with family, partners, and friends, but it also helps you feel calmer, less stressed, and like you have more space and time for the things that are really important to you.
What is Stopping You?
A lot of the time we say we are creating a boundary, but then when the moment is happening, we let all of our boundaries go. Sound familiar?
The problem is that a lot of us associate boundaries with letting people down. We fear upsetting others or feel as though they will look elsewhere (to other businesses, other friends) to get what they’re not getting from us. We don’t want to be left behind.
However, by extending beyond our boundaries, we may not be letting the other person down, but we’re letting ourselves down. We are damaging ourselves in the process. We become the doormat, stuck to the ground. My blog about saying No may help – The Power of Saying No.
Where to Start?
Setting boundaries first involves getting to know yourself and understanding what you want out of life. Do you want to be working until 8pm? Do you want to be spending all your free time helping out a friend?
A good place to start is setting your working hours. Communicate this to colleagues, clients, friends, family. Tell them this is when you are working and this is when you are not working and be clear about your expectations.
For example, if you are running a business, tell your clients you won’t be answering calls on the weekends. Set that expectation from the get-go.
What if Someone Pushes my Boundaries?
Not everyone is going to respect your boundaries, but don’t let that stop you from doing what you’re doing. Be clear, stand up to them, and you will gain respect with time. The more you set the boundaries and stick to them, the more you’re able to have a good work/life balance.
And remember, we don’t need to be omnipresent. We live in a society where it feels like we have to respond immediately, but we don’t. We all have lives outside of work, outside of our digital sphere of existence. Take time to think and give a thoughtful response.
Setting boundaries is all about communicating what matters to you, regardless of other’s reactions. Think about why you set them, what you will do when someone tests you, and how you will respond.
How has setting boundaries changed your business, your energy, and your happiness?
Come and share your thoughts in my free coaching community The Coaching Collective on Facebook here.