This is a simple blog post
Take into consideration where your boundaries end and where someone else's begin, decide what you value and show up for work and your relationships armed with a fierce enforcement of them. After practicing a bit, you may find that you can show up more softly while still being true to your values, and people will appreciate where they stand with you and will begin to R-E-S-P-E-C-T your true-blue integrity. You may also find that this builds your trust not only for yourself but also with others, then watch all of your relationships and your business blossom.
Let's look at a few boundary functions as they relate to our business and professional relationships.
1. Know your limits. Start to pay attention to what brings you joy and energy with some clients and what stresses you out with others. As you begin to get more familiar with these feelings, your limits will become crystal clear.
- Start a client log for each client listing how you felt during your interaction. It could be 2-3 words like: strong, empowered, energized, stressed, angry, or frustrated.
- Begin building your client list, paying attention to the descriptors of the people you enjoy working with and look for more of those types of clients.
2. Look for red flags. There may be signs that you need to set a boundary with someone at work or that you have let your boundaries slip in a business situation. Here are a few of those feelings and what they might look like: you are feeling uncomfortable, resentful or guilty. If you are feeling any of these, begin thinking about how to reset your boundaries with this person, especially if it is a constant feeling, or has happened several times.
- Ask yourself, how uncomfortable, resentful or guilty am I feeling right now? Rate your answer on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being happy and 5 being wildly angry. If you scored closer to a 5, time to set a boundary with this person. Something to also be mindful of, this person may be completely unaware that what they are doing is affecting you so strongly, so give them the benefit of the doubt when communicating your needs.
- Seek gentle ways of setting boundaries with yourself first. Look at setting something easy, like a time limit, for the next 5 minutes, I am going to listen to my favorite song, then get back to business. This will begin building your boundary setting muscle in a fun and easy way.
3. Give yourself permission to set boundaries. Many times, we don't set boundaries because we feel guilty or afraid of the other person's reaction to our push-back. This begins the self-effacing cycle of self-doubt, which leads to setting no boundaries at all.
- Ask yourself, is this good for me? And believe in the evidence! If what you are doing is setting a boundary that is good for you, then you are winning.
- Believe that you deserve and have the right to set the best personal and professional boundaries for you. If doubts occur, reaffirm to yourself that you do indeed have a right to your choice of boundary and give yourself the permission to set them and work to keep them intact.
4. Consider your Surroundings. Where you are, can make a huge difference between successful boundary setting and an epic fail. Consider a healthy eating challenge for example. If you remove the junk food and restock your fridge with healthy foods and your pantry with easy grab and go nutritional snacks, chances are you will be successful at healthy eating because you've created an environment setting you up for success.
- Check your relationships, are you giving much more than receiving to the point of exhaustion. If yes, time to re-evaluate your terms of engagement with this person. Begin by having a conversation about your needs and remind them of your long-standing loyalty to their needs and how you're looking to bring more balance into your relationships.
Practice boundary setting with people who perform services for you, perhaps your hair dresser or a massage therapist. Have you ever had a massage that was too gentle or worse, too rough? How can you ask for what you need in that moment, to someone who is actively trying to please you and you in return plan to pay them for their service to you? This is a perfect place to begin building your boundary setting muscle without fear of reprisal.
In the scheme of your happy life, where have you ever asked for something, and it was given, at will and happily? When is the last time you gave someone your time, advice, or service and rejoiced in their delight at what you provided? This is the same feeling you want to give others, let them please and delight you!
Be the queen of your own Queendom, you define your boundary. Setting boundaries can lead to amazing happiness and joy for both you and your relationships. If this is something you want more of in your life, try asking for it. Sharing your boundaries is the second step in achieving a happily balanced life; the first step is knowing your boundaries. J