Let’s talk about boundaries! Boundaries are so important to all areas of your life.
I was a corrections officer before I was a business owner, a life coach, and a business coach. I spent years (8 to be exact) solidifying the skill of boundaries! In prison, as an officer, if you can’t hold a solid boundary then you are in for some trouble. Lack of boundaries tells an inmate that you can easily be manipulated, are inconsistent and lack confidence. Boundaries are everything when you are dealing with "cons". Boundaries were important to my safety, my fellow officer’s safety, the inmate’s safety, and public safety! Nowadays my boundaries don’t come with such dire consequences - or do they?
Tons of business owners, mothers, shift workers experience burnout as a result of crappy boundaries. Other signs of poor boundaries - drama in relationships have trouble making decisions, you hate to let other people down, you struggle with guilt and anxiety, get annoyed easily, and you secretly fear abandonment.
You don’t have to be a business owner, or a corrections officer to take an inventory of your boundaries. When I start working with my clients - I ask them what a typical day in their life looks like. Most divulge that they are doing a bunch of things that they hate doing - but struggle to say NO when asked. Here’s something that I ask them to consider - If you are saying yes to sewing all the sequences on the dance costumes - what are you saying no to? Family time, self-care, that side business you have always wanted to do. Also, I know tons of people that love this job, but if you hate it - don’t do it!
When we take on more than we can handle in life we become overwhelmed, overloaded, and it creates a ton of stress and anxiousness. Is there something that you are doing right now that is causing you to feel overwhelmed, stress, and anxious? How do you think that this is affecting your relationships, your health, and your mental health? Is it worth it? Boundaries are to protect you. They are a form of self-care. If you read my blog from last week on Time Management - you will see that I schedule days off, family days, dates with friends, and time for adventure. These are all boundaries around my time and my energy. These boundaries have to held to ensure that I function in-line with my priorities.
When it comes to being a business owner and a coach there are some areas that need some tough boundaries to ensure that not all my time is spent focused on my clients. All be honest, even when I am not working with them - I am thinking about them! I set boundaries right from the very beginning. My clients are allowed to email me if they need something - but I also let them know that I don’t check my email all day long. I check it around 830am, 1230pm and 4pm. And then I am done for the day! If they need to re-schedule - I give them the times that I can accommodate them - but I don’t mess with my family or kid time to make it work. I am not accessible at all hours of the day, and I love to empower people to search for the answer before I offer a question, advice, or a personal experience!
When I start each day I know what my priorities are - and don’t really let anyone mess with them - and feel no guilt when I have to say NO! Saying No can be so empowering once you have done it enough times. Practice saying NO to the things that don’t serve you or your business. I don’t know how many times - I get messages asking if someone can “pick my brain” - the answer is NO. Boundaries are your gateway to freedom - in life and in business - and when you think about it that way - creating a boundary is to take care of you! Remember that! If it hurts someone’s feelings that is their issue, not yours. There is this quote that I love by Brene Brown, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.”
In addition to being a business owner and a coach - I am a mom and the wife of a police officer. Which also demands some boundaries! Boundaries around what I can share with people that I don’t trust, boundaries around my social media, and limits to what I allow into this circle. For my kids, my husband, and our family!
I know that 2020 was a crazy year for everyone. We have witnessed things in 2020 that we never thought would happen in our lifetime. And without getting too involved in a bunch of stuff that I know very little about - but am educating myself on daily. We saw the defunding of the police movement. This created a space for me to have to create a very hard boundary with friends and family members. People that make comments like “oh not your husband, I am talking about your husband, I know your husband is one of the good ones”- but, you are talking about my husband. This is an issue that I am very passionate about - and my husband sacrifices a lot to ensure that our community is safe. He has missed Christmas with his kids, anniversaries, weddings, huge milestone events, and a million other things for his career. He has witnessed unimaginable things, rescued children from unfit homes, and will sit and chat with you when no one else will listen! So, I have created a hard boundary around who's in and who's out when it comes to this topic. It’s not an us vs. you - it’s a self-respect thing that allows me to gauge where I am and who I am surrounding myself with!
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