Set Boundaries for a Better You
Inspired by this week’s journey through the Moms Making Six Figures Podcast archives where we revisit one of our favorite episodes to date featuring Marlene Robinson, Development and Marketing Director for the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. Marlene believes in the power of choosing who you surround yourself with both in your personal and professional life and instilling boundaries to protect your peace and growth.
With the holidays approaching, many of us will be spending more time with family and friends than we have since the start of the pandemic. And as we bring the year to a close, many of us will be called to reflect on our personal and professional lives and to determine what must be left behind in order to go into the new year capable of pursuing our intentions. Before you gather with family and friends, before you set your 2022 goals, take a moment to review the importance of boundaries and consider if yours are best serving you, your growth, and your peace.
Evaluate Your Current Situation
When it comes to boundaries it’s important to begin the often-difficult work with a goal and visualization of clarity on the other side. In other words: How do I want my personal life to feel next year? Which relationships are the most important to me to prioritize? What do I want to achieve in my professional life next year? Which colleagues and mentors will hold me accountable and push me to grow? Who were the people you visualized in each facet of your life? In order to give them your best yes, you are going to have to say no to different portions of relationships, events, or even some people (at least for a period of time) all together. This will be uncomfortable and challenging because we have been conditioned as women to be people pleasers; in these moments it is imperative that you cling to your vision of peace and growth when you save your best yeses and embody the power of “no” as a complete sentence.
Construct Your Boundaries
If you are the sum of the five people you spend the majority of your life with, who are you giving the best seats in your home and office to? You will need to create boundaries for these relationships as well as the people you need to say no to in order to reserve those seats. According to Positive Psychology, the ‘formula’ for creating boundaries is simple (leave it to us to overcomplicate things, right?), but we have a tendency to avoid establishing boundaries out of our own conditioned hang-ups—the problem is, that without boundaries, we end up in a place of mental stress and anxiety fraught with resentment and anger at constantly being put on the back burner. The uncomfortable truth is that no one else can put you there; you’ve done it to yourself by hoping others will behave as you want them to.
So here it is, the magical formula for creating boundaries. The hard work comes in communicating them and holding to them. Start small and gain traction to build your confidence.
- Define: Identify the desired boundary
- Communicate: Say what you need
- Stay Simple: Don’t overexplain
- Set Consequences: Say why it’s important
Make sure you keep the focus on yourself, there’s no need to add fuel to the fire by using “you” phrases. Remember, you cannot control others, only yourself. “In general, the key to setting boundaries is first figuring out what you want from your various relationships, setting boundaries based on those desires, and then being clear with yourself and with other people about your boundaries.”
Reap the Rewards
Anyone who has ever been to therapy or counseling or pursued any amount of personal or professional development knows that this work is hard and uncomfortable because it upsets the status quo, but they will also tell you that it was absolutely worth it for what awaited them on the other side. When you feel like negotiating a boundary, avoid establishing one all together or giving one of your best seats to someone or something that doesn’t deserve it, focus on the big picture, and hold yourself accountable; your future self will thank you!
Contributing Forbes Councils Member and Life Coach, Sahar Andrade says it best. “Setting healthy boundaries gives you the ability to express your thoughts and feelings in a way that clearly communicates you needs. Healthy boundaries help you achieve the following in both your personal and professional life: you effectively listen and see other points of view while still respecting your own, you practice self-respect by standing your ground, you avoid future conflicts and resentment, you set reasonable consequences for violating your boundaries.”
If you need the tools, the sounding board, and the support system of like-minded individuals to create and maintain your boundaries in order to find peace within yourself and growth within your work once again, if you want to give the most important relationships the best seats in your home and in your office, it may be time to invest in yourself by taking the first step toward participating in the MMSF Mastermind launching in January 2022. Let us come alongside you as you begin to create and maintain boundaries and move yourself on the back burner—let us help you say no more freely so that you can save your best yeses, for your best life and work. E-mail us at [email protected] for more information on the MMSF Mastermind.