The first and most important lesson about boundaries is that NO is a complete answer.
That’s right. It is!
You do not need to explain or elaborate on your reasons or decisions for not doing something, not going somewhere or not giving your time or money for any particular cause. You know your reasons, and that IS enough.
If you say no, just know, that you do not have to say anything else.
Sticking to your boundaries can be a difficult thing to do – especially the first few times. The reaction is often met with hurt feelings, disappointment, judgment and others expressing their disapproval of your decision(s). Navigating this mind field is definitely a tricky job as we all would prefer to have a pleasant encounter versus an emotionally charged one. Keep in mind, to be able to meet your goals and stick to your objectives you will have to develop boundaries that are in line with where you are going and the goals you have set out to accomplish.
The reason boundaries are so important is they are symbolic of staying true to who you are. Whenever I break a boundary and agree to do something or to be somewhere based on obligation I become resentful leading up to the event and even more resentful at the event, or doing the task. The entire experience is riddled with resentment which makes it a struggle from beginning to end. Living through several events like this in your week and month will wear on you and result in negative experiences that will spill over into other aspects of your life. On the flip side, when we agree to participate in an event or task that is in line with our boundaries, or for a reason that is meaningful to us, we are in harmony with our intentions and our objectives. In this case, no matter how the event or task turns out, the experience is welcomed and enjoyed. This difference is HUGE!! Your energy and your input into the experience will result in added joy and a sense of accomplishment in your life.
Boundaries are a great testing ground to ensure you are staying true to who you are and the entrepreneurial experience that you choose to pursue. When you have risked a lot to follow your dreams, that passion is evident in everything that you do! Supporting someone else or something else will be welcomed into your life when your time and energy permits – and it will add rich color to your life experiences.
Simply put, give yourself permission to say no.
Finding your harmony will allow you to experience many different paths. There are times when you will have the time and energy to be open to new experiences that do not fit exactly with your objectives – and that is great! When you are in a place where you need to focus your time and energy on your business goals give yourself permission to have that space for yourself. You will be tremendously thankful that you did – and those that support you will be right there when you come back and have time again to open your life to support and help them. These are the people you want around you, this is the support network you want to be part of.
The main learning is that your boundaries support your intentions, your vision and your integrity in business, and in life. When you choose to step out and do something outside your path it has to be because you are choosing to do it and not because you are being guilted or bullied into it. One phrase from my coaching course that fits well is this, “Your needs are not negotiable.” Outside of a VERY small number of people ensure your needs are being met and anything else you engage in is for a loving purpose.
A great tip from Brene Brown, PhD is to take a piece of paper and write on that paper the people in your life whose opinion of you matters. If you have even one person whom you cherish that much – you are lucky. Generally, the list is less than 5. When you are setting a boundary that is being met with resistance consider if the person resisting is on that list. If not, be prepared to walk away. If yes, perhaps agree to a comparable compromise that is as close to your boundary as possible. The objective is to approach as much of your life as possible with excitement and joy and void of guilt or resentment.
Be true to yourself, value yourself and your truth will bring harmony to your life.
Until next time – decide, commit and action your dreams to love your life.
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