Boundaries, probably the most underestimated practice you can implement in your life. But something that is seriously lacking in mine right now. But that’s the problem, once you let one slip they all start to slip and life becomes chaotic, unmanageable and all kinds of crazy. I need boundaries in my life, and you probably do too. I mean, if you’re the kind of person that likes to not be permanently stressed out, anxious and feeling like they are running from pillar to post then you definitely do. So its time for me to take back control and I’d love to help you do the same. Boundaries are magical, you just need to know how to set them. So lets begin..
Know your values
In order to set your boundaries you need to be clear on your values. What is important to you? Family? Money? Success? Happiness? All of these things? Values are like your north star and being clear on what they are gives you a clarity that makes it easy to make decisions and know when and where to draw the line. If you don’t know what your values are don’t worry, I can help you with that. But if you do great, because as long as you know your values you can easily set your boundaries.
Set your boundaries
Boundaries exist to help you do and achieve all the things you want to achieve without killing yourself in the process. So ask yourself what does good look like? Balance will be different for everyone, but what does it look like for you? It can apply to the way you manage your time, the way you interact with people and even how you make and hold space for yourself. Get to know what boundaries you need to keep you feeling like you and then make sure you stick to them.
Setting boundaries may mean recontracting with people. I know it all sounds very formal but this is just about making your boundaries (what you will and wont do when) clear to those around you. This isn’t always necessary, only if you’re changing the way you’re doing or approaching things when people around you may have been used to you doing things differently in the past. Lets say for example you’ve just returned to work after a period of maternity leave, and prior to mat leave you used to regularly take evening calls. However now that you have to leave the office at a specific time each day and be at home and available to your family in the evenings this approach will no longer work. In this scenario it would be helpful to have an upfront conversation with your manager about new ways of working and what will and wont work going forwards. Laying out your boundaries to others around you helps them to help you.
Hold yourself to account
Once you’ve laid out your boundaries you need to stick to them. Consistency is key here. It’s no use saying you’ll do one thing but then make exceptions every time something seemingly “important” or “urgent” comes up. Doing this may feel like you are being helpful to those around you, but is actually more confusing and sends conflicting messages. Once you set a boundary you have to consistently honour it because doing anything else undermines it. This may feel hard at first, but often the biggest challenges with boundaries are not other people but ourselves.
Check in with yourself
Check in with yourself from time to time like I am doing now. I’m not saying that things will be balanced all the time, but on the whole are you honouring your boundaries and holding yourself to account if you aren’t? Do things feel right and what needs to change if not? When life gets busy its easy for us to let bad habits creep in, but taking a moment to check in with yourself and assess where you are and how you are feeling could be the most useful thing you do for yourself. Boundaries can be magic, you just need to know how to set them and stay true to them.
If you need help setting your own boundaries and actually sticking to them get in touch. I’ve coached lots of clients like you to help them create and hold the space they need to be the happiest version of themselves and I’d love to do the same for you too.