Oh boy, setting boundaries is such a loaded topic, isn’t it?! In my not-at-all-scientific analysis of the subject, there definitely does seem to be a correlation between people who are ambitious and goal-driven, and those who aren’t that great at setting boundaries for themselves. We want to help! To achieve, to give, to perform, to contribute. But sometimes that means we forget to say no. As I said in a recent post, it can be hard to set boundaries. And often we aren’t even aware that our stress and overwhelm is in large part due to saying YES too often and NO not often enough!
To quote Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5, Verse 28: “No.” 🙂
As the saying goes, “no is a complete sentence”. However, learning how to say no requires us to know where our boundaries are. To know what the benefits are of saying no versus saying yes. And figuring that out can be a bit more complicated than implementing that no once you have.
To that end, here are a few resources that I’ve found helpful, both for myself and for my coaching clients, that might give you a bit of inspiration on how, why, and when to set boundaries.
TYPES OF BOUNDARIES
What kind of boundaries are there? Is “boundary” just a synonym for saying no?? I found this article to be really informative around what types of boundaries there actually are. There’s a wonderful infographic to demonstrate the 6 types of boundaries we have: Time, Physical, Emotional, Sexual, Intellectual/Mental, and Material. Framing it in this way makes it much easier to identify what sort of boundaries one might need or unknowingly be ignoring.
IDEAS FOR SETTING BOUNDARIES
I recently listened to two interesting podcasts on Setting Boundaries. The first was an interview with Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and partner of Serena Williams. Someone at that level of professional success clearly needs to be on top of their game in terms of prioritizing their time and energy, but this isn’t always a skill that comes naturally.
The second was a podcast led by two coaches, and my favourite part was the (new to me at least) concept of the 10 Rules of Assertion. My particular favourites are:
#6 Ask for time to think things over
#8 Ask directly for what you want, rather than hoping someone will notice what you want.
The podcast also went on to discuss how setting boundaries helps teamwork and why it is a critical skill for professional success.
This also led me to investigate further into the 10 Rules of Assertion and this article lays out not only the “rules” but gives some practical examples of how to utilize them in real life.
One of the biggest hurdles to setting boundaries for ourselves is being a people pleaser. If we want to please others, of course we’re going to say yes to their requests and demands, and prioritize them over our own. So I enjoyed this chat with Emma Reed Turrell who has just written a book on how to stop people pleasing and transform the way you live!
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DO NOT IMPLEMENT BOUNDARIES
You may have heard in the news recently that Naomi Osaka recently bowed out of the French Open tennis tournament. It was a very high-profile example of setting boundaries, and of what can happen when we are forced to ignore our needs. The New York Times wrote an article about Osaka and the “Power of Nope”.
Mental health, overwhelm, and burnout can be the consequences of ignoring our boundaries. What are the main mistakes we make when we are overwhelmed?? Essentially we make shitty decisions and tend to do the exact opposite of what would help us in those situations, as this HBR article points out.
BOUNDARIES FOR THE FUTURE YOU
For many, it has been even more challenging than usual to set and implement boundaries during a year of upheaval, transition, and uncertainty. As we look forward into the New New Normal ahead, this is a brilliant opportunity to really take the time to figure out what works for you. To establish what your boundaries are and need to be. It’s virtually impossible to implement boundaries if you don’t know what those boundaries are or why you have them. 😉 If you’d like to get ahead of the curve and delve into identifying your own boundaries, why not look into my Amplify Your Impact coaching programme? This could be the magic ingredient you’ve been looking for!
Sorry to not have any fiction to recommend this week! I have read a few books over the past couple of weeks, but sadly all were duds and not worth recommending. If you’ve read something fabulous lately, drop me a line and let me know! I’d love to add a few interesting novels to my TBR pile!! And not to worry, the next newsletter is going to be ALL about books!
As we head into June and the weather is finally starting to get nicer, hope you are able to enjoy some time outside. Enjoy the sunshine and the sense of positivity that brings!