Many executives and entrepreneurs struggle to manage their boundaries. The most common complaint I hear from them (and their life partners) is “I find it really hard to switch off from my work / business”.
If you are working excessive hours, neglecting your health and well being or struggling to get a good night’s sleep, chances are that your boundaries are out – the integrity of “your system” is compromised.
A boundary is the limit that separates and defines you from others. It’s a personal formula that allows us to trust in ourselves, take care of ourselves and have a healthy control over our general well-being. A boundary can be the means of advancing yourself further in life, relationships and business dealings and can be comprised of an emotional, physical, spiritual, sexual or relational limit.
We each have boundaries to help define, create order, empower, protect and clarify our life’s journey. Your boundaries will serve to either permit or accept certain people, behaviours and situations into your defined “space”. Strong boundaries will keep abusive, disrespectful and toxic people or situations at a safe distance from you so that you can continue to nourish and fulfil your life with your needs, wants to desires.
In business for example, we need to apply a deeper understanding of boundaries to how we recruit team members, manage our diaries and engage customers.
The first step in setting yourself boundaries is self-awareness. Being able to identify your personal needs, requirements for space, energy and self-nourishment will help you to define the boundaries that you will practice over the course of your life. It’s a personal experiment and one that will help you to define how many to set and how big they should be. By mapping out your boundaries based on your own self-awareness as a living, feeling and powerful being, you will learn to establish the fundamental boundaries of your core principles, such as:
- I have the right to be treated with respect.
- I have the right to express my opinion.
Recognise Other People
Humans are oftentimes sensitive beings, but with an inner strength that helps us to navigate life’s difficulties. The boundaries we set based on our own personal sensitivities will help with engaging other people in emotional situations. Managing your boundaries with other people is a means of taking care of yourself, your energy, your feelings and your personal space. You can begin by setting boundaries in a neutral tone in language that is clear and direct, such as:
- That was a hurtful comment.
- That comment was inappropriate and disrespectful.
Grow in Self-Assertion
Self-Assertion will come in time, particularly if you’re consistently practicing the boundaries under your self-awareness. Self-assertion is the right to be heard, the right to ask for things that you need, want or desire. Setting boundaries under self-assertion will strengthen your resolve and inner confidence. It is also a boundary that helps us to stand up for ourselves and navigate difficulties in times of stress or confrontation. It is the ability to say “No” without guilt, the ability to express your feelings about a particular situation without feeling that you are wronging someone, for example:
- I’m not interested in buying that product.
- I don’t agree with that statement.
The higher you ascend in organisations and life, the more demanding your life will become.
A Guide for Setting Healthy Boundaries
- Set boundaries that will help you to grow and evolve in life.
- Master your skills of setting boundaries so that it becomes an automatic and natural experience.
- Allow others to learn from your boundaries so that they might grow with you throughout the process.
- Don’t use boundaries as a means to vent frustration or anger, always set them with your own self-nourishment in mind.
- Recognise weak or ill-defined boundaries that can be a source of disharmony for you. Re-evaluate your needs, wants and desires to establish whether that boundary is serving you properly.
- Think of the language and actions you would use if someone was to violate your boundary.
- Reward and acknowledge those who respect your boundaries.
Are You Ready For nLIVEn?
The personalised approach of nLIVEn ensures your most important objectives are addressed, whether you are seeking measurable and tangible results or abstract and creative outcomes.
We have developed a simple self-assessment tool that you can use to discover what kind of help you need most at the moment.