How To Set Boundaries
One of the biggest hurdles for women today is setting boundaries and actually sticking to them. I’m sure you know you “should” have better boundaries. But a woman who is successful AND fulfilled knows how to set boundaries AND much more importantly how to stick to them. If you don’t learn to stick to enforce your boundaries then you will spend precious time and mental energy comparing yourself to others and simply feel like an failure!
I realise that the challenges of family life and all those directions you get pulled in are hard, believe me I’ve been there. It’s hard when you have a job and I would say that it’s even harder when you run a business… especially if you work from home.
At home I appreciate how difficult it can be to finish something before getting called away to help find something or because the kids are fighting or want help with homework!
Of course, this all fuels the husbands hints that perhaps a ‘steady, secure 9-5 would be a better option?’
And that is exactly why you must learn how to set boundaries.
How To Set Boundaries That Stick :
1 | Be assertive
We are often guilty of assuming our other halves know (or should know!) what it is we want/need. Although there may be the odd Derren Brown out there, our loved ones can’t read our minds so we need to communicate better… tell them what it is we want/need and how they might help us achieve that.
2 | Schedule appointments with yourself
Block time out in the calendar and be as faithful to it as you would be to a client meeting off site. Think in advance about what could possibly get in the way and head it off at the pass… Take the phone off the hook so your mum doesn’t call for a half hour chat. Better still, communicate better with her in advance about when you will be available to talk.
3 | Do not disturb
Put a sign up on the door of your workspace, or if you work in a communal room. Put headphones on a visual reminder to others that you are working and shouldn’t be disturbed.
4 | Teach
Work on teaching others around you how to respect your boundaries and why it is important. Don’t give up if it doesn’t happen straight away, work on it with them. Tell them how you feel when they don’t respect boundaries, they can’t argue with how you feel. Don’t accuse them of not caring which will just make them defensive.
5 | Appraise yourself
Review your past week, identify what went well in terms of boundaries and celebrate that. Look at what could have worked better and think about how to do that more effectively in the coming week.
6 | Reflect
Take time to reflect and understand just how much not setting boundaries is costing you financially as well as emotionally. Constant interruptions or lack of regard for your boundaries can result in resentment or a crisis of confidence.
Remember, you will not change everything overnight, and nor should you try. Take small steps and build on them.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but bricks were laid every hour.