The Importance Of Establishing & Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

The joy of your business is sucked out because you’re working with the wrong people or worse inappropriate/disrespectful/unkind/unreasonable (delete whichever don’t apply) clients. No joy in your business has a knock on effect to every other aspect o

In order to recognise the importance of healthy boundaries let’s look at unhealthy ones and the impact this can have on your life.

Here are some typical examples which you may well find all too familiar…

Scenario No1:

You’re in the early stages of building your business and so you say yes to every opportunity. Even those that your gut (as well as your coach if you have one, your best friend and basically anyone you ask), is saying Noooooooo!! 

Impact On Your Life:

The joy of your business is sucked out because you’re working with the wrong people or worse inappropriate/disrespectful/unkind/unreasonable (delete whichever don’t apply) clients.

No joy in your business has a knock on effect to every other aspect of your life. Self esteem, self belief and confidence can be diminished and your vision of the future feels less positive and more uncertain.

Scenario No2:

You’re going through a tricky month financially, maybe you have a business which has seasonal peaks. You come to the conclusion that the only option is to slash your prices to try to get some cash in at least, right?!

Impact On Your Life:

Additional note here: pricing strategies is a whole other thing (*writing in my blog folder ‘make sure I do a blog on pricing’) and there are many ways to boost your income, although making desperate moves like in this example are more risky than the money injection you might have hoped for.

Selling your product or service for less than you were, can have a detrimental effect on both your reputation and your self worth. Remember it’s not always easier to sell a cheaper product than a higher priced one.

Scenario No3:

Your business is doing pretty well, which is great (pat on the back to you!) Although you fear losing clients and so are open 24/7. You respond to emails and messages at midnight, on the weekend and during the evening when having dinner with your family or instead of reading the kids a bedtime story.

Impact On Your Life:

Hmmmm…. This one is fairly darn obvious (sorry!) You don’t set the boundaries, then there aren’t any. Your self care goes out the window, your family time and time to yourself is squeezed out of the day to be virtually non existent. You become overworked, over tired and the red flags of Burnout start waving vigorously at you.

(Here’s an interesting article & 5 book recommendations on Burnout)

Okay now I’ve painted those jolly pictures in your mind… let’s talk about actionable steps you can take today to begin to put the right boundaries in place to protect and nourish your mental health on an ongoing basis.

  1. Dedicate time for self reflection: really decide what is important to you. Set boundaries that have significance for you and have a positive impact on your well being. It’s no good just taking someone else’s list and using those. There’s no stickability if your boundaries aren’t associated with your values and what you care about.

  2. Do one thing at a time. Make it easy for you to accomplish it, ensure it’s do-able. It’s not supposed to feel like another chore. The exercise is to help you have a happier and more balanced life with less stress and overwhelm.

  3. Make it routine. Routines become habits and habits are done on auto pilot. You won’t even need to consciously think about switching your phone off before dinner or only responding to emails in work hours. Once a routine is in place and done consistently over time, it becomes part of what you do, part of who you are.

And my final words on this topic, correction, the final words on this topic, as I borrowed them from musician Lauren Macberry (well they are perfect!) are:

“I know the boundaries I create deserve to be respected.That self-care is not the same as selfishness. That this is my life, my voice, my body, my rules, and no one gets to determine my narrative apart from me.”

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