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Drawing The Line

April 11th, 2011 · No Comments · Personal Leadership

Where is it Time to Draw the Line?
 

“Weak boundaries are at the root of 80% of the problems I’ve observed among people who are struggling to live more authentic lives.” ~ Cheryl Richardson

“Boundary-less” behaviour is rampant according to a segment of 60 Minutes, the current events TV program. Leslie Stahl reported that the 60-80 hour work week is becoming the norm. People read (and respond!) to email while driving, watch the business news in the shower, and take calls anytime, day or night. While in the moment we might feel highly productive, these habits take a steep toll. Reduced productivity. Diminished connection in our relationships. Loss of innovative thinking. For those of us seeking to grow a thriving business and flourish in our personal lives, being able to set boundaries that truly support us is essential.

What are boundaries?
A boundary is an invisible line that we draw around ourselves to protect our body, heart and spirit from harm. Boundaries define us; they delineate what is “me” and “not me.” They state what others cannot do to us, or around us. A boundary isn’t a big wall. It’s an energy field that lets the good stuff in, and filters out everything else. 

Where do we draw the line?
In growing our passion-business and living an authentic life, I see repeatedly three important areas where we need to set or extend our boundaries in order to feel safe, connected and creative. I invite you to take a moment to consider where it’s time for you to draw the line.

Your time: Where are you giving away your time? What projects, commitments or demands of others are over-riding what really matters? Setting life-supporting time boundaries will make the difference between feeling chronically overwhelmed (possibly even burning out) and claiming adequate space to be your best and enjoy your work.

Your heart: With others, what behaviours are you putting up with that actually erode trust? What is it not okay for people to do to you, or around you? In both work and intimate relationships, healthy boundaries will protect you from negative influences and foster genuine collaboration.

Your soul: Where is it time to say “No” to the expectations of others in order to honour your uniqueness? Soul-supporting boundaries allow you to be courageously vulnerable and let love, ideas and opportunities in. 

Defining your boundaries is the beginning of claiming adequate space to thrive, harnessing your personal power to take risks, and owning your unique abilities to touch others. Each time you set a boundary, you’ll grow in self-trust. As your confidence in addressing issues and setting boundaries strengthens, fear will diminish significantly, co-workers and loved ones will respect you more, and you will attract people who truly value you and your unique contributions.

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