This month, we’re taking things out to the real world. You’ve been with me for the past few months, developing the tools that you need to live your life with courage, in your truth. You’re ready to take Action.
If you’ve seen my last blog, you’ll know that we’re focusing this month on Prioritizing Yourself in the real world. Prioritizing Yourself by living out your own Purpose, your goals, your dreams, while learning to structure your life’s obligations around you.
Now, before anyone gets me wrong on this, I’m not telling you to ditch those that you love, or to shut down on other people. I’m telling you that you CAN live the life that you want, and still take care of what you need to take care of. And I’m here to walk you through how to do that, step by step. The first step is learning how to Prioritize Yourself, so that you can genuinely both live your Purpose, and tend to what needs tending to.
If you read my last blog (here), you will have seen me talk about setting boundaries for yourself. I want to focus now on just that, because those boundaries are essential to you being able to Prioritize Yourself.
Boundaries are in essence a set of rules that you set for yourself and for the benefit of those around you. They let people know what is important to you, what you need them to respect, and how you would like them to respond to you. They also let others know how they can expect you to treat them. Believe it or not, boundaries are a two-sided street. I’ll give you a pretty much universal example. I do not tolerate being insulted. If anyone throws around an offensive word directed at me, I’m outta there. But in return, I will never intentionally or consciously throw around offensive words at someone. If I disallow verbal insults being directed at me, but I have no issue in insulting others, then I haven’t set a boundary. I’m just being an unreasonable, pretty indecent (even tyrannical) human being. If your boss sets a boundary that they will not respond to emails past 6pm, but expects you to do so, they’re most definitely going to be seen as unreasonable.
Boundaries allow you to take control of your time, and even your life, in a manner that is clear and understandable to you and everyone else. The trade-off is this: In order to have boundaries, you need to be quite verbal about it. Setting boundaries requires some firm communication about what you expect for yourself, to anyone who needs to know about your boundaries. This can be your boss, your coworkers, your family, your friends… really anyone with a real or perceived stake in your time and efforts.
I cannot tell you what your boundaries are. They will depend on your Purpose, your own Values, and the commitments that you have that you want to honor. There are a few more universal ones, like being treated with respect, but most of the boundaries that you will need are boundaries that you need to decide for yourself. So go ahead and think about what boundaries you want for your life. What boundaries would help you Prioritize your Purpose? Is it dedicated time or space to making your projects a reality? Is it structuring your finances so that you’re able to make a cash injection? Make a list of those boundaries, and who might be affected by them.
Also, think about the type of behavior you expect from those that you love, those that interact with you on a professional basis, your friends, strangers. What boundaries do you have with regards to your finances generally? Are there matters that you need to be reserving a portion of your earnings to (for example, if you’re a caretaker)? How about emotional boundaries? A more delicate one but one that really requires thinking about, your sexual boundaries? Those might not be relevant to a business plan, but they certainly are relevant to you living your truth, holding to your values, and showing up for yourself in every aspect of your life.
All right, with that being said, let’s get to some practical tips on how to enforce your boundaries.
1. Be firm with your boundaries. Boundaries aren’t boundaries if you let people dictate when and how they are to be enforced. You are the judge of when a boundary is about to be – or has been – crossed. You are also the person who decides when a boundary is relevant and is to be respected. Be clear and explicit about your boundaries, whether it is in relation to time, personal space, overtime, whatever it is. That is not to say that you need to be harsh or defensive about your boundaries. A clear “I’m unable to do this at this time” will suffice under most circumstances. For more stubborn cases, you may need to repeat your position a few times to make yourself heard.
2. Be consistent with your boundaries. If you’re enforcing them here and there, at odd times, then you’re just going to confuse those around you. Boundaries are set for the benefit of you and those who wish to interact with you. Others around you need to know and understand what your boundaries are, and if you’re being inconsistent with how you’re applying them, then they’re simply not going to look like boundaries, but more like you being unpredictable and a bit stubborn at random intervals in time.
3. Trust your gut. If something feels “off” to you, take time to assess why that is, and say so. Your gut will be able to tell you if something is wrong, and it’s up to you to investigate why that is, and what boundaries are potentially being crossed. If your gut tells you that a boundary is being crossed at a certain point in time but that that’s ok, then go with your gut too. Who knows? It could be telling you to say yes to something you wouldn’t ordinarily do, but have always been curious to try!
4. Learn to switch off. Literally. Switch off your phone, your computer, whatever it is you need to switch off in order to get some you time. Boundaries are so difficult to enforce in this age of technology, where we are expected to be constantly within reach. Set a time for yourself where you will set your phone to do-not-disturb mode, and where you will stop checking emails. For my workaholic Queens out there, I know the thought of this is giving you heart palpitations. But you know that coworker you have that won’t respond to anything sent after 6pm? Yep, the one that really frustrates you because you know deep down, you’re secretly envious that they have some solid boundaries, well, it’s about time you do the same for you!
All right Queen, now that we’ve gotten all that out, it’s over to you. Get to defining and enforcing those boundaries! You’ll thank me later 😉
Remember, there are a whole lot of resources in the Confidence Queen’s Academy to support each month’s theme. Remember to check out How to say “No” with Confidence & Grace in the Workplace.
Finally, for my Gold & VIP members, remember, the upcoming The Purpose Accelerator event is this weekend, woohoooo. If you haven’t yet confirmed your spot, do so and make sure you bag your 1:1 time with me 😉
Fix your crown!