Jul 06, 2022 | Your Self
Why having boundaries may LEGIT change everything for you…
Is it starting to feel like summer, for you?
I just got back from taking my two pups for a walk on the beach, and summertime is on my mind.
In my first years in business, summer used to fly by for me and I was always left wanting for more…
But these days, summer looks very different because I’ve created a schedule and commitment to savor this beautiful time of year.
And you know what’s been key to ensuring I’m savoring all of it?
You may have guessed it….
What is BOUNDARIES is correct.
If you’re an entrepreneur who hasn’t fully integrated elegant boundaries into your day-to-day, I wouldn’t be surprised if the start of this first full month of summer is already feeling like more of the same.
Last year, I surveyed our community about boundaries, and some of the responses we got were really surprising. Here’s a few of them:
100% of survey respondents were at least ‘satisfied’ with the boundaries you’ve put in place in your business. Most shared that boundaries are something you’ve already worked hard to prioritize and integrate into your life. Well done!
Similarly, 100% shared that the two topics that most come to mind when you think about boundaries are ‘Getting the important tasks handled in your business versus being inundated by the urgent ones’ and ‘Maintaining healthy, mutually supportive relationships, professional and/or personal ones.’
Only 40% indicated that they would include ‘Living that ideal schedule entrepreneurs dream of’ and ‘Sustaining your passion and joy as an entrepreneur’ when considering what boundaries are.
And just 20% identified ‘Managing your business income and expenses’ as a topic that comes to mind when thinking about boundaries.
Here’s the clincher about boundaries though…
If you are unwilling to honor your boundaries and be with the consequences of adhering to them, they ultimately serve no purpose.
If you have a hard stop time at the end of your work day at 5pm but regularly burn the candle at both ends and routinely carry your laptop to bed, you do not have sufficient boundaries in place around your schedule.
If you routinely procrastinate and leave business priorities until the night before or potentially deadlines and invoice dates come and go without you doing a dang thing about it, you do not have sufficient boundaries in place around your priorities.
And, if you are technically your own boss yet find yourself working more hours as an entrepreneur than a 9-to-5er, you absolutely do not have sufficient boundaries in place to ensure your work-life balance.
When we think about boundaries, we often think of limiting factors.
To be clear, the Latin root for the word is “butina,” meaning a bound or limit.
But here’s the kicker, my experience of having boundaries is fundamentally different than one of being limiting.
Boundaries create the possibility of having a more enriching experience in all areas of your life.
What I find most fascinating about the above stats is that while 100% of respondents think about prioritizing important items and relationships when they think about boundaries, ONLY 40% of you think about living by your ideal schedule and sustaining your passion and joy as an entrepreneur.
I believe that they are intimately intertwined…
…that prioritizing the important items that move your 1-3 year Big Hairy-Ass Goals (BHAG) goals forward ALLOWS you to honor your ideal schedule, close your laptop at 5pm and take Friday off every single week.
…that prioritizing your relationship with your sweetheart, family and friends ALLOWS you to sustain your passion and joy as an entrepreneur by keeping you super connected to why you’re in business in the first place: to have more time and freedom to focus on the people you adore.
Boundaries do not have to be limiting or restrictive, they have the possibility of being the access point to having it all.
Don’t believe me?
It’s OK, I didn’t believe myself either for a long time…
But think about it for a moment, summer will be gone before you know it. How do you want your experience of summer to be this year?
Maybe you’re committed to taking an entire month off like a client of mine did after resigning from a role they held for more than two decades.
Or maybe you’re planning to take a trip to the mountains with no wifi reception so you’re forced to unplug from technology like another client of mine has done.
Perhaps you share pics of the sunrise that you are committed to fully appreciating every morning like a childhood friend of mine often does in Massachusetts.
Or, perhaps you are taking off the final two weeks of August as I am and traveling to our family summer home in New Brunswick, Canada for an extended annual fully unplugged retreat.
What if boundaries became your access point for having it all versus something you felt limited or restricted by?
If that were the case, what boundaries would you put in place?
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Catherine is a Master Certified Coach and bestselling author of Belonging: Overcome Your Inner Critic and Reclaim Your Joy.
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