Today let’s explore this concept of boundaries.
Because it is about your state of well-being, confidence, health and happiness. And it’s about being in integrity with yourself. Honoring the things you believe in and care about….including yourself.
First, it’s important to know that a boundary is not about keeping someone out, rather keeping yourself emotionally and practically safe. And this is so important, as it applies to work and your personal life.
I’ve learned a lot from PositivePsychology.com, I’ve used their materials and subscribe to their toolkit. Here’s how they define boundaries:
You might be asking, how do I do that and what are the considerations? Because it starts with knowing your rights. And knowing your values.
And particularly and importantly at work, it’s about your priorities, capacity and capabilities.
Here are 4 stages to consider:
1. Know the value and purpose
To honor yourself and secure your rights; to keep integrity with your authentic self; to become more aligned with what you care about for yourself and others
2. Understand your rights, values, needs/wants
a. This is an area of work for most of us, know your rights (The Power of Assertive Language episode 11)
b. Do a values inventory (Knowing your values, episode 8)
c. In the moment, be aware of someone “crossing a line” that ties to something you needed or wanted, that creates a negative feeling
3. Be aware of the signs, triggers (these are the disconnects)
a. This is what happens in the moment
b. When we have to make a choice: say something that we may perceive as a risk (hurt feelings, someone taking offense, repercussions, shock and outrage, anger back) and do it anyway
4. Honor them
a. Means we say the words in our heads and from our heart; we stand up for ourselves in a way that is not disrespectful to others, rather clear about what we feel, want and need
c. This is also about what you’d like from them; though they have the right to change or not
That is the most challenging element of a boundary is actually standing up for yourself and honoring it. Saying the words not just in your head, but out loud. And doing it in a way that is clear, yet respectful. That focuses on your needs, your feelings and what you want.
Boundaries are about being proactive in areas of your life that you care most about. And then noticing those moments when something causes you angst. It could be one incident (in the case of a political, racial or personal comment) or it could be a longer standing situation—when the pattern is becoming more clear, and you are becoming increasingly frustrated, angry and resentful.
How to say the words? We’ll dedicate next week’s episode to doing just that. How to get more comfortable articulating when a boundary has been crossed.