Career, Emotional Health, Friendship, Relationship Love, Self-Love

The Importance of Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries

April 12, 2015
boundaries

“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.”

Boundaries are essential for healthy relationships. They are ofter overlooked though. Before I get into today’s blog I want to give a definition of what I mean by a boundary.  To me a boundary is a clear and specific set of guidelines that govern what you will and will not tolerate. Wikipedia defines it as  ”guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits. They are built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning“. We are pretty similar in how we view this concept.

So now that you know what I mean by a boundary, I want to discuss some of the consequences of not having clear boundaries. In business this can be financially detrimental. Let me give you an example. You are a talented artist and you love creating portraits. Your business is to create portaits for your clients. The income that you make from your business is how you take care of yourself and pay your bills. You have a friend who wants a portrait to give to her mother. She loves your work. You value your relationship with your friend, but she tries to influence you to waive your fee because you are friends. You want to help her and you have a heart of gold, but not a pocket of gold. You are not in the position to waive the fee, you need the income in your business. This is not the first time you have been asked by this particular friend to ignore one of your boundaries. What do you do?

In this scenario your boundaries have been tested.

  • A) Do you take a financial hit and do the portrait for free?
  • B) Do you explain to your friend that you would love to do a portrait for them and it will cost them xx?

If your answer was A, that’s okay. What’s important is that you must be comfortable with your decision. If it leads to resentment and strains your relationship with your friend then more than likely you compromised a personal boundary. If you keep doing that, you won’t be friends for much longer.

If your answer is B, that’s good too. You just have to be clear about why you are saying no and let them know that you value your friendship but that this is business and you need to adhere to you fee. You could consider a discount but are not in a position to do the portrait for free at this time. Your business will grow and in the future you may be more able to do free portraits.

So let’s talk about how to establish clear boundaries:

 

1. Know your boundaries. In most cases your boundaries are tied to your values, circumstances or principles. If it would help, take the time to write them down. Not knowing your boundaries can lead to you being controlled by your emotions and you won’t know why. Write down what your boundaries are in business relationships, intimate relationships, and working relationships. What will you or won’t allow? If so, why? This will allow you to establish healthier relationships and you will feel good about how people treat you.

2. . Be consistent and firm about your boundaries. This means that no matter what, you say the same thing to everyone concerning your personal boundaries. Don’t say one thing to one friend and then a completely different thing to another friend. Don’t you know friends talk! Eliminate any possibility of being known as wishy washy. People will also respect you more when they know that you cannot be manipulated or swayed. They will always know where they stand with you.

3. If a boundary is crossed with a relationship you treasure, address it, don’t ignore it. Whether it is with a friend, client, co-worker, or spouse you must talk about when you feel a boundary has been crossed. If you are like me, then you immediately feel when one of your boundaries has been compromised, even if you have allowed it. You may feel horrible inside because you know you have allowed it. You may even start treating the person differently. In most cases they won’t even know why. This is about your personal boundary, not theirs. Most people are not mind readers so they won’t understand why your behavior has changed. You must make it right and clear up for them what’s going on.

4. Having the hard conversation about a crossed boundary is all in the tone. Have you heard the statement, it’s not what you say but how you say it? Well in this case it is absolutely true. Informing someone that you allowed one of your boundaries to be crossed is a touchy subject. They may not know how much this has impacted you. Be conscious of how you speak to the person. Try not to have this conversation when you are angry. It will absolutely affect the conversation and how it will be received by the person you are speaking with.

5. Remember that boundaries may change as you evolve, they are not static. Depending on where you are in your life, your boundaries may change. Let me give you an example. You recently got married. Your single girlfriends are used to calling you at 9 pm to chat. But now that you are married you reserve that time for your new husband, you are not able to chat with your friends like you did when you were single. If you never have this conversation with your girlfriends it may lead to resentment or pain that the relationship has changed. If you value your friendships with your girlfriends, you are going to have the hard conversation with them to explain that they can no longer call you at 9 pm.

6. Be willing to walk away from people who refuse to adhere to your boundaries. This one may be the hardest, but also the one that will reinforce for you the importance of adhering to your boundaries. Referencing the example above, you may have a girlfriend that just won’t stop calling you after 9pm.  She refuses to acknowledge that your relationship has changed and that your new boundary is that she can’t call you after 9 pm. You have the hard conversation with her. You lovingly tell her that you want to speak to her but that after 9 pm you are spending time with you new husband. You carve out time for her but she refuses to accept the new boundary. What do you do? Well you have no choice, you can’t take her call. Two things will happen, 1) she will stop calling after 9 pm and adhere to your new boundary or 2) she will stop calling altogether and lose a friend because she won’t adhere to your boundary. While losing a friend is sad, that fact that she won’t respect a healthy new boundary in your life is disrespectful. You have to be willing to walk away from this relationship.

2015-04-12 07.50.17In closing I want to remind you that boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect and integrity. Its important to know that you absolutely should set  boundaries and work to preserve them. I highly recommend that you find one of the books in the Boundaries series to help you. They have greatly impacted how I interact in my relationships today. Once you realize that you are worthy, you will demand the respect you deserve in all of your relationships. It will result in you being a much healthier and happier person.

I would love to know if this post helped you. Will you be more aware of your personal boundaries?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Body Love, Career, Emotional Health, Financial Health, Relationship Love, Self-Love

Hello Spring, Goodbye Winter!

March 29, 2015

This post is all about creating a new vision for yourself this Spring. After the winter that we have had, its great to shed all of the extra layers and to be able to slip out of the heavy boots to loafers and comfortable sandals. To feel the sun on our faces and examine where we are and where we want to go.

focus-on-successThe last few weeks I have been focused on several areas of my life. First and foremost, I ask God to help guide me and give me the strength and discernment to do all that He desired for me. Then I  focused on everything else; my business, my health, finances, family relationships and furthering my education. I have been working out consistently, eating well, and pouring lots of energy into my business. I want massive changes and growth, so that’s been a priority for me. I’ve also been focused on setting new financial goals and making some big plans for how I want to finish off 2015. My children, family and my friends continue to fuel me, as well as my coaching certification classes. All this activity and focus has absolutely sidelined my lovelife and I haven’t gone on not even one date. I haven’t even given it a thought. Look at where all my energy is going? Although I know I need to be a full person, which includes love, right now I have to prioritize the areas of my life that deserve my focus and energy.  Dating and meeting new people is healthy and good for me, but just not right now. I can’t shift my energy yet to focus on inviting love when I have so much other things that demand my time.

So I want to encourage you to look at where your priorities are. Where are you putting your time and energy? What you focus on will grow, and it will show up in your life. What I do know is that your emotions and values do drive what you focus on and how you live your life. What are your emotions driving you to do lately?

What I realized is that my desire to be financially free and secure is driving all of my efforts right now. I have been a widowed mom for a while now and I love the idea of being able to determine my own trajectory in life. For me this means being a successful business owner and running a thriving business that affords me the opportunity to be available for my boys and to create a life that is awesome for the three of us. I’m also passionate about helping my clients actualize their vision. And I get totally jazzed when they gain insights to live their life full-out and in vivid color!

The Exercise

Using this easy self-assessment tool to help you, I want you to get a sense of where your focus has been. It doesn’t mean that things won’t change, but it’s going to help you get real with what you are focused on and prioritizing right now.

So let’s do this Spring version of the Wheel of Life ExerciseDownload the Wheel of Life Template.

Just to give you an example, a completed wheel of life may look something like the one below. Download the Wheel of Life Template for you to try it out.

worklifebalancewheel
It’s great to take stock of where you are and where you want to go.

  • Where are you spending your time and energy?
  • What would it take to get you to a 10?
  • What would you have to start doing, stop doing, or change?
  • Are there shifts you need to make?

Getting clear is an important first step in the process of creating the life you want. You can’t move in the right direction if you are unsure about where you need to go. After you finish the exercise write down some specific changes you are going to make to shift over the next three months. Make them actionable and attainable, no lofty goals.

I would love to know how this exercise helped you. Post a comment below in the blog.

As always, thanks for reading.

Franka

Courage, Emotional Health, Gratitude, Self-Love

What If You Are Not Really Living The Life You Were Meant To?

March 21, 2015
Photo courtesy of Tony Robbins

Unleash the Power Within is absolutely appropriately named. It is 4 days of unleashing that which lies within. Tony Robbins takes the stage on Thursday and we are held captive to his wisdom from transforming lives for almost four decades. He is a master storyteller and infuses lessons along with real-life examples of people he has learned from and helped over the years of being a personal transformation coach. He is vulnerable, authentic and genuine. You can feel how much he cares. He doesn’t just tell you what he thinks, he tells you what he KNOWS and has experienced from his work with countless clients. During our four days in New Jersey there were 7,000 people packed into the arena from 50 countries. Continue Reading…