Why Boundaries Are Crucial for Career Success and Wellbeing

In my early career I had no idea what a boundary was or why I’d need one.

In my early career I had no idea what a boundary was or why I’d need one.

What I did know was that I felt increasingly taken for granted at work, resentful, sad, angry, hurt and frustrated by the people around me.

What I now know is that those feelings are your bodies alarm system warning you that something isn’t right.

The response is always similar when I talk to my clients about what they want more from in their life and career. Usually, it’s more time with family and friends, more self-care time, or to have a healthier work life balance with less stress and anxiety. 

Achieving time for what you really want is about establishing boundaries that work for you.

Repeat after me,,,,,,Boundaries are a good thing!

We all have the same 24 hours in the day, what we choose to do with that time is crucial to our career success and most importantly your wellbeing, I speak from the heart here as this personally took me many years to learn.

After many years navigating my c-level career with zero boundaries I had not defined the on /off switch between life and work, the lines were blurry and regularly crossed over. This ended with me regularly feeling guilty about the lack of time I spent with my kids and usually operating from a place of high anxiety. I had to learn the hard way. The work life balance I was living was not sustainable, I had zero resilience and I need to learn how to set boundaries. The part I am most ashamed of is that I set impossibly ambitious standards for the team around me also, quite often invading their boundaries.

Boundaries are important to make sure you’re doing more of the things that will bring you what you really want – more time with family and friends, a healthier lifestyle. Time to do what you want, take that walk outdoors, go get your hair done, grab that coffee on your own. This is about what you want and what works for you.

Boundary lines

The clearer the boundary line that you set, the easier it is for people to treat you the way you expect to be treated.

If you are not accustomed to having set or have established boundaries, it may not feel easy initially to get boundaries in place, you may feel uncomfortable or even selfish, but try to remember that honoring our limits helps us to take better care of ourselves, builds trust, and prevents burnout. You are not selfish, banish that negative thought into oblivion now!

It’s never too late to start practicing boundary setting both at work and at home and here is a few of my tips to help you develop boundary setting skills: 

Start to job search

If all other options are off the table. Its ok to start searching again. Start Networking with your contacts and get your CV back into circulation. Be honest when you’re asked why you’re leaving a job you just started (and you will be).

As in life, sometimes things don’t go to plan, stay positive and know you are being routed in a new direction for a reason, trust it will all work out.

Be Curious and tune into the signs:

Our bodies always give us signals when we are near a personal limit.  Do you feel it in your throat or stomach? Whatever the signal, Tune in to what your body tells you and take some time to explore your discomfort and understand the arising boundary. 

Understanding your personal priorities:

Next time you say yes to someone, make sure you’re not saying no to yourself. Take some time to write a list of priorities and compare it to where you spend your time and energy to assess if you need to make any adjustments. 

Communicate clearly:

Practice saying no when you do not want to do something. You do not have to explain yourself or offer an excuse. The following phrases are complete answers: “No, thank you.” “Thanks, but I can’t.”  

Get comfortable being uncomfortable:

If you are not familiar to setting boundaries it may start out feeling uncomfortable, lean in acknowledge this discomfort. Give yourself space and time to build up your tolerance.

Boundaries can be flexible:

Our boundaries will change for different people, and they may shift over time based on the conditions of your life. 

Be prepared:

Don’t be surprised if some people react poorly to your new boundaries especially if they are used to a different version of you. That’s ok; it’s not your responsibility to make them comfortable it’s your responsibility to make you comfortable.

Now that you have the tips to get ready for boundary setting, download my free exercise sheet to get thinking about what boundaries you should start to set.

I know how hard it is (especially as a woman!) to stay focused on your career by building better boundaries. I love helping women just like you develop those boundaries so you can focus on what’s important in your life and career, get in touch and let’s work on this together!

Contact me today for a free discovery call

Lets see if we are a good fit to work together

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