Posts Tagged ‘boundaries’

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

I have a confession to make. I have a problem saying no. I don’t like disappointing people. My low self-esteem and self-confidence made me a chronic people-pleaser with few boundaries. I have gotten better at setting boundaries and saying not to things. The one thing that has made a huge difference is understanding that just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I have to or that I should.

I’m not bragging, but there are a lot of things that I can do pretty well. I’m pretty resourceful, a skill I credit my father with giving me. I love to problem-solve and I like to fix things. Come to me with a problem and I’m going to do my best to fix it or point you in the right direction to get the solution you’re looking for.

My ability to do lots of different things has made it difficult for me to delegate and hire help. My first few websites were done by yours truly because WordPress came easy to me. I used to do my taxes on my own before I became a business owner, because it gave me a nice sense of accomplishment and gave me a realistic idea of my finances at the end of each year. Truthfully, most of the time that I get to the point of asking for help or hiring someone, I’ve already been feeling overwhelmed and frustrated for quite some time! Needless to say my productivity suffers and I’ve lost time I could have been using doing something I could feel good about.

Entrepreneurs are told by business coaches to do what we do best and hire out the rest. The knee-jerk response is that we can’t afford it because we need to make more money in order to justify hiring someone. The business coaches’ typical response is that if you focused on what you do well and are getting paid for it, hiring for the rest shouldn’t be a problem. It makes sense logically, but our fear of the unknown is often what stops us from putting that common sense into practice.

For those of us who aren’t business owners, the concept of when you should hire for help is different but the same. Instead of doing what you do best and hiring out for the rest, the key is looking at what your priorities are and figuring out where you can get help so that you can focus on the things that are important to you. It’s about being aware of what your time is worth so that you know what it’s costing you when you spend your time doing things that aren’t in alignment with your priorities.

We all want to be of help to others. We need to be mindful that we don’t give so much that we have nothing left for ourselves. When we give until our cup is empty, we’re left exhausted, frustrated and if we’re not careful, resentful. That’s why one of my mottos for 2019 is the reminder that “just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.” If I said yes to everything that I could do, I would have not time to focus on the things I really want to do. Since I know how unhappy I am when I’m not doing things that bring me fulfillment, I have to commit to using my time wisely and being okay with disappointing others so I don’t end up disappointing myself.

Are you with me?

You own your time!

I was watching a show on the weekend where Harry Belafonte was being interviewed. He was being asked for advice on how to be a social activist today. Of course, Mr. Belafonte has had a lot of experience as a social activist from his work during the civil rights movement to fighting apartheid in South Africa. The person who was speaking with him thanked his and he said something that has stuck with me – he said the pleasure was his and that time is the only thing can give anyone since it’s the only thing he truly owns.

I believe that’s a powerful statement. Do you feel like you own your time or do you feel like someone else has control over it. I know that my greatest points of frustration were times when I felt like my time wasn’t my own. I wasn’t consciously choosing where my time was spent. I was doing things that other people wanted me to do, or things I thought they wanted me to do without considering whether it was the best use of my time. By the time I figured out it wasn’t time well spent, I had already too far gone.

When I’m at my most fulfilled, I’m doing the things that are important to me. They’re either things that bring me joy, or things that are going to bring me closer to achieving my goals. The sweetest spot, is when the things that I’m doing that help me get closer to my goals are things that I enjoy J

I believe there are three things you need to do in order to really own your time:

  1. Get clear on the mission and vision for your life
  2. Know what your priorities are and why they are important to you
  3. Set boundaries based on your priorities

When you have these three points covered, you have clarity on the activities that are a good use of your time. You know what to say yes to and what to say no to. You reduce feelings of frustration and overwhelm which has a positive ripple effect on your relationships!

Regardless of how much control you feel you have over your time right now, the good news is that things can always change for the better. You want to take back control of your time? Get comfortable saying no. Create a plan for how you want your day to go and be mindful of interruptions and distractions. Ask for help.

Want some help getting started? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary, no obligation call with me today!

Make time for self-care!

The first half of 2017 has been non-stop. I had the opportunity to welcome 2017 the same way I did 2016 – on vacation. While it was tempting, I remembered how difficult it was to get back to business when we returned, so I decided not to do it this year. Instead of not being able to build momentum throughout the year, it felt like things never slowed down for the first 6 months of the year!

I thought that I would get rest after the career fair was over, but there always seemed to be something else to do. I kept promising that “next weekend” would be the one where I took a day for myself; no work, no computer, no phone. That day didn’t come until last week and it wasn’t something that I scheduled, it was something I was forced to do.

When I started to feel the sore throat, I went to my natural remedies to nip it in the bud. I had an event I was speaking at in a few days and I didn’t want to have to ask the organizer to reschedule it, especially since the date had already been moved. This meant I had to heal quickly and the best remedy I know is sleep. I have to admit that this was the most I had ever slept for this year! One day, that’s all I did – no phone, no TV, and my laptop didn’t get turned on for anything more than to listen to my morning meditation audio.

I am feeling better. I wish that it didn’t take a summer flu (or aggressive seasonal allergies?) that got me to rest. I know better. I’m always talking about the importance of self-care, reminding people of the importance of taking care of yourself so that you’re at your best. I believe it’s the only way to give your best to others.

While I was in bed bonding with a couple tissue boxes, I felt like the shoemaker with no shoes. Why is it so easy to see what other people need to do yet so challenging to take my own advice? Busy isn’t something to brag about. We’re all busy. Being productive is something to celebrate. Getting the results we want becomes challenging when we’re running on fumes. We can’t give to ourselves or others from an empty cup. We have to find a way to recharge our mind, body and soul on a regular basis.

When we don’t make time for self-care, our bodies will step in and take charge. If we won’t give ourselves the rest that our body needs, the body will demand it in a way that we can’t refuse. Don’t wait for illness to sideline you. It’s okay to slow things down. Giving yourself the opportunity to reset, refresh and recharge is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It gives you a chance to rest and start the next phase of the journey with clear eyes and a clear mind.

You may think that you can’t afford to slow down. The truth is you can’t afford not to! ♥

Knowing your why

It’s a catch phrase that’s been around for the last few years. You hear it a lot in entrepreneurial circles (or at least I have). What’s your why? This question is meant to illustrate your purpose, the reason at the root of everything you do.

I haven’t always been clear on my why. If you had asked me what my motivation is for the things I do 20 years ago, the answer would have been “because it’s expected of me.” It wasn’t until circumstances made me question whether or not that was the way I wanted to continue to live my life that the answer changed. If I’m asked what my why is now, I’d say that it’s to be the best I can be in each moment so that I can help others do the same.

Your why, your raison d’être, your reason for being; whatever you want to call it, should be something that inspires you. It’s the reason you get out of bed in the mornings, even when every cell in your body wants to sleep in. Sure you might say that paying the bills is what gets you out of bed, but paying the bills to do what? Are you working towards freeing yourself so you have more time to be with your family, or are you just working to put money in the bank?

If there’s one thing that I’ve realized in my work with clients and in discussions with friends and family, the truth is that at the end of the day we all just want to be happy. What that happiness looks like for each of us will be different, but that is the common thread. It isn’t just about surviving, but thriving.

If you’re not sure what your why is, think about what life would be like for you and those around you if everything worked out the way that you wanted it to. Would you be travelling the world, or volunteering your time to a worthy cause? Maybe you’d simply spend more time with loved ones and be there to support them in whatever way they need. Remember, this is about what motivates you to keep going, not what you think should motivate you.

Getting clear on the reason I do the things I do has been a life changer. It has helped me to get clear on my priorities, which has helped me establish boundaries. I no longer live my life the way I think other people expect me to; instead I live my life in a way that fosters continuous growth and learning. Whenever I get the chance I do things that feed my soul and give me a feeling of fulfillment that was once lacking in my life.

If you’d like some clarity on what your motivation is, I’d love to help! Book a no-obligation discovery call with me here. ♥

Stop accepting the unacceptable!

I was catching up with a friend this weekend and the discussion touched on the idea of acceptance. We all have things in our lives that we know we don’t want anymore, but for whatever reason, we choose not to do anything about them. We have consciously or unconsciously chosen to accept something that we have deemed unacceptable.

The reality is that nothing will change until we are ready, willing and able to do something about it. Whether it’s a toxic relationship, poor eating habits or anything else – no one can make the change for us, we have to do it for ourselves. It’s the same for others. We often think that we’ll be happier if someone else changes, but that isn’t going to happen because we want it to. It will only happen if that other person sees the need to make a change.

We often accept things in our lives that we know we don’t want because we are comfortable. It’s that whole better the devil you know mentality that leaves us thinking that we don’t have a choice to do better. The truth is that we always have a choice; we just have to find the courage to step into the unknown and believe that things can and will get better.

As you start to think about your goals for 2017 ask yourself what you will no longer accept for yourself in the upcoming year. What do you want to do differently next year? What boundaries do you need to establish so that you can focus on what’s important to you? What attitudes are no longer acceptable for you to hold onto so that you can take your life to the next level?

It’s not always easy to release the unacceptable from our lives, but it’s always worth it. Sometimes we have spent so much time living with the unacceptable it feels like home. If you’ve ever moved, you know that leaving your old house isn’t always easy, but in time you find your new home a wonderful place to be. It’s the same with letting go of what you know and embracing something different, something that’s going to help you get closer to living the life that you want.

It’s never too late to make significant changes in your life. Your goals are always possible. You simply have to be willing to let go of what no longer serves you so that you can embrace all that you truly want and deserve! What unacceptable things will you release before the end of the year?