Are you saying SURE! when you want to be saying NO?
Just when I thought I’d pretty much had this healthy boundary thing nailed down, an email from a woman I both like and respect proved otherwise. Nikki’s email popped into my inbox on one of those weeks when, despite my best intentions, my proverbial plate over-floweth. I was feeling burned out from giving three talks about burnout (of course!) over the course of a few days. In addition to my week of temporarily burning out on burnout, meeting with therapy clients, and running The BEA HIVE, I was also in the process of creating an exciting new group coaching course. As a coach looking to expand her business, Nikki asked if I would be up for a Zoom call to talk about how she might gain local media exposure to reach her audience and share her message. Though I knew my initial reaction was one of overwhelm and decidedly not wanting to add one more thing to my plate, I wrestled with saying no to someone I really wanted to help. So I did what I always do when faced with a dilemma—no matter how small—I did… nothing. Huh? Yes, nothing for a day or so. When I came back to revisit it, my answer still felt the same, even clearer. I need to focus on my priorities right now. I need to say NO to everything else so I can say YES to what I am creating. I wrote back to Nikki, doing my best to decline gracefully, hoping she would understand, feeling slightly uncomfortable yet confident in my stance. I shared my current focus and a few brief media tips, promising a forthcoming blog post with more information. (In case you missed it, you can read it HERE). And guess what? Nikki wrote back, telling me how much she respected my healthy boundaries (which, of course, speaks to her own). Thank you, Nikki, for your kindness and for supporting another ambitious woman in pursuit of her mission. Where might you be comprising on your boundaries? Even the most strident among us find it challenging at times. Recognizing and setting our own benevolent badass boundaries is just one topic we will dive into in my new group coaching course—Breathe, Mama, Breathe (R)evolution. We can’t talk about reclaiming our time, energy, and purpose without a deep conversation about boundaries. Boundaries help us set limits and demarcate where you end and where others begin. Physical boundaries consist of our stuff, our bodies, and our surroundings. Mental boundaries comprise our emotions, thoughts, and time. Most of us are comfortable with setting boundaries on behalf of our kids or those we love, yet are plagued with guilt and self-criticism when establishing our own. When we learn to get clear on our boundaries and tenaciously protect them, everyone wins. Not only do we communicate clearly what we will and will not tolerate, but also model for everyone around us how to do this gracefully. If we are not in the habit of practicing assertiveness—using our voices with firm kindness—it can feel downright aggressive at first. Remind yourself this gets so much easier. You will be amazed at how graciously others will accept your boundaries. Of course there will always be those who do not—those who will try to steamroll right over your carefully-constructed boundaries. Remind yourself that this is their issue, not yours. Stay strong and hold them firm.
**Creating Benevolent Badass Boundaries is just one area we will explore in my upcoming virtual group coaching course Breathe, Mama, Breathe (R)evolution.**
If you are a mom ready to reclaim your time, energy, and purpose and rediscover who you are outside of motherhood, you need to join us! Get your name on the waitlist here.