Despite the title, this letter to you has nothing to do with lathering your back – let’s not go there! ;-)
But it does have everything to do with a hot topic amongst my clients this week… a really, truly, non-negotiable personal habit that’s key to living a #comparisonfree life. And last time I looked, we were ALL here to do that.
I’m talking about…
BEING AWARE OF WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO AND SETTING THE RELEVANT BOUNDARIES.
We sleepwalk into decisions, situations, roles and/or conversations that don’t feel good or don’t serve us, however, often fulfill the needs of the other person or people.
To extract ourselves requires a super conscious mindset that puts US front and center rather than the lives of others - whether that’s their social media feeds or negative attitudes.
This means you have to recognize, and make a call, on the metaphorical bath that you are getting into.
I.e. You have to be mindful of willingly getting into the bath of other people’s crap, hang ups, short sighted views, negative opinions, time wasting tendencies and on and on. Despite the fact you’re invited to get in, it’s familiar, warm and you want to be nice.
- The fact you and your work mate can pass hours bitching about your boss, keeps you in the bath
- Buying into your Dad’s negative attitudes about money, keeps you in the bath
- Your mate’s constant hatin’ on how you can’t trust anyone, when you REALLY want to find that long-term love, keeps you in the bath
- Going to that meeting across town - or even the country - that sould have been a phone call, keeps you in the bath
- Finding yourself at work related meetings that could have been a quick, keeps you in the bath
Participating in these, or your own bath, is a choice.
There are a million things to say on the topic of boundaries and I’ll be bringing more on this topic to the table, fear not, but a crucial thing to know in your bones, to your core, is that it starts with you.
The often-invisible drawing of new boundaries with people that are having an undue influence on your mindset, starts with you.
To SEE your boundaries people will have to FEEL you and then they’ll do this through what you say, how you say it and what you, do so help them out by starting with some self awareness:
- Are you a ‘YES’ gal or guy?
- Do you say self-deprecating words?
- Do you minimise yourself so you don’t intimidate others or so they don’t even notice you?
- Do you speak about yourself as ‘less than’?
- always available and unclear on the time you can give?Are you
These are all low boundaries setters.
Want or need to set higher ones? This starts with going for an alternative choice each time you're about to dip your toe in that warm, bubble water:
- Say ‘I’ll think about it and come back to you with an answer’ instead of the immediate ‘Yes’
- Offer a ‘thank you’ to a compliment aimed your way or when given positive feedback or recognition (whether that’s in a text message or in a work meeting.
- Agree to meetings – time, dates and locations – that work for you. They want to meet on Tuesday but your chocka with deadlines? It will have to be Friday half way between you both. Or, a Skype date the following week.
Seeing every bath invitation, and meeting it with a boundary defining response, is not only an active way of improving your relationships it’s bloody empowering and build so much more time, space and energy into your day and your life in general.
You're a kind and respectful human being, so use your empathy antennae so you can serve your loved ones that need you at your best.