Boundaries are those invisible lines you place around yourself so people know the limits of what they can say and do around you. Make your boundaries too solid and you build walls, too weak and you allow others’ actions to harm you. Either extreme creates stress for you and those around you. Take a few minutes to answer these questions to help you find out how healthy your boundaries are:
1: I start statements with “I” rather than “you” or “we.” This lets me own what I say. “I” is less defensive than “you” and more accurate than “we.” True/False
2: My boundaries are specific and clear. “I don’t accept phone calls after 10 p.m.,” rather than the vague and mushy, “Don’t call me too late.” True/False
3: I’m consistent when I create boundaries. If I say “no phone calls after 10 p.m.,” I don’t make exceptions unless the situation is exceptional. True/False
4: When people attempt to cross my boundaries, I don’t assume the worst (they don’t care, they weren’t paying attention, they’re selfish and inconsiderate); I simply restate my position. True/False
5: As soon as I realize I’m in a situation that might be headed for trouble, I announce my boundary, “I won’t continue talking with you if you raise your voice at me.” True/False
6: I try to avoid situations and people where I know my boundaries will be continually tested. True/False
7: I don’t take responsibility for how others respond to my boundaries. If someone feels resentment because I didn’t wait when she was twenty minutes late for our appointment, I don’t try to make it okay for her. True/False
8: I respect others’ boundaries and ask for clarification when I’m not certain of limits. “May I talk to you about business after hours?” True/False
9: When people refuse to respect my boundaries, I walk away rather than get into a situation that could escalate. I say why I’m leaving. True/False
10: I let people know when I have reconsidered a boundary. “It used to be okay for you to be late, but now…” True/False
11: I believe that everyone has to create his or her own boundaries. What’s okay for me might not work for someone else. True/False
Boundaries consistently maintained can help make life less stressful by reducing conflict and improving relationships. Plus, they’re a real self-esteem booster. If you answered “True” to fewer than six of these questions, learning to set healthier boundaries would go a long way to helping you reduce your stress. Set up a 60-minute complimentary coaching session to explore how life coaching can help you provide the relief you seek.
Author’s content adapted under license, © 2008 Claire Communications
I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities.
During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll.
My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world.
111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness.
Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled.
Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else.
I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do.
By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire.
My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework.
For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.