Boundaries at work

You know that one time that you said, ‘ok, I’ll do it for you just this once’ and then you started getting more and more requests from this person to do more and more work.

This is because you have let someone elses time seem more important than your own.

Your boundaries are being compromised.

Boundaries are essentially limits that you’ve put into place to protect your emotional and mental wellbeing. That line in the sand that says on this side, it’s acceptable. On the other, it’s not.

The world is full of unwritten rules that govern our behaviour. Boundaries are about honouring our own needs and tuning into how you’re feeling and what you want rather than anything external coming into play.

Expectations of how we behave a lot of the time comes down to society and gender. The trouble is society makes nice neat little boxes in which we often subconsciously feel we must fit into. How we behave, what we say, how we should be spending our time, etc.

The first boundary that we usually encounter when growing up is that of being different. People that follow their heart and not the crowd, whether that’s in their opinions, the way they dress, their choices, face persecution from those who are too afraid to follow their own.

We’re taught from an early age, especially as women, that we should please people in order to fit in. From an early age, our feelings and boundaries start to be compromised.

Over time and as we grow and start working, what matters to us and what’s important to us is often lost through the need to fit in and make others happy.

How would you feel if you trusted yourself to make the choices in your own life? How would you feel if you put your own needs alongside or even ahead of those about you?

How can you start honouring your own boundaries?

This involves putting yourself front of mind. So change ‘I have to’ to ‘I want to’.

Then start giving yourself permission to begin to do things the way you want rather than the way you think or have been told that you should do.

What happens though if you’ve lost sense of what your boundaries are, especially after the last 15 months?

Try this really simple exercise….

In order to identify what your personal boundaries are, ask yourself the following 3 questions and add in 5-10 possible endings.

‘People can not…..’

‘I can ask for…..’

‘To protect and look after myself, it’s ok to……’

For ‘people can not’, the ending might be ‘criticise me’, ‘make me feel small’,’ tak