Do you feel that driving need to be the super hero every day? Or perhaps you are and didn’t realize it? That super hero cape you are wearing carries a lot of pressure and gets heavier with how you are handling life’s demands by bouncing from one project to another, one drama to another, fixing, caretaking and wearing all of those multiple hats you wear so fabulously.
We are good at multitasking for sure, but it can have extreme negative side effects if we don’t begin to look into where we can cut back. Creating boundaries is one of those ways we can begin to take better care of ourselves, prevent burnout, exhaustion and ensure we are not living in a state of continued hyper-vigilance and reaction.
Multitasking is a Talent & A Curse
Before we jump into why it is essential to create boundaries for yourself and cut back on multitasking, I want to highlight that as a multi-tasker you are multi-skilled and there is a lot to be said about someone who can multitask, it’s a talent .But, and the big but here is, watch out for why and how you are multi-tasking, using your skills in a way that are beneficial to you and others, and not selling yourself short that you over extend and unable to put one foot in front of the other.
Have you ever been in a position where you’re driving the kids to school, planning dinner, picking up the dry cleaning, shopping, maybe popping in to see your mom and dad, and you haven’t even begun your eight-hour workday yet? If so, then you’re a certified multi-tasker. You are very talented, able to juggle so much at one time, it is a blessing and it unfortunately is a curse. The problem arises when we don’t define our capacity for what we are able to do in a day, and perhaps are motivated by wanting to please, fix, be responsible and simply keep going and pushing through despite signs of tiredness and exhaustion.
The Importance of Identifying Your Capacity
As a human being, you can only do so many things at one time. Additionally, you are the only person who can identify and define your own capacity. When you are pushing yourself too hard, it is hard to self-observe and realize you are taking on too much, to understand that putting anym ore to do’s on your list will set you over the edge.
Identifying your capacity is about preventing yourself from becoming so scattered that you miss that central focal point where you’re like, “Oh, hang on a minute. I’m still working at 11 o’clock at night and I’ve been going since 6 ‘o’clock this morning”. Identifying your capacity is about being present and monitoring everything you do in a day, well.
You may have a great capacity to keep going, but doing this on a daily basis will bring burn out and you will not be operating at that optimal level that you love. You know you can undertake a lot in one day, but leave some space so you can recharge. Take a look now at what you hope to accomplish each day and take into account life’s events that pop up at the same time, which we cannot prepare for. Be realistic, know you are in the right time and the right place now and keep some of your personal capacity for relaxation and recharging.
Perfection is Stressful
My motto each and every day is about striving for excellence and not striving for perfection. Let’s be honest: perfection is hugely stressful, right? Being a perfect superwoman is stressful. Operating under the motto of striving for excellence rather than perfection, I can forgive myself when I stop working at 8 o’clock at night rather than 10 o’clock because I know I have done my best for the majority of the day. I’ve been striving for excellence. This is a practice of creating boundaries focused around stopping work at a reasonable time for my state of mind and body.
If you really think about it, what’s the worst thing that can possibly happen if you aren’t the perfect mom, the perfect daughter, the perfect worker, or the perfect entrepreneur? Take a moment to really think about that. What is the worst possible thing that can happen if the laundry isn’t done, and it waits until tomorrow?
I have a theory that you are actually already perfect, you’ve simply forgotten it and the fact that you drive yourself so hard for perfection is a lack of self-value, when you should be striving for excellence instead. You may set yourself insane to-do lists and schedules that you take on in a mindset of doing rather than a mindset of just being. Instead, remember that you are already perfect, just as you are. You don’t need to remind yourself of this fact by setting a long list of to-do’s each day. After all, we are human beings and not human doings.
While it may be a hard truth to accept, there are times where we could all stand to cut back a bit in our lives. The reason that we don’t when we should, is because we have such high expectations placed on ourselves to be perfect with both the media and our own expectations of ourselves driving us to attain the perfect lifestyle as perfect women who manage babies, families, work, and careers, we should remember that perfection is stressful. Strive for excellence.
The Benefits That Come With Creating Boundaries
So how does one create boundaries, and what are the benefits that come along with it? Let’s begin with the basics. Setting boundaries for yourself doesn’t mean that you are mean, coldhearted, or a bad person, right?
In fact, creating boundaries is a great way of letting others know that you have the courage to take care of yourself. With this comes respect from others around you. Not only do they respect you for your time and your service but also for your company, just as you respect theirs. Creating boundaries also inspires others to do the same thing in their lives when they see you giving yourself permission you are also giving them permission.
Be Discerning With Your Time
The first step in creating boundaries is being discerning with your time. This involves pulling your attention into the present moment where there are no thoughts about the past or the future but, rather, where you stand precisely no, present time.
. At this moment, you can focus on what is actually happening in your world rather than what you didn’t do last night or what you have to do later today and the day after. Creating boundaries is all about being present in the here and now and taking a close look at your life and where you are today. This enables you to decide what is truly a priority as well as where you need to be and is just a fabulous way of removing yourself from stress. Just focus on the now.
It’s Okay to Say No
Another important step in creating boundaries is found in realizing that it’s okay to say no. It is, in fact, possible to say no to someone with love and compassion so that you can focus your energy with laser-sharp precision where it is needed. These boundaries can either be personal for yourself, or they can change and shift with time. It simply depends on your unique experience.
When I was writing this, for example, I had to explain to my friends and family that I wouldn’t be available for a short time as I was creating this content outside of my usual work routine. With this request came a setting of boundaries that unless it’s an urgent call for help and support, I am not to be disturbed. This creating of boundaries states that this is something important for me to do.
Taking Time For Yourself
If we do not set boundaries for ourselves, we can become resentful and frustrated. Anyone out there who is running around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to help everyone that they possibly can doesn’t really have enough time for themselves. This creates a little seed of resentment or frustration. This extends from not creating boundaries for yourself, leading to an unhealthy pattern of action. It is far healthier for you to say no, rather than become a victim of the pattern of behavior where you are working tirelessly to help and support everyone else with little to no time for yourself.
Tips for Creating Boundaries
Sometimes creating boundaries isn’t easy. There are a variety of factors that make us feel as though we have to always push forward, allowing no time for ourselves. Here are some tips I have found useful and recommend to all in the act of self-care that is creating boundaries.
Remember That You Always Have a Choice
It is important to remember that you always have choices. You are the master of your own reality. Ask yourself what the choice is that you want to make today. If you want to do something or be somewhere in particular, weigh up whether or not you really want to do this. It may feel as though, in making a specific decision, that you are going to be led down a rabbit hole of chaos and drama today. If you find that this is the case, be honest with yourself and pull back. Create a boundary for yourself. Sometimes creating boundaries involves making a compromise with those around you. This is fine as long as you are making this decision with joy and a promise to yourself that you will enjoy the adventure.
Another tip to consider in creating boundaries is all about centering and grounding yourself. Many times, we find ourselves neglecting to create boundaries because we are coming from a place of reaction. This reaction extends from a place of fear, anxiety or low self-worth, for example.
We may find ourselves saying things like, “I better do this thing that my friend is asking me to do because I want her to like me, or I don’t want to hurt her, right?”. This is not an optimal place in which to make decisions about moving forward. In fact, it’s a good place to recognize that you need to create boundaries for yourself, so be sure to check in with and ground yourself. Start by bringing yourself into the present.
Be Honest and Authentic With Yourself
When grounding yourself, it is important that you ask yourself what it is within you that is making you agree to something that doesn’t feel good or serve you. Is it a lack of love? Is it a lack of security? Is it self-worth or a fear of not being liked? Ask yourself what is making you agree to something rather than creating boundaries for yourself. Typically, there is an underlying emotion triggering this. Be honest and authentic with yourself.
Harness the Power of the Truth
Another tip in creating boundaries is to harness the power of the truth when saying no. Saying no can be difficult and the challenges presented to you, of course, depend on the situation at hand. So is there a right way to say no? Over the years, I have found that when creating boundaries and saying no, honesty is always your best bet.
Let’s say that you agree to do something at work and it’s really outside of your skillset. Because of this, everything starts to tumble down and the organization is in a worse place than before. This is because you felt incapable of just saying no, which would have saved a lot of frustration and aggravation.
In this scenario, we would work to harness the power of the truth by saying something like, “Thank you for thinking of me but I don’t feel I have the right skill set to bring about what you’re looking for, I can offer this step and this step, and I am open to learn more..”. Always give some thought to the question or request you are being offered before creating boundaries and responding with no. In all honesty, that is your truth. Speak from your heart and, at that point, it is completely up to the other person and how they hear you in terms of how they process it. Once you offer up your truth, the rest is out of your control.
Listen to Your Unique Brilliance Podcast!
If you found these tips regarding creating boundaries and acting in self-care helpful, it is likely that you’ll enjoy the content found on the Your Unique Brilliance podcast! On the podcast, I sit down with guests and discuss a variety of topics regarding finding your own unique brilliance and harnessing its power to meet your goals and accomplish your dreams.
If you would like to listen to the episode associated with this post, check out Episode 8, where I sit down with Dr. Sadie Gal Sanders. Dr. Sanders is the owner and operator of Health and Human Performance, the highest-rated chiropractic and holistic health clinic in Los Angeles, California. She is a wealth of information concerning all of the ways to create boundaries, bringing yourself greater happiness and success. We hope you’ll join us!