• Using Boundaries and Flexibility to Improve Your Life

  • Have you ever felt the need to set boundaries in order to conduct your business or personal life more effectively. Maybe it’s to protect yourself or your time, or perhaps it’s just to have some structure or routine. Boundaries are necessary, but sometimes I find that they can prevent me from living in the moment. Don’t get me wrong, for YEARS I have been working on being ok with setting and keeping boundaries because I tend to put everyone else’s needs before my own, but I’m noticing that every now and then, boundaries aren’t really the issue.

    Let me explain…

    This morning I had a call scheduled for 9 am. After a week FILLED with meetings, volunteering and general craziness, I was frustrated when my appointment was a no-show. I hit that emotional place that is never good for me to be in, and instantly the conversation in my head went downhill.  It sounded like a bad “made for tv” drama…”she doesn’t she respect my time”, “isn’t my schedule important”, “I needed this call to close the deal”, “How am I going to be successful if my appointments cancel”….blah blah blah, and each of these thoughts were really LESS than empowering..NOT a good place to be.

    Now the reality was that she did leave a message saying that there had been a huge storm so she needed to reschedule (note to self…when working with clients across the country you need to be a bit flexible and watch the weather channel before getting your panties in a twhirl) , but I didn’t get it. I was in my “judgy place” and was feeling a bit disrespected.  (Yea yea ego shmeego I know!)

    But here is the beautiful thing that happened. despite my overall “pissyness” when my phone rang, I clicked over. And much to my surprise it was her. She asked if I had received her message, and leaving all my “judgement” aside I asked if everything was ok. She explained the situation and after a quick check we rescheduled and she thanked me for being so flexible.

    The funny thing was that because I was able to chill out for a minute, I realized something significant.  In this situation, there was no need to set a boundary, because frankly it was my “crap” that had me all messed up.  By thinking that this situation was anything similar to the times in the past when I was truly being disrespected, I almost forgot how important being flexible is to the people you interact with in business and in our daily life. This situation wasn’t about me (yep that ego thing again), the reality was that it was just life. Nothing more.

    Thankfully, I didn’t let myself have the knee jerk reaction that my thoughts triggered ( finally…after all these years I’ve  learned that is NEVER a good thing). And thinking about it, I know that if I had let my “real” insecurities show I would have messed up what is sure to become an amazing business relationship. Instead my ability to be “flexible” opened new doors, and created an impression that I can build on in the future.

    I guess learning to be flexible is just as important as learning to set boundaries.  Now knowing when to do either one…that may be a bit tricky!

     

    ~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com

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