Are Poor Personal Boundaries Impacting Your Small Business
As a small business coach I have the privilege of speaking with hundreds of small business owners each year and if you include Facebook chats and speaking opportunities, I’d say thousands of business owners a year.
Each owner (and each business) has unique challenges they face, but I frequently see general themes that are the underlying issue with many of these challenges.
One of these underlying issues is setting personal boundaries. This issue often shows up as a time management issue, feelings of stress and overwhelm, communication problems, respect problems, leadership issues, feeling stretched too thin, and sometimes psychological obstacles of limiting beliefs. Occasionally, poor personal boundaries creates financial hardships, poor decision making and employee problems in your business.
How to Set Personal Boundaries
If you have trouble sticking up for yourself and saying “no” when needed, you may need to think about setting personal boundaries which will protect you from those who would take advantage of you.
Setting personal boundaries is the first step you can use to improve your life. By standing up for yourself, you’ll gain self-esteem and freedom from trying to please everyone.
You may have trouble in the beginning to assert yourself and set personal boundaries – especially if you’ve been passive in the past. If you’ve been aggressive, you may have handled boundaries with anger and lashing out. Dealing with boundaries with passive or aggressive methods isn’t good behavior.
Some of the issues you need to deal with before beginning to stand up for your personal boundaries include the following:
- Know your boundaries. Be clear with yourself about your beliefs and values – what makes you feel uncomfortable and how you now handle situations which compromise your boundaries.
- Use clear and concise language. After you know your boundaries, assert yourself by using clear language about how you feel when boundaries are being crossed.
- Don’t be a “yes” man. Part of setting boundaries is knowing when to say “no” to people you work with and in your personal sphere of family and friends. You lose your personal freedom when you take on too much.
- Pay attention to your internal boundaries. If someone offends or disrespects you, ask yourself if what was said is true. Your internal boundaries are lines drawn within yourself which prevent you from believing everything someone says about you.
- Know your rights. You shouldn’t feel guilty about expressing yourself and asking for what you need in a respectful manner. You have every right to demand that you’re treated fairly and with respect in all areas of your life.
Begin setting personal boundaries by using simple and direct statements in a non-threatening tone. You may feel uncomfortable for a while, but you’ll soon feel a power that will make you stronger and more adept at drawing lines at behaviors you will accept – or not accept – from others.
You don’t need to debate the issues of your boundaries or explain yourself to others. Be firm and consistent in repeating your requests or statements and reinforce your actions by staying determined.
You may need to overcome guilt feelings when you begin to set personal boundaries. Remember that you should first consider yourself in any dealings and make yourself the priority – rather than someone else’s beliefs and feelings.
Remember Better Boundaries Are the Start
Becoming aware of your boundaries, where they are currently at and where you want them to be, is the starting point of many improvements to you and your business. It, also, takes a commitment to improve. If you struggle or caved yesterday doesn’t mean things won’t change. It means that you re-commit to today. Stay strong and continue to be firm on your boundaries.
This is the beginning of amazing things to come.
Sean McCarthy is a Certified Business Coach and the Founder of Jacksonville, FL -based Bold City Coaching Company. Coaching can take place in person, over the phone or online. If you need help growing your business, shifting your mindset, call or email Coach Sean at (904) 758-8510 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your initial strategy session.