Healthy boundaries are critical to your success.
We develop our boundaries from the time we're young and spend a lifetime nailing them in place fortifying them until they become default behaviors.
A few boundary types are: squishy, soft, neutral, firm, and stiff. We can have firm boundaries in one area and squishy boundaries in another.
One of the quickest paths to achieving a new level of success, is to become super clear and aware of your own boundaries, how you hold them, and commit to strengthening them in all areas of your life - because how you do one thing is how you do everything (arguably).
Here are some Tips to evaluate and strengthen your boundaries when it comes to Time & Money:
Boundaries and Time:
Time management is another way to think of boundaries and time. Do you bend your schedule or say 'yes' to things you really mean 'no' to? When you prioritize what needs to be done, are you allowing distractions to trump your time commitments? When you commit to going to the gym or writing your article, do you allow other people's needs to circumvent your trajectory? When you commit to being present with your family are you still checking emails on your phone?
Maintaining firm boundaries with your time means learning how to say 'No' without apologizing. Depending on your caregivers or how you were raised, you have a certain level of expectation of others and you also have a set point for how you 'give'. We all do.
When you decide it's time to set firmer boundaries with your time accept that it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning. You may feel like you're 'bad' or 'selfish' or downright rude. It's ok. Feel it. Let it go. Some people in the same situation would have no idea why you feel that way- because they have a different set point.
Owing anyone a 'yes,' is just an idea. It's not real until you give it power. Start with awareness of how it feels when you pummel obligations you've made with yourself to say yes to someone or something else. I'm talking about those times you say yes, then resent the fact, or wish you said, no, or sometimes don't even realize until after the fact and you feel like, "why did I say yes to this."
Get in the habit of saying YES 100% when you really mean it and saying NO 100% when you mean it -even if it feels challenging. Time is precious- once it's gone you can't get it back. Practice saying YES to yourself and notice when you say YES to others if your boundaries are squishy, soft, neutral, firm, or stiff. Do your best to stay clear of stiff and squishy and see what changes for you.
Bonus Tip: When you empower your boundaries you empower others
Boundaries and Money:
Most folks don't walk around saying to themselves, "I need to have better boundaries with money." What they do say is, "I feel bad so I gave her $--,---." "I need to stop spending impulsively," "When will anyone ever help me out, all I do is give!" "I need to speak to my partner about the way he/she is spending and not paying the bill." "I wish I could ask for a raise, I know I'm worth more than this." "Yes, ok I'll give you more time for free since I really want to help you." "Ok I'll bend my policy for you because I don't want to say no to you."
These are the 'inside our head' thoughts. When it comes to having firm boundaries with money it's important to realize that we really do empower others when we empower ourselves. This includes, asking for what we're worth, having courageous money conversations, negotiating with firm positioning, and saying NO or YES even if it's going to seem rude or 'not nice.'
Do you have squishy, soft, neutral, firm, or stiff boundaries when it come to money? Do you say yes when you mean no? Do you always pick up the bill? Do you duck out from picking up the bill? Do you always try and get a 'discount'? Do you take as much of the FREE and wonder why the money isn't showing up for you? Do you come to the rescue of others financially? Are you being rescued?
One way to zone in on your specific money personality is using money archetypes. There are 8 particular money archetypes I use with my clients to help them empower their boundaries with money. It's fascinating that each of the different archetypes have very different characteristics when it comes to money boundaries. For example, the tendency of the Nurturer is to give and give until a deep level of resentment festers. The Nurturer is one who will thrive when they fully embody the truth that we do empower others when we are firm with our boundaries and empower ourselves.
With the Ruler money archetype, saying no in the interest of the empire (big picture) is easy because the Ruler feels differently about 'giving' than the Nurturer. The Celebrity may give for different reasons than the Nurturer and Ruler. For example the Celebrity archetype will give for the purpose of attaining a certain status or level of visibility even though it may not be in their best interest. These habits are subconscious and so important to acknowledge because the subconscious mind rules 80% of the time (or more). These are just a few examples of how our own money personalities express differently when it comes to boundaries and money.
To strengthen your boundaries with money, make a list of 3-5 ways you may be out of integrity with money or not implementing actions that are congruent with your financial goals. This can be in the areas of spending, not investing, giving to others when it disempowers you and them, or even in the language you use to speak about money.
Having better boundaries with money begins by understanding your personal money story- we all have a different story. Our money stories include our beliefs about money -both conscious and subconscious beliefs. Next, check in with your financial goals and assess whether they are congruent with your actions.
The final place you want to check in with is how you 'feel' about your actions when it comes to money. Checking in and being clear means you know what you have to do to hold better money boundaries. This takes practice! (It helps to have an objective person -not family member- to pin point blindspots because we all have them when it comes to money.)
Real Life and Business:
So how does this apply to the real world and business? When you offer your services for a certain fee, or you deliver them a certain way and someone says, can I just pay for one session, or can you give me a discount (hey sometimes it's warranted like when you've referred a bunch of business), it's' so important to keep firm boundaries. Your time is money but your value is not time. Even when you want to help, sometimes you're not helping by giving things away, or discounting your services. It's disempowering for the person asking because they will continue to discount themselves.
When we empower our boundaries we empower others!
Did you find this useful? If so, I'd love to hear your comments below! Where can you empower your boundaries with Time and/or Money, today, right now?
This post is a welcome commentary on David Brook's latest Op-Ed in the New York Times.
Success is made. It grows from the inside out. It's the ever intangible feeling, idea, sense, desire, accolade, achievement, arrival, continuum, vision, belief, mindset, paradigm. You get it.
Comparing yourself to others is no longer an option when the result is self-denigration. Your success is sourced from a brilliant vault deep inside. It's an essence you exude, it's the journey of a thousand miles. The poetic path or apocalyptic landing pad.. "Success is made not born."
Do yourself a favor and read this article. Click here to access.
Please share your comments below. What clicked? What inspires you? What did you want more of? What's that thing on your bucket list that is no longer an option?
Stephanie Trager, ESQ.
Business Strategist & Success Coach
Author of: Soul Success: Success from the Inside Out (Fall 2015)
"Law firm needs 4-5 attorneys for a doc review project to start Monday, which will be for 2-3 weeks on-site at their downtown offices. Must be admitted in NY. A minimum of 3 months of e-discovery document review experience preferred. Pay rate $24/ hour." Craigslist
I'm absolutely blown away! I pay a virtual assistant $40-70$+ an hour! Perhaps attorneys who are out of work and saying yes to positions like this are not aware that they can earn $70+ an hour doing very basic online administrative tasks for entrepreneurs.
I'm not sure document review in legal discovery is more interesting but to haul your butt into a big room and stare at a computer screen for 15 hours a day just to max out your $24 hour allowance, I'd take the stay home in your pajamas and log onto your laptop option any day.
When I speak to attorneys in the traditional practice of law, it blows their minds also that Virtual Assistants [VAs], many who have no formal education compared to the immense endeavor of law school (and investment) and potentially grueling experience new lawyers go through in their earlier formal training, are able to earn up to $100+ an hour or more for their services.
Many VAs are highly trained in online technology and are becoming a growing necessity for online entrepreneurs. But come on, many of the attorneys I speak to who actually take these positions are just unaware of the gazillions of opportunities to create the life of their dreams.
It takes a bit of creativity, positioning and intentional paradigm stretching. This is where I come in. Please reach out to me so I can help you here because you didn't go to law school for $24 an hour!
Um, it's time for a little education and a decision to stop the commoditizing of attorneys. Yet, hey, it's like any field, I know doctors who are burned out on traditional practice and stuck in between. The onus is on you-and rightly so! It's called, "TAKE YOUR POWER BACK or BUILD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!
It takes marketing, sales, and I believe it takes a good Coach to show you what's possible- how you can leverage your talent, your training and education, and position yourself for way the heck more than $24 hr. all the while giving your dignity a giant boost of green juice!
Send this to a lawyer you love who is currently out of work, in between, or underselling their services for whatever reason! A bad economy is no excuse!
Stephanie Trager, ESQ.
Business Strategist & Success Coach
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