Boundaries: Part 2

Where are boundaries missing?

This month, we’re exploring the theme of boundaries. Last week, we defined boundaries as drawing a line and being clear about what we will and won’t tolerate.

What have you noticed over the past week with regard to where your boundaries are clear or unclear?

Can you identify the obstacles that prevent you from effectively setting and maintaining boundaries? Do you have feelings of uncertainty as to where we or others stand in relation to an issue or perhaps a subconscious fear of being taken advantage of?

Here’s something that came up for me recently. On a call with a potential coaching client, I was asking questions and trying to get a sense of whether we’d be a good fit to work together. Frankly, she was being difficult and did not seem open to the coaching. Several comments she made and her tone of resignation indicated to me that she wasn’t ready. After the call ended, I felt frustrated and exhausted by the exchange.

When I reached out to my coach about the situation, she suggested that I take the coaching idea off the table and simply say, “How can I make a difference for you in the next ten minutes?”

I am not available to work with people who are not ready to dive in. I saw how my boundary was missing here with this potential client. Why didn’t I set that boundary initially? I wanted to believe I could make a difference for her. I didn’t want to seem unkind or rude. I didn’t want to give up on her. So the idea that I could take back the offer was a revelation to me.

Our inner work this week involves looking more deeply at the places where our boundaries either don’t exist or aren’t clearly defined. What do you notice? What is keeping you from drawing a line and saying, “This doesn’t work for me”?

  • Fear?

  • Concern for what others will think or feel?

  • Not wanting to seem rude, inconsiderate or ________ [fill in the blank]?

  • All of the above?

  • Something else?

Keep tuning in to where your boundaries are well-defined and where they are not. Next week, we’ll investigate the costs of not having healthy boundaries in place.

Don’t hesitate to comment below and share your thoughts on boundaries. I’d love to hear from you!


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Ashlie Woods