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The Joy of Saying No and Setting Boundaries

When clients come to coaching hoping to become more organized, they expect to be given new tools or new ideas for a fancy-schmancy scheduler. They want to set new goals that they feel will help them to become instantly more efficient.

Although those are great ideas it’s not always the best place to start.

In fact, immediately setting goals or onboarding new tools can be a recipe for frustration and even more stress.

Rather than adding to an already overwhelmed life, we look at what to take away.

My clients are intelligent, creative, and successful people. They know how to organize, schedule, and set goals. What some aren’t so good at is setting boundaries and saying NO!  By saying no and refusing to take on more responsibility, tasks, and obligations, they immediately add more time to their day.

A client, I’ll call her Betsy, is a successful professional. She runs her own business, has a husband,  three children, and also cares for her elderly parents. Speaking of overwhelmed!

In sessions, we looked at organization and all that she is juggling, but what stood out was that there were clearly not enough hours in the day to do all that was on her TTD lists. Not even close.

Betsy looked at what was on her list that was not serving her, was draining her, and simply not even necessary. She went into turbo mode and removed her name from emails in which she was offered training, lunches, and networking. Betsy declined social invitations that were more stressful than enjoyable. Finally, she gave her family more responsibility in the home. Betsy finally paired down her list to what she felt was absolutely necessary for the next two months and that included…wait for it…suspending coaching!

When she told me that she was postponing our sessions, I knew that Betsy had internalized what she had learned in previous coaching sessions. She completely understood what she needed to do to take care of herself and be successful. What a win!

Betsy had worked very hard in earlier sessions, and she realized that setting boundaries is not selfish, it’s self-care.

Are you intrigued and want to be more efficient and organized? Give it a try!

Make a list:

Choose one or all.

1-What’s draining you (including people).

2-What’s not serving you (including people).

3-What you really don’t enjoy (including people).

4-What you can temporarily put on hold. There are many things once you really think about it!

Yes, of course, there are many things that we don’t enjoy, but we have to do (hello grocery shopping). Use logic. Look at your list as a stranger may look at it. What’s really necessary?

Use these thoughts to pare down your lists and begin the summer with less stress, less pressure, and more energy!

Yes, it sounds simple, and it truly is. It is only complicated if you make it so. What story are you telling yourself to rationalize why you can’t set boundaries and take control of your life? If this is where you’re stuck, coaching can help you identify and confront what’s getting in the way of moving forward.

Happy summer!