Recently, I've met with many clients who have difficulties setting boundaries. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it can be even easier than usual to find yourself in a pattern of over-committing -- becoming fully engrossed in your business and ignoring healthy boundaries. But how do you set and stick to a healthy boundary? That can be a pretty tricky proposition for many entrepreneurs.
You're used to paying yourself last, coming in early, going home late, not eating well, and losing sleep. There's a lot to do – a lot that you've agreed to do. But not one of those habits leads to peak performance or excellent decision-making. Yet, when I ask my clients what boundaries they can set to reduce some of that stress, they get stuck. Those sacrifices, from their point of view, are necessary and can't be relieved. They get lost in a spiral, a mindset trap that isn't easy to shift out of.
That's usually when I introduce a bit of business distraction therapy.
I shift the question from boundaries to a question of tolerance. I explain that tolerating something is an adaptive survival tactic. It's only meant to be for a short time – perhaps to get yourself out of a bad situation. Once you're out and back on solid ground, you can move on and you're free to approach your situation differently.
So I ask my clients, "what have you been tolerating for too long?"
And that's when the magic happens. The list flows out of them freely. There are so many things that they can't bear to do much longer. By changing the question, they've made it past that previous mindset trap and found that they've had the answers the whole time. The perceptions around boundaries can be hard to overcome, but answering a question about tolerating something is different. Now they can use this knowledge to chart a path toward finding relief.
Shifting the question helps us find a way to solve our problems. Try this exercise yourself and discover what you've been tolerating for too long. After that, let's set up a time to talk and develop a plan to free up some of your time. Click here to connect with us.