Do you set boundaries in your life? If you don’t, why not? If you do, how good are you at keeping them?
I ask because I’m currently doing a “thing” that I said I’d never do again. I’m part of a committee to reelect a commissioner to our local public utility district board.
You might be wondering why I said I never do that again. Well, I spent my entire career in government/public affairs. I’ve been involved with political campaigns before. I got really tired of it. I mean, really tired of it. Need I say more?
But, here’s what’s different. I used to be so driven, thinking I had to prove myself as a woman in the male-dominated corporate world I was in. I worked long hours. I couldn’t disconnect even on vacation. (I know. Don’t judge me. I know better now.)
I was awful at setting boundaries, and saying, “No.” I think that was one of the reasons that I now say I stayed way past my expiration date. Because I didn’t (or wouldn’t) set boundaries that resulted in a healthy work/life balance, I became stressed out and burned out.
Even worse, I allowed all that to define me and my identity. So, when I finally walked out the door thinking life was immediately going to be amazing and fun, I really didn’t know what to do when all of a sudden it hit. I didn’t know who I was anymore.
It took a couple of years to rewire that corporate gal, find my true identity (who I really was outside my career), and move forward with a new confidence. In that journey, I learned a lot about how the mind works and how you can manage your thoughts, emotions, and as a result, your actions.
I also learned that it is perfectly okay to reconsider decisions you’ve made in the past. Sometimes you have new information. Sometimes you have a new set of circumstances. It’s important to be okay with that. Consider your options again through a new lens. Then, make a decision.
I did. But, this time I also set boundaries because I know now how important they are. I chose to work on this campaign because it’s an important campaign and position for my local utility. I chose how involved I would be and how much time I would spend on it. I am choosing how much time I am taking away from my other projects to be involved with the campaign.
Most importantly though, I am choosing how I react to old “triggers.” I am being intentional and deliberate with my thoughts and my time.
All of that means I set healthy boundaries and I am sticking to them. I made a commitment to myself.
It feels good. Even better, I’m not stressed out about things I can’t control. (Honestly, that is a real win for me!)
I talk a lot about mindset and managing your thoughts, emotions, and your actions in my book, “Your Next Chapter. Dream It. Design It. Live It.” If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, you can get it on my website (christinestallard.com/next-chapter-book)or on Amazon. And, if you’re interested in the digital versions of the book and workbook, comment below and I’ll send you a link.
Life is about making choices. You may even need to revisit some of the decisions you’ve made in the past. Know that it’s okay to do that. Just be sure to do so with intention, and be sure to set (and honor) your boundaries. And, as a wise person said to me, “Make sure your decision is a hell yes or hell no.” That way you’re all in either way, and there’s no need to second guess yourself!