I love boundaries. Boundaries do not stop me from evolving; they allow me to have greater impact, to learn and to grow without getting overwhelmed and anxious (see image below for an overwhelming vista that needed to be broken down in order to get to the destination!)

As a coach, I help my clients define and set their own boundaries in order to make the vast space they are navigating more manageable. This allows them to identify:

  • values
  • priorities
  • next steps
  • how they can stay committed and accountable

I am sharing some of the ways I show up when working with people around their boundaries – because you don’t have to be a professional coach to help your colleagues, friends, and family set meaningful limitations that will help them along their path to success and happiness.

  1. I ask short powerful questions that give people a chance to reflect and share what feels good and authentic and what feels counterproductive or sticky.
  2. I hold space for them to explore and draw the line between uncomfortable and painful. Getting out of our comfort zone can be critical to making real change, but it doesn’t need to hurt.
  3. I articulate what I hear back to them – without judgment. When a client is able to hear their own words and assess the situation from a different vantage point, they often see what serves them and what does not, allowing them to draw a boundary between the two.

It sounds simple. It is AND it isn’t. Humans are built to nurture, and we feel uncomfortable when we see other people “going through it” and our instinct is to want to solve their problems or tell them what to do. Giving someone the answers doesn’t empower them the same way that letting them discover them does. Allowing a resourceful, creative and whole human being (thank you Co-Active Training Institute!) to establish what they need and where they draw the line on what they’re willing to give, do and accept serves them in a more holistic, long term way. The self management I use to stay quiet or let a client navigate on their own is one of the boundaries I’ve set to become a successful coach, partner, parent and friend.

What are your boundaries? How do you maintain them? I’d love to learn what works for you!