Boundaries, Balance and Burnout

I spoke at an event last week to a wonderful group of women in the communications and technology industry.

The title of my talk was Boundaries, Burnout and Balance.

The three B’s.

Ahead of the talk some of the attendees commented their thoughts like:

‘I’m looking forward to this, I don’t think I have ANY boundaries.’

‘I need to hear this! I need boundaries in my life and work BADLY.’


It got me thinking about my own relationship with boundaries. A few years ago, I too had no boundaries, or very few.

I was in fact a people-pleaser.

In work, in life, in my relationships, with new friends, with old friends, with my boss, my colleagues. I was a YES woman.

Until I burnt-out.

You see, we set boundaries not just because we ‘should.’ We set them either from a place of desperation OR inspiration.

Back then, I had to create boundaries in my life out of sheer desperation.

If I didn’t, I’d constantly be in a state of burnout.

Today, I set them from a place of inspiration.

I’m working on creating boundaries that allow me to fully embrace my authentic power and step into space where I become the very best version of ME.

Boundaries around technology allow me to feel present and in the moment which helps me be more grounded for my clients when they need that most.

Boundaries around alcohol and sugar (I’m on a 90-day alcohol-free challenge and more on that in another post.)

Boundaries even with the people I love so that I can WANT to be 100% there for them instead of feeling like I SHOULD.

But most of us today need to create boundaries from desperation.

Burnout has impacted everyone in some way over the past 12 months.

And you might be reading this and wondering how the hell you’d even get started with boundaries.

Well, last night I was asked a question after my talk.

‘I’m burning out at work, but it’s not possible to set boundaries and take a step back! What do I do?’

You start by reality testing your assumptions.

You see what holds us back from setting boundaries is fear.

Fear that our boss will think that we’re not cut out for the job.

Fear that someone might think we’re not a good enough mother.

Or fear that our team might think we’re not performing.

Whatever it is, we have to reality test those fears- because often times it’s only true in our minds- until we challenge that assumption.

So ask yourself, what’s one boundary you NEED to set? (It could be something as simple as taking an hour lunch away from your desk every day)

Then ask yourself these questions:

1. If I say YES to this boundary, what am I saying YES to?
(If I say yes to taking lunch I’m saying YES to my health, my mental health, my kids, my mind, more effective work etc)

2. If I say NO to this boundary again, what am I saying NO to?
(If I keep saying NO, I’m saying NO to my health- physical and mental, I’m saying NO to feeling my best etc)

3. What’s the fear that’s holding me back from setting that boundary?

4. Now write down three reasons why you believe that fear is true.
Often times, you won’t even get one reason down on paper. Because we’ve built that fear up in our heads!

5. So now, finally, ask yourself what’s the next step for you in making this new boundary a reality?

It could be to speak to your boss.
It could be to update your team on your new lunch schedule.
It could be to put your notifications in do not disturb mode.
It could be to ask your spouse to hold you accountable.

Understand that there isn’t any end goal with this work, you’re always evolving, adapting and growing.

For me, I revisit boundaries each week. I ask myself, wherein my life and my work do I need more boundaries and what will setting those boundaries give me?

P.S Although our Revive Remote Program is closed for the quarter, we’re always accepting new applications. If you and your team need help setting boundaries remotely and want to have a culture that embraces healthy boundaries, put your name down here.

Once you do, we’ll have a discovery chat to see if I’m the right person to help you and your team thrive remotely- in an emotionally healthy and sustainable way.

Shauna

Hi, I’m Shauna and I coach CEOs, leaders and teams that work remotely. You can join my mailing list or find out more at operateremote.com