Setting limits will set you free.
It’s one thing to draw boundaries around your time and energy. It’s another thing to keep them. Learn how to do both without giving into things (and relationships) that don’t serve you. See how saying no can actually set you free and bring you closer to the opportunities you’ve always wanted.
You’re listening to Episode 92 of the Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.
Hello! You’re listening to Episode 92: Drawing & Keeping Better Boundaries.
I’m your host, Suz, a mindset + productivity coach helping music professionals get clear on their goals, priorities, and next steps all while decreasing overwhelm and avoiding burnout.
This episode is brought to you by my upcoming training on March 3rd, Tapping into Your Vision. During this 90-minute live training I’ll be showing you how to get super clear on your vision, identify your top priorities, and limit the amount of white noise and distracting tasks that don’t serve your vision so you can effectively reach your goals and work with greater intention and less overwhelm.
Growth takes structure and that structure is only as strong as its foundation. Boundaries around our time and our energy are what build that foundation and this live training provides plenty of resources to help you set and maintain better boundaries, which makes it the perfect pair with today’s episode.
You can register for FREE on this episode’s show notes page: http://therockstaradvocate.com/ep92. When you register you’ll receive my free checklist: From Flustered to Focused so don’t wait!
I first spoke about boundaries on this podcast in Season 1, Episode 18: The Importance of Boundaries, where I discussed why boundaries matter and how they help build that foundation to the success of your business.
I felt it was important to circle back and dig a little deeper into why boundaries are crucial not only for success, but for our daily self-care as well. Given all we’re going through in this world today, boundaries are necessary for self-preservation.
If you feel like you don’t really have any or the ones you have aren’t being maintained, then listen up! By the end of today’s episode I hope you not only realize the importance of setting boundaries, but I want you to feel confident in maintaining them on a daily basis.
So what do I mean by boundaries? Well, there are lots of different types of boundaries we can set. Some are with the relationships we have with the people in our lives – how often you see them, the information you share with them, the amount of energy and attention you hold for them.
Some boundaries we have to draw within ourselves – our time blocking and where/when we put our focus on a particular project, the time we give ourselves in the morning to start our day, the amount of rest and/or guilty pleasures we allow ourselves when we’re not working, the money we spent, etc.
If you have a day job, there are boundaries around what you allow your boss or other coworkers to ask of you – if you’re doing group work, what you allow people to leave on your plate, what you speak up for and what you stay silent on in a given situation.
When it comes to interpersonal boundaries we think of the role you take on within your own community – what behavior are you going to tolerate/not tolerate from those around you? What will you speak up for or in the name of? Where do you draw the line with how people not only treat you, but treat others?
For example, I don’t go outside to protests, especially right now, because I take care of my grandma and I have an auto-immune issue, but I donate to causes. I speak up about things I care about. I educate myself and others around me. So those are my boundaries around how I show up for social justice and other important causes.
Everyone has different boundaries. If someone is not being vocal on social media about something, it doesn’t mean they don’t care or aren’t doing the work. Everyone has a role to play in their community and that work can look different for everyone. What matters is that you determine what that works looks like for you and you stand by what you believe in.
It’s important to know what your boundaries are when it comes to the way you work, the way you allow people into your space and the way you interact within the larger space of your community.
Be sure to tell me in the comments section of the show notes page what some of your boundaries are – head on over to http://therockstaradvocate.com/ep92 when you have a moment and declare your boundaries! Also feel free to leave any questions around this topic that you may have and I’ll be sure to answer them.
I’ve learned some pretty important lessons this past year when it comes to my own boundaries around the relationships I keep. This year has pushed many people, if not all, to the brink when it comes to stress, grief, overwhelm, anxiety, boredom, you name it, and it’s as though everyone is at their capacity.
Who do you turn to for support if everyone is burnt out? How do you help others if you’re struggling to know what day it is or what’s currently causing you the most angst?
When you work as a mindset coach, showing up for your clients as best you can to help them through unbelievable upheavals and unexpected changes in their lives, and then you clock out and your family is suffering through terrible grief and shifts in their lives, when do you shut off to take care of yourself?
Who do you make time for? What behaviors do you continue to tolerate? When push comes to shove, your boundaries have an interesting way of presenting themselves LOUD AND CLEAR in case you were ignoring them before things got tough.
Boundaries set us free. People sometimes think, “Well, if I set boundaries that’s going to limit me or that’s going to limit what I can get out of a situation, or it’s going to make people resent me.”
It’s actually the exact opposite – when we set boundaries, not only will the people who matter in our lives respect these limitations, they’ll be comforted by knowing where your limits are. Think about what they say about children – they look for discipline, they look for where the limitations are; people naturally push boundaries. They might not even know that they’re doing this consciously.
That’s because at the end of the day, we’re all animals. And as I’ve said plenty of times on this podcast it’s animal instinct to fear or be uncomfortable with the unknown. People like to know where they stand with other people.
Of course, they’ll keep taking and taking if you don’t tell them not to, until they hit that wall, that limitation, and in the meantime, even if they’re getting what they want from you, it’s a bit unsettling. When someone knows what you can or can’t handle from them, there’s an ease that now exists in your relationship.
Same goes for the boundaries you set with yourself around how you spend your time and energy in a situation or project. When you set clear boundaries you actually get more of your time and energy back because neither is being wasted around the stress of feeling like there’s no end in sight to working on something or being involved in something.
When you draw boundaries and respect them around your morning routine, around your exercise routine or you’re healthy habits, you start to feel better. You start to feel more focused, your work becomes better, and you have more energy.
It not only helps us focus, but it helps us interact with others more confidently.
True, some people like to push those boundaries just to get a rise out of you. And to that I say, why would you want those people around? Draw greater boundaries around those people. All of my male friends love to bust my chops and see how much they can torture me before I get sick of their bullshit. Believe me, when I reach my limit… they pay dearly.
I discussed this topic a few months back on an Instagram live and one of the viewers wrote in about issues they were having when friends and colleagues wanted to reach out to chat and they’d be in the middle of working on a project. They were having issues turning down the opportunity to chat with them because they didn’t want to insult them or turn down an opportunity to connect, but it left them feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
To that I say, ignore the messages and when you do respond say, “Thank you so much for your patience, I was busy getting work done.” You don’t even have to tell them what you were busy doing. Just thank them for their patience and then respond to their message or set up a time to now connect and chat. If you feel the need to respond in the moment simply say, “I can’t really talk now. It’s not a good time. What are you doing Tuesday at 2pm?”
And this is where time blocking comes in handy because a lot of you are working from home for the first time. And when you work from home many are of the mindset of, “Well, you’re working from home, so things are flexible. You could just do the work later because you’re home, right? We’re all flexible.”
Wrong. Some people may be flexible. Some people may clock in for work and then clock out and turn off their brains and not think about growing their own business or sustaining their own career. Good for them. That’s not you. And you need structure.
That doesn’t mean you have to cut out all down time, it just means you have to set aside downtime for a specific section of your day/week. Will some people react to your boundaries with, “Whoa, sorry. Didn’t know you got to schedule me in.” Sure, they may give you a hard time at first.
All that means is they just had a realization of what it means to have boundaries and it caught them off guard. It has nothing to do with you or how valid your boundaries are around your time. All your response needs to be in that case is, “Well, yes. Yes, I have to schedule you in.
Doesn’t mean that I don’t respect our friendship. It means I respect it more because if I talk to you now, I’m just gonna be stressed or distracted. Let’s talk when I can be focused on our time together.”
Another visitor during our chat, said that he had the need to be pleasing everyone and when the boundary doesn’t get acknowledged, the stress of arguing doesn’t seem worth it so he acquiesces.
To that point, understand that a boundary is not tangible and most people will not acknowledge it until you point it out and stand by it. You don’t have to argue, you have to simply point it out and however they respond they respond, but trust once they know you’re not moving that boundary, they will respect it. Stay strong!
It’s not always easy in the beginning, and it’s definitely taken me more than one try before I was able to stick with my disclaimer around my time. I have yet to lose a friend or a loved one from doing so, certainly not any that truly mattered and brought value to my life.
Boundaries are a great test of any relationship. Being honest about your limitations and preferences should never be a cause to end a relationship. If someone can’t handle your boundaries they’re likely not good to have in your life anyway.
Same goes professionally. My website lists my terms and policies, my client contracts outline the expectations and requirements of working together, and anyone that crosses those boundaries is no longer the right fit to work with me. If I were to break any of my commitments to my clients, I would no longer be considered the right person to help them either.
So what can you do when people are stampeding on your boundaries or you feel like you haven’t set boundaries or you hadn’t put people on alert that you’ve got these boundaries? In Episode 16 of this podcast I created a download called Seven Ways to Politely Tell Loved Ones to STFU. I’ve put the link to that episode in the show notes so you can easily access it. In that guide I provide you with seven scripts and seven different scenarios of what to say when
loved ones cross certain lines you’d prefer they didn’t.
You don’t have to kick people out of your lives just because they see things differently or don’t understand your position. You can either decide to educate them around why you’re doing what you’re doing and how they can best support you, or you can just say, “Okay, I get it. You’re not going to understand where I’m coming from, and that’s okay. My career is now just going to be off limits in our conversations.”
When I was growing up around my friends, I was constantly the one that didn’t say anything. I didn’t push the boundaries and didn’t push back on anything. I didn’t want to “make waves.”
And if I felt people wanted me to change or needed me to change, I was like, “I’ll change if that makes you feel better.” And then as I got older I thought, “Well then who the fuck am I?”
When I got to college a lot of my friends from high school all told me how much I’d changed in such a short amount of time. But all it was was me helping them realize, yes, I do have boundaries. I do have limits to how much I can take about something or what I need from my friends, or how I prefer to be treated.
I learned in my 20s that it’s not that these people didn’t want to treat me with respect or that they didn’t want to respect these boundaries… I just wasn’t putting them on alert that there was a boundary. And that’s really what we have to be mindful of as we build relationships and build our lives in general.
If you’re constantly feeling taken advantage of, I want you to stop and think – do the people in your life know you have these boundaries and limitations? If they do and they’re still not respecting them then maybe you need stricter boundaries with those people, or maybe those people are toxic and your new boundary then becomes the door and those people are closed off from you, and that’s it.
But doing so will give you more freedom, more peace of mind, more time and energy and it will free you up from the stress and the overwhelm.
Many creatives tend to be people pleasers and it’s difficult to start to set boundaries if you’re not used to being vocal about them or if you’ve ignored them for so long you’re not even clear on what they need to be.
Here’s the thing – you don’t have to push back hard. You don’t have to get super upset about it. Simply state your line in the sand. That’s it.
People feel safer with you when you set boundaries, even if it limits them in their relationship with you. People trust you more, they respect you more and they feel safer around you – as I said before, that animal instinct has now been set at ease.
This is the same in business as saying the riches are in the niches – niching down involves setting boundaries around who you will and won’t work with and clients/fans/customers are attracted to that – they know where you stand and what you stand for and that Know Like Trust factor increases exponentially.
When you stop trying to serve everyone under the sun, when you start making it clear who your community is, and who it isn’t, the right people come running! There’s more trust. There’s more engagement. There’s more investment in what you’re building.
Think about it this way. If you opened up a door and the room was completely dark and you didn’t know where the furniture was, you didn’t know where the walls were. You didn’t know how big or small the room was. You would tread very carefully.
If somebody turned the light on and was like, “Here’s where the furniture is. You can’t go past these walls. That’s the end of the room over there.” You’d do just fine walking around the room and living in that environment, and you’d do so with confidence. You would do so with ease because you knew where everything was. You’d know, “If I go one more foot I’m gonna hit the wall. I know if I take a step this way, I’m going to trip over a lamp.” Right? You’d know where the boundaries in that room are.
Clients always say to me, “I’m not sure what to talk about on social media with my fans, because I’m a private person and I know I have to show them who I am.” All you have to do is decide what the boundaries are around your story. Maybe you’ll share pictures of your dog, but not your children or not your significant other. Maybe you’ll share photos of things that you’re creating in the studio, but not show them your kitchen or your bedroom or other places in your house. Once you make those decisions a post either falls within that boundary or it doesn’t.
This biggest takeaway I hope comes from this episode is this: Boundaries don’t have to be complicated and enforcing them doesn’t have to be hard. Take the stress out of it all and simply state where you stand on something. Believe that the right people in your life will not only accept and respect where you’re at, they’ll appreciate
knowing the information because you’ve made their lives easier. The same will be said for your sanity and energy when you set limits around your time on a particular focus. As I’ve said before I’d LOVE to hear what some of your boundaries are in the comments section of the show notes. Simply go to http://therockstaradvocate.com/ep92 and let me know your thoughts and I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have around this topic and others.
And, while you’re there, be sure to sign up for my free training I’m hosting March 3rd to help you determine what matters MOST in your life so you can block out the white noise and focus on reaching your goals this year. It’s a free event and the details can be found in the show notes page, all you have to do is RSVP to save your seat!
Thank you so much for listening and if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe as I’ll be back every week with a brand new episode! And if you like what you’ve heard I’d love it if you’d rate, follow, leave a review, or share from your platform of choice.
Until next time, Rock/Star. Keep planning, keep learning, and I hope to see you back here next week so we can get grounded to get rising! Take care.show less
- Tapping Into Your Vision free training on March 24th at 4:00pm EST
- Types of boundaries you can set and why they are crucial for success
- How and why drawing boundaries creates safety and trust for you and the people around you
- How boundaries make you free and build confidence
- How to navigate the transition to better boundaries
- Managing potential pushback from people who aren’t used to your boundaries
- Why working from home does ≠ 24/7 availability
- How to politely + confidently enforce your boundaries
- What are YOUR boundaries?
- Theme music brought to you by DC-based Indie/Pop band Sub-Radio
- More podcast episodes can be found here
- You can download a copy of the episode’s transcript here
- Our Sponsor: Tapping into Your Vision Free Training on March 24th at 4:00pm EST. Sign up below + get my From Flustered to Focused checklist!
- Wanna work together?? Schedule your call here
- Listen to Episode 18, the Importance of Boundaries
- Listen to Episode 16 & download 7 Ways to Politely Tell Loved Ones to STFU
Tapping Into Your Vision Rescheduled: Now March 24th @ 4:00pm EST.
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