As an entrepreneur it may seem strange that I would say that saying “no” is so important. Entrepreneurs are go getters, hustlers, and typically take every opportunity that comes their way, right? Well that is correct, BUT everyone has their limit also. It’s impossible to take on everything that comes your way and you have to set boundaries and recognize that.
When we say “yes” to everything and do not set boundaries with people, we often feel stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out. Most of us want to be well liked and to please other people. It can be difficult to turn down opportunities or requests that others have made of us. It may also be challenging to set limits with difficult people. The following are three tips for learning how to set healthy boundaries.
1. Practice tuning in to your inner sense of “yes” and “no.”
The first step in learning how to set boundaries is to try to uncover what your personal limits and guidelines are. We all have an inner sense of wisdom, which intuitively tells us when something is a “yes” or a “no.” The problem occurs when we ignore that inner voice. If you are not used to tuning into your intuition, it is important to practice paying attention to how you are feeling in the moment. Using tools such like, meditation and mindfulness is one way to practice paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in the moment.
2. Learn how to tolerate the reactions of others.
Some people are going to be unhappy when you tell them no, that’s inevitable. You will just have to find a way to deal with it and understand that you are doing this for your own health and sanity.
Setting boundaries with people can actually help to improve your relationships in the long run. If you do not respect your personal boundaries, this is likely to lead to bitterness and resentment over time. The people who you want to surround yourself with are those who will respect your boundaries, even if initially they feel upset or disappointed.
2. Engage in acts of compassionate self-care.
You may have heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” If you want to be giving and compassionate towards others, it is critical that you apply the same compassion towards yourself.
Set aside some weekly time for acts of self-care, which can help you to relax, recharge, and to connect with yourself. We all have different things that feel relaxing and pleasurable for us, so pick what works best for you. Take a bath, read a book, spend time with family. But make sure you actually do it. You will thank yourself later.