Boundaries: How to Set and Why you Need Them

By on October 12, 2011

By Jane Morrison –

The other day I was working with a client, the owner of a massage and wellness center, and she was stressing out about how her clients push her to extend the expiration date on her special offers. Her sub contractors push her on the date their rent is due and ask for an extension. She doesn’t want to work evenings but clients “insists’ that she be there for them.

It’s clear that she’s allowing others to run her business and her life, vs. her being in charge. When she asked me “what am I again to do, say “No”? I was dead serious when I told her that’s exactly what she’s going to have to start to do – just say no!

As business owners, it’s critical that we design a business that works for ourselves first, and in her case, she was making the clients and renters very happy, giving them price breaks, being open for their convenience and not collecting the rent while putting herself last. Everyone got what they wanted but her.

No matter if it’s kids asking you to drop what you’re doing to drive them somewhere, family members demanding your time or clients pushing you to give, give, give, you will be tested over and over again by others who want to take from you until you master the art of boundaries. So how do you know if you need to tighten up your personal or business boundaries?

Here are 3 sure signs:

  1. You start to feel resentful, worn down, and unappreciated. In your attempt to “be there for others’ and subconsciously wanting to be liked (and don’t we all) you’ve let others run all over you. This can only go on for so long before you start to feel some resentment and frustration.
  2. You’re not taking care of yourself. In the attempt to meet everyone else’s needs, you’re putting your own self care on the bottom of the list. Running ragged and saying “yes” to everyone else has you saying  “no” to yourself.
  3. You feel a lack of respect. Remember, the nice guy does not always finish last. If you’re always agreeable to be given that a last minute committee assignment that no one else wants, you’ve created that situation toward you yourself.

So what’s it take to move from this passive mentality to proactive and assertive?

  1. Believe you have as much value and worth as everyone else. Your time, needs and desires are as precious as anyone else’s. When you see yourself as an equal, you’ll start to demand the respect from those who you’ve allowed to take advantage of you.
  2. Begin to say “NO”. It becomes easier and easier once you start. No reason to apologize for saying no, a good technique is to say “that just doesn’t work for me right now’ without further explanation and leave it at that.
  3. Begin to schedule in time for yourself. Put clear office hours on your office door and tell your family that you are not to be disturbed during this time – then stick to it!

Remember, the Universe gives us lessons to learn from over and over until we master the lesson. If lack of boundaries are a challenge for yourself, start fresh and begin to notice the tell tale signs, then stand up for yourself, as you’re the best ally you’ve got. What kind of amazing doors opened up for you when you began to say no to others and yes to yourself?

Jane Morrison, Certified Coach, Author and Business Strategist, is founder and President of Mastering Your Motivation. She specializes in supporting women through transitions and as business owners. She’s an expert at seeing where you get stuck and eliminating those barriers so you’re empowered to move forward toward your goals. Her clients find effective ways to market their business and gain clients, making them feel in control again and getting rid of the feeling of overwhelm.

She’s the author of “Savvy Leadership Skills for Women” and has created a powerful step-by-step program that takes you from where you are, to where you want to be. You can find free resources at and sign up for a complimentary Visioning Session at http://www.janemorrison.com/

© All rights reserved, Jane Morrison, Founder & President of Mastering Your Motivation

About Jane Morrison

Jane is the Author of “Savvy Leadership Strategies for Women” that is a dynamic resource for women to learn leadership principles that assist in career success and personal life satisfaction. As with anyone who steps out of their comfort zone to follow their dreams, she encountered bumps and challenges along her own path as an Entrepreneur and discovered that success for women has different challenges and solutions than for men. She has made women’s success her passion. You can learn more and contact her at www.janemorrison.com.

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Boundaries: How to Set and Why you Need Them