What a Four-Legged Friend Can Teach You About Boundaries

by / Wednesday, 03 July 2013 / Published in Life, Professional, Work

At The Empower Room, we have an office mascot, a four-legged pedigree named Diesel. Diesel likes to be involved in my coaching sessions. His job is to teach my clients the importance of boundaries.

Diesel has a favourite yellow ball. He takes his ball everywhere. In my sessions, he will place this ball at your feet, or on your lap, or even throw it at you. He will then stare at the you, silently encouraging you until you give in and touch his ball. If you do, you are hooked and he knows he has a playmate for the rest of the session.

If Diesel can break your boundaries, then who else can, and does?

Spend 10 minutes with Diesel, and quickly you will understand how your boundaries can be easily broken (if they are even set!) by your children, partner, friends, boss, family members or workmates.

Diesel is very good at this game. He is sweet and cute (who can resist that?) – but of course people can manipulate you too which is why it’s easy to get trampled emotionally and physically by their demands on your time and energy.

Boundaries are the limits that you create about what is acceptable – what you will or will not allow.

If you want to be in control of your own life and have healthy relationships, you must let people know your boundaries.

Sometimes, the hardest thing to say is “no.” We hate to say it, especially to people we care about… or cute dogs! But, “no” is essential to establishing and maintaining your boundaries.

We learn to say “no” very quickly in childhood. In fact, it’s often our first word. A toddler who has discovered “no” suddenly feels empowered, and in control of their world! It’s an exhilarating time for the child, and the time when parents need to set firm boundaries themselves.

So when did we lose the capacity to say “no”? When did we start people-pleasing at our own expense? When did we stop drawing the line in the sand that helps us do what is right for ourselves? When did it become easier to give in than to stand up for our values?

Of course the reasons vary among individuals but the common cause of poor or nonexistent boundaries is fear – fear of not being liked, loved, appreciated, respected, accepted… even by a four-legged an office mascot!

By not setting boundaries, you train others to take advantage of you. Diesel is a clever Boundary Hound. He knows the buttons to push. Within a single session, he can train anyone without boundaries to obey him.

Setting clear, strong boundaries is essential for your health and happiness. It’s not negotiable. You must do it! To learn the art of saying no, and learn to set – and uphold – boundaries, please contact me for a one-on-one personal empowerment session.

You will learn to say “yes” when you mean it and “no” when you mean it.

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