Do You Know Where Your Boundaries Are?

Do You Know Where Your Boundaries Are?

Boundaries are the limits or invisible lines you place around yourself for protection. They are the limits of what you can and will do, as well as the limits of what you will and will not accept from others. They are the filters to stop people from infringing upon you with behaviour you feel is unacceptable.

In a sense, boundaries are used to set you apart from others and give you a unique identity. They help define who you are and who you are not. Often your values will play a role in defining your boundaries.

Some examples of boundaries

Emotional: not allowing someone to intimidate you with their anger or fear, not allowing anyone to hurt you intentionally.

Mental: not allowing someone to lie to you, not allowing someone to be passive/aggressive to you, not allowing people to use belittling and demeaning language to you or about you.

Spiritual/religious: not allowing someone to talk disparagingly about your beliefs, not allowing others to force their religious beliefs upon you

Creative: not allowing other people into your physical creative space such as a studio when you are focusing on your art.

Financial: not loaning money to friends and relatives, not borrowing money from friends and relatives, setting limits on the amount you charge on your credit cards.

Relationships: not gossiping,  not allowing others to gossip in your presence, not tolerating toxic relationships.

Boundaries help define who you are – and who you are not

Most of us have boundaries, and everyone’s boundaries will be different. This is part of what sets you apart from other people. By setting limits, you indicate to yourself and others what you stand for and who you are.

Big boundaries are good for your health

Think of it as a reserve of boundaries. When you have more space, you have more room to develop. When you have a larger boundary than you actually need, you have more room for choices.  Boundaries are essential to becoming a healthy adult.

Having boundaries allows you to use your energy the way you want to.

Boundaries become eventually become automatic

At some point your boundaries become automatic, requiring little to no attention on your part. They are a part of setting up your environment to serve you.

Even negative boundaries can become automatic, so the key is to be deliberate about establishing the boundaries you want and need.

Where to start

There are 5 steps to extending your boundaries and the first is to become aware of your boundaries.

This week’s worksheet for my e-zine Brain Food Friday readers walks you through Step One of the 5 Steps. If you want to receive access to my weekly worksheets, sign up to receive my weekly blog in your inbox by clicking on the round green “click here” button. You’ll start receiving Brain Food Friday in your inbox each Friday along with a link to that week’s worksheet.

Resilience is…

Resilience is …

You don’t need to be reminded that we’re now into our 14th month of a world-wide pandemic. We’re all experiencing it differently but the one thing that we all likely have in common is that we are tired of being on this Covid wheel of life without any real opportunity for renewal. I’m not a marathon runner by any means; but it seems to me that it’s like being on a marathon with a moving finish line. That in itself is an exhausting thought.

Leadership in challenging times

According to authors Bruce J. AvolioT, William L. Gardner in a paper entitled Authentic leadership development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership:

“Leadership has always been more difficult in challenging times, but the unique stressors facing organizations throughout the world today call for a renewed focus on what constitutes genuine leadership. Public, private, and even volunteer organizations are addressing challenges that run the gamut from ethical meltdowns to terrorism and SARS. What constitutes the normal range of functioning in these conditions is constantly shifting upwards as new challenges, technologies, market demands, and competition emerge. We suggest that such challenges have precipitated a renewed focus on restoring confidence, hope, and optimism; being able to rapidly bounce back from catastrophic events and display resiliency; helping people in their search for meaning and connection by fostering a new self-awareness; and genuinely relating to all stakeholders (associates, customers, suppliers, owners, and communities).”

Calm and Confident

This idea of bouncing back or as the authors state “rapidly bounce back” is part of the formula of resilience but the other important component is personal growth. According to the American Psychological Association, “As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.”

Back in another life, I used to ask myself “how much broader do my shoulders really need to be?” every time I encountered a tough time. What I didn’t realize is that I was making the connection between resilience and personal growth.

Very often, the difference between success and failure is resilience. The more resilient we are, the easier it is to navigate challenges confidently and emerge successfully on the other side.

More and more, resilience is a quality we will ALL need to cultivate. The world is changing quickly, and we are faced with more challenges than ever. If we can stay calm, confident, and flexible during tough times, we are more likely to thrive.

Reflection Questions:

What are some difficulties you are facing in your life right now?

How are you responding to these challenges?

How might you alter your response to be more calm, confident and resilient?



What Jazzes You?

What Jazzes You?

Did you know that April 30th is really International Jazz Day. This isn’t one of those made up international day of the whatever. It’s a real thing!

What does UNESCO have to do with it?

According to jazzday.com “In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.”

Jazz is probably one of the most misunderstood genres of music. Likely because it encompasses so many different styles of music. The beautiful thing about jazz is that it is a unifying form of music regardless of the style. How do I know? UNESCO said so!

Challenge #1: Step out of your comfort zone...

In celebration of International Jazz Day, I am challenging you to listen to a work of jazz that you’ve not listened to before. Perhaps, you may even challenge yourself further by listening to a work of jazz from another part of the world.

So why am I writing about this today? Besides the fact that I love many forms of jazz, it’s about feeling one with the world and stretching ourselves out of our comfort zone or perspective. I have a friend that has often said “I hate jazz.” Period – end of conversation. What he’s not done is taken any time to even explore what jazz is.

As a small step in your personal growth, I’m challenging you to step out of your comfort zone for a few minutes today to listen to something new.

The music field was the first to break down racial barriers, because in order to play together, you have to love the people you are playing with, and if you have any racial inhibitions, you wouldn't be able to do that.                 Oscar Peterson, Great Canadian Jazz Pianist

The music field was the first to break down racial barriers, because in order to play together, you have to love the people you are playing with, and if you have any racial inhibitions, you wouldn’t be able to do that.

Challenge #2: Answer this question...

Secondly, how about reflecting and asking yourself “What jazzes me?”

But wait... I have something new for you today!

Each week in this blog, there will be a personal reflection form related to the topic of the article. I hope you use the fillable pdf worksheets as a tool for reflection and growth. You can download it by clicking on the button just below here.

Work at Home or Live at Work

I’ll be brief in my remarks today but wanted to draw your attention to the great work that the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University (and their partners) is doing. Their latest report is entitled “Work at Home or Live at Work: The complexities of new working arrangements.”

This report focuses on the experience of working from home and workers who have had to continue going in to their place of employment. The report also focuses on the future or work now that alternative options have opened up. I encourage you to read through the report and would be interested to hear from you about your take away from the report. 

Before you go off to read the report, don’t forget that we are still offering our highly-validated “Working from Home” personalized assessment.

You will be redirected to the appropriate page on the Diversity Institute’s website.

The Working from Home Personalized Assessmenting

Get customized tips for Working from Home based on your unique behavioural style. 

This micro report is brief at 7 pages but very relevant to today’s working environment. 

The report will provide insight into:

  • Your primary communication style
  • Your remote working tips
  • How to best communicate with people whose primary communication styles fall into one of 8 categories.
It only takes 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire and your personalized report will arrive in your inbox instantly (so make sure you enter your correct email address when you sign on).

One more thing! Please share this link with your colleagues and friends. There is no obligation – this is our COVID gift to all.

Never Compromise Your Values

Never Compromise Your Values

YOU are your values. Values are the part  of you that IS you. Values are the ‘why’ of your   actions. 

Your values are your core...

They are the “why” of your actions. Orienting around your values   doesn’t require a great deal of effort, or even setting goals (though you’ll find when you set your   goals in alignment with your values, that you’ll achieve them easier and faster, which is a much higher experience of fulfillment).  

Think of values as how you live, when you are really living as you. For example, some people are natural explorers. They were at age 6, and at age 40 they are taking adventure trips. The person with the value of exploring doesn’t have to make themselves go  explore – they  just do it or more likely seek out opportunities for exploration. Values may be culturally-based or genetically-based, or a combination. The purpose of my comments today is not to explain where   values come from, rather to discuss how to orient around them so that  you experience greater Personal Freedom. 

Values run extremely deep within us...

In fact, they run so deep that sometimes they act more like   turtles, hiding  themselves whenever danger is sensed. Values are easily squashed by needs, shoulds, and problems because they represent Danger. But our values always remain at our core. 

Think for a moment about a time that someone said or did something that really upset you. There is a very big likelihood that those words or that action offended one of your core values. 

General truths about orienting around your values...

Orienting around  your values affords a greater sense of fulfillment – and even when you don’t quite make your goals, the experience you get from being values-based will, itself, bring fulfillment.  

The benefits of orienting around your values...

10 Life Lessons from a Stoic Master

10 Life Lessons from a Stoic Master

Why is it that we tend to put our own personal development on the back burner? The first thing that often comes up is “no time.” Is that true? Do you really acknowledge that it is true? Or, is it a default response? What would it take for you to change that and make yourself a priority?

Wisdom from Seneca

Seneca was a “Roman philosopher, statesman, orator, and tragedian. He was Rome’s leading intellectual figure in the mid-1st century CE and was virtual ruler with his friends of the Roman world between 54 and 62, during the first phase of the emperor Nero’s reign.” according to Britannica.com. Seneca was a stoic philosopher.

According to Wikipedia, “Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason (logos)”

Most of the time we are not living life but simply existing - allowing life to happen..

Watch this video ... for you!

I would encourage and challenge you to watch this 16-minute video entitled “10 Life Lessons from the Stoic Master Seneca.”

As much as I hate giving away the 10 lessons, here they are; but, you have to promise to watch the video!

The 10 Lessons

  • 1. Exercise Your Mind Daily
  • 2. Heal Yourself
  • 3. When Hungry Eat, When Tired Sleep
  • 4. Seek Your Own Applause
  • 5. Learn the Art of Contentment
  • 6. Live for Others
  • 7. Boldly Face the Struggles of Life
  • 8. Find an Anchor, Be an Anchor
  • 9. Don’t Just Live Long, Live Wide
  • 10. Create Your Own Philosophy

Once you’ve watched the video, I encourage you to reflect and choose one of the 10 lessons to focus on for your personal development. What will it take?