Giving is great, but giving with clear boundaries that feel good to you AND the people you're helping is SO. MUCH. BETTER. This week on the podcast we're talking about which boundaries to set as a giver, how you might think about boundaries in a way that's more flexible (and less rule-y), and - most importantly - how to make them stick because having boundaries is great, but actually USING them is life changing. Ready to give big AND have boundaries you feel good about? Let's talk about it.
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Welcome to uncomplicated business for teachers helpers and givers. I am Sara Torpey, I am so glad you're here. And today we're going to keep talking about boundaries and what it means to have boundaries as a giver. So over the last couple of weeks of the podcast, we've talked about over giving, how to decide when and what to give, when you know, you're sort of out of sync with what you want to give when you're giving too much when you're feeling burned out and frustrated. We've talked about the sort of core beliefs around giving and receiving that that are really helpful to set into place to allow you to actually have some boundaries, and then how to set some boundaries around giving and receiving so that you can actually, you know, like, have sleep, too.
This week, we are going to talk about what happens when your boundaries don't work. Because here's the thing, you and I both know that you can set the boundaries, and sometimes you are going to toss them out the window faster than you can blink, we are givers, you are a giver, I'm a giver. This is the thing, sometimes we just can't help it. And it's like, oh man, I did it again. But it is a reflex to over give. So this week, we are going to talk about what happens when we do one of two things in boundaries forgiving, you know, we know what we want to give and what we feel comfortable with. We know sort of where the line is, right? This is an experimental kind of thing. And we know what we want to charge and get for free versus not free. We know all of this.
But here's what's going to happen. Sometimes the one thing that happens is that we have a boundary and we either totally ignore it, or we basically set it on fire and we're like, never mind, I'm just gonna give everything it's going to be great. That's fine, that's going to happen. The other thing that happens, and I think we forget that this is kind of in the same vein, because it feels a little different is that you have a boundary and you are holding it, but you are either angry or uncomfortable with the boundary. So it is feeling constraining in a way that you don't feel good about. And you're like scoochie about it, you're like, Ah, this doesn't feel right. And so what happens then is we tossed the boundary. Well, here's the thing. First of all, both of these things, a that you're going to sail over a boundary or B, you're going to feel really constrained in some way that makes you uncomfortable are going to happen, particularly when you're in the process of setting a new boundary. Like they're inevitable. It's like falling off a bike, when you learn to ride a bike like nobody gets on a bike the first time and just does it perfectly. Like this is not how it works; if it was no kids would have skinned knees, or I wouldn't have a scar under my chin or whatever. But this is normal. So what you don't need to do when you're like, oh my god, I have the boundary again, is feel like a terrible person. What you don't need to do when you're feeling constrained is be like, you know what, boundaries don't work for me, I don't know how to do this. You don't need to freak out, you don't need to make it a problem. Because it's not a problem. It's normal. It's just like falling off the bike. Right?
So the thing that it comes to is, like you at this point have logically worked through this, this process of setting a boundary, you've decided what you are over giving, you've sort of evaluated where you are in terms of what's too much what's not too much where you feel good about, you've sat down and thought about your beliefs, you've sat down and set this boundary. And it is important as a business owner, as a human, as a parent, as a spouse as a whatever, to respect that you sort of really thought this through and to stick with our decisions, right? I don't want you to make a commitment to something and then just be like boop, tossing it out the window. But I also think it's important to remember that decisions are not forever. Like when I can remember trying to decide who we choose as a pediatrician for my firstborn before we had her because that's what they tell you to do. Right? They tell you to go interview pediatrician. So we did this because we are diligent, and I was like all all upset about it and trying to figure it out and trying to make the right decision. And I had a friend say to me like you're not signing in blood. It's not forever if you don't like them, you can change and I was like, what? Oh, oh. So these boundaries are the same. We are not signing in blood. We are making a commitment. Yes, we are trying to do it in full faith. Yes, we are trying to hold it for long enough to give us some data about how it's working. Yes. But is it forever? No. In we humans tend to be very black and white about things like this. It's like I decided this is a boundary and therefore now it is a boundary from now until the end of time. That's not how this works. Anything works. So we then when we burn down the boundary, when we jump in, when we're feeling really constrained by it, our job is to notice that and be like, what's going on here? And then to take a beat to evaluate, this is the trick. It's not even really tricky. Like, you're like, this is the trick like this is this is the trick. I know, I know. But here's the thing, we have to give ourselves a minute to look at the data about what's going on with the boundary so that we can make a intentional and informed an active decision, rather than a passive one, rather than an unintentional one. Rather than just like, Okay, I'm just gonna go burn myself out. We would rather be participants in the process. It's important.
So how do you evaluate a boundary? Well, here's the thing. What you have to do note, what you have to do first is notice that it needs some sort of tweaking, right? When you're feeling really uncomfortable about it, when you find that you're ignoring it a lot when you are feeling really guilty, because you have to, when you're just not feeling good about it. You get to sit down and be like, okay, wait, what's going on here? And so you know what I do when I'm feeling like this, as I write out in my journal, so this is like a, it's really useful to pen to paper for this. I know, I know. It's really useful, though. And I do, I asked myself, I have five questions written down. The first one is what is the boundary I'm trying to evaluate? Because I think sometimes we're like, I'm not feeling good about this boundary. And we're like, well, actually, wait, what am I? What was I trying to do here? So what's the actual boundary and question like, What is the line you drew, that you need to decide make a decision about? The second is, why did you set that boundary in the first place? Like you drew this line, because because I think sometimes going like, I drew this boundary to try to protect my time and energy. I drew this boundary, to make sure people are valuing my time and Andry energy as much as I do. I drew this boundary, because remembering why we did it to start with is like, Oh, okay. Okay. So it's like, what was the boundary? Why did you set it? And then the next question is, what's working? So like, in what way? Is that boundary working for you right now? Because there are ways no matter what's going on with it, no matter how imperfect it is, it's like, well, I'm aware of it. Right? I've had clients say that to me. And they're like, Well, I drew this boundary, and I'm not using it, but I know it's there. Okay, that's progress. That's, that's important. So what's working with it? Because maybe you're applying it sometimes and not others. But the applying it sometimes is a win. So like, it doesn't have to be perfect to be working. Right. That's not again, or anything works. That's the theme of the podcast today. This, the next question is what's challenging about it? So like, you're evaluating because you're feeling like something's going wrong, like what's challenging, like, what's been hard about this boundary? It could be that you're feeling really constrained by it. Like somebody recently suggested to me, I do a lot of live free kinds of video and training in my group. And somebody recently suggested to me, they were like, well, but you could do those webinars, publicly in in some other form, and you hear people to pay for them. And I was like, yuck. And I was like, Well, yeah, we could do that. And we talked about it. And afterwards, I was like, you, you and I had to sit down and think like, oh, gosh, why did I have such a reaction to that? Like, what's challenging about that, for me is I just don't want to hide that stuff behind a paywall. I don't feel like it's, I just don't like it. I don't like it.
So So for me, it was uncomfortable, because, like, it just was feeling constrained. I don't like the constraint of that, like, I don't like other people, be the rules. And sometimes I have to roll with like, what I feel really good about. So I feel really good about giving away a lot of stuff for free, particularly trainings in my group and planning and all that kind of stuff. We're doing planning this week in my group, it's my favorite thing to do this year. I give away lots of stuff. And yeah, I feel really good about it when people pay for it, probably. But, but, but then it's not as fun and so for me, like that's a constraint and I don't want to fight it. So it's what was the boundary? Why did you set it? What's working about it? it what's challenging? And once you know all of that, you get to sit back and go like, Okay, wait, how do I want to adjust? It is entirely possible that you look at it and you're like, Oh, well, this is actually going better than I planned. Maybe I don't need to adjust after all. Or you look at it, and you think, like, Okay, I see a pattern here. When I interact with this kind of people, in this part of my business, I tend not to hold this boundary. So maybe I need something different for this kind of case. Or maybe it's like, Hmm, maybe this boundary was too tight.
Maybe there's, it's like, maybe if you have people paying for initial calls, and it's making you really uncomfortable, maybe you do a free half hour. Or maybe if you're doing a free half hour, and you find that every single time they go an hour, maybe you just make them an hour. Like maybe you just own that that's the time they take for me like I have friends that will be like, Well, I do 20 minute consults, and I'm like, Oh, my God, I don't want to do anything in 20 minutes, I want it to be an hour, I want it to have space, I want us to be able to laugh and talk about things that aren't related. And like really get to know people. So I don't want to be constrained in that way. But also, if they go to 90 minutes, it's too far, most of the time. So I don't like that either. So it's you know, you get to have the power here, you set the boundary to start with, you're trying to give yourself some peace of mind, because you know, you're giving too far. But at the same time, you have to live in and with the boundaries are setting. So if it's like too far, this boundary is too tight, then loosen it. Or if it's like, Whoo, I'm not even using that one, it's so loose, well then tight knit, you get to decide, you get to choose to change it 5% or 50%, or 95%. All of that is up to you. And none of it can't change again, tomorrow, my first year of business as a coach, I honest to god, I think I gave every single person I talked to a different price. Like for an entire year, I don't think I once gave me maybe I gave the same price in a row once or twice. But I really just generally looked at the person, it was like, here's what I'm going to charge. And sometimes it was more and sometimes it was less, and it was all over the place. And eventually, I had to put some boundaries in for how I was charging because I was too much in the feelings about it. And it was making me really inconsistent. But I also like still give myself the latitude to adjust for people if I want to and need to. So that's fine. Here's the thing. Ultimately, the idea is that we're evaluating because we know something isn't quite right. And we'd rather evaluate than a toss the boundary and go back to being burned out and be feel bad about not holding our boundary because we don't create boundaries to give ourselves shit. Like the point of a boundary is not so that you can feel bad about it. Like it's not a stick to beat yourself with. That's not the point, it's supposed to give you space, not take your energy. So if what you're doing is walking around feeling bad about your boundary, and about how you're not using it, then it is time to evaluate it and adjust it. You don't need to walk around just feeling bad about it. That's not the point.
So evaluation is the key here. And you have options for how you do this, you can totally be like, I noticed that I'm feeling really weird about this, I'm going to do an evaluation, you can do it on like an as needed ad hoc, do what you got to do kind of basis. But the key there is that we have to notice. And sometimes when we're new at this boundary thing we don't notice, we don't notice until we're like crying in the corner about it or when we just haven't used it for a month, we don't notice. So what I would encourage you to do is actually schedule this in. So put 15 minutes in your calendar, and just write a note that says evaluate new boundaries. And then it's like sit down for 15 minutes with your notebook, you have 15 minutes. Because if the whole point of the boundary is saving you time and energy, it's helping you give an inline up what you're giving and receiving more accurately, then you definitely have 15 minutes to save yourself time later to give yourself back energy to to create more money and flow in your business like all of this as a part of this. So it could be you do it once a week. It could be you do it twice a week depends on the boundary you're setting. It could be I think once a month is not enough, personally, because it's so like so far between instances at that point it's really hard to say but like schedule it, schedule it until it becomes a habit it or until you do evaluations like two or three in a row where you're like, you know what this is really working. I don't think I'd change anything. And then you're like, oh, actually, this is really working. I don't think I change anything and you could stop evaluating it for a while. That's fine. Either way. What we want to do here with these boundaries is normalize them as things were gonna mess up, right, like even pro cyclists fall off bikes, like even artists make mistakes in their painting. Even novelists have errors, they have copywriters, they have proofreaders, like, nobody's perfect, nobody's gonna get it right out of the gate. And boundaries are a tricky thing for human brains. So we're obviously not going to do this perfectly. You are not I am not no one is the way we get better at it, is by really messing them up, and then evaluating and messing it up a little less, and then evaluating and messing it up a little less than evaluating and doing it again, this is the process. You know, the idea here, when I was writing out the notes for this episode, you know, what occurred to me is, this is sort of like, as the meditation folks say, you know, the most important moment is the moment where you begin again, it's the next moment. So the noticing is the key, and then restarting and jumping in and going like, Alright, let me try this again. That's the key to this, if you are trying to get less burned out more in line with your giving and receiving, it's like, okay, I noticed I got really out of line, I'm not going to make myself feel bad about it. I'm going to check in, see where I am, decide if I need to adjust. And then I'm going to start again, this is the key. So hopefully, you're feeling a little better about boundaries. But if you still have things that you're thinking through, or you need help with the implementation, because this is the trick to it, coaching is where we implement. It really is it is the key to all of this is, you know, the weekly in and out accountability of coaching to be able to say like this is what I'm working on. This is how it went to have someone asked you really good questions to have someone stand at the center and be like, is that what you were really trying to accomplish here when your brain is like, terrible boundary, I'm scared. So that's what we do in coaching.
It's a part of the process. And at the same time, we we fix the systems and the money and the mindset, and we do all the things. But this is a part of it. And we can do this together. The second thing is, if you are planning for the new year, and you are not in my Facebook group, it's called uncomplicated business for teachers helpers and givers just like this is we started the planning event yesterday, and it continues on tomorrow and Thursday, you should come in lives are there you can come back to them. There's worksheets and prizes and all the things and you don't want to miss out this is the best time of the year. We make planning simple because I am not a believer in complicated. It's just doesn't have to be as hard. It's not going to take you all billion spreadsheets or a billion hours to do this planning. It's really going to be simple. And that's the whole point.
So come into the group. And if you have a question, send me an email. It's Sara Torpey coaching or come into my Facebook group and ask a question. Go to my LinkedIn and send me a message come into Facebook Messenger find whatever way makes you happy. Come to tick tock, message me there, whatever. Do what makes you happy but reach out. Because ultimately the only person who can take the first step and asking for help is you as much as I want to do it for you. You are the one and I have faith in you do get what you need. That's your job. And until then, I will the podcast is going to be on a little bit of a vacation for the next couple of weeks with the holidays coming from here. I will see you all in New Year. Happy Holidays and I'll see you in 2023