Are you feeling off-kilter and don’t know why? Is it occurring more frequently? I know that’s what many of my clients are complaining about. And in my experience, I’m willing to bet it has something to do with boundaries, either too constricting or ones disregarded.
Both corporate and personal boundaries provide a quality of life that is essential for production and enjoyment. Not only do companies thrive when they have healthy boundaries, but their employees are more satisfied when they establish ones for themselves as well.
WORK BOUNDARIES: When healthy boundaries are in place, employees understand their job responsibilities, including how the organization measures future success. They further set the stage for respect, allowing their workforce to speak freely, uncover creative ideas, and become solution-oriented. Such a commitment leads to an engaged workforce, which is fundamental to corporate profitability. Conversely, unhealthy boundary drift is the result of undefined business expectations. Without real-time, open-ended interactions, your company experiences a litany of breakdowns, including poor relationships, lack of strategic clarity, missed deadlines, unreasonable requests, and turf wars.
PERSONAL BOUNDARIES: Equally damaging to you is when your individual boundaries have too much give and not enough tensile strength to support your priorities. If you’re not thriving, you may want to check how many boundaries others are overrunning, leaving you stuck with everyone else’s priorities but your own. Without your boundaries being intact, you’ll end up feeling overstressed, disrespected, undervalued, and with little to no work/life balance wondering why you’re so tired and underwhelmed with life.
Boundaries can be tricky. Held overly tight, they become a jail cell imprisoning you. Held too loosely every project—no matter the scope—and everyone else’s priorities own you. And it’s equally important to remember that authentic boundaries don’t stay stuck on what served you and your company but no longer do. Ask yourself as you grow, “Is it time to expand my boundaries?”
If you want a life worth living—and I can’t imagine anyone not longing for that—then connecting with work and personal boundaries is imperative.
The reality is that you determine the boundaries in your world. Yes, even your corporate environment! After all, you choose which employment offer you accept. I hope you realize that part of the decision equation when interviewing for a position or being offered a promotion has to be boundaries. Does the culture work for you is the first question you should be asking yourself? Money and position may be a driver for you, and it’s such a narrow view of a career. The culture is fundamental to the quality of your career experience every minute, hour, day, and week.
You also the determiner of your personal that you create through the boundaries generated. Are they developing the life you wish for yourself? If not, what do you intend to do about it?
P.S. Are you perhaps considering that work boundaries rarely change? What about all those companies out there that wouldn’t even consider remote work, and then Covid came along, closing down office buildings around the country? Now remote work is favored by companies and their employees.
P.S.S. What popped into your head about your boundary drift? Don’t push it aside. Bring it to life. Is it a dance class that sparks your interest, but you say you don’t have enough time? Or a book club or the gym? The reality is if you have a longing, you’ll discover by taking the initiative instead of reducing your time…it is an expander due to the happiness factor in action.
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