It Takes Guts…..

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising, which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To Map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I had the pleasure of hearing Gary Hoover speak to us NetworkInAustin.com yesterday on the 8 Keys To Building and Leading A Great Enterprise. Aside from the point that people are our greatest asset which I’m also learning a ton about while reading John Maxwell’s Developing The Leader Within, my other huge take away was to stay true to yourself and stand up for what you believe in. Below are my thoughts on this:

Many times we’re faced with situations that can cause us to consider compromising our values. Maybe your friends or family members are partaking in things you don’t approve of.Maybe you have been offered a job with a company you don’t respect…but you really need the job. Maybe your beliefs are in the minority…but you don’t want to become an outcast as a result. When confronted with these situations, it is sometimes difficult to listen to your “gut” or stand your ground.

Unfortunately, I’ve found that the more we compromise our values, the more of a negative impact it has on our mental wellbeing. And, the more we compromise our values, the more we continue to do so. I guess you could say it becomes an insidious cycle. On the other hand, when we stand up for what we believe in, the benefits can have a tremendously positive impact. Below are reasons to listen to that inner voice telling you what you should do:

  • You’ll Build Self-Confidence: When others dictate what we should think, feel and do, it eats away at our self-confidence. We begin to distrust our own instincts and lose the ability to decipher what we really believe versus what everyone wants us to believe. Although it may be difficult at first, the more we stand-up for ourselves, the more we build our self-confidence. It takes guts to express an unpopular viewpoint…it takes guts to say no when it is so much easier to say yes…and it takes guts to risk losing a job, friends or opportunities because someone won’t like our opinion. However, the more you tap into your “guts,” the easier it gets, and the more confident you’ll become.
  • You’ll Develop Self Worth: If we bow to others and their opinions, and do things their way, whether right or not, we start to lose our own identity and start to forget what it is we stand for. Also, the less you allow yourself to think freely and develop your own belief system, the more you become a follower without your own direction. On the other hand, the more authentic you are to your needs and viewpoints, the more you will understand your sense of self.
  • You’ll Develop Self-Respect: Would you respect someone who went against their own values because it was convenient or because it was more popular? Probably not. And, with good reason! Wishy washiness is far from admirable, or for that matter, respectable. Yet, if you encounter someone with a less popular opinion who stands their ground (assuming the opinion or belief is founded in ethical principles), you would most likely have great respect for them. Same goes for the way you perceive yourself. The more you stand up for your beliefs, the more self-respect you will develop. If you continually give in to what others want and compromise your own values in the process, you are going to lose respect for yourself, often without even realizing it.
  • You’ll Build Integrity: In a time when so many people are dishonest, do things to better themselves at the expense of others, and do what feels good in the moment without thinking about the consequences, integrity is a characteristic that is especially unique. Doing the right thing or standing up for your beliefs may not be easy, but when you do, you know that you’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror and feel good about yourself. You’ll know that you did the right thing and that you had integrity.
  • You’ll Learn Valuable Leadership Skills: As much as we like to believe that a hero (preferably a really handsome one on a white horse….sound familiar?!?) will swoop-in to defend our honor, it is extremely rare. Like as in, almost never happens, rare. There are two things to consider here: First, if YOU don’t stand up for yourself or your beliefs, then how can you expect others to? And second, the person who you should ALWAYS be able to count on to stand up for you – no matter what – is you. Most importantly the more you stand-up for your values, the less you will rely on others to validate them. It’s described best in the book Everyone Leads “Leadership requires a strong inner core. It is important for a leader to have a clear sense of the purpose and values that drive his or her decisions and actions.”

The truth is we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t make mistakes or give into what was easier every now and then, but learning from those mistakes and standing for what we believe in the vast majority of time is what is most important. How about you? Do you find this easy? Difficult? Do you avoid it?

“Character is doing the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay.” ~Michael Josephson

Appreciation Matters.

“The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.”~ Leo Buscaglia

I have to say that being in the business of serving others I am all too often surprised (and sometimes appalled) at how many people fail to show appreciation. For example, there have been a few times where I’ve gone out on a limb for someone by introducing them (per their request) to a connection of mine, only to have the person I’m connecting fail to say thank you or show any type of appreciation. It’s not so much that I NEED them to show their appreciation as it is that it makes me question the integrity of the person and whether or not making the connection was wise in the first place.

That said, I don’t think that the majority of people are not actually appreciative, perhaps they’re just busy, or distracted. And I will be the first to admit that I AM FAR, VERY VERY, FAR FROM PERFECT. I do know however that serving others has taught me a lot about what it means to be grateful and appreciative. So much so that I put the words “Thank you. I sincerely appreciate your help.” in the signature line of my email. If I’m writing someone where this statement does not apply (which is rare!) I simply remove it. It is there to serve as a reminder to me not to forget to show my appreciation for others. So that it’s not a rote response, and comes across as genuine (it is!) 9 times out of 10, I’ll add something in addition about why I’m thankful and how the encounter mattered to me.

I recently re-read Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People. One of the most important qualities he mentions in getting along with people is honest and sincere appreciation. This has proven to be quite true in reality for me, on both the giving and the receiving end. I have noticed people’s eagerness to help out when little things they do are remembered. I’ve also experienced first hand the devastatingly de-motivating effects when my efforts go unnoticed. I really try hard not to take this personally because I understand that it’s not so much about how others act -as it is how I react. Still, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit that this does sometimes bother me. Which was initially the reason for this post, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, while we can’t control others, living life from a place of gratitude and sincere appreciation is really the best gift you can give YOURSELF. In turn, it draws the very same type of person into your life. Plus, giving really is its own reward.

That said, I want to share WHY it’s important to pay close attention to showing appreciation and awareness to others: You see, when others feel (whether it’s true or not) that you don’t care about what they are doing, you are basically telling them that what they are doing doesn’t matter all that much to you. After all, if it did matter, you’d notice it, wouldn’t you? Since they are doing it, they obviously think it matters. Add in the fact that part of their existence is tied up in what they do, what else can they conclude but that you think they are not all that important.

However, when we acknowledge others contributions and appreciate them for their efforts, it sends a completely different message. It shows the person that what they are doing is so important that you remember every little detail. It affirms in their mind that what they are doing matters. That it matters to YOU. Not only that, if you are so excited about what they are doing, it must have similar effects on some other people too. After all, the best gift you can give others is to make them feel important. Deep down that’s really what we all want. Maya Angelo says it best: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The truth is, we all need to know that we’re important in other people’s lives. We all want to be noticed and valued. Appreciation is at the core of all healthy relationships. Yet, showing appreciation doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. While it can be grand, simplicity is perfect too. Here are a few ways I show appreciation:

  • Pick up the phone and call unexpectedly. It’s always nice to receive a phone call where the caller doesn’t want and/or need anything in particular. Only to let you know how great they think you are. I’ve actually started a practice that I shared with the ladies of AWN (which I’ll write more about later) where I map out my week ahead of time and make 3, five minute phone calls a day, just to let the person on the line know that I’m thinking of them. This works perfectly when driving to meetings and/or in the car after dropping the kids off at school. I can’t tell you the shock that often greets me on the other end of the line. Many times the person thinks I’ve landed on Mars. That or that I’m drunk dialing. It’s awesome! When is the last time that you called someone out of the blue just to let them know that you’re thinking of them and want to check in? Someone outside your immediate family? Time goes by faster than we think.
  • Send an email or a text congratulating them on something they’ve recently done. People appreciate that you notice them even if the thing they did felt fairly insignificant to them. The fact that you took notice just made it significant.
  • Food and/or drink. From time to time, I send my husband Tiff’s Treats to his office. Out of the blue, when he doesn’t expect that they’re coming. The best part is that I make sure to order enough for him to share his co-workers. As a result, he is able to show his gratitude for those at the office by sharing his special treat. It’s win win, really.
  • Listen. I know it may sound silly, but sometimes we just want to be heard. If someone shares a personal story with you, don’t interrupt. Do remember to ask questions to show you are really listening, just be sure they are appropriate to the relationship.

The bottom line is that appreciation feels good. It strengthens the bonds between people. Even the most accomplished people need and want recognition. Offering your praise and encouragement will motivate others to achieve. Wouldn’t it be great if we all felt appreciated everyday? I encourage you to commit to giving daily appreciation. In fact, I have a little challenge for you: For the next seven days start each day with seven pennies in your pocket. When you give someone praise or show your appreciation, move a penny to the other pocket. You can also use what ever productivity tool you fancy to track your progress. I use the task list in my iPhone. But pennies work great because they serve as a physical (and noisy!) reminder. The goal, of course, is to end each day with all pennies in your other pocket or all tasks checked off. My hope is at the end of the seven days, you’ll have developed a habit of appreciation.

Practicing this and making it a habit can and will change your life. For example, I promise you, this will work wonders if you’re married. One thing I like to do in my marriage is keep him guessing. This certainly does the trick. I can tell he sometimes wonders just what in the world has gotten into me. ;)

So…..go ahead and thank someone for something they’ve done for you. It costs you so little, but it will likely mean the world to the other person!

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.”~ Gerald Good

THANK YOU for reading here. Your support means more than you know. Britney


Doing Less. Being More.

“We are most productive when we focus on a very small number of projects on which we can devote a large amount of attention.” ~Albert Einstein

I read something this morning that really stuck me: “Perfection is the enemy of everything. We all want it. None of us will ever get it. Even though nobody in the world has ever achieved perfection in their craft, we still believe that it’s possible for us. Even if it were possible, it’s not preferable. Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he’s a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties.” LOVE IT! It’s such good, incredibly truthful advice….and yet so easy to forget, if we are not reminded.

I’ve recently been offered some amazing opportunities. And have unfortunately had to say no many of them. I’m not sure exactly what is going on here….is the Universe trying to tell me something? Teach me the power of saying no? The art of discernment? I’m not sure…I only know that the decisions have been hard. After all, I can be AND do all things, right?!? Sadly, the answer is a BIG FAT NO! I cannot. And neither can you. There is this myth floating around that we can do whatever we set our mind to. It’s like that commercial for women that tells us we need to go out get the bacon, bring it home, and fry it too. “The 24 hour woman.” It’s the myth that we can be all things to all people. This ideal that we can have it all.

The truth is that we can’t have it all. For me, I’ve found that “having it all” means having what it is that I desire-just not necessarily all of it, at the same time. Really, though this just means finding a handful of things that are important to me and focusing the majority of my attention on those. For example, I’ve been bombarded by requests and questions about why I’m not on Pinterest. I think (from what little I know) that Pinterest is great. But quite honestly, I do not have the time to devote to another “hobby” and even more importantly WHY on earth would I want to sign up for one more thing that leaves me feeling like “I’m not enough?” I’m not crafty enough, my kids birthday parties aren’t like so and so’s. And the list just goes on and on. This is my issue, obviously. But why take something on, just because “everyone else is doing it”? I’m not saying never to Pinterest, I’m just saying not now. And for those of you who are on Pinterest and love it, I think that’s great. I’m just sharing my personal story about trying to avoid the next “shiny” thing (distraction) that I’m told is destined to bring me closer to achieving my dreams.

I think too many people (myself included) make the mistake of adding to our plates with out stopping to remove something. It’s exactly like eating a meal. We can only put so much in before we start to feel sick, overwhelmed, and tired. We have to decide what we are going to put on our plate and what we are going to leave off. When we add something, it’s essential that we remove something. In order to make room. It sounds simple, yet so many of us fall into this trap time and time again , all the while asking “How DID I get myself into this?!?!”

I’ve recently decided to start doing less. While BEING more. You see, I’ve learned that my daily incessant busyness — too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and tick off items on my to-do list by each day’s end — seems to decide the direction and quality of existence for me. But if I approach my day (and ultimately my life) in a different way, I can consciously change this out-of-control pattern. It only requires the courage to do less.

This may sound easy, but doing less can actually be very hard. Too often we mistakenly believe that doing less makes us lazy and results in a lack of productivity. Instead, doing less actually helps us savor all that we do accomplish. In time and with practice, we learn to do less of what is extraneous, and engage in fewer self-defeating behaviors, so we craft a productive life that we truly feel good about.

I believe that if we can fully own the notion that “we are great, just as we are.” And really let it seep into our mind and body, into our bones, it will make all the difference. We are each born with all the wisdom and imagination we need; we just sometimes need help and a reminder to return to our senses and get out of our own way. Sometimes we just need to let it sink in that nothing extra is required.

The truth is you have everything you need; just let go of whatever distractions, fears, and busyness might be hampering you. It really is that simple. Allow yourself to think and feel and live that way. Acting from this place results in greater composure, and when we act with composure, we are more effective. Now, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t lessons we need to learn and areas that we need to grow. It just means that we already have what we need inside of us. The answers are inside. Sometimes, it just takes the courage to realize this.

We know deep down that every life has great meaning, but the meaning of our own can often be obscured by the fog of constant activity and bad habits. By recognizing and changing these beliefs and behaviors, and we can once again savor the ways we contribute to the workplace, enjoy the sweetness of our lives, and share openly and generously with the ones we love. Less busyness leads to appreciating how sacred (and truly short!) life is.

It’s strange but for me doing less has lead to more love, more effectiveness and internal calmness, and a greater ability to accomplish more of what matters most — to me, and by extension to others and the world.

I encourage you to take a look at your schedule, your calendar, and really evaluate how much the things on there mean to you. How important are they? Are they allowing you to live the life you deserve? Do they bring you joy? Or do you just do them because you feel you have to? It’s what you’ve always done. Have these things (tasks) become so routine you rarely notice anymore? I challenge you to take a look. Start doing less. It will allow you to be so much more.

“The way you create any outcome in your life is to hold the vision of your deepest desires. At the same time, though, you must honestly and accurately assess your current situation and how it relates to your greater vision. By doing this, you engage tension between what is and what can be. This tension is the primary creative force behind the manifestation of any outcome. It’s as natural and powerful as the force of gravity”.~ David Emerald

Boundaries + Accountability. Part 2.

“There are countless ways of attaining greatness, but any road to reaching one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity.” – Buck Rodgers

Since my last post was about setting and sticking to boundaries and mainly re-enforced the lesson that boundaries start with YOU, I thought I’d write about the other side of the coin. The one no one wants to talk about, the one that is really uncomfortable for most of us, the one that we often avoid at all costs…..that is….holding others accountable.

Recently, I had a conversation with several friends about this topic, as I was experiencing the need to hold others accountable first hand. You see, I noticed that there were a fair amount of “no shows” at the AWN monthly luncheon. Two months in a row. Now, I’ve been planning and running events for a while and I know that this comes with the territory. Life happens, people RSVP, and then plans change.  Still, because for the last two months the luncheon has been full with a waiting list and because I intend to create an organization where there is a sense of value, community and respect, I felt that I needed to address the issue. After discussing it with a few friends who warned me to tread carefully, saying “Be prepared to seem like a bitch.” and “It’s like the teacher addressing the whole class when only a few have messed up.” I gave it some thought. And decided to address it anyway.

You see, part of my “message” is to create a sense of empowerment among women. To inspire others to be more of who they are. And I thought, “If I’m not willing to stand up for myself and my beliefs, then how can I expect others to?” So address it, I did. The results have been great. I’ve received a handful of emails about it, some of them apologies. But my intention here was certainly not to make others feel bad or called out. It was to let the group as a whole know that others are counting on them. That we’re in this together and most importantly that we should treat each other with the same respect that we would want to be given. Long story short, after I addressed the issue, I felt better. I felt better because I knew that I stood up for myself and what I believe in. I knew that I was on the road to creating an environment that aligns with my vision.

What is really interesting, is that I’ve learned (over the last 9 months or so) that the more willing I am to stand up for myself and what I believe, the more people like and respect me. And the ones who don’t, well they’ve sort of disapeared. It has been an eye opening experience, really. It goes against everything that I once believed. I used to think that if I demanded what I (really) expected that I’d be seen as a bitchy, demanding, control freak. Now, I just realize that it’s ok, if that’s what people think of me. Why? Because those are not the people I want (or need) to surround myself with. The ideal person is someone who can readily admit when they mess up and who are willing to hold themselves accountable. You see, it’s as much about drawing the right people in, as it is about keeping the wrong ones out.

So…. why don’t we hold others accountable? Why is it so hard for us? And what reasons (excuses!) are we telling ourselves about it? What assumptions are we making? Below are the (limiting) beliefs I believe hold us back:

  1. “This Too Shall Pass.” The “wait and hope” syndrome assumes that others “negative behavior” will improve on its own over time. “They’ll learn,” we say in the (often futile) hope that we’lll never actually need to have a conversation about meeting commitments. Or, we assume that people know what they should be doing, and that this was simply a blip on the radar screen. “I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this time,” we say. Problem is, “this time” often turns into “next time” followed by “What? It happened AGAIN?”
  2. “It Will Turn Into an Argument.” Even if the other person is not ill-intended, it’s a safe bet that he or she will likely have a different point of view. Usually we avoid addressing the issue because we are certain that these types of uncomfortable conversations will turn into arguments. So we rationalize that it’s better to let it go and avoid the conflict. But while it may be easier in the short term to ‘just let it go,’ in the long run we often find that the situation has snowballed into a problem that is vastly more difficult to deal with.
  3.  “I Made My Expectations Clear (I Think . . .)” One reason we avoid holding others accountable is that, actually, we have not set clear expectations. We think we have. We hoped we have. But in reality, we have not asked for or specified the action we want others to take. Or not take. We have to be able to specifically measure the action. For example, if we want someone to stop showing up late, we need to be (very) specific with what time they are expected and then hold them accountable to that specific time.
  4. “It’s Easier If I Just Do It Myself.” Oh, how we as women, tell ourselves this one! I cannot count how many times I’ve heard women say “If I want it done right, I should just do it myself!” No. No. NO! I often hear this in terms of  husbands helping around the house or in regards to child related duties. I learned a long, long time ago that this way of thinking will never work.  It leaves everyone involved resentful and frustrated. Especially men. And if you haven’t noticed by now, they are very ineffective at mind reading. We must be VERY clear in our expectations. We must be able to delegate. Just remember, doing it yourself may seem like a good idea when you’re making the call, but few myths are as wrong as this one. When you don’t hold others accountable and you take on the work yourself, you become complicit in the cycle of “poor performance” and lack of accountability. If you do not break this negative cycle, you will always have to do it yourself because you’ve missed a teachable moment. And an opportunity to set expectations.

Now, that we know some of the beliefs that are holding us back, we have to decide what we’re willing to do about it. This is the time where we have to hold ourselves accountable for holding others accountable. We must be willing to rise above circumstances and do whatever it takes to achieve our objectives. We have to be proactive. It’s important to recognize problems and solve them in responsible, intelligent ways. It doesn’t matter where the problem comes from. It might be yours or it might be theirs. Fault is irrelevant here. The crucial question is, “What are you going to do about it?”

If I know one thing for sure it’s this, it will be uncomfortable. Taking action here is not fun, it will not make you feel all rosy inside, at least in the short term. It goes against so much of what we believe to be true. But being accountable ourselves (by holding others accountable) is one of the fastest ways to earn respect and trust. More importantly, it puts you in control of your life. Responding to, versus ignoring or putting off, life’s challenges gives us the power to change things. That’s the biggest benefit of all.

P.S. Don’t expect to eliminate excuse making and lack of accountability altogether. It’s just human nature and we can’t change the fact that we’re all imperfect. However, you can create an environment that enables those around you to operate at a higher level of responsibility. It all starts with you!

On Boundaries…..

“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” – Barbara De Angelis

Everyday over in the Austin Women’s Network Facebook Group I ask a QOTD (question of the day), sometimes they are silly, sometimes informative, but in general the purpose is to get to know each other better and share information. The other day in preparation for this post I asked a question about expectations regarding returning (non-urgent) email. I asked about the timing and if one expects a response (or does respond) on weekends. I was admittedly a little shocked by the answers I received.

I asked this question specifically because I was preparing to write this post on how I was struggling with setting (and sticking to) boundaries. You see, I work from home. Working from home is both a (HUGE!) blessing and a curse. I learned a long time ago that in order to be successful at it – it’s very important that you set (and stick!) to a very clear set of boundaries. In the work from home world, the line between business and personal time can become very blurred, if you are not careful. For me, it’s so easy (and tempting) to answer just one more email or work on “just one more thing” even though my work hours are clearly over. It’s especially hard because I love what I do. Yet, every time I fall back into this trap I wind up feeling drained and overwhelmed. And this is no ones fault but my own. Why? Because I failed to stick to the boundaries I set.

For me, some of the boundaries that I’ve set (because I know ME!) include putting my iPhone (upstairs) on the charger after 3pm when my kids are home from school. This way I’m not tempted to answer calls, check my voicemail, email accounts, Facebook or Twitter…and the list goes on and on. And on. It allows me to separate my work life from my home life and stay focused on the task at hand. Another thing I did, much like one would do if they went to the office everyday is to establish very specific work hours. Now, I am working on sticking to them and holding myself accountable.

What surprised me most, though, is how many women responded that they do respond to work email on evenings and weekends. Which led me to wonder…is there something wrong with me that I don’t want to be “on” all of the time? Are we getting away from what it means to create healthy boundaries around our professional and personal lives? Are we truly becoming a 24/7 society, where this is the norm? While, I don’t have all of the answers to these questions, I do know what does and does not work for my family and my sanity. For me, it all comes down to, again, setting and sticking to boundaries.

Now, allow me explain what I believe and why:

Setting boundaries can make an enormous impact on the quality of our lives. It is a major step in taking control of our lives and vital for taking responsibility for ourselves. It’s the one skill that we most need to develop in order to create the kind of life we really want. However, it’s often the area where many people seem to struggle the most.

Setting strong boundaries is so important because it will allow you to stand up for yourself, stop agreeing to do things you really don’t want to do, and start feeling less guilty about putting your own needs first. It’s a part of the process of defining yourself and what is acceptable to you. When you don’t have clear boundaries set other people will cross the line without even realizing where it is.

Setting boundaries is not about getting other people to change (even though at first, it may seem that way). It’s really about deciding what you will and won’t tolerate any longer in your life, and then communicating this firmly and consistently whenever you need to. Boundaries are essential to becoming a healthy adult and balancing your work and personal life effectively. They very clearly demonstrate your commitment to self-respect.

Here is what (I learned) works for me in my journey to maintain healthy boundaries:

  • Regularly checking my “gas tank.” And always knowing where my fuel (energy) level is at. Think about how you feel when you’re energy is running low. How does this feel in your body? How does it feel in your mind? Now think about this list of feelings and sensations you’ve made, and imagine that your body is like a car, with a dashboard full of warning lights. Listen. Pay close attention. And course correct, when necessary.
  • Fill in the blanks. Unless YOU are aware of (and can clearly define) what you will and will not tolerate, others won’t know either. Practice by completing these statements: People may not ___________.  I have a right to ask for ____________. To protect my time and energy, it’s OK to _________________.
  • Work on developing a thicker skin. Meaning stop taking things personally. If someone offends you, before you get upset, ask yourself: How much of this is true about me? How much of this is about them? What do I need to do (if anything) to regain my power or stand up for myself?
  •  Be Assertive. Of course, we know that it’s not enough to create boundaries; we actually have to follow through. Right?!? Even though we know intellectually that people aren’t mind readers, we still expect others to know what hurts, offends or bothers us. But since they don’t, it’s important to be assertive in communicating with others when they’ve crossed a boundary. This will be tough at first. Especially if/when setting and sticking to boundaries is new to us. No worries, though, practice makes perfect!
  • Ditch the guilt! Oh the guilt. This one is especially hard for women, I think. You have to be ready to make tough choices to change your lifestyle. You will feel guilty by making yourself a priority and letting go (or putting off) things that aren’t. To overcome guilt, face it head on. I say, view it as a sign that you are on the right track. :)

One thing you must not forget is that it alway, always, always starts with you. You hold the power. No one else. BUT YOU. Teach people how to treat you and what you stand for. And always believe them when they show you who they are. The sooner, the better. :)

So….how about you? What are your thoughts on boundaries? I’d love to hear them!

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” – Sonya Friedman