Ep146 Creating and Respecting Your Own Boundaries
You have so many people relying on you. Your future self, your family, your team - you're pulled in a million different directions trying to exceed everyone's expectations... but the person who is most important to look after is obviously you.
Without taking care of yourself, you have nothing to give all those who are relying on you. Then, why is it so hard? That's what I'm talking about in this weeks podcast.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Why it's important to say no in order to grow;
- If you don't respect your own boundaries, how do you expect others to?; and
- How to recharge your battery and fill up your cup, so that you can serve people the way you want to.
The Brooke Castillo Podcast I spoke about: https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/
I spend every morning repeating my affirmations back to myself. It is such a great habit to follow to realign with your goals & boundaries everyday. Listen to my Affirmations Podcast to get an idea of what your affirmations can be: www.tinatower.com/110
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Hi friend, welcome to Episode 146 of Her Empire Builder Podcast. So, as I am recording this, it is a Sunday afternoon, and I am sitting in my office, I have a beautiful glass of gin and tonic and a little bit of bitters in there, it's got some lime, it's got some strawberries. I've gone boujee with my afternoon delight. And I've been thinking a lot about boundaries this week. Actually, I think a lot about boundaries all the time. It's a constant work in progress. And so I wanted to record this episode for you. So that because you know what, everybody is thinking about boundaries, I bet you hit play on this episode. And you're like boundaries? Yes. How do I have these? So, I'm realising I need to start saying no to more things in order to keep growing my business, as I'm just way out of time. Right. If you were in a room with me now and everybody else who was listening, and I said, like, hands up, who feels like they've got more ideas and more things to do than time available? Like, you know, arms up? Yes. And it's perpetual. And it's a shame that it's so perpetual. And I have really been leaning into what would life look like if that was not a problem?
How do you start saying no, and letting go of things without feeling guilty? Without feeling like you're leaving people behind? And I've always been prone to saying yes, for other people. And I realised that it's the very thing that will stop me from being able to serve and help people. And I'm always stuck in the grey, you know, like, you know, in your business, it's not black and white, people can say it's black and white with going you know, this is what I offer, this is where the lines are. There's nothing black and white, it's that old, give an inch, and they'll take a mile, like there's a lot of grey in between. I am often stuck in that grey, because I don't want to come off like an asshole. And I'm sure you feel the same. I don't want people to think that I'm not available to them. But there's only so much of you to go around. And I know that it's an issue that every single woman I know experiences. So why don't we all cut each other some slack and have more grace for ourselves, when we need to say no to something that we either cannot or do not want to do.
So to perform well in business, you need an abundance of energy in the right place to the right things, maintaining energy, and stamina, and motivation and focus. Those are the things that will propel you forward. But maintaining that, and essentially blocking people out so that you can serve them feels so counterintuitive, but it's essential.
Hello, I'm Tina Tower, and you're listening to Her Empire Builder. For my first decade of business, I thought grinding and hustling and working harder than everyone else was my path to success. It was pretty successful by a lot of measures, but it led to burnout and adrenal fatigue. Then when I travelled around the world on my family gap year, I discovered the simplicity and the reach of online business. And I completely fell in love. You have so much knowledge and expertise that's within, and I want to help you to package that. So you can also help to lift others up. So how do you build a thriving million dollar business based on everything that's in your mind, this is Her Empire Builder, the podcast.
The only way to serve people at the best of our ability is to maintain our own energy, so that we're available to give the best to them. Now, we know that that's a constant work in progress. And so today, I want you to kind of feel into that as you're listening to this episode with what feels aligned to you with what doesn't feel aligned to you. Because I know with myself when I listen to other people talk about boundaries. There's different things that I'll feel really triggered by it and go oh, oh. And that's sometimes the thing that you've got to feel into, to kind of figure out where is your line going to be for now. And so one of the main things that when I was really putting formal boundaries in place and this for me, the way that I do it, like yes, there's some things that are informal that are kind of flexible that you're like yeah, no, I'm good for this. But especially with my EA, we have a set of rules, where I say these are the things that I say yes to. These are the things that I say like a hard no to that don't even come to my eyeballs. And these are the things that let's just check before we say yes or no. One of the hardest parts is not being bendy on the boundaries is when I create those rules to actually stick with them. One of the things I spoke about this very briefly in last week's episode was at the beginning of this year, we knew that I needed more creative time, I was spending way too much time on the phone on zoom with one on ones. And as much as you know, I love to serve people. I love the game of business. But I am an introvert at heart. So you know, when you focus on what gives you energy and not deplete it, there's a certain level and I figured out it's about 10 to 15 hours a week on zoom. If I go over that, my energy starts getting super depleted until that point I can give everyone that I'm serving like everything I've got, I get off every call and I'm like I did well. I gave them some really great insights, I gave them some really great tips like I was 100% present, I was totally there for them thinking about nothing else like it was all there. Past that I start thinking like I've got a slight headache, I'm a little bit tired. There's different things that come into it, that I go, I am no longer giving 100% of me. And I never want to feel like that. I want to make sure that when I'm serving someone, I'm 100% committed to them in that moment. So, at the beginning of the year, we made these rules to go, Okay, I'm only available for calls Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday through Sunday, I am off no emails, no calls, no nothing. I can work if I feel called to it. If I don't, I can rest and recover. And there's going to be a limit of that 10 to 15 hours a week of the face time. Yeah, that didn't work. Because opportunities would come in. And I would be like, Oh, I don't want to say no to that. Yes, yes, I can do that. Let's just slot that in on a Thursday and Jarrah, my beautiful EA, would say to me, are you sure? We’re not working Thursdays? I'm like, yeah, that's the only time we can do it, we'll do it then. And then Thursdays got full. And then I go Alright, well, I'll do that on a Friday. And then it's a call in the US. So it's at six o'clock in the morning. And then it just gets out of control. So I had to really bring that back and go, Okay, we have to be comfortable to say no, because when we say no to things, we create the space for bigger and better things to come on into our life. And it's hard. And I have struggled massively with this. I still do now like I'm not doing this episode in a way of going, you know what this boundary thing. I've got this all worked out. I like to do podcast episodes on like what I'm working on at the moment, because I'm reading a lot about it. I'm listening to a lot of different podcasts about it, I'm really feeling into where my lines are. And I find that that's often the thing that I get the most feedback on from you when you're listening is going yeah, I'm working on that right now as well. Because sometimes, you know, when I talk about something that I've got my shit sorted in already, and people are like, what? No, it makes no sense because I've forgotten what those issues are, that come up.
So this is still coming up for me at least once a week. But what I have learned is that you can't be all things to all people all the time. And women especially all the responsibilities that we have in life, to carry to be good partners to be good parents to be good business owners, to look after the bills, the pets, the house, the cars, the family, like the travel, the everything, the insurances like you name it, there's 50 million things to take care of.
Not to mention, you're still supposed to look after yourself, right? So one of the things I tried at the beginning of the year was 10,000 steps a day and I was like at the rate that I walk 10,000 steps a day is two hours of walking, who has two hours a day in their life? Who are these people? I did not know it was certainly not me. Because I do no incidental exercise. Right? My My office is at my house I have to walk like 10 metres and I'm there. But these are the types of things in going what is important to you and what boundaries are you going to put in place so that you can ensure that you're living the right life that's right for you. So, only you can define where your boundaries are and then the trick is to be disciplined enough to respect them yourself so that others can also respect them. This is one thing that I've really been working on lately is going, why would other people respect my boundaries when I'm bendy with my boundaries myself. So, if someone's going to say to me, can I do this on this day, and I'm unavailable, but I bend, then of course, other people aren't going to respect my boundaries, because I don't even respect them myself. So one of the biggest things is to be disciplined enough to respect them yourself. This isn't done just once it's ever evolving as your business grows, and you need to say no to more front facing things, so that you have the time and energy for what's most important. Which is your paying customers. This was a thing for me with with Instagram messages, for example, like I love talking to people on social media, you know, when people are like, you know, I've listened to this podcast, I loved it or read your book, it was great. And we can share those different things. Where my line is, is when someone like asked for full strategic business advice. They're like, Okay, so this is my course outline. This is my pricing. This is my transformation promise, this is my delivery, this is how I want to do it. Like, what are your thoughts? That's not gonna happen over Instagram messenger. Because my paying customers get that. So you have to have the line to go, you know what, I'm going to look after myself so that I can look after my paying customers and know where that line is for you. One of the things that I've been working on lately is, you know, like I said, in the beginning, in that I never wanted to come off like an asshole. I wanted people to think, what we're conditioned that good girls think, in that I'm a nice girl, you know, I'm really helpful. I'm really kind. I'm really generous. That is important to me. But, what I've learned is that I can't continue to show up like that if it's at the detriment of me, because instead of being the nice girl, the kind girl, the generous girl, when I pour from my empty cup for too long, I become the asshole. I am the person go, I can't do any more. I'm so tired. And you felt like that, too. Right? Everyone feels like that. But the question is, why do we think it's so bad? To be selfish? That is the question that I have asked myself time and time again, in going, putting your needs and desires before other people is actually the only way we can contribute. And I know that you listen to this podcast, because you're doing a business that contributes to other people in the world.
When we are fuelled, and we're all filled up, and we've looked after ourselves, and we've looked after our needs and desires, then we have an abundance, we have so much to then be able to generously kindly give that to others, to contribute to others to fill others up. It is impossible to do if you don't have a super full bucket. And you know what it feels like, like, I know what it feels like, you know what it feels like when you just have nothing left to give. Because your bucket is completely empty. And so often, I see women survive on empty. If you imagined the bars of your battery. And they go down and down. Like every time you do a zoom call, one battery goes, every time you have to do homeschooling with the kids in lockdown, one battery goes, every time you have to do something else two batteries go. And then you've got nothing left. And instead of recharging that, you keep going and keep grinding and keep depleting. You have nothing left to give to your business to yourself. It's just survival. And we all know what that feels like. But it is completely unsustainable. You cannot sustain constantly depleting yourself to satisfy others.
Look at the long term, not the short term. And this is where I think the hard part is as we go, you know, we seem to constantly live in this perpetuated state of going once I get through this week, it's all gonna be easier or once I get through this month, it's all going to be easier. Right? Have you said that before? And the thing is, once we get through that week, it comes again because we haven't changed anything systematically. And this is where the rules come in. This is where the rules and the boundaries and the formal discipline comes in. These are the things that I will say yes to these are things that I will say no to until I revisit these rules and revise them again. Now, we think it's selfish and that is bad to say no to other people. But it's not. Right, it's not selfish, to have to look after yourself. So that you can give to other people. The actual definition of selfish, what selfish actually is, is taking from others with no regard for them. So what I mean by that is, if you are there trying to give everything that you can, when someone's a paying customer or when someone's asking your advice, and you're like, you know what, if you've got a little bit of an overflow, if you've got an abundance to give, you can give that. What selfish is, is if you are mad at someone, because they won't deplete themselves to help you. So an example of that is if you're the person on Instagram, who's asking somebody for strategic business advice, and they don't give it to you, getting mad at them - that is selfish. What's not selfish is saying no to somebody, when it's not your job, to go above and beyond for them. And this is where we as women, as people pleasers, as the majority of women I know are because that's what we're socially conditioned to be. We have to really look at that and go, how can we start saying no to things so that we can fill ourselves up because the more we fill up, the more we're actually unselfish because then when we feel like like, you know what that feels like when you're in times of abundance, where you're like, Oh, my gosh, everything's going so well, right now, you know, my family's happy and healthy, I've got lots of money coming in, I’ve actually got some spare time, how can I be of service? Everyone's been in little stages like that.
The idea is to try and get lots of stages like that, the idea is to try and get a life like that. So that you've always got an abundance to be able to share, where you're actually of no use to anyone is when we're running on empty all the time. So selfish is taking from others with no regard from them. If we take care of ourselves first, and generously then give to others, that's not selfish, it's sustainable. And so you've got to figure out what is going to give you that energy, so that you can serve other people more. And I know for me, it's more time to be alone, by myself with my own thoughts. That's what charges me up. So when I look at, and this was one exercise that I've done recently that even before I was talking about the batteries and going okay, this takes one battery, this takes two batteries. And I figured out that I have in a given week, about 10 to 15 batteries worth like, if one hour zoom was a battery worth of that time to perform at optimal level. It doesn't really make a difference for me whether I do nine hours on a day or three hours in a day spread out, like it really goes over that week, because I can have a massive day. But then if I rest the next day, I feel fabulous, I love it. But if I do those days back to back to back to back, phew, you're tired, you know. So what I figured out was when I can when those batteries go down, and then when they what I do to recharge them so that I could balance it in the same way that you balance your accounts, balancing your energy. So, pay attention as you go about in going, what is taking your energy, what's depleting it, and what is recharging it. For me, I know like when I go for a walk on the beach, and I listen to a podcast, I get a battery back. So that gives me another charge that I can then go and give to somebody else. What are those other things that are going to charge you for me, it's playing with my dogs. For me, it's going for a ride with the kids like whatever that's going to be making sure that you've got just as many things in your week that are giving you the battery's charging, that are taking them away. Because otherwise what you're left with is a depletion and week after week of those depletions. It like at leads illness, it leads to a total lack of motivation. You'll forget why you're doing the very thing that you're trying to do. You'll start having those thoughts of oh my gosh, is this really worth it? So we really want to pay attention to those batteries.
Brooke Castillo who has one of my favourite podcasts called the Life Coach School, she says this thing is that the sentence that she says is say no, when yes is a lie. And what she means by that is we often say yes to things that we don't really want to do because we care about the other person or we care about what they think. It's something that I'm still working on being able to do saying no, because I never want to disappoint anybody. I never want to let anybody down. But I am getting much better at saying no, when yes is a lie. If yes means I'm going to resent it, or I don't really want to do it, or I wish I'd said no, or I get mad at myself, because I broke a promise with myself, In order to make sure that person isn't disappointed by me, then I'm getting better at saying no to that. Because the most important person to keep promises to is yourself, you have to trust yourself, that you've got you in order to do big things in this world.
So I'm only saying yes, when it's something I really want to do. If I don't want to do it, then I'll say no, there is a risk that I will disappoint someone. But it is not selfish to say no to something at your expense to please somebody else. Remember, it's selfish only for someone to want to take from your well at your expense when you don't want to do it or shouldn't be required to do it. That is something that my belief is gone like 360 on this year, because I plan to be doing this for a really long time. I have big plans for the work that I do in this world. I want to help so many women, I mean, even simple things like Kajabi, who the software I use, they have a unisex jacket for the million dollar jacket. And by unisex I mean men size. Now they have men size because more men get the million dollar jacket than women. And for a lot of women that have boobs and a butt, but the jacket doesn't fit, it's super tight around the boobs and the butt and loose at the belly. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you. But it's one of the many, many feedback things that I get in going there's more men than women doing this. And it's one of the things that lit such a firecracker up my butt this year, in going I must help more women realise their dreams and make more money online by helping other people. Because we're too people pleasing in trying to do all the other things instead of trying to do what's right for you, and what is your calling in the world and saying no to the things that are depleting you, instead of yes to the things that are giving you more energy to serve your gifts to the world. Right? I get really fired up about. There’s different times where I'm like, I'm getting on a rant. But you know, my, my beliefs. I mean, I'm trying to constantly challenge my beliefs on everything all the time. Like, I'm not one of those people that are like, my mind is made up. My mind is always open to other people when they do different things. It's either going to reaffirm my belief, or it's going to make me question my belief, which is cool. I see other people that have really good boundaries. And often, I think, you know, if they can believe those things are true, and they're true for her, then why can’t I and beliefs are all formed by, you know, what we what we believe is possible for us. And I'll see, you know, some of my friends in this business, and I'll talk to you, and they're like, you know, I spend three hours a week on Zoom, and I disappear for a month at the time. And I'm only available from 11 till 3 on a Monday. And other than that, my team runs the whole business, and its like I’m in the North Pole, I'm completely unavailable. And to me, that blows my mind, because I still am very involved in my day to day of the business and actually, like don't want to not be I love my day to day my business, I need to get out of the weeds more I need to let my EA do her job and stop doing so many admin things. But I still want to be in here every day. But I see those sorts of things, and I go if that is true for her, and it's not made up It's not bullshit. It's true for her, then why can't it be for me? Why can't it be for you? And so if you're looking at doing life a different way, I want you to find someone who's doing that and go, you know what, if that is working for them, why can't it work for me? What do I need to fundamentally change either logistically or in my belief system that is going to allow that to happen for me. And one of the biggest things that I see a lot of women come up against is the inability to rest, because we feel lazy and being comfortable enough to recharge, not feeling guilty about recharging. That is probably one of the biggest things when I talk to women and they're like, you know, when there's so much to do, either in business or with family or around the house, I can't possibly take a break. And while I am definitely no advocate for you know, lazing around watching Netflix all day, I am a very big believer in balancing your batteries. So you need to do whatever you can to recharge the energy, so that you've got more to give. There was a psychologist that I was working with who was talking about, you know, if we had a sprained ankle, we would rest it, right, we would go on crutches, we would take precautions, we would make sure we definitely wouldn't go for a run on that sprained ankle. And yet, when our brain is exhausted, when we have emitted too much brain power, consistently, day after day, week, after week, month after month, without letting it rest and recharge, like the muscle that it is, if it was the equivalent of the sprained ankle, because we can't see it, we don't let it heal. Often what we do is we get that muscle and we sprint again, and wonder why we have a headache? Why we have back pain, why we're so tired, why we're gaining weight, why we're going for the wine. So I want you to look at it in the way of going how can we make this sustainable? If our brain is a muscle, if we have a certain amount of energy to give, and we do it is not a limitless well, unfortunately. I like to do it in the battery's, right. But however you want to do that, like imagine a thermometer and go Okay, there's 10 little blips in a day - You do one thing, one goes, you do another thing one comes up, you do another thing, one goes, You do one thing one comes up, like what's going to get that up, what's going to get that down so that at the end of the day, you're even, you're not run out.
A big thing with that, for me was, you know, one of the affirmations that I've said to myself over and over is my work is not my worth. That is what one of the affirmations I've added to my list this year, because I'm very driven to work, because that's where I get my self worth. So a lot of a lot of how I feel like I'm doing well in the world is achievement through work. You know, for me, I was raised with this whole belief, like I was trained to think if I wasn't the best, if I wasn't winning, if I dare rest or slack off, then I am nothing. And that is something that was ingrained in me again, and again and again and again and again. And so of course, I've spent my whole life trying to win, trying to be the best. Second best is not okay.
To give you an example of of this is my book, Million Dollar Micro Business. It was released on the 1st of July, and I think it took about five or six days to hit number one. And it hit the bestseller list in Entrepreneurship. It's still there now in Booktopia and on Amazon. And when it did, like that was my goal. And when it did, I was insanely happy, insanely happy. But, then I moved on in about an hour. Like about an hour later. I was like okay, so it's got number one in Entrepreneurship. But it's not though number one nonfiction book, and how long is it going to stay there for like, what if it drops off next week, and it's just like a one one week wonder. Then what about in the US it's not number one in the US it's only number one in Australia is that really good enough? Straight away any pride or achievement that I felt from that disappeared, because all my worth comes from my work and I have to keep winning and I have to keep doing better.
What that means is that I can never feel comfortable in resting and recharging those batteries. And that is what I have. I have worked on that more in the last year than anything else. And what I have found is the more I work on this, the better my business performs, and so on Time I have made a small breakthrough in boundaries in respecting my boundaries in saying no to the small things so that I can say yes to the big things or create space for the big things. Every time I have taken that level up in looking after myself, the business levels up. That has been mind blowing to me. And so next year, like in 2022, that is the main thing that I am working on is going How can I optimise my energy to give more to the people I serve. I know that the more I give, the better my clients do. And then the better my business does, because we all win when our clients win. And so that's where all my focus is on.
So what I want you to do when you're looking at, if you're tired, if you're depleted, try and come back to who you truly are, try and come back to who you've always been in your heart. If you can strip back some of those adopted stories that tell us what's possible for us and what's not possible for us if you can strip them back and go, Okay, I'm believing this is true. Why is this true? Like, is this actually true? And sometimes it is, yeah, sometimes it's like a pragmatic, like total logistical thing. You know, if you've got a two year old, a newborn right now, those batteries, they are depleted, and there's not much you can do. I shouldn't laugh with a lot of us have been there.
But there's different stages. And some of us forget that unless you are in a really hard season, where there's a lot that's out of your control, which I know does happen to us every so often during life. But if you're not in one of those seasons, sometimes we forget that we can actually change our mind that we can actually be in control of what we say yes to and what we say no to. At any given moment, we can actually say, No, I'm not going to do that, and free up a whole lot of time. So that we can do the things that we truly want to do. So that we can do the things that we're called to do in life, that are going to make us perform better and are going to give an impact in the world. Our time needs to be focused and needs to be purposeful. We cannot, unfortunately, be all things to all people.
I want you to know that every time you say yes to something, you're unconsciously saying no to something else. So say no to the little things and let the universe know that you are not available for the small anymore. Only the big things. And this is something that I did at the beginning of the year. I am a Yes girl. I am like the person that goes you know what I will say yes to every opportunity because sometimes you just don't know where things are gonna lead. And I really believe that like at the start of my business journey, I said yes to everything. And I owe everything to saying yes. But, there comes a limit where you can't do that anymore. Because there are too many things to say yes to. And you've ran out of time. And one of my biggest things was I believe in the laws of the universe, right? I'm not religious, I just think there's some sort of woo woo out there, that it's too coincidental to happen all the time for me not to believe in it. And so I didn't want to give this message of No, out to the universe, because I was like if I start saying no to everything, are the opportunities going to stop coming to me, because I've just got this aura of like, No, I am no longer available. Because again, like one of the biggest things that that my mother used to say to me all the time was, you know, you're too big for your boots, you you think you should don't stink, like things like that. And so I have this big thing about I don't want to say no to things because I don't want people to think that I'm now too good for that. But you know what, there's some things that I don't need to say yes to anymore. And that's okay.
So one of the things that I kept saying in my meditation and in my affirmations that I do in the morning was going I will say no to the things that no longer serve me but in saying no, because I needed a caveat, right? Because I didn't want the universe to think I was now a no girl and now stop giving me opportunities. So I was like I will say no to the things that no longer serve me so that I'm available for this and more. I am ready for the bigger things that you can deliver me that I can't even dream of yet. And they're the things that I said and then these things started coming in that were totally the things that I hadn't even dreamt of yet. If I had filled myself with all of those little yes things I would have been too tired to even spot the opportunities that were coming in.
And so I want you to have enough space so that you can take advantage of those opportunities that are coming into your life now as well. So say no to the little things, so that you can say yes to the big things and make sure that the life you're living day to day is the life on your terms. You know who you are, like, we worry so much about what other people think, and other people's perceptions and how we're going to be thought of, but you know who you are, you know what your intentions are. You know, you're a good person. So do the best you can, that aligns with your values, and let go of the expectations of others. Live the life on your terms, so that you can do all the things that you were born to do in this world.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Her Empire Builder. If you loved it, please share it on Instagram and Facebook for your friends. And if you really want to deliver me smiles, you can pop a review on iTunes. I'd love to hear from you. So if you have any questions, email me at [email protected] And if you want to know more about what we do, head over to tinatower.com. Now I truly hope this podcast gives you so much value and you can use it to dream big, plan well and take massive action in building your very own Empire. That’s perfect, just for you.