Just before writing this article on a nice 12:30PM Sunday Afternoon, I was with Jude, Young Trist and our two kittens. We are in the process of getting them use to outside.
So we had them with leads, sitting on the grass. This is a very new experience for them in the respect that A) They have never been outside, B) What is grass? and C) They have leads on them.
What we noticed very quickly was that the kittens wanted to run the show with little regard for our own interests or their personal safety. I almost lost “Mimi Kitten” when a noise frightened her and then “Simba Kitten” took Trist for a bit of a ride around the backyard.
We got control of the situation by sitting there, being patient and demonstrating to the cats the length of the leash but not letting them exceed the boundaries we have set. At the start it was very awkward, but soon the cats were happy – they didn’t test their boundaries and we all started having a great time.
Relating this to business, life and some of my own personal experiences over the past few years – I find that nice / awesome people like you and me (as only awesome people read my articles! Thank You x x) can sometimes get taken advantage of by “Bad” people. Most people are great and I found over the past year I have been involved in tons of shared projects. These are mostly really good, but some turned quite sour on me with people at times really testing my boundaries.
In reflecting back on these experiences, one big lesson I have learned was the importance of setting boundaries and really sticking to them. I found in one committee I was part of some time ago, I donated everything and not only getting nothing in return, people were complaining to me, blaming me for things outside of my control, took and then asked for more – and most importantly, didn’t appreciate me at all.
I put up with it for a short while and then I started asking myself “Why and I doing this to myself? Why do good people like us tend to get taken advantage of like this at times?”
As I started asking these questions and looking within my own mind for the answers, I found lots of old, stupid self-limiting beliefs that are just wrong. My top ones included:
– “Everyone has to approve of Me”: That is a dangerous one! If you got that belief, get rid of it – very easy to be controlled here.
– “I am not very good and not sure of what I am doing”: Really? The people giving me ideas had often less than a third of the credentials that I had. Total rubbish.
– “I need to be flexible and not dominating”: Really? So it’s okay for others to dominate me? What about a little bit of balance?
It was quite revealing into myself looking into the reasons and as I spoke to other people about this – they would often sit back and go “Me too!”. I realized very quickly that what I was dealing with was a very common issue.
My advice and lessons from this experience? Like my kittens trying to run off, really believe in yourself and set personal boundaries. It’s critical that you be fair on other people and other people includes yourself! Make sure you enter “Win / Win” arrangements where both of you are happy and pleased with the outcome. If it’s not good for them and you are taking advantage, end it / change it! Likewise, if they are making you look like Mickey Mouse then it’s time to get out and move on.
Time for me to go back to my Happy Sunday and hope you are having fun worldwide awesome friends! Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor, Blogger and Man with Boundaries!