8 Years ago I was working with a small business as their Marketing Specialist & Quality Control Manager, and this certain job was very time consuming both in work as well as my personal time. I recall countless times when I had to volunteer my time for certain activities that were outside my work hours. I didn’t have to do this, but I figured I should say “YES” to this opportunity for more exposure for our business. I volunteered my time for board meetings where I held office for 2 years as an Events Facility, this time took 8 hours every month of my personal time, not including the extra hours needed to complete the job it entailed from preparing notes, as well as preparing for annual yearly conferences and exhibitions, finding caters, coordinating dinners and making sure each and every speaker had proper materials and props for their talks.
One of those 2 years I held office the board members wanted to try something new and hold a banquet dinner at the Sacramento State Capitol. Guess who’s lap that fell in?? You guessed correctly…me. Why? Because I always said yes to everything, that I could do it all. This wasn’t an easy feat. It wasn’t just like you can just get a caterer to get everything done, no you had to get approvals from 2 of your State Senates and get approved for permits, and use their vendor approved caterers. Aside from this I also was responsible for face-to-face meetings with clients where I would do what the industry says is a wine and dine. Often times this may have led to working after hours, still volunteering my time not getting paid for this at all.
Aside from this as my job that took 55 to 60 hours every week I was also a single Mother of two boys. I still had to make sure there was food on the table every night, their homework checked, their lunches packed and had to make sure their clothes were cleaned for the next day. I look back wondering how I was able to do it all.
Even though I did manage to do it all, the feeling of being overwhelmed, frustrated, distraught and stressed manifested weekly if not daily. I had no support, no one that I could talk to, and no family to rely on. These emotions soon developed into anxiety, panic attacks, and even depression.
Looking back I didn’t realize what those feelings actually meant, I had in fact several situations both with kids, and my job that I had to juggle back and forth and I figured that was the stress of that. Boy was I wrong. 8 years later I can clearly see what I was lacking. I was lacking BOUNDARIES. I lacked the ability to say No and the ability to ask for Help.
- [ Inability to say NO– The inability to say no to the bad is pervasive. It keeps us from recognizing evil, bad or dangerous people or events. This type of boundary problem paralyzes people. And it happens for a number of different reasons.
- Fear of hurting the others persons feelings
- Fear of abandonment and separateness
- Fear of Someone else’s anger
- Fear of being seen as bad or selfish
- Inability to ask for Help – This boundary problem is called avoidance. It’s the inability to ask for for help, to recognize one’s own needs to let others in. Avoidants withdraw when they are in need, they do not ask for the support of others. (Boundaries are supposed to be able to let you “breathe” like fences with a gate that can let the good in and the bad out) Avoidants with walls for boundaries can let in neither bad or good. No one touches them.
- Not respecting others’ boundaries – One who clearly doesn’t listen to others’ boundaries or limits. They run over other people’s fences like a tank. They are sometimes verbally abusive, sometimes physically and there’s emotional abuse like manipulating.
- Not hearing the Needs of Others – While we shouldn’t take on responsibility of others’ feelings, attitudes and behaviors, we do have certain responsibility to each other. To our loved ones we have a responsibility to connect as a partner, or as a provider with love and empathy. ]Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend (1992) Boundaries When to say yes How to say No to Take Control of Your Life (pp. 51-62)
Reading this book has opened my eyes to what I can or can’t allow in my life. It’s been the foundation to understanding myself as an individual and it’s helped me boost my confidence. If you’re feeling anywhere close to what I was feeling. Mind you, you don’t have to be a mother and working 55-6o hours to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxiety or frustrated. If you’re even feeling any of those emotions and want a better understanding Boundaries is a great choice.
Until Next time Dream Catchers!
As Always Remember to Be Kind to Yourself and to Be Kind to One Another!!