The importance of boundaries is no secret, yet as humans, we don’t do everything from the logical parts of our brain – are you with me? Much of what we do comes from primitive, reflexive efforts to be liked. It’s our pack mentality, the old ‘safety in numbers’ thing, that has been relevant since caveman times, that makes it so hard for us to respect our own boundaries.
Fast-forward through the ages to the Solopreneur movement of today, and there is a conflict in our lives and businesses now. Unfortunately, we didn’t leave our need to be liked back in our ancestors’ caves. It is still with us. But the world has changed so very much.
Today, time is our most precious commodity, especially for those of us running our own small businesses. We cannot trade our time for ‘points’ on the likeability scale. And if we try to, in the long run we will become so tired and covet our time so much, that we will end up snapping and losing our likeability score anyway. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Here’s the life hack…
It’s authentic boundary setting. When we are bold enough to set our boundaries where we need them… and I am instantly reminded of one of Brene Brown’s stories about being asked at less than a day’s notice to bake a ton of cup cakes for her daughters school, and saying no… we are happier. When we can be authentic about our boundaries (not cagey, secretive, or loud and rude, but simply straight up and honest, in a loving, respectful way), people get it.
Well, the right people get it. Those few people who don’t respect the boundaries you set authentically are frankly unenlightened bone heads who you don’t want in your life anyway.
If you ever feel like you need an unenlightened bone head to like you, because there is safety in numbers, then just remember that is your caveman programming talking. Smile, laugh it off, and just do you.
If you are to be truly successful in your solopreneur / small business venture, then you will need to save your time and energy for the things that really matter, and the people who really matter to you.
It’s okay to be selective. In fact it is more than okay, it’s smart.