The team and I here at Rise Up For You are lucky to coach and train professionals from around the world. And would you believe me if I told you, people are all struggling with the same thing! One of the major challenges we keep hearing from our community is boundary setting. We often get the question, "How do I say no or set healthy boundaries without sabotaging my success or ruining relationships?"
Setting boundaries and learning to politely say no, is a great skill to have. Here are some ways to help you without being unprofessional or burning bridges.
Defining the Boundaries
Imagine boundaries as the invisible lines that mark your personal space, energy, and time. These lines are essential, like the walls that protect a castle. They define what is acceptable and what isn't in various aspects of your life. By setting personal boundaries for yourself aka non-negotiables, you're creating a safe and nurturing environment for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. For example not answering the phone for work after 5:30pm. Not working on the weekend.
Regularly check in with yourself. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you have the space you need? Are your priorities in alignment? Adjust your boundaries as needed. It's an ongoing process, but the rewards are immeasurable.
Using Wisdom to Know When to Say NO
The truth is, there will be times where saying no is not a good idea :) You need to ask yourself a few questions before saying yes or no to something that is not on your radar initially.
Is it from your superior and something only you can do?
Is this a request or underlying "we want you to do this?" By the way do not be afraid to ask that!
Are the other people that can take this on?
Will hurt the other work or obligations you have?
Will stretch you too thin creating resentment and poor energy?
Have Back Pocket Phrases Handy
Setting boundaries isn't a one-time task; it's a continuous practice that evolves with you. Sometimes we don't have the right language on hand when a request is made so we panic and say yes or rudely say no. Here are a few great phrases you can use:
Thank you for asking me but unfortunately right now I'm at capacity and can't take anything else on.
I appreciate you asking me but at this moment I have to say no. I'm stretched thin and my focus needs to be ....(fill in the blank)
Let me get back to you as I am completely full and can't take anything else on. When do you need this? Have you asked...
Boundaries aren't just about protecting yourself; they're also about fostering healthier relationships. When you clearly communicate your boundaries, you enable others to understand your needs, preferences, and limitations. This open dialogue creates trust and respect, forming the foundation for deeper, more meaningful connections.
By setting boundaries, you're crafting a life where you not only survive but thrive, making the most of each moment while safeguarding your well-being.
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Want to learn more about how soft skills coaching, training, and development can support your team and company? Grab an informative call here with the Rise Up For You, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP team.