The Importance of Boundaries
Do you ever feel like no one believes in you? Like you have more detractors than cheerleaders? This is something I've experienced all throughout my life, but never so much as when I became a mom. While we wait for baby boy's arrival, I've found myself having to distance from beloved, well-meaning people who like to tell me every time I declare something we will do or what we will or will not allow in our house, "You say that now. Just wait until X, Y and Z."
Now, I don't distance myself from people who say these things because they're guaranteed to be wrong, or because they're mean-spirited. But when I state something that I plan to do as a parent, I am saying it not as "This would be a nice thing to do" but because it is something that matters enough to me to FIGHT for it. It's a step I'm taking to break generational family issues or protect my son's mental health or fight for his autonomy and health. Those aren't just wishes, those are boundaries for me. And my boundaries are being challenged when people say "You WON'T do that when it comes down to the wire." They're basically telling me that I've lost the fight - before my son is even BORN!
Have you run into this with writing? You state something you are GOING to prioritize in your WIP, your business, your platform - the things YOU are going to fight for - and someone gives you the "Yeah, just wait and see how that goes when THIS comes up." They may say it jokingly, gently, with a friendly smile, but your hackles go up. Why IS that?
It's because you staked your boundary, and someone just crossed it. Someone just threw down the gauntlet. They said you can't. They said you're going to lose. They said you can't do it.
Well, Dreamers, I just want to tell you that you CAN. Even if no one believes in you - even if I don't believe in you! - that's not what's important. What matters is what you are willing to give and invest and sacrifice to tell that story you know you need to, to make your business succeed, to frame your platform to convey the message that matters. The thing is, a lot of times people want to believe WE will do what THEY would do in a certain situation because subconsciously, we are all looking for validation; and if you write or read or publish or market the way someone else did or does, then in a way, you're validating them. And if you do it differently - even, God forbid, more successfully! -it changes how they view themselves.
But this is not their story, their business, their platform. It is yours, and YOU are the one staking the boundaries around it, telling the world what you will and won't allow, what you're going to fight for. And how you are going to adapt when things don't work out precisely how you hoped and envisioned.
But even when you adapt and shift, you do not have to do it the way THEY do, the way they SAY they will. They don't know. It's THEM who needs to wait and see what you're going to do. How you're going to take the world by storm. How you're going to do it your own way.
So take advice, but don't embody it. Listen, but don't let it define you. And distance yourself when needed if people continue to challenge your boundaries and tell you who YOU are, what YOU will do, or what YOUR life is going to be. Life is too short and your work is too important to let fake fortune-tellers predict how you're going to fail or succeed. Only you can define those things.
It's time to hold your boundaries and fight for what YOU believe in.