As I support many of my clients in creating stronger boundaries to protect their time and energy, I am reminded of just how far I've come myself in this area!
A few years ago, I used to work most evenings and weekends. I rarely said no (and was scared to do it). I constantly worried about what people would think of me if I didn't "get it all done". And, when I wasn't working, I was thinking about it.
I believed that to be successful, the only feasible option was to work harder (and longer) because of the sheer amount of demands and high expectations.
Keeping up with it all left me with little energy and presence for my family or personal time at the end of the day. I told everyone I was "fine" (my old and unhelpful favorite saying!) but on the inside, I felt like I was barely keeping it together.
And, at the time, I didn’t understand the impact and I certainly didn’t realize I had a choice.
My tendency to overwork, lack of presence, and regular grumpiness at home because I was so exhausted was hurting my relationship with my husband and kids . . . and my performance (although I didn't realize it at the time).
It got to a point that enough was enough.
That's when I got my mindset in order and shifted my perspective on what success really means in my life.
That's when I decided to draw a line in the sand and be more intentional with aligning my actions with my values.
That's when I finally had the courage to put some bold boundaries in place.
I quit cold turkey working all those extra hours (sometimes up to an 80-hour work week) and put a hard boundary in place to end my workday at 5 pm. At perhaps the most demanding time of my corporate career.
I had NO idea how I would make it all work.
But something unexpected happened!
Once I gave myself permission to make my personal time a priority, everything in my life started to change . . . and I performed even better and led even stronger.
I felt more in control of my day. I learned how to say no and focus on what really was the best use of my time. I took away the option of doing it all when I put limits in place.
I gave myself space to recharge. I had more time, presence, and patience with my family. And I even got a promotion.
Was it easy? No. But it did create a lot more ease in my days and totally worth it.
It changed my mindset to there is always a choice - and confirmed that there is a more sane way to be successful!
Keeping strong boundaries between my work and personal time was and is the biggest game-changer for me when it comes to focusing my time and having a sense of balance in my life.
Because when you stick to your boundaries, it forces you to get clear on what's important and let go of what isn't.
I share this because I want you to know that I have no special ability here. I was where you are likely now.
You too can keep boundaries to protect your time and what matters to you, and still be successful in your work. The choice to change is up to you.
One decision -- and in this case, one boundary -- can change your life.
Wherever you are on your journey, I'm here to support you in the way that works best for you!
Discover how great leaders who have it all - great life balance AND high performance - operate behind the scenes. Click here to access this Free Training.
When you're ready for the next step to work together to create balance in your life without sacrificing performance, book a complimentary call and we can see if The Balanced Leader™️ coaching program is the right fit for YOU. I also offer speaking presentations, workshops and programs tailored to support you and your team. Book a complimentary call or contact me here.
Stacey L. Olson is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach and has 15 years of corporate experience. She works with leaders and professionals who want to create more balance, stress less, AND still perform at a high level. Stacey is the founder of the 'The Balanced Leader' coaching program and offers executive and leadership coaching, workshops, and speaking.
For motivational value delivered to your inbox on topics related to balance in work and the rest of life, leadership, resilience and more, stay connected by signing up here!