Your Inner Conflicts can Harm your Life and Business. Here is How to Identify and Dispel them.

inner conflicts and setting boundaries

Imagine this: You own a small business, and you hire a part-time freelancer. Together, you identify key objectives, establish project details, and agree on a due date for the work that needs to be completed.   You feel is as if something is ‘off’ but you quickly ignore this feeling, because you just don’t want to waste another minute looking for another freelancer.  Frankly, you are in a rush to get things done!

Throughout the project, you maintain a casual relationship, so you don’t feel the need to set any boundaries with your freelancer. Everything is running smoothly, right?

Not quite: The business partnership turns out to be disappointing. Not only does the freelancer deliver mediocre work, but the deadline is completely ignored. The project is completed two weeks late or worse, the freelancer disappears, not having delivered all that was promised.

How do you fix this problem? And most importantly, was this a problem that could have been avoided in the first place?

Yes!

Do you often say to yourself :

“I can’t make up my mind.  I don’t know what I want.  I need a {insert a type of guru} to tell me what to do next in my business.”

“I can’t believe my client cancelled our meeting last minute again.  I don’t want to keep this client, but I need the money.’

“Why am I {again} in an unhappy relationship where we are constantly fighting?”

You might be suffering from the all-too-familiar case of “conflicting thought vibrations”.

This very common symptom is prevalent among so many of my colleagues, friends and family members.  Hell, it took me years to understand there is such a thing as boundaries, and that clearly defining them can positively impact my life and business.  Up until then, I would notice myself falling into patterns where the same situations would occur over and over.  It was easy to blame the other side, because it was VERY UNCOMFORTABLE coming to terms with the fact that I played a leading role in creating these conflict too.

I would repeatedly ask myself…”Why do these scenarios keep coming up?”.  I finally worked with a coach and she brought my awareness to the fact that if I wanted outer results, I had to do INNER WORK.  Say WHAT? – I never thought about it that way.

Shortly after starting to investigate my inner depths, it became clear that my ‘inner space’ is conflicted and that what I desire in my life is NOT aligned with my actions.  I was not asserting boundaries within myself – I was allowing myself to act in ways which were very disconnected with the future life I wanted.  Worse yet, because of this inner conflict I was not asserting boundaries with people in my life either.

 

Want to know what your future looks like?  Investigate your inner workings.  Write down your thoughts and examine your actions.  See if the these energies are aligned.  If not, you may not achieve your goals.

I have held on to this mantra in my business.  Read it, write it on a post it and stick that post it somewhere you can see it every single day.  It will help you remember that if there are areas in your life where you feel instability, it is because they are a mere reflection of what is going on for you internally.

“If you want to get outer results, you have to do the inner work”

 

You see, if there are areas in your life where you feel stressed, un-fulfilled or chaotic (whether it be in your relationships, career, health or finances), they are just mirroring the presence of conflicted vibrations within you.

 

Find out how I can extract the missing piece between where and where you want to be in life and business!

What exactly are boundaries and what do they have to do with this?

In the simplest terms, boundaries are specific limits or expectations we set for ourselves and for our engagement with others. Boundaries help identify acceptable behavior, and they should be clearly set in our personal lives and in business.

Boundaries can be simple or a bit more complicated. For example, if you own your own business, a boundary might involve setting a simple deadline for yourself to complete a project, as well as a consequence if the deadline is not met. Additionally, you may set personal boundaries with a new romantic partner so he or she knows what you expect from the relationship.

Setting boundaries can help us identify and take action on things which are aligned with our own values.

Boundaries are the first step to resolving inner conflicts.

The next and very important step is the follow through.  Sticking to your guns and staying true to your word is not only critical to breeding inner balance, but is also the most difficult.  Following through with a consequence for yourself is the MOST difficult, because nobody will know you created this contract with yourself.  You are responsible for keeping yourself accountable for upholding this new standard for yourself.  As difficult as it is, it is also completely doable – all you have to do is practice it for 10 minutes per day, until it becomes second nature to you.

How many times have you said…”I want to integrate daily exercise into my life, because I want to feel better”.  What will happen internally if you don’t commit to this?  You are telling yourself that you are not committed to your well being, and so it becomes easier to constantly forgo practices or rituals which will improve your well being.  On the one hand, you are desiring a state of physical well being, and on the other hand, you are not committed to it.

What will happen next is that you might feel confused, falling into patterns of distraction such as going out, drinking, hanging out with friends or doing just about anything to keep you from making this commitment.  You might feel sudden changes in your mood and you may also feel a bit unpredictable to yourself.  The feeling of guilt might begin to creep into your mind, as you tell yourself..”I want to start exercising…but why can’t I just start doing it and be consistent about it…I feel so crappy..oh well, I’ll start tomorrow.”

Your mind is spinning at this point, you feel an extreme lack of focus and your mind seems so scattered.  You are not grounded.
You forget your keys somewhere, forget to make a timely payment for an important bill, your children seem to disobedient and you are feeling a total lack of energy.

Sound familiar? I know it does, because I have been there.  There are some days when I am still there!

Do you see how your external world can mirror what is happening to you internally?

What initial steps can I take to set boundaries?

There are four main steps you can take to prepare yourself for setting boundaries, other than setting the specific boundaries themselves.  This will not happen overnight, but with time and practice, you can master this process and therefore create your desired reality.  Remember: you are the creator of your life’s path.

  • Bring Forth awareness to your thoughts and actions.

    Check into yourself often.  Write down your thoughts often and see if what you are ‘doing’ is aligned with them.  Do not be afraid to dig deep within and uncover and ‘be’ with your conflicts.  What you resist will persist, and in order to create harmony within your inner space, you will need to be conscious of your desires versus your actions.  Any attention you will give this is better that no attention at all.  Start with ten minutes per day – it will have a huge impact.

  • Assert yourself.

    Do you express your opinion rather than criticizing those of others? Try stating your preferences instead of specifying what you dislike about someone else. For example, you can simply say: “I prefer to work in small teams.” This is much different than an aggressive approach: “I don’t like that you always work by yourself.” Assert yourself to yourself.  When doubt creeps in about what you feel is the right decision for you, listen to your doubt, thank it and move on.  Assert yourself to your thoughts, fears and doubts as well.  I like to say to my fears and doubts..”Thank you fear & doubt.  I appreciate your opinion, but I am going to try it another way and see what happens.”  This can feel uncomfortable if you are not used to relating this way to yourself and others.  Sounds weird? IT IS!  This feeling of discomfort is temporary and it is key to creating a change in your life and business.  Our fears are meant to protect us and keep us in our comfort zone.  If you want to create a change, you have to do things differently.

  • Follow through.

    If a client is constantly late to meetings that you set, but you don’t communicate that this is unacceptable, aren’t you enabling that negative behavior and in turn feeling frustrated? Rather than adjusting your expectations, follow through with an ultimatum. You can say: “The meeting is at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, and if you’re more than five minutes late, the meeting will be canceled.” And then if the client is still late, follow through and cancel the meeting. This might feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you are concerned about whether the client will dislike this or will dislike you.  In the end, however, your client will respect you more and have a clear understanding of what is an acceptable business engagement with you.

  • Learn to trust.

    When setting boundaries in your personal and business life, you may encounter some initial negativity, but don’t let that deter you. It is easier to give in and not believe in yourself and your convictions.  If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either. Show up with integrity, and always trust that if you follow your needs and desires the outcome will always turn out in your favor.  When others see you speaking with conviction and following through, they will respect you a whole lot more.

How can I ensure my boundaries are clear and effective?

One of the best ways to discover the effectiveness of an approach is to test it. How can you test whether or not your boundaries are aligned with your needs and desires? Test them against your three core values.

We all have different values for different reasons, and it’s important to remember that your personal values can also guide you in business. If you are indecisive about working with a client or can’t decide if you should take on a project, put it to the three-value test. If the situation and your three main values don’t align, that’s your sign to get out before you start.

All too often we find ourselves feeling like we need to defend our choices, and in this case, the boundaries we set. If you find yourself in a constant state of defense, take a moment to re-evaluate why you set that boundary in the first place.  Learn to slow down and observe the big picture.

You should also remember to set boundaries that are strong; weak boundaries can lead to disappointment and resentment. For example, if you use a product supplier that consistently sends you damaged inventory, you may think it’s acceptable to sell some of it to your customers anyway, because you need the income and cannot wait for a new shipment. But if you value honestly, then selling this inventory is not going to be aligned with core values and desires and will inevitably create an inner conflict.  This inner conflict will be mirrored in your life; Perhaps your customers will complain about the damaged goods and demand refunds, which will ensue in an external conflict between yourself, your customers and your supplier.

Set your most powerful boundaries for yourself.  You should not allow people to stay in your life whose actions lower your confidence.  You do not need to work with suppliers, clients or anyone else which causes you discomfort.

Life coach Cheryl Richardson believes the number one way women can improve their lives is by setting stronger boundaries. If you find it difficult to assert yourself both in your personal life and professionally, take Richardson’s advice and try setting stronger boundaries. Again, this may feel uncomfortable at first, but you may be surprised by how setting stronger boundaries can positively affect your life.

Most importantly for women, we must set boundaries so we know what to expect from ourselves. We must set standards to live by both personally and professionally so we can hold ourselves accountable for our actions. Without boundaries, it’s difficult to set goals, and we need goals to measure success.

 

How is setting boundaries different than needing to maintain control?

Have you ever been called “controlling” by someone in your life? People can mistake a strong, confident, assertive person for someone who is controlling and insecure. But setting strong boundaries is much different than needing to control every situation.

To help distinguish between the two, be sure to avoid aggressive behavior. Rather than accusing someone of doing something wrong, state your preference or offer a suggestion. Others around you will then perceive this behavior as helpful and encouraging, rather than aggressive and critical.  There is a huge difference between being aggressive and being assertive.

And remember: You do not need to control all aspects of every situation. Focus on things that are in your control, rather than what others around you are doing or saying. For example, if your team member approaches a project with doubt and negativity, focus on how you can take a different, more positive approach to the same project.  Lead by example, and others will be inspired to do the same.

Start practicing boundaries now, in order to create a successful business.

You have all the tools within you, and I honestly believe that you do not have to do anything which is undesirable to you in order to succeed in your business.  Know that all you have to do is follow your joy  and passion and you will be on the path to manifesting your desired outcomes. Note how you ‘are’ when you are constantly conflicted.  I know you may feel scattered and unpredictable to yourself, but if you take the time and do the work on setting boundaries, you will start to feel more energetic and productive. Inevitably, you will be breaking your old patterns of finding yourself in situations where you feel frustrated and out of control.  This will positively impact your life and business.

 

Boundaries are also important when choosing the clients with whom you want to work. Sign up and learn how to intuitively connect with your ideal customer: