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Why we can do better than boundaries

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Think boundaries are the answer to balanced time, energy and wellbeing?

Well… they can be a useful tool - but on the scale of bringing true satisfaction to your life and business, they’re entry-level. Here’s why.

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So today I wanted to talk to you about how we can do so much BETTER than boundaries!

Boundaries is SUCH a buzzword - literally every time you read anything about energy levels or time management these days, boundaries crops up as the magic solution. They’re the ‘go to’ of every life coach, mindset coach and self-help author.

And boundaries ARE brilliant, no doubt about it. But they’re not the whole story - and they’re not always the best way to make sure you lead a satisfying, self-preserving, joyful existence.

First off:

What does it mean to have boundaries?

Establishing boundaries basically means putting rules in place to manage the way you respond to people and situations. They can help you ensure fair treatment of yourself and others, and give you a default or ‘go to’ way to respond under pressure - so that you don’t accidentally end up compromising yourself or others.

Poor boundaries, on the other hand, can mean you allow others to take advantage of your time, energy, resources and good nature, and can lead to exhaustion, overwhelm and burnout.

Having worked with a lot of entrepreneurs, it can be particularly important to set boundaries in a business to ensure you aren’t allowing your business to creep in and affect your personal life… and to ensure you actually show up and do the things that need to get done, to drive profit, rather than spinning your wheels!

However, boundaries aren’t everything - and there are times when sticking too rigidly to your boundaries can actually be detrimental to your health, wealth and wellbeing.

Ok, so what are the problems with boundaries?

Putting it simply - sometimes those boundaries can bite back!

Let me tell you a story to illustrate.

I am very careful with my time. One of my priorities is always to make sure that the time I have to work, which is very precious, isn’t wasted and used for things that aren’t productive to my business - like domestic duties, painting my nails or ‘can I pick your brains’ coffee chats.

You could say I have firm ‘boundaries’ around that.

But today, my 4 year old decided he wanted to walk to nursery instead of riding his bike.

Checking in with my ‘boundaries’:

  • Walking takes longer than riding his bike

  • This is an unnecessary waste of part of my working day

  • Instead of running alongside his bike, I’d have to walk to nursery which means I wouldn’t get the cardio exercise in that I’d planned

  • I want to be home from my run by 9.30, showered and at my desk by 10am ready to get on with my jobs

Clearly, from a boundaries point of view it makes sense to say no and make sure he understands that mummy’s time is precious - therefore he doesn’t get what he wants. Cue a falling out and a grumpy, difficult child on my hands, a much less pleasant journey to nursery and a bad start to the day all round.


  • Mum guilt - or at the very least sadness (because deep down I know that’s not how I want my relationship to be or my family dynamics to work)

  • Unnecessary anger and resentment

  • Starting the day in a bad mood, dwelling on negative events, and losing out on focus, productivity, positivity and creativity as a result. Maybe even being distracted and missing out on easy wins for my business!


Checking in with my higher executive function (i.e. my rational self):

  • Walking will make him happy. Happy child that feels heard and valued = less resultant behaviour = happier family = easier flow. Is it worth the fight?

  • Although it feels like an added pressure, it’s only 5-10 mins additional time to walk. 5-10 minutes is NOTHING in a day (but don’t we make it feel a lot?).

  • Walking, chatting and enjoying nature with him on the way will be a great boost for MY brain chemistry - the flow of oxytocin & serotonin will massively improve my energy levels and help me be way more intuitive, intelligent in my thinking and productive

  • I can still run on the way back from nursery and actually enjoy it. And I can make up for the ‘lost’ run time by taking a detour, enjoying a change of scenery and arriving at my desk just a little later than planned - my brain buzzing with ideas because I took my run in a happy state of mind, rather than dwelling on an argument.

To me, it was a no-brainer.

But there was a time in the past when I would have seriously lost my sh!t over those 5-10 minutes and the disruption to my routine.

When I’d have taken the route of most resistance and upset - just to stick to my guns and be ‘in the right’.

A time when I’d have stuck to those boundaries like glue - even if, deep down, I didn’t really want to.

That was a time when I was MUCH less happy and fulfilled in my life. And despite being very keen to control my time, my energy, and what I would and wouldn’t accept to the nth degree - I’m not sure all of those decisions were really for the best.

You might have noticed that too?

Perhaps there are times when you’d like to flex on those boundaries because it would feel really, really good and like the right thing to do - but because you know flexing would mean breaking some unwritten rule around your self-worth or the way you represent yourself to your clients, or to the world, you’ve dug your heels in and stuck to what you thought was the right choice?

Maybe as an entrepreneur, there have been times when you’ve really, really wanted to offer something a bit special, different - or even at a reduced price point to a particular client (that cardinal sin!) - and it’s felt really right - but your coach has insisted you stick to very rigid boundaries around your prices and programmes (and therefore you haven’t)?

And maybe that’s left you feeling a little bit less than comfortable and slightly out of sorts?

I think one of the biggest issues I see in the world of business, coaching, personal development and marketing is that people are encouraged to step outside of themselves and rely on rules, frameworks and ways of doing things - that might have worked well for their coaches - but don’t work for them, deep down.

And this creates enormous resistance and stress.

Yes - there are sometimes better ways of doing things and we all need some sort of structure within which to work. But autonomy - as a person - and as a professional - is SO important to our sense of wellbeing and satisfaction.

And as you’ve hopefully gathered from this post, when we’re feeling good and we’re making decisions that really connect with what we truly want - we create SO much more room for our energy, enthusiasm and creativity to naturally flow.

In turn, that automatically improves our perception of the flow of time. It makes us smarter, MORE productive, more efficient, more available to opportunities that uplevel and grow us - and all round happier bunnies in our lives and businesses.

So should we abandon our boundaries?

Is it healthier to have no boundaries at all?

Not at all - but I’d invite you to start looking at them a little differently. Rather than treating them as a rigid set of rules that you follow without question:

  • Get clear on what’s important to you and what you want to protect

  • Bear that in mind at all times

  • But instead of treating them as set in stone, allow things to be fluid depending on what you REALLY want, deep down

Be careful to avoid compromising your boundaries just because somebody else is pushing especially hard, or because you’d feel guilty if you didn’t (giving in to guilt only breeds resentment, after all).

But you know what? If it feels good for you and like it will bring you the MOST joy to bend those boundaries - go ahead and do it. Your stress-levels and abundance will thank you for it.

By the way, it’s SO much easier to make those rational, executive decisions when we’re in a place of great intellectual and intuitive control.

And to get there can mean working on your underlying default emotional reactions and anxiety levels - so that fight, flight, freeze thing doesn’t kick in and cloud your judgement just at the crucial moment.

If that’s something you might need - that’s exactly what I do as a therapist for high achievers, entrepreneurs and nice girls who struggle to say no! And I’d be very happy to help you.

Here are the current ways to Work With Me

Join my FREE 21 day e-course Worthy, Wealthy & Wise - and learn MORE secrets of self-mastery, ease and abundance!

And of course, if I can help with anything else then just reach out - here are the current ways to Work With Me

Listen & subscribe on Apple, Google podcasts, Spotify, YouTube - or search ‘Align & Arise’ on your favourite podcast platform!


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