So frequently when we ask clients, “What do you want?” they easily talk about what they don’t want, but they can’t clearly state what they do want. If we don’t know what we want, how can we achieve it? Getting curious about what we want, and aligning our wants with our values, helps us focus on what we want to and can achieve.
Understanding what we want can be difficult, particularly when requests, invitations, and ideas are coming at us all the time. Reflect on your values and identify what you want that will support those values. Get curious about what each want looks like to you and how you can bring it into your life with clarity, so you can begin to embrace what you want and decline what you don’t want. Like understanding your values, understanding your wants helps you become more self-aware, which will support you in your leadership, in building authentic relationships, and in emotional situations.
When you are clear on what you want, start setting boundaries that help you say no with ease and grace in order to support your wants. Boundaries help you live your values so you can feel grounded, connected, and aligned with your inner truth. They allow your true self to emerge, so you can live in alignment with your wants and values. And they allow you to meet your needs first so you can better meet the needs of others.
Boundaries can also support you when you feel your emotional buttons being pushed, clarifying what is permissible and what is not, and how you want to move forward. They provide a framework in which to build your relationships. With boundaries, you get to choose how you want to build and support both your values and your wants, rather than passively accept what is brought to you.
When to Set a Boundary
- When you find yourself constantly complaining, feeling resentful, taken advantage of, angry, or compelled to do things you don’t want to do
- When you find yourself saying yes when you really want to be saying no
How to Set a Boundary
- Get curious and explore where the feelings of frustration, anger, complaining, and/or resentment are coming from. What is happening for you to feel this way? What are you doing that you don’t want to be doing? It is important to identify what value is being compromised or the want you have that is not getting met.
- Next, explore what you would like to see happen in your perfect world so you can get clear about what you want or what is permissible and what isn’t.
- If you find yourself saying yes when you want to be saying no, get curious about what is stopping you from saying no. How is this inability to say no supporting your values and your wants?
- Be assertive about your boundaries and respectful towards others in declaring them.
- Show yourself some compassion. If others are offended when you say no to them, be kind to yourself.
- Show others compassion as well. If you set clear boundaries around your wants and values, you can say no to others with respect, kindness, and generosity.
- Use your boundaries to stay calm in emotional, messy situations with others. Being clear about your boundaries can help you remain separate from them.
TAKE ACTION: Now that you are clear on your values, take the time to explore and clearly define what you want, clarify how your wants align with your values, and then set boundaries to help you achieve what you want. See example chart below:
Top 3 Wants What Core Value Supports Your Wants? Boundaries To Support Values & Wants
We go into greater detail helping you achieve your wants and instilling boundaries in The Power of Curiosity: How To Have Real Conversations That Create Collaboration, Innovation and Understanding. If you haven’t downloaded the Introduction and Chapter One (FREE) you can do that here