Are you a “tell me what you need and I will do it for you” kind of person?
Many heart center designers are and your main focus is to help people live better in their environments. You’re highly attuned to what your clients need and want, and you are an expert at delivering it.
But when does helping someone turn into over delivering and finding that your clients don’t appreciate all that you are giving so you then start feeling secretly resentful and don’t know how to get out of the situation you’ve created?
Setting boundaries doesn’t make you a bad person… it makes you a better designer.
Here are 3 situations where you don’t need to be available 24/7 in order for your clients to feel your caring support and how to gracefully set boundaries.
1. Set up your business hours in the beginning of the relationship.
Let them know when you’re available for consultation and when you’re not. Clearly state your policy about calls, texts and emails after hours, and how long it’ll take you to get back to them when you are not available.
2. Schedule time to renew and refresh your life force.
I use my yoga practice and time with my horses to keep myself clear, energized and creative. For you it may be an early morning workout, a dance class or a good run. No matter what it is, it’s important to treat yourself 3 or 4 days a week to what expands your energy and lights you up. That’s why the time blocks for my yoga and horse time go in my calendar first, and then I fill in the work times around them.
Whatever it is you do to center yourself, treat these appointments with yourself with the same respect you treat your client appointments.
3. Learn to say no with the same happiness and grace as when you say yes.
Often, saying no creates better results for the client than saying yes to something that isn’t in your scope of work or that you’ll feel uncomfortable or resentful about later.
Practice saying no out loud to prepare you for the next time you’re caught off guard with a client. Here are some examples to practice:
“I would love to do that for you; however I have another engagement booked at that time. I’m available at 8:00 on Tuesday morning or at 4:45 Thursday afternoon. Does either of these times work for you?”
Visualize feeling fully confident and knowing that you’re respecting yourself and the client.
The best boundaries are set with the energy of giving. Giving, gratitude and appreciation are core values even when declining an opportunity. Saying no to someone is setting a clear boundary. Feeling connected to your core values when setting boundaries will keep you out of feeling guilty, apologizing or feeling badly.
Remember, boundaries don’t put limits on your life, they define what you allow in!