For all our talk about work-life balance, most of us completely suck at setting boundaries. And that’s a real shame, because boundaries are critical to living up to our full potential.
When we fail to establish tight boundaries, we keep ourselves small. If we say “yes”, when we really should say “no”, it’s because we’re operating from a fear state. The fear of loss, fear of less and fear of never.
The thinking goes, “If I say no…”
I'll lose that job, that client, that friend, that relationship
I'll be less respected, less needed, less important
I'll never find another job, client, friend, relationship
These are the hallmarks of an unhealthy contractive state. And if we stay in such a state, we won’t use our gifts and talents to their full capacity.
No one wants to talk about the good old midlife crisis.
It’s embarrassing really, because it’s the time in life when an otherwise rational person loses their mind and is driven to buy a sports car or a Birkin bag or to endure a litany of cosmetic surgery procedures. Many of us (especially those of us with a perfectionist streak) fear that if we're not happy at midlife, it’s because we've messed up, we’ve been careless, we’ve taken a wrong turn, and are therefore failing at life. It's enough to make us run to our She Sheds and Man Caves and never come out.
I’m here to tell you that if done correctly, your midlife crisis can be a lovely time in your life that one day you’ll look back upon not only with fondness, but also nostalgia.
Craig starts a new job this week. He’s done his homework. He’s read all the key strategic documents and plans, and already knows where he can make the biggest impact. On the advice of his mentor and former boss Gerry, Craig is after a Quick Win.
“Get a quick win,” Gerry told him, “and you’ll be golden.”
Craig already knows what the quick win will be: A new product feature that will make the customer experience five percent faster than it currently is.
Confident and excited, Craig sets up get-to-know-you meetings with each of his colleagues and direct reports. And in each meeting, he blows them away with all his past successes, his thoughts about his new company’s products and strategies as well as his plan for the new product feature. He's got this, he assures them. Things are going to get mu...