I’m someone who craves practical instructions. I don’t really know what to do with high-level concepts without more.
For example, when I was interviewing for jobs during law school, I remember hearing messages about being “confident.”
But what does that look like? Am I supposed to look smug as I talk about my accomplishments? I doubt it.
Thankfully, I had a great career services advisor who helped me understand that preparation leads to comfort, which comes off as confidence in an interview.
She sat with me for over an hour, asking me questions and advising me where to tighten up my responses and what to emphasize. I practiced on my own until the interview.
My takeaway: if you want to feel and exude confidence, focus on feeling comfortable.
And to get comfortable, at least for me, I have to prepare.
I have to talk out loud to myself in the shower, while doing make-up, and just sitting by myself at a desk. It can feel weird, but that resulting feeling of comfort is totally worth it in my book.
I bring this up because “draw boundaries” is a similarly high-level concept that we struggle to implement in real life.
For me, to successfully draw and maintain boundaries, I have to have CONFIDENCE in that boundary.
And you want to know how to confidently say no to a new project or push back on a deadline?
Get clear on and comfortable knowing your objective capacity and your current workload. Get comfortable saying the words that amount to “no” out loud.
And prepare. Don’t wait for the actual ask (just as you wouldn’t wait for the interview to prepare). Always have an understanding of your capacity, your workload, and the words you’d use to decline work so you’re ready when that random ask comes.
That’s how you protect your boundaries to protect time for what’s important to you.
If you’d like my help gaining that better understanding of your capacity and workload, I’d love to help you. That’s my jam. My last program of the year starts on June 25th!
For more details and to enroll, click here. I hope to see you in there!