Many lawyers spend the majority of their day at work, and then they go home and bring work with them. Creating boundaries, whether working from the office, or from home is imperative. We all know that it is difficult to please many people at the same time. Here is where we’ll start this journey toward setting healthy boundaries. This is the point where you have to be aware that to please others, you have to first please yourself. A lack of boundaries makes us feel frustrated or stuck, sometimes even miserable. Having healthy boundaries can be tricky – especially if we’ve always been socialized to please and appease others. When we do, we often end up feeling terrible.
Boundaries don’t mean you are selfish or rigid. The reason we don’t set boundaries is because we prefer to feel resentment rather than guilt. So, think about it. Which feeling is better? The answer is, neither…when you set Healthy Boundaries.
Here are 4 steps that lead you in the right direction when you decide to place boundaries:
- Be aware of your needs and your clients’ needs. We’ve dedicated a special lesson for these needs in the Unique Lawyer System. First, you have to realize the need for boundaries and why you have to set boundaries. Let’s start to realize that when you say yes to something, you say no to something else. When you realize this fact, you will start to prioritize your activities differently. Perhaps, you realize that you need to take care of yourself to serve others. As a lawyer, you need to dedicate a lot of energy to your clients. Remember, the client will never think about your needs; you are the only one responsible for thinking and taking action to save yourself from professional abuse. In our coaching sessions, we hear a lot of stories from abused lawyers rooted in a lawyer stigma “this is a lawyer’s life… we don’t have a life.” Sometimes it is too late when you realize that your clients are emotionally abusive by crossing your boundaries and/or not respected your work hours. We don’t want you to reach this point, so let’s dive deeper into this topic and find a healthy way to set those boundaries. After you’ve set these boundaries, you will immediately feel your self-esteem rising. You have more time for yourself and be less stressed out.
- Clear communication. When you have communicated your limits, very clearly, it helps avoid misunderstandings with billing and strategy. Establish what a priority is or is not. Negative emotions can arise because of miscommunication. Don’t be scared to ask that your boundaries be respected. You will show professionalism and earn the respect of your clients. Do not engage in unhelpful conversation irrelevant to your focus on that specific relationship work-frame.
- Set boundaries at home. This is the easiest and the hardest part of putting boundaries because maybe your family will feel hurt. First, make sure to respect your own boundaries when you unplug yourself from work. Our devices are designed to make us addicted. Decide to dedicate time for your family and be present. Communicate to them your schedule and boundaries. For example, when you are on a Zoom call, use a Do Not Disturb sign. Text them if necessary. When you ask someone to respect your boundaries, you must respect theirs, as well. Turn notifications off when you have dinner with your family.
- Prioritize your health. Put yourself as the priority. How much you invest in your well-being and paying attention to your health is a way to put boundaries into unhealthy habits. Create your healthy routine and dedicate time to build healthy behaviors. Being aware of your level of energy. You will respect yourself, and you will clearly know what kind of boundaries you need in your life. If you think you need help, ask for support here ..