Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Repeating the Lessons Until You Learn Them

It is so true that if we don't learn our lessons, we are doomed to repeat them -- and that applies to business and life. I've decided that I need to finally get an A+ on a few of them and move on. I intellectually know better yet I just keep getting to take the tests over and over again. I hate to think of myself as the girl who gets D papers, but let me tell you, I have a few big, glaring D's to deal with right now. I keep making mistakes with the business, but I realized recently the best way to identify if I'm about to blunder is if it feels comfortable. If it feels comfortable then it's an old habit that needs to be broken. If you want to expand your business, you have to get out of your comfort zone. You have to finally master those lessons.

Unfortunately, it has spilled into my relationships, too. I posted on Facebook, "We teach others how to treat us." In business and life, you have to put boundaries and the no-go zone. I responded to a request yesterday that I wanted to give the knee-jerk "yes" to, and I realized it would not work for me. So, I rethought what I wanted to say versus what I needed to say. I got out of my comfort zone and went with what I needed to say. I also have to have lines that really say "enough" ... last year when I ended a partnership, my life coach asked me a critical question, "When is it enough?" Being in a situation that causes endless tension and drives home pain points isn't good for anyone. I had to do something I considered really difficult at the time, because I did like the person (well, until I pulled back the curtain to discover a lot of deception), but I laid down the "enough" point. Boundaries really matter. Without boundaries, you leave yourself pushed way past your "enough" point.

My biggest problem with boundaries (and I'm sure many of you can relate) is that once I've hit the point of no return, it's the end game. And that's not really productive. If you put the boundaries in first and stick with them, then people understand what are the limits. But if you keep moving the line back and back some more then the opposite happens. People think there are no limits. Where those in my personal and professional life end up stunned is that I am like a rubber band. You keep pulling back and pulling back, and then I will shoot off and ricochet off the walls and frankly out the door. People will be surprised by it, because I was so fluid with those boundaries -- and it seemed okay.

I'm sharing this with you, because that is not a good way to go about conducting any kind of relationship. All or nothing is not a good philosophy. You have to step up when a line is crossed and say so. Then it doesn't get to the all-or-nothing stage. And if someone disrespects your boundaries even though you more than stated what they are then that person should not be surprised when the break happens. Let me repeat, "We teach others how to treat us." If we want to be treated with respect, honor, integrity, and just love then we have to respect, honor, and love ourselves.

And there you go! Your armchair philosopher who has lived a really big, beautiful life. Hope I have helped people think about it.

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