• Karen

What crosses the line?

Updated: Apr 12

Next month I’ll be facilitating another community discussion, this one on making decisions and the drive to be perfect. https://www.sfu.ca/continuing-studies/events/2019/06/search-for-the-perfect-answer.html As a recovering perfectionist, this is a topic I think about and write about often. Though I feel I have more insights now than I did in the past, I sometimes still agonize over choices. In particular, I still find it hard to say “no” to situations that are not right for me if I might hurt someone’s feelings. In addition, knowing that life, and therefore my work, will never be perfect does not keep me from ruminating on shortcomings or mistakes, especially at the end of a particularly tough day or week.

By now, most of us have read about, heard about, or talked about, the need to say no, set healthy boundaries, and use self-awareness to craft a more balanced life. Yet, I want to acknowledge that knowing all of this does not mean it’s going to be easy. It can still prick your conscience when you need to say no to a friend or colleague, even when you realize it’s the right move for you. It can still feel awkward when you tell someone you won’t tolerate abusive language. And it can be tough to make decisions when you’re afraid of making a mistake. This is why it’s important to surround yourself with the right people. Bring people into your life who:

· Understand the difference between constructive criticism and cruelty

· Believe you have worth and value independent of your wealth, position, or what you can give them

· Accept you as you are today, and support healthy grown and change

Lastly, be prepared for the dark side of boundary setting. People who are accustomed to getting their own way without regard for others, or people who feel entitled to a position of power and authority just because are going to balk when told “no.” Try not to be shocked, and hold the line.

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