Enthusiasm has always been one of my strength virtues. I tend to get very excited about things. Patience, on the other hand, continues to be a virtue I need to cultivate.
As a kid, my mom's practice of self-care taught me how to curb my enthusiasm and demonstrate patience. She did this by modeling the importance of setting boundaries for self-care.
I remember this like it was yesterday. As soon as I heard my mom pull into the driveway, I’d run and open the back door. “Hi mom! Sean (my older brother) took my book and won’t give it back! Tell him to give it back! Can Andy spend the night? Can I go to Regina’s birthday party? Can I….” In a calm voice, my mom said, “give me 15-minutes and then you can ask me anything you want.” Hmm, in my little kid brain, I took that to mean that I just needed to ask her my most important question one more time, so she could say yes and then I would be my merry way. “Okay, but can Andy spend the night?” My mom set her things down and in a firm voice said, “If you ask me one more time, the answer is no.” “But mom, can...!” “The answer is no,” then she walked up stairs.
I thought to myself, "What just happened?” It didn’t take me too long to figure out that my mom meant what she said. I heard ‘no’ a few more times before I caught on that I needed to honor her ‘give me 15-minutes’ request.
My mom taught me the importance of practicing self-care by setting boundaries. Here are a few things I learned from this experience:
• Self-Respect - before you can implement a boundary, you have to know what your needs are, respect them and know they are important. My mom knew that she needed to decompress and disconnect from her work day, so she could be present for herself and family time. As a result, she set her “give me 15-minutes” boundary. What is one need you have that can be met by setting a boundary? Why is this important to you?
• Assertiveness - you have to stand strong and communicate your needs with self-assurance and respect. My mom knew she needed 15 minutes, she asked for it and she got it. She was kind, yet firm when she stated her boundary and the consequence of not honoring it. What boundary do you need to put into place? How will you communicate this boundary?
• Commitment - you need to have self-love and self-respect in order to get your needs met. My mom demonstrated her commitment by consistently enforcing the 15-minute boundary and the consequence of not respecting her boundary. Everyday after work, she loved and respected herself enough to take 15 minutes to unwind from her work day. How will you consistently enforce this boundary? What consequence will you put in place for the times this boundary is violated? I encourage you to build in flexibility as well because sometimes life throws you a curve ball.
What boundary will you put into place? Share it in the comments below.
*This Blog Post is an excerpt from Shannon's book:
Shannon D. Silva, MBA is the Founder and CEO of Unstoppable Women of Silicon Valley. Her specialty is helping women achieve their work and wellness goals by transforming self-doubt into COURAGE and procrastination into DETERMINATION. She also facilitates Master Classes and Inner Circles through Unstoppable Women In Action.
Shannon shares her message through workshops, inner circles and retreats. She is a Facilitator of The Virtues Project and Appreciative Living Learning Circles. She is professionally trained as a Certified Self-Discovery Coach and a Dale Carnegie trained speaker. With a reputation for captivating audiences with her enthusiasm, authenticity and passion, Shannon is known throughout the community as a catalyst for joy, transformation and creative self-expression.