Tag Archives : Assertiveness


Setting Boundaries for Self-Care

Setting Boundaries for Self-Care 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: 52wayscover_600 130504_Shannon_33   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.

5 Steps to Sharing the Virtues Project

How can I deepen my spiritual practice? That was the question I asked right before I stumbled across a YouTube video that featured the Virtues Reflection Cards. I was intrigued and immediately went to The Virtues Project website to learn more. From the website, I learned that “The Virtues Project™ empowers individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring, and high performing learning communities, and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics in the work place.
I ordered the Virtues Reflection Cards in Oct. 2013 and downloaded the app because they were “written for adults to use in daily reflection.” These are the perfect cards to deepen my spiritual practice! I started by picking a card each morning and writing my thoughts in my journal. I soon realized that the virtues were the perfect tool to use as a strategy to maintain my 35 lb weight loss. Self-discipline, moderation, integrity and perseverance became foundational virtues for weight maintenance. Then, I noticed that the virtues laid the foundation for Being Unstoppable, so this became the theme for Unstoppable Women of Silicon Valley in 2014.
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During this time, my enthusiasm for The Virtues Project grew exponentially and I felt compelled to share this with family and friends. I asked myself, “How can I share The Virtues Project in an authentic way?” This inspired me to identify 5 virtues that serve as a frame of reference for sharing the Virtues Project:
  1. Purity - Have purity of intent. This means that it is important to be clear on WHY you are sharing The Virtues Project. Are you sharing because you genuinely want to share your insights or are you secretly hoping that by sharing this work you can change someone? For example, I shared The Virtues Project with my hubby and I told him how the virtue of integrity helped me track my food intake everyday. On the other hand, if I shared The Virtues Project with him because I secretly thought it would inspire him to wash his dishes instead of leaving them on the counter or soaking them, that wouldn’t jive with purity of intent.
  2. Respect - Ask for permission before you share. Ask the person if now is a good time for you to share. You want the person to be open and ready to listen, so have respect for the person by making sure that now is a good time. If not, ask to share with them later. Bottom line, it’s about timing. I have a lot of enthusiasm about The Virtues Project, but I knew better than to talk to my hubby as soon as he got home from work. I waited until we were enjoying dinner together and said, “Honey, I’m so excited, can I share something with you?” The key here is to use your own language when sharing this work. You want to be authentic; otherwise, you may get the response, “Why are you acting funny?” or “What’s going on?”
  3. Sincerity - Share from your heart. This means to share about The Virtues Project in your own words. In my own words, The Virtues Project is a program to help me show up as my best self. If you don’t share from your heart and with sincerity, it may come across that you’re selling something or reciting a book report. Also, share how this work is impacting your life. Consider sharing a specific example. Tell me, what is more compelling, “The Virtues Project makes a difference in my life” or “The Virtues Project helps me experience more joy in my job because I’ve learned to appreciate what’s good about my job instead of complaining about it all the time. As a result, I feel better about going to work every day.”
  4. Assertiveness - Make your request, if you have one. Oftentimes, when we share something, we want to open the door to continue the conversation. For example, I shared The Virtues Project with my mom and my request was to be able to share my daily virtues pick with her. She was intrigued and decided to get the Virtues Reflection Cards app so she could do a virtues pick too. It became a great conversation starter, “What virtue did you pick today?” Keep in mind, there’s always the chance that the person may say no to your request - that’s okay. It’s not for everyone. Also, some people may be interested in what you’re doing but they may not want to participate at the level in which you choose to participate. My hubby is open to The Virtues Project, but he doesn't do a daily virtues pick like I do.
  5. Gratitude - Express thanks to the person you shared with. It’s always a blessing when you can have a heartwarming conversation with someone about something you care about.
I’ve shared The Virtues Project with lots of people since I was introduced to it back in 2013. Even though I use the 5 virtues I’ve discussed above, I’ve noticed that what I share and how I share it changes as I deepen my own study of the virtues. Have fun as you deepen you own study of the virtues and use the 5 steps to help you share The Virtues Project with others. Let me know how this works for you!
- Shannon D. Silva
Virtues Project Facilitator
CEO Unstoppable Women of Silicon Valley