5 Important Questions to Ask About Boundaries

“I often can’t get away from work til around 8:00.”

“I make work calls on my 45 minute commute to the office.”

“I’m a stay-at-home mom because I want to invest time in my kids while they are young, but I’m in so many important volunteer positions that I’m exhausted and pre-occupied with all I have to do even when I’m with my kids.”

“I’ve been up til midnight the past few nights trying to get my work load under control.”

“If I go out of town or take a break on the weekend, I’m swamped when I get back. It’s not worth it.”

These are all statements I’ve heard recently.

So many of my millennial friends are in seasons of high stress, high demand, and long work hours. The discipline of setting boundaries while trying to establish a career is tough, and scary.

I know there is no silver bullet, but this ties into my post from Monday on your “The Hardest ‘Yes’ of Your Day”.

What do you have the courage to say “no” to?

Before anything, maybe journal about what values are most important to you.

Family? Faith Community? Spiritual Growth? Balance? Volunteerism? Peace?

Is it possible to prioritize these values within the career you have? Do you have clear expectations and boundaries built into your job description?

“You get what you tolerate.” Henry Cloud

Here are a few questions to consider asking yourself as you are making decisions:

  1. If I say “yes” to this request, what will I need to say “no” to? What will I need to sacrifice? Who will I be cheating?

2. Does saying yes to this (deadline, project, staying late..) tap into an unhealthy sense of “need to be needed” or pride? (Ouch! I know this is an important one from experience!)

3.  Who might benefit from me sharing this opportunity or delegating this task?

4. Am I letting urgent things crowd out the important things in my life?


5. Who am I coaching or mentoring on a daily basis so that not everything will be dependent on me? 

Whether you’re a boss or not, there are some great strategies here:

The One Thing All Great Bosses Do Well

Remember, your true self will never change. You are beloved child of God with nothing to prove. Your false self is based on titles, paychecks, and awards that will come and go.

At the end of the day may we, like Jesus, be able to say:

 I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to. John 17:4


  1. Good article, Laura, with excellent reminders.
    The past year or so I’ve had to say “No” to various involvements at church (gasp!) in order to better balance my life.
    And the sky didn’t fall 😉

    • Church??? No Way! 🙂

      • For years I was one of the 20% at church doing most of the work, whether through being asked or volunteering. Then it dawned on me the combination of doing it to be seen and loved, and the fact that my family doesn’t go to church and I was missing time with them. So I chose to say “no” to many church responsibilities.
        Never been more content.

  2. #3!!! Just waking up to the reality that I don’t need to DO IT ALL. So freeing. You can feel bad asking others to take things on, but see hints of them feeling empowered and realizing this is a win-win. Great thoughts on leadership, Laura. Thank you.

    • #3 is one we talk about in the church a lot. We always seem to go to the same dependable volunteers or do it ourselves (often easier), when there are people just waiting to be asked, or stretched, and when we find them it’s just a win for the kingdom!

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